Exclusive Sit Down With Portland Parks Commissioner
February 8, 2012, 7:45 pm
In a KXL exclusive, we asked Portland Parks Commissioner Nick Fish
about proposed budgets cuts and an update on the restoration of Chapman and Lownsdale Squares.
All city bureaus were asked to identify places where they could cut 4 to 8%. For Portland Parks and Recreation
, they're already down to the bone. Fish says cuts at the most extreme level could include clothing bathrooms, cutting back on maintenance and trash pick-up, and laying off as many as 40 workers. He says he doesn't like a single one and loses sleep over the proposals. The commissioner expects to ask voters for support again in the coming years. A final version of the budget is expected by summer.
As for the downtown parks where 'Occupy' protesters camped for five weeks, temporary fencing is in place. Fish asks that everyone stay off the lawn so the newly-planted grass can take root. Nearly half of the estimated $86,000 cost to restore the historic squares has been raised by the community. The bathrooms are the most expensive part of the project. Chapman and Lownsdale should be fully open by summer.