Mayor presents proposed 2010 budget - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mayor presents proposed 2010 budget

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SPOKANE, Wash. - During her presentation of the proposed 2010 City Budget, Mayor Mary Verner thanked City employees for contributing to the solution to a projected shortfall for 2010 and called the resulting balanced budget proposal a "victory."  The mayor presented the budget during Monday nights City Council meeting.

"This budget represents a victory for the health and well-being of our citizens and our community," said Mayor Verner, who detailed the proposed 2010 Budget during the Nov. 2 City Council meeting.  "We overcame significant financial challenges and developed a budget that limits additional costs for citizens, while minimizing reductions in City services."

City spokesperson Marlene Feist said the proposed 2010 Budget includes a mix of savings, revenues, and some percentage cuts.   The budget also includes modest use of reserve funds and conservative revenue estimates to ensure the City's ability to weather further economic decline in 2010 and to assist with balancing the City's 2011 budget.

The Mayor noted that the City and Police Guild are in discussions, but for now, the City's budget includes the elimination of 22 commissioned police officer positions in 2010.  Twenty of those positions are currently vacant.

The overall 2009 proposed City budget totals $602.9 million, with the General Fund portion of the budget totaling $161 million.  The City's General Fund pays for police, fire, streets, parks, and libraries, among other things.  Revenue from the General Fund comes from sales, property, and utility taxes.

Feist said to keep up with community needs during these tough economic times, the Mayor noted that the budget maintains funding for direct Human Services grants from the City's General Fund at $960,000, just $40,000 less than in 2009.  An additional $1.5 million in federal stimulus funding for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing programs also will serve families in our community.

Feist also said the City will continue with work to find efficiencies and cost savings in 2010.  The City's Employee-Led Innovation program is focusing on using employee ideas to improve processes and find savings. Among other things, Police employees brought forward a variety of changes that have resulted in overtime savings of $485,000 in 2009, and Library employees have reduced turnaround time in the bindery area, reducing the turnaround time for repairing and reshelving damaged books to eight weeks instead of 12.

The Mayor filed the proposed 2010 Budget today.  The proposal now is in the hands of the City Council, who will hold public hearings throughout November.  A balanced budget must be adopted by the end of the year to comply with state law.

Replays of the Nov. 2 Council meeting that includes the Mayor's budget presentation will be shown on CityCable 5 and streamed on the City's web site at www.spokanecity.org on Wednesday, Nov. 4, starting at 6 p.m. and on Friday, Nov. 6, starting at 10 a.m.


Previous Coverage
Mayor to present proposed 2010 budget

(November 2, 2009 12:27 PM)

SPOKANE, Wash. - Mayor Mary Verner will present her 2010 Budget proposal to the Spokane City Council Monday night during the Council's regular 6 p.m. meeting in Council Chambers in the lower level of City Hall.

After her presentation, the budget proposal will be in the hands of the City Council, who will hold public hearings throughout November. The Council must adopt a balanced budget by the end of the year to comply with state law.

Those who are unable to attend the meeting in person also can watch it live on CityCable 5, the City of Spokane's government access cable station found on channel 5 on the Comcast cable system in Spokane.

Mary Verner was sworn in as the 43rd Mayor of the City of Spokane on Nov. 27, 2007, following her election in early November. In Spokane, the Mayor is the City's Chief Executive Officer, directing the activities of the City's 2,000 employees and managing a $600 million annual budget.


Public safety likely hardest hit in Spokane County budget cuts

(October 14, 2009)

The public safety sector may be the hardest hit as Spokane County tries to deal with an estimated $10.5 million budget deficit for 2010.

The budget deficit is less than the $12.5 million expected, but saving that $2 million did not come easy.

Thirty-four county employees took advantage of an early retirement program in an effort to save money. Of the positions left vacant by early retirement, some were eliminated and others lost to attrition.

By far, the public safety sector is bracing for the biggest hit. Spokane County estimates that sector comprises 70 percent of the budget and both the Spokane County Sheriff and county prosecutor have been asked to cut somewhere between 11 and 12.5 percent of their budgets.

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