Hales Slashes Programs for Dozens of Kids, Now Claims $1 Million in Savings in Office Budget

Comments

1
Wow, I can't wait to see what's next!
2
In these economic times, I have to say good work Charlie.
What's that make, a million a year in savings over Adams, already?
3
Remember how Hales' campaign was selling his platform as "pretty much exactly the same" as Smith's? What a load of shit that was. Hales got onto the primary by appealing to conservatives, because that's what he ultimately is. The weak-willed would-be-Smith voters took the bait. Get ready for (at least) four years of this chump un-doing anything "progressive" that Portland residents actually support-- in the name of saving a few bucks for corporations and his trash-bag-wearing, almost-suburban fanboys. SUCH FUN.
4
Hales is a conservative?
Hello...earth to Chunty, are you there?
5
Chunky's pretty spot-on with that interpretation.
I think the mayoral races all run as "nonpartisan" but Hales' wife looks like Cindy Fucking McCain so...make your own conclusions.

Wasn't he also accused of tax dodging?
6
This sucks but the last people in charge weren't very good maintaining the funds at hand.

You all make it out as if Hales wants to do this while he's smoking a cigar and raising his feet up on his desk. Get real.

The bigger issue people should be focusing on is 26 cents of every property tax dollar goes to police and firefighter retirement/disability fund. Just their retirement and disability fund -- not even to pay actual police and fire fighters.

We can't have a progressive city that has bloated pensions like this and you don't have to have teabags hanging from your hat and Ron Paul posters adorning your wall to see what's in front of you. I know the tight-wad righties like to mention gub'mint workers as the fall of the American society, but they're partially right that we don't have money to pay for our committed obligations. Those are just the facts, we cannot escape them.

This paper and its readers are directing their anger at the wrong people here. It would be nice if some acknowledgement of this issue were a bit more discussed here.
7
More tendentious anti-Hales editorializing from Denis Theriault. Yawn.

Do you even have an editor over there?
8
Hey "just the facts", where are your sources WS?
9
Don't mind ws. They're likely pulling the same tricks from the Hales campaign. Whine anonymously on the Mercury/WWeek about dissenting opinions about their tax dodging/voter fraud golden boy. Let's put a fast forward on the next four years, shall we? And hope the city isn't completely fucking trashed by the end of it.
10
The $25 million has to come from somewhere, so get used to cuts.

ws, don't forget the other 26 cents per dollar that goes to urban renewal. We have great priorities.

For you doubters, ws is speaking facts. Sane person, homeowners can also just look at their tax statement to check his facts. But here is a recent study showing that Portland has the fourth worst-funded pension of major American cities. Since it has been poorly funded, we pay for retirement benefits in real time out of property taxes, and it crowds out current services:

http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2013/01/…

Like we said, more than 50 cents of every property tax dollar to the city goes to urban renewal or retirement benefits to ex-employees. That's why we can pave our streets, have youth programs, and have to cut the bureau budgets every year.
11
@Blabby - You live on a paved street?! You bourgeois elitist hipster! What is your view like from the West Hills?

Only in Portland does the candidate who promises use-of-force police reforms and who doesn’t support citizens carrying concealed handguns is considered “conservative.”

The amount of ignorance when it comes to basic economics is staggering. People in this town really eat up that dream of a utopian 1990’s: the economy is solid and growing, the Earth isn’t ruined, and where the nation is not neck deep in a 12+ year long war. Sorry hippies, the “progressive” dream (i.e. European style socialism) isn’t actually a “plan” per se, it’s an excuse to steal money from you and give it to developers. Socialism is all about stealing, a lot of you want to steal from the rich and keep it for yourself – but those in government steal from you and give it to the rich. It sucks when Socialism is used against you. I hope Hales is going to curtail this abusive behavior by at least stealing less.
12
The amount of misinformation on this thread is mind-blowing.

Also, very classy move to judge an elected official by his spouse's appearance. His spouse, by the way, is the director of First Stop Portland, which hosts tours of global leaders from all over the world visiting Portland. So, how far do you want to take that comparison?
13
fidelity, I consider Portland's main problem to be that we rubber stamp every idea that "sounds good" without worrying about the cost.

Aerial trams and streetcars and every other Portlandia-bait idea sound good to most Portlanders. Ignoring the issue of cost, why not build a progressive wonderland on the Willamette?

But somewhere between having a whiz-bang "sounds good" idea and taking out honking bonds (i.e. borrowing from the future) to build the thing, there are supposed to be adults somewhere in City Hall that say "Yes, that indeed would be nice. But it would be fiscally imprudent."

Instead what we've had are people who will spend literally anything to get an idea done, regardless of whether or not we can afford it. It's like your household saying, "A new luxury car sure sounds good. Let's go buy it without ever asking what it will do to our monthly budget." Households like that go bankrupt.

The pensions are symptomatic of that thinking. Let's promise really generous public benefits because we're a progressive pro-union kind of town and not consider if those promises might turn into a huge burden and detract from current services.
14
$395k for internships for "dozens of kids" seems like a piss poor return on investment.
15
Does that math include the salary for the new public safety policy director just hired?
16
Blabby, the underlying sentiment is ok, but... pop quiz: how much City money went into the Aerial Tram? How much public?

Answer: $8.5 million, PDC. The rest was property owners and OHSU.

There are much better projects to point to in Portland that required far greater public investment for far less return.
17
@Blabby –You’re so much less cynical of corruption than I am. I totally agree with you on the “Sounds Good!” attitude of this town, but I think it goes much deeper, as well connected individuals concoct plans to create problems that don’t exist, then they pander it off as a utopian answer. No parking spaces? Great, less cars! Too many cars driving up a hill in the morning? Great, build ‘sustainable transportation’. Children’s teeth? Medicate the water! Grassy lands near the river? Great, build a world-class theater! Cut bus lines to put up fancy bus stops with TVs, cut 15 bus lines for one light rail line! – The whole time someone is laughing all the way to the bank, and it’s usually the folks pushing the Utopian dream. The overwhelming pulse of this city is to support anything that appears to further a “green” utopia, but that also must include traditional European style socialism (i.e. unions, pensions, central planning). I think the few educated folks in this city are really aware of this pulse, and they use it to exploit people constantly.

I don’t blame the average Portlanders for it, most never raise their nose above the ground high enough to see right in front of them, much less look at long term implications as to where they are going. Compounding this problem is the city’s activists: I remember watching kids step over the homeless to protest Israel, and that was only after spending weeks(!) fighting each other over if they’re Pro-Palestine or Anti-Israel. This city is really the epitome of middle-class white kids living in a delusional fantasy: eventually we will eat each other. I’m coming for you first, blabby, your name reminds me of blubber. Yum yum.

I just found Ron Paul underwear on the internet! Hello gift for City Hall!
18
I may have only skimmed the blog post and comments, but let me know if I basically have the gist of it:

Dennis: "Hitler, I mean Hales, hates education! Won't someone think of the children before he murders them all?!"
Commenter: "YOU are!"
Another commenter: "No, YOU are!"

Repeat.
19
The sky is falling. Actually I didn't like Adams much at all, and I like the feel-good-bullshit programs the city and its idiot citizens love to feel good about, even less. But I still think Charlie's not the guy you thought you were voting for.
20
I definitely didn't vote for him. Just a streetcar-hawking, density-preaching, blast from the past. So far, he's done some things I support, like swiftly fire what's his face at PBOT, and cut his personal staff by $600k. Points for that.

It is depressing to end programs aimed at underprivileged youth, but the creation of those programs in the first place was indicative of "Sam Adams Disease" of just spending money on things he wanted, and squeezing other budgets. Then bitch about your funding for core services and come to the tax payers with new levies and fees.

pdxMB, I think that the tram is a good example of not knowing/caring about budgets before plunging into something. The budget went from $15 million to $58 million, and the city's share went from $2 million to $8.5.
21
Whatever. Hales will quit in a year to go to work for the contractor that wins the CRC bridge project. Just like last time.
#Ididn'tvoteforhim
22
"Dozens of kids" is a bit misleading; about 100 worked in city bureaus via Summerworks, and hundreds more participated in the Summer Youth Connect programs for younger youth. Youth who successfully participated in these programs were also eligible for modest college scholarships, which I'm assuming are also now toast.
23
Adams budgeted poorly (much like our President who has not yet established a budget), eventually there is a reckoning and backlash to this. Simple economic fact. @Mike Tyson, yes, basically
24
Cracking up. We elected Tom Potter 2.0.

Though to be honest as a pragmatic bleeding heart liberal even I can recognize the Police and Fire pensions are ridiculous. I like Randy Leonard but that bro retired at like 50ish making $55K a year or something until he's dead with full benefits. That was just his Fire pension. Doesn't include his time in city hall. I'm only using him because he was so public and his retirement pension has been mentioned a lot.

Any of you get that? I've got about 6 years of tossing 7% of my wages into a 401K and I have about $25K in that now. Doubt it's going to guarantee me $55K a year when I retire around 65 if someone is nice enough to let me keep working that long. Granted I don't work a job with a lot of danger but I have a pretty good job in the private sector.

So while its nice and I think if you work hard you should be guaranteed a decent retirement the unions have gamed this whole thing a little much. The rest of us are paying for a lot of government workers to retire super early with crazy pay. As much as I sort of hate the way some people say it that's really most of the problem. This just isn't 1960 anymore and those same benefits don't work anymore.