We hope you saw Candice Ruud's story, "Portland Parks & Recreation community centers saved in 2011-12 budget," in Saturday's Oregonian.
Her piece includes an interview with Jim Blackwood, our Senior Policy Director, who shared that for years, the Parks bureau has been able to accommodate budget reductions by making minor cuts to programs and services citywide. This year, that strategy won't be possible.
The Parks bureau is working hard to reach out to the community to find out what Portlanders' top priorities for their parks system are. "All these cuts have implications in terms of much-loved services and parks employees," he told Ruud. "It really affects people's lives."
The Bureau is currently discussing potential cuts totaling $1.3 million (3% of the General Fund budget.) We are hopeful that the City won't have to cut that deeply, and that the Bureau will be able to submit a requested budget that includes smaller cut packages.
Tomorrow night, Commissioner Fish and Parks Director Zari Santner will present proposals for budget reductions and ask for your ideas at a Community Budget Meeting. This year, more than ever before, your feedback will shape Parks services and programs moving forward. Public input will be crucial for the final Budget Advisory Committee recommendation, which will be presented to Commissioner Fish in early December.
We hope to see you tomorrow night.