Based on hints he dropped during his State of the City speech last Friday, it was pretty clear Mayor Charlie Hales had the Portland Police Bureau's mounted patrol unit in his fiscal cross-hairs. And it was completely unsurprising this morning when Hales, in unveiling his proposed budget, said he wanted to cut the division and save $1.1 million that might be used for other priorities.
Cutting the patrol has been an oft-raised but never actually implemented idea. Money's always come from the private sector to restore reductions. That gap might be a bit too big this year. But clearly people will be trying. A Facebook page is already up, looking to lobby Hales to restore the unit.
But Hales seems pretty resolute that he thinks the money can be better spent.
"We're not going to be able to keep our horse patrol unit," the mayor said today, "as much as we all love it."
All 21 people who love it, so far.