Mayor presents 2013-14 budget to City Council
By SAMANTHA PAK
Redmond Reporter Reporter
October 14, 2012 · Updated 8:51 PM
The new $581.5 million budget — which includes the city's operations budget and capital fund — spans two years and is a slight increase from 2011-12, but City of Redmond Finance Director Mike Bailey said a better indicator of how the city is doing financially is to look at the number of city employees. From the 2011-12 budget to 2013-14 budget, the City of Redmond will have one less employee. Bailey said they did a bit of refocusing and after reducing hours for certain positions, employees leaving and one layoff, the city has added four positions and eliminated five.
During his presentation to council, Marchione added, "We have reallocated resources from low demand in services to higher demand in services."
In creating the budget, the city used the Budgeting by Priorities (BP) process for the third time. According to the city website, citizen involvement is a large part of the BP process and city services are reconsidered through the prism of what citizens value most. The website states, "the final budget 'buys' only those services most valued by the citizens," or what they consider priorities.
Redmond's six priorities, which were determined by citizens in the initial BP process in 2008, are infrastructure and growth, clean and green environment, community building, safety, business vitality and responsible government.
The breakdown of funds allocated to priorities follows: infrastructure and growth, 43 percent ($250.04 million); clean and green environment, 8 percent ($46.52 million); community building, 5 percent ($29.05 million); safety, 24 percent ($139.56 million); business vitality, 4 percent ($23.26 million) and responsible government, 16 percent ($93.04 million).
Between the 2009-10 and 2011-12 budgets, there was some reorganizing within departments to shift certain areas to more appropriate priorities. Because of this, the amounts allocated to each priority reflected these shifts, as well as reductions or increases to the individual priority.
Bailey said since this is their third time using BP, there hasn't really been any shifting of services among the priorities. He added that the percentage amount allocated to each priority has remained "pretty stable in that regard, as well."
"We're not cutting back in those things that are important to maintain what the community needs," Bailey said.
Work on the 2013-14 budget began about 10 months ago and included public input through neighborhood network meetings and other community meetings.
In addition, a results team was formed for each priority. The teams were tasked with developing the budget proposal recommendations for their respective priorities. Each team had four city employees and one citizen.
Bailey said being on the results teams is not easy as it is very time consuming and there is a very steep learning curve.
"It takes good citizens, quite frankly," he said. "We had great citizens in this budget (process)."
Bailey said up until Tuesday, the budget had been under the mayor's control but now it has been handed off to City Council. Council now has the opportunity to ask staff questions and make suggestions.
The public also has the opportunity to provide feedback as two public hearings are scheduled for Oct. 16 and Nov. 20. Redmond City Council is scheduled to adopt the 2013-14 budget Dec. 4.
For more information, visit www.redmond.gov/bp.Contact Redmond Reporter Reporter Samantha Pak at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-867-0353, ext. 5052.