City of Spokane Announces Two Cost-Saving Measures to Address Budget Deficit

Erin Hut, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Thursday, June 27, 2024 at 11:07 a.m.

In response to a significant general budget deficit, the Brown Administration is announcing two cost-saving measures designed to aid in stabilizing the City of Spokane’s financial situation while ensuring continued delivery of essential services to residents.

Mayor Lisa Brown is proposing to activate a voluntary retirement incentive to eligible members of the Spokane Police Department.

The proposal, which must be approved by the Spokane City Council, stems from a clause in the City’s collective bargaining agreement with both unions that represent Spokane Police officers.

The decision to propose activating the clause was made in consultation with SPD leadership, the Spokane Police Guild, and the Spokane Police Lieutenants and Captains Association.

The proposal states eligible officers must be 50 years or older and have their age and years of service equate to a combined 70 years. Those that apply by August 1, 2024 will receive a monthly payment of $1,000 and must retire by September 1, 2024. Those that apply to the second deadline of September 31, 2024 will receive $800 a month and must retire by December 31, 2024.

“Offering a retirement incentive is a win-win for our long-serving, dedicated police officers and the City of Spokane. This is a way for us to honor those who have served in the Spokane Police Department, while also creating a significant salary savings for the City,” said Captain Steve Wohl with the Spokane Police Lieutenants and Captains Association.

“This incentive is thoughtfully designed to encourage eligible officers to consider retirement. This would not only support longevity within the department for young officers and make room for the next generation of our department, but also greatly benefit officers who have dedicated a large portion of their lives to the City of Spokane,” said Sgt. Winters with the Spokane Police Guild.

In addition to this proposal, the Brown Administration is requiring all Cabinet members to take two mandatory furlough days before the end of the year. This will save roughly $15,000 per day.

“Cost savings must happen as part of closing the structural gap in the City’s budget. Every amount saved contributes to our overall goal of fiscally responsible budgeting while providing essential City services,” Mayor Brown said.