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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Reese to Hales: "I got yer budget cuts right here"

The new mayor of Portland has asked the city's top bureaucrats to cut 10% out of their operations, and true to form, the police department is acting up. The budget that Chief Mike Reese has submitted includes cuts that are not politically feasible, and everybody knows it:

The budget proposal suggests cutting the entire school police, mounted patrol and property crimes investigation units....

The police proposal suggests Kuykendall and the bureau have responded by playing budgetary hardball, utilizing what's known in City Hall as a "Washington Monument strategy": offering up the most famed and beloved programs for cuts, in a gamble that the City Council won't actually slash them.

Mayor Char-Lie's response to this maneuver will be quite telling. If he plays along, we'll know for sure that he has no genuine interest in meaningful reform of the police bureau. If he pushes back, he'll score some points to add to his total so far.

Comments (9)

Well, it's not like there's no future for the patrol horses.

And it's not like they can cut their legal budget. Here's a hefty chunk of the rest of the Kroger story and how those text messages came to light:


I would just say "thanks for the first draft. Now come back with a draft that cuts 10% but includes none of these same items."

How about they fire every cop that is a Nazi, has committed an unjustified homicide, felt up subordinates' private body parts, had an off-duty road rage incident, been busted for DUI, is on steroids and so on?

Would that get 'em to 10%?

Good idea, reader.

But THOSE people likely have the most dirt on their higher ups and use it to maintain their "untouchable" status.

Besides, whenever such firings of deadwood become even remotely possible, there seems to be a corresponding rush of service connected disability claims. And THOSE are subject to the votes of their BFFs on the Portland Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund Board.

No conflict of interest there, right?

I say go through the list of all pet projects, initiatives or new spending that occurred during the last two Mayors.

Then zero them out. Today.

THEN, a 10% cut from all pre-Katz spending.

THEN, a full review of all city assets. Does the city need to own Union Station? Do we need every single city park? Do we need a massive motor pool? Do we need all of the city facilities? Start selling them off...things like Memorial Coliseum. Things like the Water Bureau's limobus. The Mayor's gold-colored Prius. Those cabins up in Bull Run.

THEN, zero out any intergovernmental spending agreements. Yup, no more propping up Portland Public Schools, or Metro.

No more travel, period. If it isn't in Portland city limits you don't need to go there, city worker.

Now extend that policy to the other governments in our region...and then we'll not be asking "what new tax can we find" but "how do we give all this money back to the taxpayers?"

First shut down ALL urban renewal and return as much of the $100 million (annual money fed to developers) as possible to the various governments that are getting screwed.

It was Hales that pushed for tax abatement's for developers that build along the toy train lines.


Call them on it. These guys aren't too sharp.  The Washington Monument game has been off the table since the August 23, 2011 earthquake.

Actually the term for this maneuver is "Fireman First." In that whenever budget must be cut the first thing on the list is Fire and other Public Safety positions.

It has been used to great effect by everyone in Salem for years.

Obama even paid tribute to the tactic with his threat that if Congress would not raise the debt ceiling Social Security checks would not go out.

It's just a sign of the lack of seriousness that bureaucrats approach budgetary problems with.

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