On Monday, Mayor Charlie Hales officially becomes the commissioner in charge of all Portland Bureaus.
For about 90 days, anyway.
“We’re going to try this while we craft the next year’s budget,” Hales said. “I want the City Council members sitting together as a ‘board of directors,’ each equally vested in each bureau.”
The proposed budgets for all bureaus now are available online. The City Council will spend the next few months debating the budgets and looking to close a budget shortfall of at least $25 million.
Portland has an unusual governance system, in which each member of the City Council directly overseas bureaus. But starting Monday, and extending for approximately three months, the council members, known as commissioners, will focus on the city budget as a whole, not on selected portions of the city budget.
Bureaus include: Planning and Sustainability; Development Services; Emergency Communications; Parks and Recreation; Police; Fire; and more.
Mayors Vera Katz and Tom Potter also adopted the all-bureaus-under-one-roof approach, at the start of their budget seasons.
“We are facing a general fund shortfall that could be much worse than $25 million,” Hales said. “We’re all in this together. We have to get our financial house in order.”