Letter to the editor: About that council budgeting process…

A letter to the Edmonds City Council Budget Retreat Attendees:

Perhaps the council and staff may consider focusing on the system and process of budgeting rather than getting into round-robin “wishes.”

Edmonds budget process appears to be highly irregular when reviewing how budgets are created and “followed.”

Reviewing last year’s process, it reads as each councilor giving their individual goal(s), and then the idea(s) receiving the most support by the councilmembers “won.” The supposed low- to no-cost Social Worker and Human Services idea, went through. Just because it sounded like a potential idea at a retreat, doesn’t mean the council should run with it.

Throughout the years, it has appeared the Edmonds Budget “System,” staff and select councilmembers, as a routine, and as extras, bring forward budget items for approval. What organizations create and run budgets in this way? I am sincerely baffled. What happened to setting a budget for the year and working within it?

I thought most competent individuals, households, private sectors, nonprofits,and local governments have documented plans, based not through the bulldozing non-investigated wishes, but rather use of a true budget of prioritized necessities, beginning with the core requirements of said local government.

Cutting costs is typically a priority rather than children at Christmas-like mentalities “of what can we add?”

It may have been at last year’s budget retreat, where a feeling of pride exuded from a presenter that service fees to citizens was the highest, or of the largest, revenue maker for the city. One usually doesn’t look for ways to add to the citizens’ taxes, but rather tourists and extras income. I was appalled.

Edmonds’ government “budgeting” is quite the unique financial experience. If you have an opportunity to observe the process, it may be worthwhile, especially with the upcoming election.

To view or listen to the meeting, paste the following into a web browser using a computer or smart phone:

Or join by phone: US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 957 9848 4261

Lori Rasmussen
Formerly of Edmonds, now in Prescott, Arizona

  1. Well said, Lori. Having spent my working life managing and being responsible for some large portions of the budget of a major, local corporation, I too am baffled by how our City Government executes their budgeting process.

  2. On the Christmas Wishlist Theme…

    Similar to “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth…” … Potholes… I liked how A few Councilors stuck to the basics of local government… Potholes…

    Then there were others who practically went off on world peace.

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