An audit conducted in August 2020 by the Portland City Auditor provided recommendations for more City oversight by reviewing each district’s purpose and the City’s responsibility, along with revisiting district agreements. The Auditor also recommended the City develop guidelines for district formation, governance, and management to ensure public input, transparency and accountability by the districts and their service providers.
In response to the audit, Portland City Council directed the Office of Management and Finance to carry out the Enhanced Service District review along with the evaluation of residential properties' role in paying the management license fees, which fund the districts.
A program assessment initiated in 2022 provided an opportunity to more carefully consider the significance of the City's Enhanced Service Districts and how the evaluation process can best address audit recommendations, inform program administration and serve the communities in and around each district—current and future. In summer 2023, following a competitive procurement process, BDS Planning & Urban Design was selected to complete the assessment of Portland’s Enhancement Service District program and prepare recommendations for Portland City Council by early 2024.
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