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Today is the big day when the mayor's office releases its decision on how to allocate the city's general fund money. This year is actually an interesting departure from the grim slash-and-burn approach to budgets we've seen during the recession—the city's revenue has actually increased, but not as much as labor costs have gone up. So while the mayor has bandied about that we have a $20 million-plus surplus, the city actually has to make $1.5 million in cuts. Compared to previous years' steep and painful cuts, though, $1.5 million is a piece of (affordably priced) cake.

Here's how the budget works: The city commissioners ("Fritz and Friends") submit to the mayor their proposed budget. Then the mayor's office hacks away at some of those requests, funds others, and adds in other programs it thinks should get cash. City Council will go back and forth on these decision before the official budget comes out in two weeks.

One issue that got a lot of funding is EQUITY—Mayor Adams promised in his state of the city speech to make an Office of Equity overseen by Amanda Fritz and the money is in the budget: $525,000. The East Portland Action Plan, which is trying to improve the long-suffering neighborhoods east of I-205, got $279,692. The group that works with day laborers, VOZ, got $25,000 to keep running Portland's day labor hire site and Miracles Club, a neighborhood group that works with mostly African-American addicts, got $10,000.

The new POLICE union contract is going to cost the city a buttload of money, but cuts in the police department cover about two-thirds of that cost. On the chopping block: $50,000 that would have funded an experimental program to put video cameras on officers so all their interactions would be recorded. The cops also got only $250,000 for a new training facility for which they requested $1.5 million. Watch out, though, taggers: Graffiti abatement remains funded at $63,000 a year.

ARTS made out pretty well, with the Creative Advocacy Network and Regional Arts and Culture Council getting exactly what they asked for—a combined $298,000. The Portland Art Museum also got $100,000 for energy efficiency.

Of all the bureaus, I'd say it looks like PARKS got the shaft. Adams shot down requests for $144,000 to fund park rangers (Forest Park only has one full time ranger!) and an $80,000 Forest Park wildlife study. Two of its most crucial programs—the summer lunch program and community garden initiative—remain at full funding, but the Japanese Garden got seriously sliced from a $500,000 request down to $40,000. The Bureau of Environmental Services also opted to cut enforcement of dog rules in parks, which cost $69,000 and means there will now be no park free of dog shit.

Commissioner Nick Fish got about half the money he asked for in HOMELESS services, with the city funding the operating costs of the new Bud Clark Commons ($30,000), but completely nixing the idea for a Citywide Housing Strategy ($302,500) and a pot of emergency homeless funding ($598,000). Those public toilets the Portland Loos will also not be installed at the rate Commissioner Randy Leonard and homeless advocates would like—that program was cut from $352,000 to $152,000.

On the plus side for homeless issues, the mayor decided to fund the new city/county mental health Crisis Assessment Center and is putting $65,000 into Outside In's needle exchange program and $150,000 into human trafficking shelter beds. Also, the Oregon Food Bank got more money than it asked for: $100K instead of $75,000.

There's not much change in the TRANSPORTATION budget, except that mayor is planning to cap the amount that the bureau can receive from utility license fees, which usually provides it a lot of money. The city is planning to fund Sunday Parkways to the tune of 170,000, though.

Other random cuts: The mayor slashed payments to Portland Community Media, the public access group that broadcasts public meetings and says they'll have to cut down on staff time and equipment rentals if the cuts go through. The budget also nixes plans to add a $77,520 full-time wellness coordinator, who would work in the program that has basically told employees they're too fat.

Want to slog through the whole budget? You can download the difficult to decipher thing here.