PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty is holding a State of the City address Monday night at the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and outlining the city’s goals amid changes to the city’s form of government, a $10 million deficit and a statewide homeless crisis.
Similar to Portland, where voters recently decided to implement a charter reform, Beaverton voters also decided to change the city’s form of government.
Mayor Beaty said Beaverton’s government, which now has a city manager, took two months to transition its form of government, compared to Portland which is on a two-year timeline.
“This is really the year for us, the year of stabilizing, getting our process improvements in place, making sure everyone’s on the same page,” Beaty said. “This puts elected officials in the policymaker seat. We set this strategic vision for the city and the city manager’s job is to implement that vision.”
“We’re also climbing out of a bit of a fiscal deficit; we’re running currently about a $10 million deficit. So, for us, this is the year of stabilizing our government,” Beaty said. “We’re kind of calling it ‘the year of the boring,’ But the reality is we’ve got to do this hard work for our community for more prosperous future.”
The mayor emphasizes the need for all levels of government to work together on projects, from homelessness to infrastructure such as the Beaverton Downtown Loop — which received $2 million from a federal planning grant along with a $4 million grant secured by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici.
While working to address homelessness, the mayor thanks Gov. Tina Kotek for “shining a light on this problem.” Beaty added, “it’s signaling that every level of government needs to prioritize this.”
Beaverton is about one year away from breaking ground on a year-round shelter to house 60 adults and offer a place for recovery — the first of its kind in Washington County, according to the mayor.
In May 2020, voters in the Metro area approved a tax estimated to raise $2.5 billion for homeless services over the next decade. That came less than two years after Metro voters approved a $652.8 million bond to build more affordable housing across the region.
In 2022, the mayor said Beaverton broke ground on two affordable housing projects, one with 168 units — 81 of which are dedicated to seniors– and another project with 75 units in the Cooper Mountain area.
This comes after eight city staffers and regional partners recently visited the Bloomberg Institute at Harvard to work on street outreach, the mayor said.
“We have an ambitious goal of reducing our visible street homelessness in downtown by 80% in the next six months and we’re developing the tools and the partnerships to do that.”