This morning, the Council put its finishing touches on the 2018 city budget, and this afternoon it became law.
In order to dig themselves out of their budget hole (after failing to enact an employee-hours tax), the City Council raided the Mayor’s budget today. Their additional cuts today, on top of a couple that were already in their budget, lopped over $1 million from a budget originally proposed to by $6.4 million — about a 17% cut.
It took some pretty chaotic sausage-making to pull it together, but the Council cobbled together a balanced budget today.
Budget Chair Lisa Herbold bet big by putting the employee-hours tax into her revised balancing package, knowing that it didn’t have majority support from her colleagues. She lost that bet today, and with that her budget plan fell apart.
Monday afternoon Budget chair Lisa Herbold released her “revised balancing package” proposal for the 2018 city budget. Tuesday morning she begins to lead her fellow Council members in deliberations and votes on the items in the package.
The big contentious issue, the employee-hours tax (or “HOMES tax,” or “head tax”), is still in the package, and in fact will be the first item up for discussion and vote. It won’t be pretty.
Yesterday the City Council spent most of the day looking at 59 proposals to further refine the proposed budget for 2018. And a few of them got heated.
This afternoon, the City Council voted 5-1 to appoint Council member Tim Burgess as Seattle’s 55th Mayor, succeeding Bruce Harrell who will return to his position as Council President and representative of the 2nd District.
Fasten your seat belt. By the end of the day Monday we may have another new Mayor, and the Council may be working an appointing a new colleague. Plus: budget work begins, the Uptown rezone wraps up, and more.
(several updated incorporated below — thanks to Kirstan Arestad, Director of the Council’s Central Staff, for her helpful feedback)
In a couple of weeks the City Council will drop nearly everything and spend the next two months hammering out the 2018 city budget. Budget committee chair Tim Burgess has published a schedule for how the Council members and their staff will spend that time.
Wednesday morning, the Council took up its quarterly update to the city’s budget. Normally these discussions are an excellent cure for insomnia, and the first quarter update especially so since it involves retroactive cleanup of last year’s budget, rolling over small amounts of leftover funds from the pervious year’s budget, accepting grants, and correcting all the mistakes and oversights in last fall’s eight-week-long annual budget development marathon as well as any new projects that need to be funded (like $46,000 to reopen five wading pools at city parks this summer). But a bit of grandstanding by Council member Sawant brought some drama to the deliberations this time.