City Of Spokane Press Release:
Spokane Mayor David Condon this evening delivered the City Charter-required annual Statement of the Conditions & Affairs of the City of Spokane, along with his 2013 City Budget proposal.
"Our conditions are stable, in a time of financial uncertainty," the Mayor said, proceeding to devote his address to the development and impacts of his proposed budget for the coming year.
The Mayor also formally turned over his 2013 budget proposal to the City Council, nearly a month ahead of statutorily required date of Nov. 1. The Council now will hold budget hearings and must adopt a balanced budget prior to the end of the year.
"We have to adjust our budget for the long-term," Mayor Condon said, introducing his emphasis on his themes of affordability, accountability, and alignment. "We need to focus on our core lines of business, find ways to deliver services more efficiently, and report out on our progress. We no longer have the option of continuing business as usual."
The core of the Mayor's budget proposal is largely unchanged from his initial budget submittal back in August. The proposal holds expenses flat and is balanced, overcoming a projected shortfall of nearly $10 million. The proposal doesn't use reserves to balance the City's operating budget and begins the process of separating out capital expenses from operations.
The Mayor's budget proposal also:
Forgoes the expected annual property tax increase of 1 percent. Limits utility rate increases. The budget includes modest 3.5 percent increases in the water and wastewater utilities rates to fund needed infrastructure upgrades. The proposal includes no increase in solid waste collection rates from 2012. In the end, a typical household will pay about $2.50 more per month, compared to the $12 per month increase the City had projected for 2013 prior to the change in administration. Eliminates about 100 positions, including about 65 that are vacant. Eliminated positions are spread across all levels of the organization, including management. Uses restructuring to gain efficiencies and reduce duplication. Some positions and programs are being moved outside of the City to better align the City's core competencies with those of our partners.
"We must continually reinvent ourselves to meet the needs of our citizens," the Mayor said. "We must be innovative. And through it all, we must always keep the citizen—our customer—at the center of our work."
The full text of the Mayor's speech. The executive summary of the Mayor's 2013 Proposed Budget. The summary schedules from the Mayor's 2013 Proposed Budget.