The Portland Police Bureau is on track to overspend its approved budget by $5million this year, and other city bureaus may have to make cuts to make up for it.
The news broke in a memo sent out yesterday by Mayor Sam Adams to his fellow commissioners. Council will have to find that $5million by June, to balance the budget for the year.
Update, 1:37: An alert reader sends a link to this video, which was probably not cheap to produce!
Original post:The news has angered City Commissioner Randy Leonard, who has an ongoing beef with Police Chief Rosie Sizer in the way she is running the police bureau.
"The money has to come from somewhere," says Leonard. "We can't run a deficit."
"I've been in elective office in one position or another since 1993, and in the legislature I was on the ways and means committee," he continues. "I have no experience with any state agency or any city bureau ignoring the advice of the governing body and spending what they want to spend money on."
"You have an incident here with the police bureau not overspending by $50,000, but $5million," he says. "We're left with the potential of having to close a fire station. The fire chief is incensed when he says to me, explain to me why I follow my budget to the tenth cent, and I'm punished for doing the right thing by having to close a fire station because the police bureau can't close its budget."
The police bureau says it was required to hire new police officers under the direction of council.
"They're doing a misinformation campaign," says Leonard. "That would be analagous to me saying, well I thought the council didn't want people to die in fires, so I went and built three new fire stations. It's once again an insulting response by the police bureau which is proving itself to be unaccountable."