Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740
Monday, October 7, 2013 at 4:32 p.m.
Spokane Mayor David Condon declared the City on solid footing and positioned to meet future needs during the Statement of Conditions and Affairs delivered Monday before the City Council.
Citizen priorities shaped the line-item budget proposal Mayor Condon delivered to the City Council at the conclusion of his address. His proposal includes 25 new police officers, restoring fire response capability at Station 9 by adding four new positions and putting $2.5 million more into street maintenance. A complete copy of the line-item budget is available at MySpokaneBudget.org.
“We are aligning better to citizen priorities, working to be more affordable and holding ourselves more accountable,” Condon said. “In short, we are building the City of Choice.”
That approach has helped the City become a leaner, more efficient operation than it was a year ago, and enticed more community investment, Condon said.
Last year marked the first time Spokane has had seven projects valued at more than $10 million. In 2013, the City is on pace to surpass that record with two projects permitted and proposals for seven more with values greater than $10 million. Investment and sales tax income is also up slightly, though those modest increases are offset by higher-than-expected police overtime expenses and other costs.
As part of the 2014 budget process, Mayor Condon called on the City Council to set policy regarding pension reform, capital budget administration, balancing the fire budget and reserve usage. These are important policies that must be passed, he said.
Citizens have provided clear direction and expectations during numerous public meetings, block parties and conversations over coffee, Condon said. That includes a continued emphasis on public safety, street improvements and getting to a cleaner Spokane River faster and more affordably.
That input has helped sharpen the focus on timing construction projects with necessary infrastructure enhancements to minimize the impact to homeowners and avoid additional project costs. It has also helped broaden the City’s definition of streets from one that just considers the variety of mobility uses to a three-dimensional view that also includes below-ground connectivity for water, wastewater and stormwater.
“You have provided me and my administration with great guidance, encouragement and suggestions,” Condon said, speaking directly to citizens. “Those conversations have been critically important to aligning our work to your priorities.”