Keep Abandoned Autos off City Streets – Action needed

The City of Portland Fiscal Year 2009-1010 Budget Request includes $5.4 million in  cuts.  This includes the elimination of the abandoned auto program , a $440,000 program which helps to remove abandoned cars from city streets. Users called (503) 823-7309 to report abandoned vehicles and eventually see them removed from city streets. See more at the Oregonian’s Oregon Live site: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2009/03/portland_abandonedcar_program.html
I’m not saying that it’s the most important program in the city, but I would go so far as to suggest it’s one program that sure seems like it could be easily turned into a public-private partnership in some way and run for less money. I know that those sort of things haven’t always turned out well at a national level, but perhaps that could work here.

If you have an opinion about the program or suggestions on how it might continue in a tight budget year, please send in your written testimony to the council clerk for the bureau presentation to City Council on March 16, 2009, at 2:00 p.m. Testimony should be emailed to Laurel Butman at
laurelb@ci.portland.or.us. General information about testifying before
Council is found at
http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?a=63123&c=34447#2.

Also, consider contacting the other members of City Council and  voicing your
concerns about the budget.  They’re available here: http://www.portlandonline.com/

Why is this program on our radar today? Because it turns out that urban blight begins with abandoned cars, garbage and abandoned buildings with broken windows. Keeping dead cars off the streets keeps people invested in and proud of their neighborhoods. It also helps to get the cars recycled into other items, keeps oil and gas from dripping out into Johnson Creek or the Willamette River and preserves valuable on-street parking spaces. Please send a note to the city with your thoughts on how they might be able to save money but still retain the positive aspects of the abandoned car program.

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