Over 535 budget surveys were submitted to elicit input about what the county's budget priorities should be, including 39 that were submitted in Spanish. The survey consisted of two questions—one asking respondents to rank the county services most important to them and one asking them to comment on the features they most valued the most about the services they selected. Analysis revealed that respondents wanted the county's budget to prioritize Libraries, Roads and Bridges, and services that were health and human services in nature, like Mental Health.
More than 1,410 comments about the features respondents most valued were received. The comments varied greatly--falling into 90 different categories based on similarity. Comments classified into ten of the categories accounted for over 60% of the total amount. Examples include, "[a]dvance literacy; and access to media and information for all citizens" and "[m]aintain and upgrade county infrastructure." As compared to the 2011 survey, the list of services ranked at the top was similar but where they ranked on the list changed slightly--with services like Libraries and Roads and Bridges moving up in support.
We encourage you to read the report by clicking here or on the link below. The report has already been forwarded and presented in person to the Board of County Commissioners as they consider their decisions about approving a final county budget on May 31, 2012.
You can provide additional input about the budget to the County Commissioners using the following opportunities. Budget hearings are being held on May 9th, May 16th, and May 23rd at different locations throughout the county. At the hearings, the County Commissioners will take public comments and testimony (up to 3-minutes) concerning the county’s proposed budget. You can learn more about the public budget hearings as well the budget proposed by Chair Jeff Cogen at: /news/chair-cogen-unveils-proposed-2012-13-county-budget.
Time to make public comments is also available during the next four board meetings. The meetings will take place in the mornings on May 10th, May 17th, May 24th, and May 31st, in the Multnomah Building Boardroom located at 501 SE Hawthorne Boulevard in Portland. Additionally, individuals or community groups may want to consider scheduling a meeting with a County Commissioner to express their opinions.