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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-7529

1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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A letter from the Park Director Mike Abbaté

March 16, 2017

Dear Supporters of Portland Parks & Recreation,

It has been almost two months since Portland Parks & Recreation submitted our Requested Budget. Because of your interest and support, I wanted to get back to you and provide you with an update on the progress of our budget.

On March 14, I, along with the Parks Board Chair, Judy BlueHorse Skelton, presented our Requested Budget to the City Council. As part of our presentation, Judy provided comments based on the letter authorized by the Budget Advisory Committee in support of our work and our budget. In addition to our presentation, the City Budget Office (CBO) Analyst also presented their recommendations and analysis. (One of the first steps in the Budget Process after we submit our budget is the review and recommendations from the City Budget Office). In order to help you track how decisions are being made regarding our budget, we also have a link to the chart we used throughout the BAC process, which lists the BAC budget recommendations and the CBO recommendations.

    • The CBO recommendations diverged from the BAC recommendations in several key ways:
    • They do not recommend the reduction to decorative fountains, but they do note that there seems to be a disconnect between our priorities and the cost of providing this service
    • The CBO does not recommend elimination of the AEO position
    • The CBO recommends that PP&R identify another funding source for the Sustainable Landscapes Initiative
    • The CBO does not support reducing non-major maintenance
    • The CBO did recommend the elimination of the preschool program in spite of the low ranking by the BAC
    • The CBO also recommended that PP&R reduce its budget by more than 1%

When you look at the attached chart, you will see that if the Mayor follows the CBO recommendations, several of the packages in the 2-5% range could be accepted as reductions.

It is important to note that this is only the first phase of the budget adoption process. At this stage, it is the role of the CBO to make recommendations to balance the overall City budget based on the prior December Forecast. There are two important components to the process:

  1. City Council listening to the public on their priorities and beginning to better understand the public and political impacts of the decision packages, and

  2. The new economic forecast will come out in April 2017, which will then allow Council to balance their final budget priorities to a newly revised forecast.

We recognize that many of you and your communities will be interested in these conversations about the future of the Parks Budget. Below are several opportunities to engage with City Council and share your feedback and support of our budget.

Community Budget Forums
April 11, 2017, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
10301 NE Glisan St., Portland, OR 97220

April 18, 2017, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Mt. Scott Community Center
5530 SE 72nd Ave., Portland, OR 97206

Budget Committee Hearings
May 11 and May 17, 2017 - Council Chambers
Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 5th Ave., Portland, OR 97205

Click here to view our presentation to the Parks Bureau Budget Work SessionAnd finally, once again, thank you for your continued engagement and support for Parks and our programs. Especially, I want to thank Judy for her time and continued work to support Parks.  

Thank you, and please let me know if you have questions. 

Director Mike Abbaté