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Council News Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   
9/29/2008  2:43:00 PM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Tom Van Bronkhorst, Godden Office (206) 684-8807

Councilmember Jean Godden
Council President Richard Conlin
Councilmember Tim Burgess
Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Councilmember Jan Drago
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Richard J. McIver
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Council Renews Pledge to Protect City’s Most Vulnerable
Faced with uncertain economy, Council plans to preserve core services

SEATTLE – Seattle City Councilmembers today called for better protection of core city services immediately following Mayor Greg Nickels presentation of his proposed budget for 2009-2010.

“At first glance it looks as if the Mayor’s proposed budget follows the Council’s priority to protect direct services – however the Council will want to take a much closer look to make sure we know where the money is coming from to pay for his new initiatives,” said Councilmember Jean Godden, Chair of the Council’s Budget Committee.

Council President Richard Conlin said, “I’m confident that the City will be able to protect human services, public safety, environmental protections, and other essential programs while still making the cuts required to pass a balanced budget. It’s going to be a challenge and one that I’m looking forward to meeting.”

Councilmember Tim Burgess said, “I appreciate the Mayor’s focus on basic city services, protecting the delivery of human services, and maintaining our focus on hiring more police officers. Now our review work begins, which, of course, could result in changes. But my first impression is quite positive.”

Councilmember Sally J. Clark said, “The next couple of years will be tough for an increasing number of people in Seattle. I’ll be scouring the budget to ensure it truly protects people and serves neighborhood affordability, safety and sustainability.”

Councilmember Bruce Harrell said, “Our City’s basic services, our citizens, as well as many large and small local businesses will face some challenging times in the next budget period—how to do ‘more with less.’ In protecting the most vulnerable, we want to tap into the ingenuity of our City’s employees and provide them with the vision and tools to be successful in preserving our core services.”

Councilmember Jan Drago said, “My greatest concern is insuring that we continue providing those services which affect the lives and safety of Seattle residents on a daily basis - keeping the promises that we made to improve our transportation infrastructure, providing for our most vulnerable residents with the greatest need, and increasing our public safety preparedness - and to do this as effectively and efficiently as possible.”

Councilmember Nick Licata said, “In this economic environment, we need to reevaluate our capital projects and fund only the ones that are most necessary.”

Councilmember Richard J. McIver said, “In this challenging economic environment it is even more important that we evaluate just how effectively we are spending tax dollars, ensuring that we are able to meet our public safety obligations, our social service commitment to the poor and homeless, and build our reserves for what could even be more challenging in future years. “

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen said, “We will review the budget closely and insure it reflects the priorities of the people of Seattle.”

In June, the Council passed Resolution 31063, outlining their budget priorities for the 2009-2010 budget and calling out six priority areas in which to protect core city services: human services and housing, pedestrian safety, public safety, environmental stewardship, transportation and neighborhood planning.

The Council will spend the next two months reviewing the Mayors proposed budget, making needed adjustments before passing a final budget near the end of November. For more information on the budget process visit the Council website at www.seattle.gov/council .

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