Mayor Unveils 2012 City Budget - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mayor Unveils 2012 City Budget

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Mayor Mary Verner laid out her proposed 2012 Budget Monday night before Spokane City Council. Below is the Press Release outlining the Mayor's plan.

PRESS RELEASE:

Mayor Mary Verner rolled out her proposed 2012 City of Spokane Budget today during the City Council's regular weekly meeting. The balanced budget proposal preserves critical services without asking voters to approve a tax increase. 

"The proposal is designed to provide essential services at an affordable price.  My approach acknowledges the financial strain faced by citizens, provides predictability for business, and offers balance against other costs citizens will face," the Mayor said. 

The proposed 2012 Budget closes an $8 million shortfall in the General Fund, primarily through cost containment and efficiencies.  Limited resources are strategically focused on the services that are most important to citizens. 

Public safety is prioritized in the Mayor's plan, which preserves 13 Police officer positions that were slated for elimination in 2012 and adds 5 officers and 13 Fire employees to serve the West Plains annexation area.  The annexation area becomes part of the City on Jan. 1.

The Mayor also is working on additional savings for 2012 as part of negotiations with labor groups that have open contracts for 2012.  "We are working to negotiate contracts that will improve the City's financial position for the coming year," Mayor Verner said.

The overall 2011 proposed City budget totals $621.9 million, with the General Fund portion of the budget totaling $163.3 million, about 3.5 percent more than the $158.6 million adopted budget for 2011.  About one-quarter of that increase will pay for the cost of providing public safety services in the West Plains annexation area.

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.

"During the budget process we focus on the small percentage of the budget that we have to cut or change.  However, throughout the year, my office, the City Council, and the entire City workforce spend 100 percent of our time ensuring that we are providing quality services with the budget we have," the Mayor said.  "This is the true value of our work on behalf of the citizens of Spokane."

The Mayor filed the proposed 2012 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 Oct. 31 meeting will be shown on CityCable 5 and streamed on the City's web site at www.spokanecity.org on Thursday, Nov. 3, starting at 6 p.m. and on Friday, Nov. 4, starting at 10 a.m. The meeting also will be placed in the CityCable 5 video archive this week, at http://www.spokanecity.org/services/citycable5/streamingmedia/. Click on "City Council Meetings."

 

 

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