Split City Council adjusts budget, spares police
The Portland City Council on Thursday voted 3-2 to adjust the budget that took effect on July 1.
Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Commissioner Dan Ryan voted to adjust the budgets of different bureaus because of revenue changes and program needs. Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty voted against the package because it did not include the $18 million cut to the Portland Police Bureau they had pushed.
Hardesty accused the council majority of not being serious about police reform and said she was already thinking about changes to PPB funding in the next budget.
Mayor Ted Wheeler said the council was serious about police reform but that it must be done in a thoughtful manner.
The council first voted 3-2 to reject the cut proposed by Eudaly and Hardesty on Nov. 5. It followed the release of a City Budget Office that found the bureau must lay off employees if the council cut $18 million from its budget, contrary to what Hardesty and Eudaly had promised.
Fritz noted the vote was happening during a semi-annual budget process that has historically only dealt with minor adjustment.
Among the adjustment approved by the council on Nov. 12 were $2.1 million to keep three temporary emergency outdoor camps for at least homeless 135 people open, $1.75 million for the Oregon Worker Relief Fund, more than $22,000 to cover protest-related damages to city park property, and new positions in the Office of Equity & Human Rights, Office of Violence Prevention and Office of Government Relations to help address racial and inclusion equity as well as gun violence.
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