Councilmember Richard McIver
Council President Nick Licata
Councilmember Sally Clark
Councilmember Richard Conlin
Councilmember David Della
Councilmember Jan Drago
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck
COUNCIL PASSES $1.6 BILLION 2007-2008 BUDGET
Council adds 31 police officers, funding for youth programs, senior centers, P-Patches, human services, and more.
SEATTLE - The Council today passed a two-year, $1.6 billion General Fund to pay for essential city services such as police, fire, parks, human services, street paving, and libraries. This year, the Council developed a $5.8 million comprehensive public safety budget package within the overall General Fund in response to concern about crime, human need, and policing issues. Councilmember Richard McIver, chair of the Budget Committee, said, "The Council focused on our budget goals: enhancing public safety, supporting basic human needs, improving transportation infrastructure, environmental stewardship, and fiscal responsibility. It was truly a team effort and I'm proud of the results."
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Housing, Human Services, and Health Committee, was pleased that the Council will provide $200,000 funding for the city's Senior Centers. "These centers provide invaluable services to our seniors, and we need to ensure they continue to receive city support," said Councilmember Rasmussen.
Councilmember Jean Godden, chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, praised the Council's $131,000 contribution to Reinvesting in Youth, a program to reduce juvenile crime. "Young people are our future. We must continue to find ways to reach out and engage those teens who are at-risk of ending up in the criminal justice system," said Councilmember Godden.
Councilmember Richard Conlin lauded the Council's willingness to fund $305,000 in legal assistance for victims of domestic violence. Councilmember Conlin said, "Stopping violence within families is vital to public safety. This money will help victims of domestic violence get out of abusive situations."
Councilmember David Della, chair of Parks, Education, Libraries, and Labor, was delighted that the Council continued its $409,000 commitment to Late Night Recreation programs. "Providing a fun and safe environment, creating opportunities for success, and providing positive alternatives to youth who are most prone to harmful behavior are pieces of the puzzle for reducing crime. It is important to continue these programs because crime has been reduced an average of 30 percent near the Late Night centers," said Councilmember Della.
Councilmember Sally J. Clark, chair of Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee, celebrated the Council's $185,000 support for the P-Patch program where Seattleites can grow their own produce. "This money will be critical in the City acquiring three new P-Patches to further expand our network of community gardens around the city. P-Patches help feed people and build strong neighborhoods," said Councilmember Clark.
Councilmember Jan Drago, chair of the Transportation Committee, thanked Seattle's voters and her Council colleagues for funding an extensive program of transportation improvements through a new property tax levy, including $32 million for street paving. "Seattle's voters and the Council worked together to provide the money to do vitally important work on our roads," said Councilmember Drago.
Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, member of the Public Safety, Governmental Relations, and Arts Committee, saluted the Council's $2.9 million for 31 new police officers. "The public spoke loudly and clearly that they want more police on the streets. We started this year and I hope we can do even more in the future."
Council President Nick Licata, chair of the Public Safety, Government Relations, and Arts Committee, applauded the Council's $840,000 funding for programs designed to help offenders get treatment, housing, and employment. "Intervening early and often with criminal offenders is key to helping to stop them from re-offending. The Council is making a long term investment in the health of our city with these programs."