At a Portland City Council budget hearing Tuesday, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty signaled that she believes her critiques of the mayor's budget may have little chance of passage.
"I understand maybe there was an agreement before I got here," said Hardesty, as she outlined her budget priorities, which include eliminating cuts to the parks budgets and transferring the police bureau's gun violence reduction team to patrol units. "But nobody told me about it,"
In a break from the usual practice at City Hall, Hardesty has critiqued the mayor's budget offering her recommendations, including eliminating funding for a possible ferry. And her comment that the budget had been settled through private negotiations with the other commissioners was equally unusual.
At the hearing, City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly dismissed the idea that the budget had been decided in advance.
"I want to assure Commissioner Hardesty there was no agreement in advance on the budget," said Eudaly. "And if there was, I was certainly left out of that conversation. …A few of us were left out."
Regardless, Hardesty's comments may be an indication that her proposals are unlikely to gain traction. But Hardesty dismissed the idea that the office had given up on pushing for changes to the budget.
"The budget is a moral document and I would be remiss if I did not offer this recommendation to move our budget closer towards reflecting our values as a city," she said in a statement. "I'm committed to working with my colleagues and their staff to find a way forward with my proposal."