Multnomah County’s Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted a budget on Thursday for the upcoming fiscal year that is stable, thanks to years of tough financial decisions by the board and sacrifices by county employees.
“This is an exciting year for me, Chair Jeff Cogen said before the board voted 5-0 to approve the budget for fiscal year 2014. “This is the first time in 13 years we’re not cutting our budget.”
In addition to the board’s tough budget decisions -- and smart financial choices -- in past years as well as county employees’ frozen pay two of the last four years, Cogen also cited voters’ strong support last fall of a Library District as a key factor in the ability of the budget starting July 1 to protect vulnerable residents, operate government more efficiently, and make crucial investments in the county’s future.
“None of these things could have happened without a huge pulling together of the people at Multnomah County,” Cogen said, adding that the fiscal year 2014 budget also makes up for spending cuts from the city and from the federal sequester.
The new voter-approved Library District also adopted its first budget, a plan that will allow all library branches both to restore seven-days-a-week services and continue their extensive outreach to families and seniors.
“This represents such a step forward for the library,” said Commissioner Judy Shiprack, “it represents such a step forward for this board.”