The Coastal Packet: Portland's new city manager wants to cut services

Monday, April 11

Portland's new city manager wants to cut services

Seth Koenig, Bangor Daily News - Jon Jennings is redrawing how government should work in Portland. In his first budget since becoming city manager, Jennings has proposed cutting, adding or moving dozens of positions. I don’t recall seeing a spending plan that has this much going on since I started covering Portland....

He wants the city to focus on fewer services. To say he’s pushing for smaller government may be going a bit too far, because he’s adding in some places, but the city manager clearly wants the city doing fewer things. This is most evident in Jennings’ proposed closure of the India Street Public Health Center, perhaps the most controversial change in the budget, and one which is behind at least eight of the nearly 23 total job cuts proposed in the city’s public health division. The city manager is recommending, essentially, that City Hall work its way out of the hospital business, handing duties like preventative care for lower income residents, the needle exchange and running a sexually transmitted disease clinic over to the nonprofit Portland Community Health Center instead.

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