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Parks Levy Oversight Committee (PLOC) Meeting Sept 2021

Public Meeting
5:30 pm 7:30 pm
Available Online

Year 1, Meeting #2


Agenda
5:30 PMWelcome and Ice BreakerAll
5:40 PMCharter and Bylaws Discussion/AdoptionClaire Flynn, Melissa Arnold
6:00 PMBudget Update and DiscussionTodd Lofgren, Claudio Campuzano, Claire Flynn
7:00 PMCouncil Fall BMP LetterTodd Lofgren, Melissa Arnold
7:20 PMTopic Preference Ranking ExerciseMelissa Arnold
Attachments Shared with PLOC
  • Draft PLOC Charter and Bylaws
  • Fall Budget Monitoring Process (BMP) proposal summary
Attending
  • Oversight Committee Members – 
    • Alescia Blakely
    • Judy Bluehorse Skelton
    • Maria Velez
    • Paul Agrimis
    • Silas Sanderson
  • PP&R Staff – 
    • Todd Lofgren, Deputy Director
    • Claudio Campuzano, Finance, Property, and Technology Manager
    • Sarah Huggins, Sustainable Future Program Manager
    • Melissa Arnold, Community Engagement Manager
    • Claire Flynn, Levy Coordinator
  • Members of the Public – 
    • Marita Ingalsbe
 
Charter and Bylaws Discussion/Adoption

Claire reminded members of the key points of the charter and bylaw documents, specifically, the role of the Parks Levy Oversight Committee (PLOC): 

  • Reviewing information to verify general compliance with and progress towards the purposes of the Parks Levy 
  • Receiving and reviewing the financial audit; and
  • Producing a committee-specific annual report to City Council of activities including advising on adherence to Parks Levy language, fiscal accountability, and transparency.

Claire also answered questions that had come up in member review of the documents prior to the meeting – 

  • What is the PLOC level of independence in writing position letters?
    • When drafting a position letter to external groups of governments, the drafting and position of the committee must be approved by PP&R leadership. This would include letters to City Council, other City bureaus, etc. that are independent of what this committee has be asked by PP&R to write.
  • In what instances would the PLOC communicate with state, federal, or tribal government?
    • Claire noted that the Bylaws language around communications to state, federal, or tribal governments is standard language for City Bylaws because of an Administrative Rule, but it is expected that there will not be any instances where the PLOC would communicate with those entities.

Members were asked to discuss and decide whether the committee would like to have a Chairperson:

  • Maria asked if the role of a chair would be duplicative with the function that PP&R staff is currently fulfilling in facilitating the meeting and discussion, setting meeting agendas, and supporting the PLOC. Melissa noted that, across many PP&R advisory bodies, it is important for PP&R to offer support, particularly since this committee is all volunteer capacity. The administrative burden and more time-intensive preparation is a backing that PP&R staff is available to fill.
  • Paul asked fellow members how independent the PLOC wants to be, noting the support of PP&R staff relieves the group from having to set an agenda – but would the PLOC see the need or desire to ever want to have a slightly more independent stance than PP&R? In that case, it would be helpful to have organization within the committee.
  • Claire confirmed that the bylaws can be amended at a later date if the committee decides they would like to have a Chair. Silas voiced that there may be reasons to consider having a Chair in the future but that, at this time, the committee doesn’t seem to need one.

All members of the committee approved moving forward without a Chair at this time, noting that the topic could be re-visited or re-evaluated in a year or so.

Committee members were asked if there were any questions or concerns with the Charter document. PP&R staff noted that one change was made – the meeting frequency was changed from “periodically” to “quarterly.” PLOC members unanimously approved adopting the Charter.

Committee members were asked if there were any questions or concerns with the Bylaws document. It was confirmed again that the Chairperson section will be completed to note not having a Chair. PLOC members unanimously approved adopting the Bylaws.

Claire confirmed that she would send around the final version of the Charter and Bylaws to the committee, in addition to posting the approved documents to the PLOC webpage.


Budget Update and Discussion

Todd and Claudio gave an overview of the Parks Levy funds in recent budget milestones and in the proposed Fall Budget Monitoring Process (BMP) budget. PP&R’s Fall BMP request for this current fiscal year 2021-2022 is the process by which the additional fiscal year 2021-2022 Parks Levy funding will be allocated and will enable PP&R to deliver on commitments made to Portland voters with the Parks Levy.

Claudio noted that, of the $45 million in Parks Levy revenue PP&R anticipates receiving this fall for the first year of the five-year Parks Levy, $20.3 million (in a combination of one-time and ongoing funding) is currently included in the FY21-22 Adopted Budget for planned expenditure.

Claudio walked the committee through the five-year financial forecast for the PP&R operating budget, which aligns with the five years of the Parks Levy. If ongoing allocations are repeated in future fiscal years, approximately $99 million (with inflation) is being proposed to allocate through the Fall BMP across the 5-year time period. The Adopted Budget Allocations for FY21-22, previously allocated in February, total $67 million. Combined with other costs over the next five years (operations and maintenance of new assets, backfilling revenue lost by the Children’s Levy due to compression from the Parks Levy, the $3.7 General Fund cut made this year, and administrative support to the General Fund), PP&R expects to have about $40 million more to allocate over the life of the Parks Levy.

Todd gave an overview of the pilot Decision Support Tool, a framework to evaluate choices and investment decisions through an integrated lens. The tool was developed with PP&R staff and community volunteers – and provides an opportunity to help the Bureau use data to support decision-making. Elements of the Decision Support Tool pilot include:

  • Identifying the geographical areas within the city where potential investments would occur and scoring higher for areas having the highest number of people of color, youth, and households earning low incomes.
  • Detailed information about the proposals' services, evaluated through the Racial Equity Lens and Empowerment Tool, to identify who would benefit and/or be burdened by the proposed investment. This section was read and scored by independent reviewers within PP&R.  
  • PP&R’s Senior Management Team evaluation was based on organizing proposals into four groups based on how strongly the recommendations would address equity issues. 
  • Each of the three scores described above was reported separately and as a total score.  Decision-makers were then able to review the scores as they examined proposals while making recommendations.

In addition to scoring, the Decision Support Tool pilot also asked staff to identify a primary Parks Levy commitment that the proposal aligned with, taken directly from the November 2020 voter pamphlet. Tying each of the proposals to one of 15 Parks Levy commitments allows PP&R to evaluate how initial budget proposals position the Bureau to deliver on commitments to voters. 

Todd gave an overview of the proposed investments that PP&R will be asking City Council to approve –

  • The Land Stewardship division is currently funded for 151 full-time permanent positions and about 56 full-time equivalent seasonal/casual positions. The new Parks Levy resources will allow PP&R to hire 41.5 new full-time positions to increase the bureau’s capacity to provide the daily care and maintenance of Portlanders’ parks and natural areas. 
  • The Urban Forestry division is currently funded for 53 full-time permanent positions and about 7 full-time equivalent seasonal/casual positions. With the additional funding, Urban Forestry will add 23 new positions – and, for the first time, start to proactively care for and maintain PP&R trees. The division will also be able to be more responsive to tree emergencies, increase the urban tree canopy, and to improve service and outcomes for our regulatory functions.
  • The Assets & Development division is responsible for the long-term planning, development, maintenance, and replacement of PP&R’s built assets. It is also responsible for oversight, preparation, and administration of the bureau’s Capital Improvement Plan. The Assets and Development Division is currently funded for 97 full-time permanent positions and about 1 full-time equivalent seasonal/casual position.  Assets & Development will add 20 positions within the Professional Repair and Maintenance Services Team – this team is out in the field maintaining and repairing assets on a day-to-day basis and currently has 51 full-time employees. 
  • The Recreation Services division is currently funded for 227 full-time permanent positions and 286 full-time equivalent seasonal/casual positions (hiring around 1,800 positions in a typical summer). The Fall BMP proposes an additional levy investment of $4.2 million in Recreation Services to reduce cost as a barrier for program participants and alleviate pressure on the division to earn revenues during the pandemic. This investment comes on top of a reduced revenue target in the Adopted Budget, bringing the total use of Parks Levy resources to support Recreation to over $10 million in FY 2021-22, dropping the revenue target for the division to just over $5 million. In years past, the bureau historically provided $600-700,000 in scholarships, so this is significant investment to reducing cost as a barrier to programs. Recreation will also add three positions to develop the capacity to deliver on an enhanced mission of access and equity.
  • The Equity & Inclusion team is currently funded for 7 full-time permanent positions, including a new Equity Policy Analyst to lead the bureau’s equity policy development and coordination and 2 new Equity and Inclusion team members, and about one full-time equivalent seasonal/casual position. The Equity & Inclusion team will add an ADA Coordinator to provide consistent guidance on disability and accessibility for bureau staff and community members to ensure regulatory compliance.
  • The Operations and Strategies Division is currently funded for 116 full-time permanent positions – including 30 full-time Rangers, and 42 full-time equivalent seasonal/casual positions – also mostly in the Ranger budget. The proposed investments add 2 new permanent positions to the Ranger program, $5 million one-time investment to upgrade bureau maintenance work order system, and $2 million for leased workspace (especially maintenance facilities and maintenance yard spaces).

Claire then shared how the proposals matched up with the 15 commitments that were listed in the voter’s pamphlet as part of the Parks Levy referral process. Each commitment was also applicable to larger priority categories that PP&R has used as pillars of the Parks Levy – Recreation for All, Protect and Grow Nature, and Community Partnerships. Some of the 15 commitments apply to more than one of those three priorities, so reporting percentages add to more than 100%. In general, 78% of the propose budget will contribute to Protecting and Growing Nature, 42% will help support Recreation for All, and 28% will support elements of Community Partnerships. The analysis ensures that PP&R is on track to fulfill commitments made to voters as part of the 2020 Parks Levy passage.

PLOC members were asked to share feedback on the Fall BMP, ask questions, and discuss specific aspects of the proposed budget – 

  • Silas asked if there was data that showed what voters were most interested in funding and where the Parks Levy funding is being budgeted (e.g. how is PP&R connecting what voters wanted with the services that money is being spent on?). Sarah noted that the commitment statements from the voters’ pamphlet came from polling done in advance of the Parks Levy referral, specifically to learn the services voters were interested in supporting. Staff also worked to articulate what levels of service would be without vs. with the Parks Levy to be able to share with voters the difference that the levy funding would make. Todd also noted that continued listening and learning is occurring, and is necessary to understand how and if the Parks Levy is meeting the needs of Portlanders, specifically because polling data may not be representative of underserved communities. 
  • Judy asked if PP&R anticipates checking back in the community once a year as a follow up to original polling, particularly since the heat waves this summer could have influenced the public’s view of climate change, priorities, etc. Melissa noted that feedback from the community ties closely with the strategic work being done around Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland. PP&R is looking to build a foundation of what will be a cyclical process to center voices of priority communities. The work being done as part of Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland will start some of that community engagement cycle. Additionally, Todd noted that PP&R is hoping to form community partnerships with organizations that are already doing that kind of community outreach, working with coalition groups that are doing community engagement to hear from Portlanders what matters most from their parks system. 
  • PP&R staff confirmed that unspent Parks Levy funds can be carried over beyond FY21-22, as well as past the life of the Parks Levy (though it is expected to be fully budgeted for in 5 years).
  • Maria expressed interest in how inflation and cost-of-living expenses were determined. PP&R staff confirmed that most things, such as materials and supplies and salaries, are calculated to grow at the consumer price index as forecasted by the City Economist. There are additional inflators for utilities, PERS, healthcare cost increases, etc.
  • Alescia shared that it is exciting that the funding will allow PP&R to be more prepared for unforeseen changes, such as the use of community centers as resources to the houseless community during extreme weather events.
  • Paul and Silas also noted interest in workforce development and how PP&R is creating equity in the large amount of hiring that will be done with the budgeted positions. Todd shared that, because of the February 2021 Supplemental Budget, additional outreach was done with community-based organizations, specifically the seven Teen Grant organizations, to promote and recruit for summer positions. Claire committed to bringing in the PP&R Workforce Development team to present to the PLOC on outreach, how hiring went this fall, current data, and plans for the future at an upcoming PLOC meeting.
Council Fall BMP Letter

Members were asked if they would like to draft a letter to City Council about the Fall BMP process, their role, and how proposed investments align with voter commitments. Meeting time was used to brainstorm topics that resonated with the Committee that they would like to highlight in the letter. Topics included:

  • The $10 million between the adopted budget and proposed Fall BMP allocation to support reducing cost as a barrier, helping Portlanders who had previously limited participation because of economic reasons. There was excitement around expanding the Pay What You Can model piloted in Summer 2021 – particularly in thinking about how those with the financial capacity to pay more could help assist in creating equitable access.
  • PP&R’s continued investment in water and ecological health will help ensure that Portland becomes a climate resilient city. Particularly, members emphasized the importance of caring for what the community has already invested in through volunteering, using outdoor spaces, and protecting the natural world.
  • Addressing the $500 million deferred maintenance backlog is paramount to the health of PP&R and Portland’s parks. While that capital work is beyond the scope of this operating levy, it is a major concern for the long-term health of the parks system and prioritizing a commitment to ongoing Sustainable Future work is essential.
  • Closing the structural gap for the duration of the Parks Levy, as proposed, is critical to prevent erosion of programs steadily over time.

Based on the discussion, members agreed that they would like to submit a letter to City Council.  Claire shared that members will receive a first draft of the letter and will have the opportunity to provide edits and additional changes before October 4th. The final draft letter will be finalized prior to the Council Work Session on October 19th.


Topic Preference Ranking Exercise

Members were reminded of the topics that they brainstormed at the July 12 committee meeting:

  • Climate resiliency
  • Community partnerships
  • Ecologically Sustainable Land Management Practices
  • Workforce Development
  • Racial Equity Lens
  • Community engagement
  • Pay What You Can Model (survey data, data from Summer 2021)

Melissa noted that members will be sent a SurveyMonkey to rank their personal priorities of the list, with the opportunity to add additional topics. This ranking will help PP&R staff determine the order in which the topics will be focused on in upcoming meetings.

Claire thanked all members for their commitment to the PLOC and reminded members on next steps (PLOC letter to Council on the Fall BMP, SurveyMonkey for priority meeting topics).


Meaningful Access Statement

It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any city program, service, or activity on the grounds of race, color, national origin, disability, or other protected class status. Adhering to Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II civil rights laws, the City of Portland ensures meaningful access to City programs, services, and activities by reasonably providing: translation and interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, and auxiliary aids and services. To request these services, contact 503-823-2525, or for Relay Service or TTY, contact 711.

Traducción e Interpretación (Spanish)
Es política de la Ciudad de Portland que ninguna persona sea excluida de participación, se le nieguen los beneficios, o esté sujeta a discriminación en ningún programa, servicio o actividad de la ciudad por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, discapacidad u otra condición de clase protegida. En cumplimiento con los Derechos Civiles Título VI y con las leyes de derechos civiles del ADA Título II, la Ciudad de Portland asegura el acceso significativo a programas, servicios y actividades de la ciudad al brindar de manera razonable: traducción e interpretación, modificaciones, adaptaciones, formatos alternativos y ayudas y servicios auxiliares. Para solicitar estos servicios, llame al 503-823-2525, al TTY de la ciudad o al servicio para las personas con problemas auditivos: 711.
Solicitud de traducción o interpretación de PP&R

Biên Dịch và Thông Dịch (Vietnamese)
Chính sách của Thành Phố Portland là không ai bị loại khỏi, bị từ chối phúc lợi, hoặc bị phân biệt đối xử trong bất kỳ chương trình, dịch vụ hay hoạt động nào của thành phố dựa trên chủng tộc, màu da, nguồn gốc quốc gia, khuyết tật, hoặc tình trạng khác được pháp luật bảo vệ. Tuân theo Đạo Luật Dân Quyền (Civil Rights) Khoản VI và Đạo Luật ADA Khoản II, Thành Phố Portland đảm bảo sự tiếp cận hiệu quả đối với các chương trình, dịch vụ và hoạt động của thành phố bằng cách cung cấp một cách hợp lý: dịch vụ biên dịch và thông dịch, biện pháp điều chỉnh, sửa đổi, hình thức thay thế, và thiết bị và dịch vụ phụ trợ.  Để yêu cầu các dịch vụ này, hãy liên hệ 503-503-823-2525, Dịch Vụ Chuyển Tiếp: 711.
Yêu Cầu Dịch Vụ Biên Dịch Hoặc Thông Dịch Liên Quan Đển PP&R

口笔译服务 (Simplified Chinese)
波特兰市的政策规定,任何人不得因种族、肤色、国籍、残疾或其他受保护的身份状态而被禁止参与任何城市计划、服务或活动或享有任何城市计划、服务或活动的福利,也不得被歧视。根据《民权法》第六章和 ADA 第二章“民权法”的规定,波特兰市须确保市民能够平等参与城市计划、服务和活动,为此要根据需要提供以下各项:口笔译服务、方案修改、住宿、替代格式、辅助工具和服务。如需申请这些服务,请致电 503-823-2525,转接服务:711。
要求 PP&R 笔译或口译

Устный и письменный перевод (Russian)
Политика администрации Портленда запрещает отстранять от участия в городских программах и мероприятиях, отказывать в обслуживании и льготах или иным образом подвергать дискриминации на основании расы, цвета кожи, национальности, инвалидности или иного защищенного статуса. В соответствии с разделом VI Закона о гражданских правах и разделом II Закона о правах американских граждан с ограниченными возможностями администрация Портленда заботится о полноценном доступе жителей к городским программам, услугам и мероприятиям. При необходимости доступны устный и письменный перевод, адаптивные меры, специальные устройства, материалы в альтернативном формате и иные вспомогательные средства и услуги. Для заказа этих услуг свяжитесь с нами. Телефон: 503-823-2525; служба коммутируемых сообщений: 711.
Запрос на письменный или устный перевод информации о PP&R

Turjumaad iyo Fasiraad (Somali)
Waxaa kucad siyasada Mgalaada Portland in qofna loodiidi karin kaqaybgalka, loodiidi karin gunooyinka, ama aan latakoori karin wax kamid ah barnaamijyada magalaada, adeegga, ama shaqo sababo laxariira isirkiisam midabkiisa, wadankiisa, naafonimadiisa, ama xaalad kale oo sharcigu difaacaayo. Ayadoo raacaysa Sharciga Xaquuqda Madaniga ah ee Title VI iyo ADA Title II ee sharciyada xaquuqda madaniga ah, Magaalada Portland waxay xaqiijinaysaa barnaamijyo lawada heli karo oo macno leh ayna bixiso magaaladu, adeegyo, iyo shaqooyin ayadoo si sax ah ubixinaysa: turjumaad iyo soojeedin, isbadalo, adeegyo caawimaad ah, noocyo kaladuwan, iyo caawimaado iyo adeegyo dheeri ah. Si aad ucodsato adeegyadaan, wac 503-823-2525, Adeegga Caawimada: 711.

Письмовий і усний переклад (Ukrainian)
Згідно з політикою міста Портленд, жодну особу не можна позбавляти права на участь, відмовляти їй у матеріальній допомозі або піддавати її дискримінації в будь-якій програмі, службі чи діяльності міста на підставі раси, кольору шкіри, етнічного походження, інвалідності або іншого статусу захищених класів. Дотримуючись законів про права громадян, а саме розділу VI Прав громадян і розділу ІІ Закону про права американських громадян з обмеженими можливостями, місто Портленд забезпечує значний доступ до програм, служб і заходів міста, надаючи такі послуги: письмовий і усний переклад, модифікування, адаптування, альтернативні формати, додаткову допомогу й інше. Запитати ці послуги можна, скориставшись контактними даними: 503-823-2525, служба комутаційних повідомлень: 711.

Traducere și interpretariat (Romanian)
Este politica orașului Portland ca nicio persoană să nu fie exclusă din programe, servicii sau activități ale orașului, să nu i se refuze acestea și să nu facă obiectul unor discriminări pe bază de rasă, culoare, naționalitate, dizabilități sau alte situații vizând categorii protejate. Respectând legile privind drepturile civile „Civil Rights” (Drepturile Civile), articolul VI, și „ADA” (Americans with Disabilities Act - Legea privind americanii cu dizabilități), articolul II, orașul Portland asigură acces adecvat la programe, servicii și activități ale orașului oferind, în mod rezonabil: servicii de traducere și interpretariat, modificări, cazare, formate diferite, ajutoare și servicii auxiliare. Pentru a solicita aceste servicii, contactați 503-823-2525, Serviciu de retransmitere: 711.

अनुवादनतथाव्याख्या (Nepali)
पोर्टल्यान्डको शहरको नीति हो कि कुनै पनि व्यक्तिलाई जाति, रङ, राष्ट्रिय मूल, असक्षमता वा अन्य संरक्षित वर्गीकरण स्थितिको आधारमा कुनै पनि शहरका कार्यक्रम, सेवा वा क्रियाकलापमा सहभागी हुन भेदभाव गरिने, वञ्चित गरिने, लाभहरू प्रदान गर्नबाट अस्वीकार गरिनेछैन। नागरिक अधिकार शीर्षक VI र ADA शीर्षक II नागरिक अधिकारको कानूनहरूको पालना गर्दै, पोर्टल्यान्डको शहरले शहरका कार्यक्रमहरू, सेवाहरू र क्रियाकलापहरूमा बराबर पहुँच निश्चय गर्नको लागि निम्न प्रदान गर्दछ: अनुवादन र व्याख्या, परिमार्जन, आवास, वैकल्पिक ढाँचाहरू र सहायक सामग्री र सेवाहरू। यी सेवाहरू अनुरोध गर्नको लागि 503-823-2525, रिले सेवा: 711 मा सम्पर्क गर्नुहोस्।

Chiaku me Awewen Kapas (Chuukese)
Mi annuk non ewe City of Portland pwe esap wor emon esap etiwa an epwe fiti, esap angei feiochun, are epwe kuna iteingau non meinisin an ew tetenimw kewe mokutukut, aninnis, are mwich nongonong won i chon ia, enuan, chon menni muu, weiresin inis, are pwan ew tapin aramas mi auchea are pisekisek. Fan itan an fiti Civil Rights Title VI me ADA Title II annuken pungun manau, ewe City of Portland mi ennetata pwe epwe wor etiwaoch ngeni an ewe tetenimw mokutukut, aninnis, me mwichren an aworaochu: chiaku me awewen kapas, ekkesiwin, etufich, sokonon napanap, me pwan ekkoch minen awewe me aninnis. Ika ka mochen ekkei pekin aninnis, kokori 503-823-2525, Fon Fan Itan Ekkewe mi wor Ar Osukosukan Manau: 711.