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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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Messages from the Director

Update - June 13, 2018

Dear Parks Community, 

Last Thursday, June 7, City Council passed the City of Portland FY 2018-19 Adopted Budget. The information below will help you understand the final results of the budget process and the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) 2018-19 Adopted Budget.

Per the Mayor’s Budget Guidance provided in November 2017, the PP&R Requested Budget offered approximately $3.27 million in ongoing General Fund reductions to meet a 5% reduction target. The final Adopted Budget reduces current General Fund budget by $1.77 million, and adds just under $1 million of Ongoing General Fund support, and $4 million in One-Time General Fund support.

In keeping with our commitment to provide you the most current information on our budget, we are making sure that you know what has changed since the Mayor’s Proposed Budget was released on April 30 (see linked spreadsheets below for the complete details of the budget process)—here is a quick summary:

Restoration of Ongoing Funding for cuts that were previously in the Mayor’s Proposed Budget (~$450,000) for:

    • Keeping Fulton and Hillside Community Centers open, continuing to remove invasive species (Protect the Best Program), a facility maintenance and operational support position, and a Public Involvement Position to support Capital Projects.

Additionally, some One-Time Funds were added during this last phase of the budget process for:

    • Parks 2035 Vision Plan Development, Preschool Scholarships, Bridge Funding for a Strategic Parking Assessment, Bridge Funding for Work Order Efficiency, Forest Park Culvert Replacements.

In addition to the financial allocations, the Adopted Budget included several budget notes specific to PP&R. Budget notes are mandates from Council providing direction to the bureau on deliverables or changes required to programs, practices, or processes. These notes direct PP&R to do the following:

    • Request ongoing funding of $500,000 for major maintenance each budget year until a sustainable level of funding is achieved.

    • Complete critical planning efforts including Financial Sustainability Plan, Cost Recovery Plan update, and level of service plans for parks and community centers.

    • Request a general fund increase of $1 million in FY 2019-20 to dedicate to ADA compliance efforts.

    • Coordinate with other impacted bureaus to plan funding through permit revenues for the Portland Film Office.

I encourage you to review the links below. These documents provide additional detail on the changes from our Requested Budget submitted in January 2018 to the final Adopted Budget approved in June 2018. The City Budget Office (CBO) website hosts the most updated version of the Adopted Budget for the City of Portland. The CBO will post this in the next several weeks. I recognize that many of you have contributed your time and talent to this budget process—and with it, there have been many ups and downs. Thank you for your time and patience. Additionally, I realize that some programs and staff support were lost or shifted. Although our budget was reduced in some areas this year, we also received funds for some new investments that we will work with you, our community, to partner on implementing. For that, we are grateful and very much looking forward to this upcoming year’s work.

Thank you again for the work that you do each day to invest in our parks community.


Kia Selley
Interim Director

PP&R Adopted Budget Add Package Summary

PP&R Adopted Budget Reduction Package Summary

Dear Parks Community,
Yesterday, Mayor Wheeler released his Proposed Budget for City Council consideration. The Mayor’s Proposed Budget includes approximately $4.11 million in General Fund cuts and an increase in Business License Tax rate to generate an additional $15.3 million in revenues to stabilize the budget. The Mayor’s stated priorities for funding included homeless services, housing, policing, economic prosperity, and fiscal responsibility.  

The Mayor’s Proposed Budget includes nearly $1.1 million in new ongoing funds (of PP&R’s requested $1.4 million in our requested budget) and $1.2 million in new one-time funds (of PP&R’s requested $34.3 million).

At the direction of the Mayor, PP&R also submitted 5% reductions of our General Fund Budget for $3.27 million in reductions. The Mayor’s Proposed Budget reduces our General Fund by 3.4% or more than $2.2 million. 

Proposed NEW, ONGOING or ONE-TIME funding includes: 

  • $625,000 in ongoing funding to increase the support for capital major maintenance for the bureau, allocating the funds in the first year to focus on $325,000 for seismic needs assessment and $300,000 for demolitions of hazardous structures;
  • $61,783 in ongoing funding for operations and maintenance costs of new parks being placed into service next year;
  • $770,000 in ongoing program revenue through development permit fees to increase tree permitting staff and realign arborist responsibilities;
  • $98,000 in ongoing funding to support hazardous and abandoned boat enforcement (reduced to utilize $30,000 in the first year from funding received from the Riverplace Business Association);
  • $500,000 in one-time funding and $250,000 in ongoing funding to provide a maintenance and security reboot targeted on the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade;
  • $150,000 in one-time funding to support implementation of cost recovery policy update and financial sustainability plan;
  • $100,000 in one-time funding to leverage private donor support through partnership with Portland Parks Foundation; and 
  • $500,000 in one-time funding for repairs of the Washington Park Stearns Canyon Stairs, a priority major maintenance capital project.

Proposed REDUCTIONS that will cause services to be reduced include:

  • Outdoor Water Use Reduction reducing Splash Pad hours and turf irrigation;
  • Reduced capacity for facility maintenance and operational support (Automotive Equipment Operator);
  • Reduction to Customer Service Center hours eliminating weekend support;
  • Closure of Fulton and Hillside Community centers (one-time funding provided for one year to provide transition time);
  • Reduced support for removing invasive species (Protect the Best Program); and
  • Elimination of a public involvement position supporting special events.

Other proposed decision packages that reduce General Fund through using OTHER REVENUE SOURCES or EFFICIENCIES include: 

  • Increase fees for special use permits and private uses of park facilities to offset General Fund subsidy;
  • Recover costs through other agencies for emergency tree removal and fountains maintenance to offset General Fund subsidy;
  • Increase fees through parking revenues at select locations;
  • Transfer of utility costs to partner organizations to offset General Fund subsidy; and
  • Achieve efficiency through mobile use of PP&R’s Work Order system, eliminating one position that previously completed manual entry of data.

The proposed decision packages include two PP&R realignment packages. These are packages in which we internally reduce services in one area in order to utilize the funds for a different priority. They are:

  • Discontinuing the use of Laurelhurst Dance Studio to reduce staff and shift support to a different recreation site; and
  • Realignment of an outreach position to provide critical administrative and project support in Operations & Strategies.

Finally, the Mayor’s Proposed Budget includes several budget notes that intend to move PP&R towards financial sustainability including direction to:

  • Request $500,000 in ongoing funding each year until the bureau’s funding reaches a level sufficient to address maintenance needs;
  • Complete and present to Council three key priorities including: cost recovery policy update, financial sustainability plan and level of service for parks and community centers; 
  • Request $500,000 increase to our budget during the Fall Budget Monitoring Process for the FY 2019-20 budget to fund ADA compliance efforts; and
  • Coordination between PP&R, PBOT, and OMF to provide revenues through film permits starting in FY 2019-20 to fund half of the Portland Film Office.

As you know, PP&R had to propose many reduction packages as part of our Requested Budget in January. The REDUCTIONS NOT PROPOSED in the Mayor’s Budget include: elimination of maintenance to non-core properties, discontinuation of planting and maintenance of the downtown transit mall, reduced capacity for data systems development and support, closure of Woodstock and Sellwood Community Centers, reduced facility maintenance capacity (plumber and maintenance mechanic), regional trails service reduction, and reduced frequency of downtown restroom cleaning. 

To find out the details on all packages, here’s the link to the City Budget Office’s website where all the Mayor’s Proposed Budget documents are located here.

Opportunities to comment on the Mayors’ Proposed Budget include a public hearing:
Thursday, May 10, 2018: Budget Committee public hearing, City Hall, 6:00pm– 8:30pm

After this hearing, City Council will make amendments and approve the final budget on May 16, 2018. Council will officially adopt the budget on June 7, 2018. 

Your partnership is essential to our parks system and service to our community—thank you for your continued dedication.

Mike Abbaté

Public Budget Hearing
Portland City Hall – 1221 SW 4th Avenue
Thursday, May 10, 6:00pm–8:30pm

Opportunities to comment on the Mayors’ Proposed Budget include the above public budget hearing. After this hearing, City Council will make amendments and approve the final budget on May 16, 2018. Council will officially adopt the budget on June 7, 2018. 

March 20, 2018

Dear Parks Community,
When I last updated you in January 2018 on the City of Portland Budget Process, it was to share that we had just submitted the final Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Requested Budget. In accordance with the Mayor’s budget direction, we submitted a proposed budget that identified reductions equaling approximately 5% of our ongoing General Fund Budget (approximately $3.27 million). Our Requested Budget closely mirrored the recommendations of the Parks Budget Advisory Committee (

City Budget Office Budget Review
After we submitted our Requested Budget, it was reviewed by the City Budget Office (CBO) whose job is to analyze and highlight the key budget and program performance issues that the CBO believes Council should consider during the budget process. Recently, the CBO released their 
review of our budget. In their Budget Review, the City Budget Office recommended to that Council take 4% of the reductions submitted by PP&R. This would amount to reducing the PP&R budget by $2.1 million. This level of cuts will significantly impact our programs. In addition to the ongoing General Fund reductions, the CBO also recommends an ongoing increase to our major maintenance funds and some one-time funding for campsite cleanups and capital projects. 

Several of you have asked why we are making cuts when the economy appears to be doing well.  While we are in a period of economic growth, the CBO is forecasting a $1.5 million gap to the citywide Ongoing General Fund due to higher inflation, labor costs and PERS. In order to offset the $1.5 million ongoing deficit and create room for priority investments (including housing and public safety), the CBO recommends $5.0 million in ongoing reductions citywide. A net reduction of $2.1 million from the PP&R budget will make up almost half of the recommended General Fund reductions. We are disappointed that the CBO review shows PP&R taking this level of General Fund reduction. If taken, these reductions would impact almost every segment of our organization.

Our Requested Budget was strongly grounded in the 
Values developed and adopted by successive BAC’s. After years of refinement, the Values reflect our commitment to equity, safety, strategic thinking, partnerships, maintenance, core programming and volunteerism. A $2.1 million reduction to our budget would severely limit our ability to deliver core programs and services. 

The Budget Process—NEXT STEPS
On Friday, March 16, PP&R participated in a work session with City Council where PP&R presented the impacts of the reductions on our work and our proposed Add Packages. In the coming months, the following steps will take place:

Community Budget Forums—There are several community budget forums where you, as Portlanders, can give direct budget feedback to City Council

April 3, 2018, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
David Douglas High School, 1001 SE 135th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97233

April 17, 2018, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Roosevelt High School, 6941 N Central Street, Portland, Oregon 97203

April 30, Release of the Mayor’s Proposed Budget—Mayor Wheeler will use the information provided by the CBO, PP&R staff, and the public to develop the Mayor’s Proposed Budget.

Finalizing an Adopted Budget—City Council will then deliberate, a Budget Committee hearing will be held on May 10, and Council expects to continue to hear testimony from you, the community, and then they will approve the City Budget on May 16, 2018.

May 10, 2018, 6:00pm - 8:30pm, hearing to receive public testimony 
Council Chambers, Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204

May 16, 2018, 2:00pm, Council Action to approve City Budget, testimony heard
Council Chambers, Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97204

Helpful Links

I know that the budget process can be difficult, especially with the possible reductions that are on the table for discussion. Several of these are programs and sites for which you, as our Parks community, care deeply and already work hard to partner with us on. 

If you have questions regarding the budget or the budget process, please let your liaison know or reach out to Elizabeth Kennedy-Wong at

Thank you for your time and interest in our parks system,

Mike Abbaté

Public Budget Hearing
Portland City Hall–1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland
Thursday, May 10, 6:00pm– 8:30pm

Opportunities to comment on the Mayors’ Proposed Budget include the above public budget hearing. After this hearing, City Council will make amendments and approve the final budget on May 16, 2018. Council will officially adopt the budget on June 7, 2018.