Mayor Verner delivers annual State of the City Address - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mayor Verner delivers annual State of the City Address

SPOKANE, Wash. - In her annual Statement of the Conditions & Affairs of the City address to City Council, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner said the City must focus on the future possibilities that will arise from these tough economic times.  Now is the time to pursue new ideas and new ways of doing business, the Mayor said.

"The reality of today is that we must change if we are to stay healthy and strong for the 203,000 citizens of the City of Spokane," Mayor Verner said.

The Mayor cited employee-led efforts to find efficiencies and savings, exploration of regional coordination of services, and evaluation of new models of service delivery as the strategies to bring change for the future.

The Mayor delivered the address during the regular legislative session of the City Council on Monday, Oct. 12, as required by City Charter.

In her speech, the Mayor highlighted the City's accomplishments since the first of the year, everything from the return of Crime Check in January to the addition of 170 units of affordable housing in the community to the creation of the University District Revitalization Area, which will provide funding for key infrastructure including Division Street Gateway improvements and the bicycle-pedestrian bridge over the railroad viaduct.

The Mayor also previewed her 2010 City Budget proposal.  "We anticipate submitting a budget that limits additional costs for citizens and minimizes reductions in City services," she said. "The budget also will contain modest use of reserve funds and conservative revenue estimates to ensure our ability to weather further economic decline in 2010 and to assist with balancing our 2011 budget."

The Mayor noted that her proposal for the City's General Fund Budget likely would include a mix of savings, revenues, and some percentage cuts. 

She thanked the City employee bargaining units that have provided savings for the upcoming budget year.  But she told the Council that without additional bargaining unit participation in the budget solution, she anticipated that the budget would include the elimination of 22 commissioned police officer positions and another 13 Local 270-represented employees.

The full prepared text of the Mayor's speech is attached here.

Replays of the meeting will be shown on CityCable 5 and streamed on the City's web site at www.spokanecity.org on Wedneday, Oct. 14, starting at 6 p.m. and on Friday, Oct. 16, starting at 10 a.m.

City of Spokane

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