Portland's new city budget office this morning has released copies of every city bureau and office's "requested" budget—the starting marks in a long race for cash that ultimately will be decided by Portland City Council later this spring.
The city's budget deficit, so far, is $25 million. As I noted last week, every bureau has been ordered to find cuts that go several million bucks beyond that.
Cutting 10 percent from general fund budgets will actually shave $38 million in total spending—more than the deficit the council needs to close. Which means, after going through their budget-cutting exercise, bureaus will be left to fight for their shares of just more than $13 million in scraps.
It's an exercise in pain, and we'll start by looking at the police bureau, the largest taker from the city's general fund.
The bad news? Cutting 10 percent from the police bureau means laying off dozens and dozens of cops. And where would those cops come from? Sensitive places. Like the gang enforcement unit. The family services unit. The old-timey and inexplicably beloved mounted patrol. School police. Traffic cops. Etc.
Those cuts at the same time as the US Department of Justice settlement has piled on million in new costs for the bureau. The bureau has ranked the cuts in order of what it believes would hurt most—and it's looking grim. Especially if no new revenue or labor contract savings emerge. Even if the council lets the police bureau off the hook with just a 4 percent reduction—saddling nearly every other bureau with the full 10 percent reduction to make it pencil out, the bureau will still likely have to shed officers.
Hit the jump for some of the bureau's list.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!