The Metro Council is scheduled to have a candid discussion about its upcoming budget at a council retreat Feb. 9 at the Oregon Convention Center.
Metro is about halfway through drafting its budget for the coming fiscal year, which starts July 1 and runs through June 30, 2017. Metro typically spends around $400 million annually, with about half that coming from tax revenue.
The directors of Metro’s 12 major departments propose budgets early January, discussing funding and programming priorities with chief operating officer Martha Bennett in February and March. Bennett typically releases her proposed budget in April.
“The budget is a spending plan to implement our policies, plans, and strategic goals,” Bennett said.
“By this point in the process, we have a pretty good idea of what we can accomplish with the resources that we’re projecting for the next year. It’s time to check in with the council to make sure that the work we’re planning will accomplish Metro’s strategic priorities and meet the needs of the region’s residents.”
The Metro Council retreat is time for the council to discuss its priorities for 2016-17, and provide direction about major policy options, program priorities, and initiatives.
Retreats are public meetings, but are generally held away from the Metro Regional Center as a way to establish a less formal setting than a typical Tuesday afternoon work session in the council chamber. The Feb. 9 retreat is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at the Oregon Convention Center’s VIP Suite D.
Once Bennett proposes her budget this spring, the council will review it before approval in mid-May. After that, the Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission, an independent body appointed by the governor, will review Metro’s budget and possibly suggest changes.
The Metro Council usually adopts its final budget for the coming fiscal year in mid-to-late June.