Clean & Safe partners with other Enhanced Service Districts to support program changes

Downtown Portland Clean & Safe recently partnered with Central Eastside Together and the Lloyd Enhanced Service District (ESD) to express support for recommended changes to Portland’s ESD program.

On February 14, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, in partnership with Central Eastside Together and the Lloyd Enhanced Service District (ESD), testified to Portland’s City Council, expressing support for recommended changes to Portland’s ESD program. Initially proposed by BDS Planning, a Seattle-based city planning and urban design firm, these changes would modernize Portland’s ESD program and maximize the benefits of this essential public-private partnership model.

“These recommendations are a step forward in distributing the benefits of ESDs city-wide, so all communities, regardless of density, can enjoy the services ESDs provide,” said Mark Wells, Executive Director of Downtown Portland Clean & Safe.

BDS Planning’s approach is grounded in analysis of national best practices for ESD operations and affirms the ESD management association structure used here in Portland as a national best practice. The assessment recognizes institutional collaboration between private and public sectors as crucial to maintaining livability and economic vibrancy in cities across the nation.

Downtown Portland Clean & Safe supports the BSD Planning recommendations, especially the following:

  1. Greater clarity in fee calculations – The proposal for an updated assessment mechanism, including a cap on fees for residential units in the central city, represents a fair and equitable approach to funding enhanced services.
  2. Guidelines facilitating the creation and operation of ESDs – Current assessment and fee collection methodologies only allow for the formation and operation of ESDs within the central city. Clean & Safe strongly support the adoption of new policies or policy changes that will facilitate the growth of new ESDs across Portland.
  3. The City of Portland should meet its baseline service agreement outlined in each ESD’s Scope of Work contract – ESDs across the city continue to spend a disproportionate amount of their budgets and staff time on security and janitorial services, deviating from national best practices and our stated purpose of providing enhanced services and economic development related activities. 

Clean & Safe extends immense gratitude to Mayor Wheeler and each city Commissioner for their continuous engagement and collaboration with the ESDs throughout the recommendation and review process. The City Council’s dedication to improving and maintaining the condition of our central city is evident. We look forward to strengthening our partnership and collaborating to implement these recommendations.

Read the full testimony here.