Portland, Or., Mayor Sam Adams, who was criticized by a police department citizen budget advisory panel during a budget scuffle with former Chief Rosie Sizer, has informed the group’s members that their services are no longer required, reports The Oregonian. In a brief Aug. 23 letter to the panel’s eight members, Adams said that he and Chief Mike Reese plan to appoint new members. Adams wants “additional representation on this committee that includes individuals with significant accounting, budgeting or relevant business experience in the public or private sectors.”
Members of the panel, which includes bankers, business executives. and labor specialists, said they’re insulted by the impersonal letter and questioned the mayor’s motives. T.J. Browning, co-chairwoman and a member of the advisory group for eight years, said, I” think that they like citizen input that they can control. We have worked incredibly hard. We do a lot of research. We don’t just shoot from the hip. When we come down opposite from what they want us to, I don’t think they like it.” On May 12, Adams fired Sizer two days after a news conference at which she said the mayor’s proposed 2010-11 budget would cause the layoff of 25 officers. Adams said he thought there were vacancies in the force and blamed the bureau for giving him bad numbers.