The fights had mostly been exhausted, when Portland City Council sat down to approve its next budget this morning. The cuts had already been largely determined.

All that remained was for a council that has clashed more in the last two weeks than in any other recent budget year to pass what is likely one of the city's most-flush budgets ever: $500 million in the general fund, with $25 million of it considered surplus.

But first they needed to make some changes. City commissioners had already signaled they'd axe $3 million Mayor Charlie Hales wanted to put toward improved police pay (it would have ballooned to three times that in coming years) and millions for a "diversion" program to steer homeless people to services. Those big-ticket items—along with a new bike lane on Naito Parkway lusted after by cycling advocates—proved the largest political victims of a council unwilling to go along with Hales' $8.7 million business tax hike.

Other things had been chopped, too (and some things, like the City Auditor's office) saw funding restored. And, we should note, a whole lot of things got paid for, with nearly $30 million headed to housing and homelessness, parks workers given raises, firefighter positions funded, more than a million for road paving, etc. It's a big budget.

What was left this morning was the fine tuning. Some items of note:

•Council kicked almost $1.7 million in coming years to the management of a police body camera program officials have been fighting for. In doing so, commissioners largely plundered a $2 million line item Hales had set aside for capital projects. There was heartburn (lots of it, today, from Dan Saltzman, who's known as the council's penny pincher), but the amendment passed 4-1, with Commissioner Steve Novick saying he wanted to " postpone a discussions on body cameras until we have a broader discussion on police needs."

•The council also decided to spend $150,000 on two parks ranger positions dedicated to the east side. There are currently no rangers who solely serve the east side of the Willamette, even though they're seen as a potential help for the homeless issues playing out along the Springwater Corridor. The money will be pulled from a Saturday youth basketball program.

•They decided to give $55,000 to the Rosewood Initiative community center that had initially been cut. The center, on the city's southeastern edge, is considered a needed frontline as Portland struggles with historic levels of gun violence.

•They settled a squabble between Saltzman and Commissioner Amanda Fritz about $350,000 that will pay for community outreach on the housing crisis. That money was aimed toward Fritz's Office of Neighborhood Involvement, which had Saltzman heated. He said earlier this week his Portland Housing Bureau staff felt marginalized, and not included. He wanted bureaus to work together to figure out how the money should be spent. Fritz won this one, 3-2 (Hales and Fish agreed with her). The money's going to ONI.

Then it was time for speeches, and commissioners made sure to heap praise on Hales for his "leadership" in the budget process, though they'd just flatly refused his calls for new revenue.

"I believe, as I have told you in private, that a significant part of your legacy will be the reforms you’ve brought to our budget process," said Fish, who called Hales' messaging around the budget "disgraceful" last week, and told us last night the mayor's role is diminished ("he's a lame duck").

"I commend the mayor for shepherding us through this process," said Novick, who couldn't resist crowing about his 10-cent gas tax passing last night. "He didn’t get everything he wanted but this is a budget he can be very proud of."

And then it was Hales' turn to provide a lengthy summation of his thoughts. He talked about why he ran for office, and how he'd divided his time since assuming the role in 2013. It was sort of circuitous, until the mayor wound up on the topic of Portland's growth.

"When I ran for office there were [only] two cranes on the horizon and they were both for public works projects," he said, repeating a line he's been using lately. "We’re dealing with a wave of growth that I don't think is going to stop anytime soon. I don't think the public finance system that we have in this state an this city is really up to the task of this growth."

Which means, Hales says, that he'll keep pushing for new revenue—lame-duck status or no. "We’re a big city now. Soon we’re going to have to pay the bills. I will continue in the quest for more revenues for more public services."

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Which raised an obvious question: Hales' office has quietly floated the notion of a tax on new construction projects that might be able to raise around $5.5 million a year that could be used on anything (the remaining $5.5 million would need to go toward housing). Saltzman is expected to bring that proposal before council soon, and it's set the stage for a fight over whether all the money goes to housing—as housing advocates are arguing—or some goes to other purposes.

Hales told the Mercury after he cast the final "aye" of a unanimous budget that he's leaning toward the latter.

"I will argue that we need to hire police officers, and that costs money."