Multnomah County and City of Portland reach budget agreement to preserve key community services

Thursday, 5/16/13 - 5:05 pm

Joint Statement from Chair Cogen and Mayor Hales

May 16th, 2013

We are happy to announce we have reached a budget agreement to preserve key community services that include SUN schools, the needle exchange program, the one-stop domestic violence center, our senior centers and the Crisis Assessment Treatment Center.

Because Multnomah County is in a stable budget position this year, we agreed that the county will pick up the city's share for the needle exchange program and one-stop domestic violence center. And the county will provide one-time-only money to fund a portion of the city's reduction to our community's senior centers and split the cost of three SUN schools for one year, giving both the city and county time to work on a longer-term solution for both of those vital services.

The city will fund its 50 percent share of the center's funding for the coming year, and we are gratified that people having serious mental health issues will continue to have this vital resource.  In the two years since the county and city jointly opened the CATC, the center has helped to stabilize about 1,300 people in a mental health crisis.

Both of us appreciate the collaborative spirit of our discussions to help the city deal with the budget shortfall it faces this year. We are optimistic this spirit will be a model for our future discussions. The good news today is that we have reached an agreement that will benefit our entire community.

Portland’s first budget hearing is tonight, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at City Hall, 1221 S.W. Fourth Ave., in the second floor council chamber. Two more hearings are set for 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Warner Pacific College, 2219 S.E. 68th Ave.; and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 23, at Jackson Middle School, 10625 S.W. 35th Ave.

Multnomah County has two public budget hearings remaining, on May 22 at the East County building, 600 NE 8th St. in Gresham; and on May 29 at IRCO, 10301 NE Glisan St. in Portland. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m.