City Council Budget Committee Releases Budget Priorities Resolution

Lisa Gardner, City Council Communications Director, 509.625.6226

Friday, October 16, 2020 at 11:31 a.m.

In response to The Mayor unveiling her recent proposed budget, City Council’s Budget Committee issued its comprehensive Budget Priorities Resolution.  This resolution is a holistic financial approach to the City’s overall critical needs while remaining conservative during a turbulent economic crisis.  The resolution is a step towards a community conversation that is balanced and fully transparent. The Council aims to resolve a budget that is fiscally responsible and agreed upon by both the Council and Administration.  

“The Mayor's first budget proposal is a great start on so many of our initiatives that were put on pause due to the pandemic”, says Councilwoman and Finance Committee Chair Candace Mumm. “Progress can finally be made on an Office of Civil Rights, Smart Justice, and fulfilling our promise to fully hire police and firefighters approved by voters with the public safety levy. These are just some of my expectations for 2021. We also need to be cautious and careful during these uncertain economic times, choosing wisely about what needs to get done first, and what can possibly wait until our economy is back on track.”

The 44-point resolution is organized by Council’s four committee subject areas: Finance and Administration, Public Safety and Community Health, Public Infrastructure, Environment and Sustainability and Urban Development.  

“The City Council proposed budget is based on sound budget principles that will engage our community to weigh in,” says Councilwoman and Public Safety and Community Health Chair Lori Kinnear.  “We have crafted something that doesn’t rely on using reserves yet still serves our core functions as a City.” 

City Council President Breean Beggs added, "City Council has been informally sharing with the Administration its ideas on how to create a balanced and effective budget and city organization for weeks.  Now that the Mayor has released to the public her draft budget and proposed reorganization, Council is releasing a draft resolution so that the public can join in the conversation on how best to create a 2021 budget and organization that best meets the needs of our community. The draft proposals from Council and the Mayor are only preliminary until the Council takes a final vote, so please let us know what you think."

The City Council looks to obtain a financial plan that balances 2021 revenues with 2021 expenses. The City’s budget is the responsibility of the Council and this resolution will allow the Council to understand what cuts the Administration proposes, if needed, to reach that balance.