Portland To Spend $13 Million Expanding City Council After Outlaying Only $5 Million To Remedy Police Shortage

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Robert Schmad Contributor
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Portland is slated to spend an estimated $13 million to hire and accommodate new bureaucrats and just $5 million on new cops as people and businesses flee the city due to concerns about public safety.

Portland voters approved a measure in November 2022 to expand the size of the city’s council from five to 12 members, a move Portland’s budget office now estimates will cost the city an additional $13 million. Mayor Ted Wheeler requested less than half of that, $5 million, to pay for new police officers in his most recent proposed budget, according to the Willamette Week. (RELATED: Blue City Mayor Who Oversaw A Year Of Antifa Riots, Rising Crime Won’t Seek Reelection)

“Left to its own devices, bureaucracy begets bureaucracy,” Portland Commissioner Rene Gonzalez tweeted in response to the estimate.

“This proposal should have been dead on arrival given urgent needs in public safety, drug crises and infrastructure.”

In a 2022 survey commissioned by the city, 66.3% of Portland residents identified community safety and homelessness as the city’s greatest challenges. A global real estate firm found that public safety was one of the main reasons that individuals and businesses are leaving Portland, with more than a quarter of the office space in the city’s downtown being empty, the Willamette Week reported.

Portland police disperse a crowd after protesters set fire to the Portland Police Association (PPA) building early in the morning on August 29, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. The PPA, a headquarters for the Portland police union, has been a regular target during the 93 days of protests in Portland. (Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Of the 50 largest cities in America, Portland ranks 48 in terms of police officers per capita, according to the Manhattan Institute. Portland cut its police budget by $15 million and reduced its police force by 8% during the 2020-2021 fiscal years amid calls to defund the police following the death of George Floyd, according to the city’s budget office.

The city council’s budget will increase from $10.9 million annually to $23.9 million, per the Portland budget office.

Portland’s city council will also be spending money on giving themselves a pay increase as well as millions to implement ranked choice voting, according to Axios.

“Finding $13 million is usually not a huge problem for the city,” Portland Chief Administrative Officer Michael Jordan told Axios. He qualified his statement by explaining that “we are entering an extremely tight budget year” due to difficulties with the city’s transit and firefighting budgets.

The Portland mayor’s office and members of Portland’s city council did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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