Commissioner Jules Bailey wants Multnomah County to rescind a contract with the financially struggling nonprofit Impact NW.
He says he wants to void the contract to ensure stability in the county's Schools Uniting Neighborhoods programs.
Voiding the county's nearly $2 million contract with Impact NW to run 10 SUN schools in Bailey's district, which includes all of Portland's west side and a portion of inner-Southeast Portland, would be a blow to Impact NW, which draws between a quarter and a third of its $13.5 million annual budget from contracts with the county.
Impact NW, which this month hired as its executive director former Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen, has hit a rough financial patch. It reported operating loses of $775,000 last year, and last month asked Multnomah County for cash-flow assistance, as WW reported last week.
In his letter to Chair Deborah Kafoury, Bailey said he found "the recent revelations of financial turbulence and cash flow instability at INW disquieting" and that even though the nonprofit has taken steps to address the problems, felt "there is too much risk."
Bailey, who leaves office in December, says he wants the county to rip up the contract and award it to the nonprofit that scored second in the county's process seeking proposals.
"I don't want to leave office with a district SUN system that isn't on stable footing," he says.
Cogen says he's also seeking stability for the nonprofit's programs; that was his No. 1 priority when the nonprofit's board hired him this summer, he says. He also says Impact NW will recover. "It's not something I think is an existential threat to the organization," he says of the group's money troubles. "It's a rough patch."
A spokesman for Kafoury, David Austin, says the chairwoman is still weighing her options.