Mayor Verner to address Spokane's financial health, plans for future - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

LIVE Streaming Video - 6:00 p.m.

Mayor Verner to address Spokane's financial health, plans for future

Spokane Mayor Mary Verner Spokane Mayor Mary Verner

SPOKANE, Wash. - Just 14 days before presenting her proposed budget to the City Council, Spokane Mayor Mary Verner is scheduled to deliver what amounts to a State of the City address tonight.

Live Streaming Video
KHQ.com will provide a LIVE
Stream of the Mayor's speech
beginning at 6:00 p.m.

The Mayor is expected to talk about the health of the City's finances, what her priorities are for the next budget cycle and what she hopes to accomplish in the coming months.  Verner has said she hopes to recommend a budget that does not recommend layoffs, taking money from reserves or delay the hiring of several new police officers what was originally scheduled for 2009.

In September, Verner reported that Spokane's investments are healthy and sound. 

"I want our citizens to know that despite national financial problems, the City of Spokane is well-positioned financially for today and the future," she said.  "With solid financial plans and conservative investment strategies, the city is in good shape and well-prepared to continue to provide the excellent services citizens have come to expect."

Verner said she and her senior managers identified various options to cover an anticipated budget deficit for the City's 2009 budget and extend a balanced budget through 2010.  Those options include efficiencies, targeted cost-savings, revenue enhancements through changes in the way the city operates, and more precise accounting of General Fund and utility revenues. Officials say the city can also tap into reserves to help if the downturn becomes more dramatic or longer lasting.

Officials say Verner decided to craft a two-year balanced budget to provide greater predictability for citizens and employees and to ensure that the city can weather a longer economic downturn, if necessary.

The Mayor's speech begins at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers.  It will be broadcast over the City's cable channel.  KHQ will also provide a live stream and coverage of the speech.
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