September 23, 3:38 PM click here to comment > 3
Mayor Mike McGinn presents budget that supports public safety, human services, transportation and neighborhoods
Mayor Mike McGinn’s 2014 Proposed Budget, presented today to the Seattle City Council, prioritizes investments to enhance and expand public safety, human services and the city’s transportation infrastructure, as well as to empower residents and strengthen the vitality of Seattle’s diverse neighborhoods. The total proposed budget is $4.4 billion, including the city’s $1 billion General Fund. The mayor’s proposed budget also increases the city’s Rainy Day Fund to $34.7 million and the Emergency Subfund to $48 million — the largest dollar values ever.
“Our 2014 budget outlook is the best it has been since 2009. Employment growth in Seattle far outpaces the rest of the state, and the U.S as well. Thanks to a slowly improving economy and solid financial management, we’re investing in emerging needs in a way that has not been possible until now,” said McGinn. “My 2014 budget focuses on key priorities, such as putting more police office on our streets, protecting children by improving road safety around our schools, supporting seniors and other vulnerable populations, strengthening the vitality of our diverse neighborhoods, and maintaining and expanding our transportation infrastructure while also boosting financial reserves to protect us from unexpected future challenges.”
As the gradual recovery from the Great Recession continues, the mayor’s 2014 Proposed Budget is the first since 2009 that does not include major programmatic reductions in the city’s General Fund. Rather, the 2014 Proposed Budget makes a series of investments to address needs that have emerged since 2009.
The mayor’s 2014 Proposed Budget:
- Increases investments to enhance public safety, including growing the police force to improve 911 response times, and strengthening the city’s commitment to the Center City Initiative to foster public safety in downtown Seattle.
- Protects and expands the human services safety net by increasing support in key program areas, including homelessness, domestic violence and senior services.
- Empowers Seattle residents by creating a civic leadership institute for refugee women, protecting and creating opportunities for construction workers, and improving early learning and quality childcare environments.
- Strengthens the vitality of Seattle’s diverse neighborhoods through increased funding for the Neighborhood Matching Fund, enhancing downtown traffic flow, supporting neighborhoods surrounding the Duwamish River, investing in Seattle’s historic entertainment facilities, and promoting coordination between the city and neighborhoods during major construction projects.
- Maintains and grows Seattle’s transportation infrastructure throughout the city by supporting multiple modes of transport, including walking, biking, driving, freight and transit.
- Improves the efficiency and effectiveness of city government by enhancing customer service functions, making the city’s fleet even “greener,” promoting gender equity in the city’s work force, and evaluating programs to assess effectiveness.
The 2014 Proposed Budget eliminates six full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, and adds 162 FTE positions to address priority investments. An additional net increase of 11 FTEs results from changes impacting part-time positions, resulting in a net change of 167 FTEs.
The City budget contains complex financial information covering $4.4 billion in spending. To improve usability, accessibility and transparency of budget information, the mayor directed the City Budget Office (CBO) and Department of Information Technology to develop an interactive webpage displaying budget details. “Rather than going through the budget book, you can use this website to more quickly find the budget information you’re interested in,” McGinn said. CBO will use this same website to present individual department budgets to the City Council this year, eliminating the need for departments to create separate presentations. The website also makes it easy to follow along if you’re not in Council chambers. Also new this year, detailed budget information is available to the public in several data tables accessible on data.seattle.gov.
The mayor’s complete 2014 Proposed Budget and 2014-2019 Proposed Capital Improvement Program Budget will be available online this afternoon at www.seattle.gov/citybudget.
The mayor, in a series of budget preview events, highlighted how his 2014 Proposed Budget supports public safety, transportation, neighborhoods and residents:
- Mayor announces funding for Preschool for All
- Mayor announces funding to support Center City Initiative
- Mayor announces funding to support victims of domestic violence
- Mayor announces funding to hire 15 new police officers in 2014
- Mayor announces new investment in Gender Justice Initiative
- Mayor announces increased support for Seattle senior centers
- Mayor McGinn announces nearly $14 million in neighborhood transportation investments
- Mayor proposes $500,000 for neighborhood projects
- Mayor proposes $14.8 million in new road safety investments near schools
- Mayor announces new initiatives to support immigrant communities
The City Council will spend October and most of November reviewing the mayor’s 2014 Proposed Budget and capital improvement program (CIP). The budget and CIP must be adopted no later than December 2 and the Council’s calendar currently calls for adoption on November 25. State law requires Seattle to adopt a balanced budget.
Posted by: Sam Johnston