PORTLAND -- Mayor Charlie Hales just released his proposed budget for Portland, which includes a water and sewer rate increase and cuts to nearly 200 city workers' positions.
In a press conference Tuesday morning he said the city has to cut more than $21 million from the budget.
To meet that goal, he said he wants to cut 182 total city positions, including 55 in the police bureau, 42 from fire and rescue, and the entire mounted patrol program.
Dozens of the positions cut from the police bureau were already open, and retirements could absorb more of the cuts. Restructuring in the fire bureau would eliminate the more than 40 positions cut there. The mayor rejected a proposal to close fire stations.
Hales said his proposed budget is an effort to create a more stable foundation for the city.
This is not a happy day, to the extent that it is never easy to cut $21.5 million out of a budget, Hales said. But we have done it in a way that is both collaborative and thoughtful and positions the city well for the better years that are ahead.
Hales said that no bureau was exempt from cuts in his proposed budget.
The budget also proposes increases in water and sewer rates, but they would be below five percent, combined.
Three public forums will be held in May before the budget is finalized.