Budget and finance issues will be top of mind when the Edmonds City Council meets Tuesday night. Included on the agenda:
-Continued discussion and potential action on the 2009-10 Mid-Year Budget Adjustment, a topic that has generated substantial comment on My Edmonds News during the past two days.
-Consideration of a potential council policy to use unexpended wages and benefits to bolster the city’s financial reserves.
-Discussion and potential action regarding a proposal to hire a City Council budget analyst.
The council will also discuss:
-A proposal to approve a $15,000 contract to partner with Climate Solutions’ New Energy Cities program. The contract would pay for a one-and-a-half-day workshop to discuss how Edmonds can become a leader in new energy technology and infrastructure.
-A Planning Board recommendation on the City’s Comprehensive Plan framework.
-Extension of the sunset date for the Citizens Economic Development Commission.
-The Capital Facilities Plan.
-A report on the Mayor’s Community Survey.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N. A complete agenda can be found here.
I hope that at this week’s meeting Mayor Cooper will at last answer the following two questions, which also have not been answered for council members after some have asked more than once.
1)0N SEPT 1ST I SENT AN EMAIL TO MR. HINES ASKING HIM TO EXPLAIN WHY HIS BUDGET WORKSHOP ESTIMATE FOR 2010 GENERAL FUND REVENUE IS MORE THAN $2 MILLION ABOVE THE PRIOR OUTLOOK PROVIDED IN JUNE. I DID NOT HEAR ANYTHING BACK FROM HIM, SO ON SEPT 8TH I SENT THE QUESTION TO MAYOR COOPER AND COPIED MR. HINES. STILL NO RESPONSE FROM EITHER ONE.
2)ON AUG. 28TH MAYOR COOPER PROMISED AN EXPLANATION, WITHIN THE NEXT COUPLE OF WEEKS, AS TO WHY THE HEARING EXAMINER FIRM WAS NOT INTERESTED IN RE-NEWING ITS CONTRACT WITH OUR CITY. CITIZENS NEED TO KNOW WHY SUCH A COMPETENT FIRM DOES NOT WANT TO CONTINUE WORKING FOR OUR CITY.
It is a pity that council feels the need to hire its on budget analyst. This action results from their inability to get the support they need from the city’s finance director. Two years ago the previous finance director produced a two-year budget. This year a budget is being produced for only one year, with the same staff level that currently exists in the finance department. And the previous finance director was able to provide adequate support to city council members. The only difference two years ago was that the small computer services department reported to the Mayor and now it reports to the finance director. Why not shift computer services back to the Mayor and save the cost of the budget analyst?
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