Portland, Oregon

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Portland is the largest city in Oregon with a population of 583,776.[1] It was founded in 1845 and is the county seat for Multnomah County.[2]

City council

Current members, Portland City Council
District Councilmember
1 Amanda Fritz
2 Nick Fish
3 Dan Saltzman
4 Steve Novick



The city of Portland, Oregon was scheduled to hold elections for city council on November 4, 2014. A primary election took place on May 20, 2014. Because both districts had a candidate claim more than 50 percent of the vote in the May 20 primary, no general election will be held. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 11, 2014.[3] Two of the four city council seats were up for election.

Incumbents Nick Fish and Dan Saltzman won re-election to the council.


The current budget of Portland is $2,781,867,150, a .1 percent decrease from the Fiscal Year 2010-2011 revised budget of $2,779,193,527.[4] Budgets are available since FY 2000-2001.[5] Audits since 2005 and the current debt report are also available.[6][7]

Category Expenses
Personal Services $598,405,086
External Material and Services $643,486,204
Internal Material and Services $189,326,907
Capital Outlay $305,092,120
Contingency $608,315,179
Ending Fund Balance $217,123,416
Debt Service $409,445,145
Cash Transfers $593,154,065
Total City Budget $3,564,348,122
Less Intracity Transfers ($782,480,972)
TOTAL $2,781,867,150

Note: According to the Portland budget, "Although state budget law requires that all expenditures within and between funds are documented in the legal budget, this overstates actual expenditures for programs because it double counts internal transactions (internal materials and services and fund-level cash transfers). Such transactions occur between City funds, when one City agency provides services to another. Because this technically inflates the budget, the City usually references a net budget." For more information on the net budget and legal budget, see page 28 of the FY 2011-2012 adopted budget.[9]


According to a ProPublica project tracking stimulus spending by county, Multnomah County received $1,133,820,689.[10] It is difficult to parse out how much went exclusively to Portland, but a few examples are listed below.

Recipient Amount Description
City of Portland $23,203,988 Capital investment to invest in public transportation.
Port of Portland $9,079,000 Highway planning and construction.
Central City Concern $8,950,000 Construction of a new location for a mental health clinic.
Allen-Bradbury Construction L.L.C. $7,669,340 Upgrading/repairing various public buildings.
Port of Portland $6,983,501 Airport development to improve safety.
Housing Authority of Portland, Inc. $6,267,739 Public housing rehabilitation.
Washington State Department of Commerce $6,284,000 Rebates for replacing clothes washers and refrigerators with more-energy efficient models.

Public employees

Elected officials

Name Position Total Compensation
Sam Adams Mayor $136,489.66
Amanda Fritz Commissioner $117,802.41
Nick Fish Commissioner $118,403.60
Randy Leonard Commissioner $119,986.15
Dan Saltzman Commissioner $124,325.75
LaVonne Griffin-Valade Auditor $124,322.39

Every elected official has a website with contact information, background, and other information.[14][15][16][17][18][19]

Council agendas, ordinances, records, minutes, and video are archived on the auditor's office website, but meeting minutes are partial and incomplete.[20]

Administrative officials

Portland does not have statistics available to calculate how many individuals the city employs, but a Cascade Policy Institute that has employee salary data from 2009 has information on 8,968 employees.[21]


See also: Oregon state government salary

Salaries from 2009 are available through a Cascade Policy Institute project that compiles city employee salary and benefits data, as well as data on employees of Portland Public Schools.[22]


See also: Oregon public pensions

Oregon has one public pension fund, the Public Employees Retirement System. According to the PERS website, "you are vested in the OPSRP Pension Program on the earliest date in which you complete at least 600 hours of service in each of five calendar years (the years do not have to be consecutive). If you are an active member any time on or after reaching normal retirement age, you become a vested member regardless of years of service. Once you are vested in the OPSRP Pension Program, you cannot lose your benefit rights unless you withdraw from the program."[23]

The state has funded PERS 86 percent, with $5.8 billion in unfunded liabilities.

An April 28 article in The Oregonian estimates about 10 percent of pensioners double dip.[24]

Emergency personnel

Portland has a police bureau and fire and rescue department for emergency help.[25][26] Portland Fire and Rescue had 750 employees for fiscal year 2010-2011, while the police bureau had 1,236 employees as of 2010.[27][28]


See also: Oregon government sector lobbying

According to Open Secrets, the city of Portland spent $100,000 on lobbying in 2012 and has spent $2,040,000 since 1998.[29]

Year Amount Spent on Lobbying
2012 $100,000
2011 $220,000
2010 $200,000
2009 $200,000
2008 $200,000
2007 $200,000
2006 $100,000
2005 $140,000
2004 $120,000
2003 $120,000
2002 $100,000
2001 $80,000
2000 $100,000
1999 $80,000
1998 $80,000
Total $2,040,000

Transparency and public records

The auditor's office provides a public records request form and a list of officials to contact depending upon the request.[30]


The city has a revenue bureau website where citizens can pay taxes, find property tax information, and other information on fees and assessments.[31]

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of Oregon city websites
Meetings P
Elected Officials
Administrative Officials N
600px-Red x.png
Permits, zoning
Contracts N
600px-Red x.png
Lobbying P
Public Records
Local Taxes

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

The good

  • Budget
    • Current and past budgets are available.[32]
  • Elected officials
    • Has contact information and some salary data of elected officials available.[33]
  • Building permits and zoning
    • Has building permits and zoning information.[34]
  • Audits
    • Has audits available online.[35]
  • Public records
    • Has information on who to request for public records and frequently asked questions about the process.[36]
  • Local taxes
    • Tax information is available.[37]

The bad

  • Meetings
    • Meeting information is available such as videos and agendas, but the city lacks complete meeting minutes.[38]
  • Administrative officials
    • Does not have information about administrative officials available.
  • Lobbying
    • Does not have information about the city's lobbying, but has reports of entities that lobby the city.[39]

External links