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Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

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

Investing in our Gold Medal system

February 28, 2013

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