Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Volunteers Unhappy, But Will Work With City Council

Members of the City Manager’s Policy Advisory Committee (CMPAC) are unhappy with the way their efforts were dismissed by the Portland City Council at a March 27th meeting where the Council overrode the volunteer board’s recommendations and made an across-the-board cut of federal funds to social service programs in the city.

At an April 28th meeting, members of the committee agreed to pursue a strategy of meeting individually with members of City Council committees to try to keep City Councilors updated on CMPAC’s work and the reasons for its recommendations.

CMPAC meets weekly for six months to evaluate applications for over $2 million in federal funding of social service programs and infrastructure improvements. Due to a cut in those funds, the City Council ignored the board’s specific recommendations and cut about 4% from all social service programs that had been funded last year, and declined to fund any new programs.

West End Neighborhood Association representative Patrick Baldwin said that he thought WENA would have a hard time sending a representative to the board if nothing changed next year. At WENA’s April 12th meeting, Baldwin complained about the City Council’s actions. City Councilor Karen Geraghty defended her vote and expressed support for Portland West, which had been recommended for major program cuts by CMPAC.


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