Portland Mayor Charlie Hales delivered his first “State of the City” address Friday.
He didn’t preview next week’s budget announcement. But he did say the $20 million budget hole would be filled through a “shared sacrifice” – likely including lost police officers.
Hales shied away from dollar figures and aimed at broader themes. He advocated putting off development plans for West Hayden Island in the Columbia River.
He says Washington lawmakers first have to figure out if they’re going to fund the Columbia River Crossing project.
“If they don’t, it’s time to say ‘enough, this is the world’s most expensive shelved study, and we’re sorry.’ But one way or another, in 30 days, we’re going to know if this project is alive or dead. And then, turn to the question of the future of West Hayden Island.”
Hales laid out where he wants to focus after his budget comes out. He wants to limit the economic damage from panhandling downtown, and address the related issue of homelessness.
Leaders of three local governments – Portland, Multnomah County, and the Home Forward housing agency – announced a framework Friday to end homelessness.