PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland Mayor Charlie Hales now plans to file a new budget — saving both the mounted patrol and Buckman swimming pool.
People fought to keep these programs, and the mayor said what people had to say about these programs made a big difference.
“We’ve had hundreds of people come to these hearings and making very thoughtful, passionate two-minute speeches about things they really care about,” Hales told KOIN 6 News. “And it’s moved my heart — and moved our pencil.”
The potential cuts were announced earlier this year to help counteract a projected city budget deficit of more than $20 million. Since then, there has been some public outcry and a few packed city budget hearings.
To save the mounted patrol, the mayor said the group Friends of the Mounted Patrol is stepping up with a pledge of $200,000 a year for the next two years. They’ll also shift a few positions around in the Portland Police bureau to keep a downsized version of the horse unit.
“As part of the agreement to save the Mounted Patrol, [we] must raise the $200,000 needed to support the program,” the Friends of Portland’s Mounted Patrol said in a news release. The group is a tax-deductible nonprofit organization, and reports it will be launching a fundraising campaign “in the coming days” on its Facebook page.
As for Buckman Pool, the mayor said they’ve found some leftover money from a parks levy that will keep the pool afloat.
These are just some of the changes the mayor is making now that he says the city has a little more money thanks to a CenturyLink lawsuit it won.
This new budget will be filed Thursday. The mayor said he’s confident he’ll have the votes he needs from council members to pass it.
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