Mayor Proposes Investments in Safety, Cleanliness

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at 3:57 p.m.

Updated November 2, 2021 at 4:25 p.m.

Mayor Nadine Woodward delivered a final proposed 2022 budget that maintains service levels, strategically invests in economic recovery, and prioritizes public safety, homelessness, housing, and economic development.

Investments in public safety are centered on evolving a system to better meet developing community needs and harnessing a greater sense of security. Woodward’s budget, which she finalized Monday, also proposes continuing the fundamental shift in how people transition out of homelessness by improving system resources, filling gaps, introducing greater accountability into the system, and maximizing regional partnerships, and emphasizes increasing housing options to meet community needs while reducing barriers. Economic development efforts grow the city as the regional center-place for business and leisure through economic expansion and place-making that prepare the city for more rapid pandemic recovery.

“Our strategic approach has been to meet short-term needs in ways that prepare the City for an accelerated recovery and long-term fiscal sustainability,” Woodward said. “The City’s commitment to maintaining services, protecting budget reserves, and strategically deploying federal recovery resources in the community and organization have us in a position to make careful investments.”

The 2022 General Fund budget, which supports general municipal services, including police and criminal justice, fire and emergency medical response, streets, parks, libraries, planning, community and economic development, and a host of smaller, specialized services aimed at neighborhoods, historic preservation, and human services, among others, is proposed at $216.5 million. In total, the City’s 2022 budget, which includes the General Fund, Enterprise Funds, Special Dedicated Funds, and Internal Service Funds, will be $1 billion.

The budget is similar to the preliminary proposal Woodward released last month. Her October 4 proposal increased spending on investments in police officer training, an in-field partnership between officers and behavioral health specialists, reducing wait times for police public records requests, supporting victims of violent crime and human trafficking, additional downtown and neighborhood cleanup resources, and staffing to support decreasing residential permit times and increases in housing supply. She also proposed organizational investments in diversity, equity, and inclusion, public access to government, and prioritizing and enhancing cyber security needs.

The budget follows the City’s long-standing financial principles and incorporates priorities identified through months of community and City Council engagement. That includes numerous public workshops and committee meetings. Those budget principles are:

  • Fund the highest priorities first
  • One-time revenues will only be used to cover one-time costs
  • Ongoing costs should not be greater than ongoing revenues
  • Debt shall not be utilized for operating expenses
  • Maintain an adequate level of reserves and support a strong bond rating
  • Maintain prudent management oversight and controls on hiring and spending

The full detailed budget is available online.

You can also view video from the 4 Budget Workshops, held in October 2021: