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Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Investing in our Gold Medal system

Over the last century, Portlanders have preserved and built our incredible parks system through a series of legacy investments. Historically, voters have committed to a bond or levy about every nine years. The last levy expired in 2009 and the last bond, passed about 19 years ago, will expire in 2015.

Every day, I have the opportunity to meet and talk with people who use and love our parks.  Recently, the Portland Parks Foundation funded a public opinion survey.  Parks Director Mike Abbaté and I have listened closely, and understand that Portlanders are asking us to continue to stretch our dollars and past investments a little further right now.

While Portlanders are not ready to invest in a new Portland Parks bond effort this year, we are beginning a conversation about the most pressing health and safety needs in our Parks system.  We start this work from a very good place.  From the survey, we also learned:

  • Portlanders believe we have done an excellent job creating and maintaining our Gold Medal system, often through sheer will and elbow grease.  Nine in ten Portlanders (91%) give positive marks to the quality of the parks, programs, playgrounds and community centers.
  • Portlanders trust us as responsible watchdogs of taxpayers’ money. Nearly two-thirds (66%) say the Bureau "is probably efficient with the money they have."

I invite you to visit Portland Parks & Recreation’s website to take a survey, and tell us what you think are the most pressing needs in our parks and recreation facilities. 

At the same time, the City is crafting its 2013-2014 budget.  With an expected $25 million shortfall, we anticipate difficult cuts to our programs and services.  Follow the PP&R budget process online, and visit the City Budget Office online for upcoming public hearings and opportunities for comment.

Thank you for your continued support of our wonderful Portland Parks & Recreation system.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Parks bureau backs away from bond plan

Jennifer Anderson in the Portland Tribune