Mayor Sam Adams appears to be on the verge of making a deft political move as he prepares to unveil Portland's proposed 2010-2011 budget, which promises heavy cuts across the city's bureaus.

The move, if he makes it, will allow him to say he's making financial sacrifices in his own office because he's proposing eliminating some of his own staffers.

Adams' spokesman, Roy Kaufmann, and his chief of staff, Tom Miller, both refused today to answer WW's questions about the mayor's upcoming budget proposal. But WW has learned Adams could shed up to five positions from his staff. That doesn't mean necessarily he's cutting his own budget significantly. Money for those jobs' salaries mostly come from cash-strapped bureaus rather than the mayor's own office budget. And Adams' wants to add a fourth education staffer to his office.

The 2010-2011 city budget was supposed to be released last week and then Monday and then Tuesday and then today.

"We'll address this and other questions as part of the roll-out of the mayor's proposed budget, which will come out this week," Kaufmann writes in an email.

As of last year, Adams had a staff of 29, five more than former Mayor Tom Potter when Potter left office in 2008. In the 2009 budget, 13 of the mayor's 29 staffers got all or part of their salaries from bureau budgets, a practice known as an interagency allocation.

The five jobs from the mayor's office said to be on the chopping block include those for Terry Richardson, Adams' labor liaison (funded by the Bureau of Transportation and the Office of Management and Finance); Clay Neal, his public advocate for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (funded by BPS); Amy Stephans, his overall public advocate; Ginny Peckinpaugh, a public advocate for the Bureau of Transportation (funded by PBOT), and Jazzmin Reece, an economic development policy assistant, (whose salary came from the Portland Development Commission).

Miller refused to answer questions or speak with WW on the phone about the news. "An accurate portrayal of pending changes to the mayor's office team will be made available to all when the mayor presents his proposed budget," Miller wrote in an email. "Any questions about the mayor's office should be directed to me personally."

However, he's not answering those questions.

Earlier in the process, the mayor put forward requests for additions to his office budget, including new money for a fourth education staffer and high-school drop-out prevention programs, even as he asked other bureaus to make deep cuts.

Ginny PeckinpaughTerry RichardsonAmy StephensClay Neal

Photos from Adams' City of Portland website.