Letter to the editor: Mayor responds to Council President’s remarks on the budget

Editor:

It is concerning to me that the Council President would represent my originally proposed 2019 Budget in a factually incorrect manner. Doing so serves no purpose other than to confuse the public.

First, the Council President’s statement of the increase over 2018 is not accurate. One must compare the two years’ total budgets, which as shown in the 2019 Budget Book, are $99,171,078 for 2018 and $108,107,556 for 2019, an increase of $8,846,478, or 9 percent, not 17 percent, as the council president stated.

Second, one should note that the increase in General Fund expenditures is very small — approximately 1.5 percent.

Almost the entire 9 percent increase contained in my proposed 2019 budget was due to three key factors, all approved by council:

• Over $1 million to fund council priorities, as offered to staff and me last summer,

• Expenditure of both city funds and grants monies for capital projects in the council-approved Capital Improvement Program,

• Expenditures carried forward into the 2019 budget from council-approved capital projects that were not finalized in 2018,

• Council-approved expenditures associated with labor negotiations.

I hope to make it clear that my response here is solely intended to set the record straight for the public. City budgets are complex, and we do our best to present the information to the public in as understandable a manner as possible.

Mischaracterizations are not helpful, and only serve to confuse matters.

In the end, the 2019 Budget, including all the council’s amendments, was passed unanimously by city council. It is now the City of Edmonds’ budget.

And as your Mayor and Chief Executive of this City, together with my staff, I will diligently execute the council’s adopted 2019 Budget. That’s my job and I take it seriously.

Dave Earling, Mayor

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