If the budget is voted on and passed with current councilmembers on Nov. 16, as now scheduled, any move to reconsider it with the inputs of the new councilmember seated in Position 2 on Nov. 23 will be touted as a political move.
On the contrary, it will be the unwinding of one.
While there is no imperative to finish the budget process any earlier than we have in the past (Dec. 5 to Dec 16. these last four years), some think doing so would be a better practice.
It is possible that the Nov. 23 finish the council president previously planned on the extended agenda ― an extended agenda that continues to be advertised on the door of City Hall today― represents that thinking.
The second, more recent change, from Nov. 23 to Nov. 16, represents something else. It shamelessly changes a vote for approving the budget (from a councilmember elected by the people this month to an incumbent appointed two years ago by a 4-2 councilmember vote).
The assertion that the councilmember who prevails in Position 2 (and will be seated on Nov. 23) would be ill-equipped to weigh in on the upcoming budget is nonsensical. These two candidates have had the budget book as long as we have. Both candidates for this seat run businesses with multiple employees and have created and managed budgets of their own. Janelle Cass has also worked in government agencies. Will Chen is an accountant and experienced internal and external auditor!
Perhaps most importantly, both of these candidates spent an enormous amount of time engaging with the public this year; their opinions on how to spend the taxpayers’ money in 2022 is well informed― by the taxpayers themselves.
Choosing and adhering to the Nov. 16 budget finalization date intentionally shuts out the input of the people’s choice. Any budget resulting from this timeline should be rejected.
Councilmember, City of Edmonds