Offer your input at city council budget hearing on Oct. 16 / Letters

With all the local government spending to end homelessness, why is there still so much homelessness? Maybe there really is less government spending than you think.

The Redmond City Council’s next budget hearing for public comment is Oct. 16. Please attend and offer your input.

In the city of Redmond budget process, citizens were asked to rank six categories. The full explanations for the most recent process are not online as of this writing, but for the 2017-18 biennium one of the categories was Connected Community. Under this category there were five sub-categories. There were three categories for parks amenities, but there was only one for human services grants. This predisposes the process to ensure that the parks programs get more. In fact, the three parks categories received $14 million, vs. $2.5 million for social services.

Then, on June 6, 2017, the city council reduced the human services budget by $155,000. It added $4 million to the parks capital projects, which then totaled $23.5 million.

On March 21, 2017, the council allocated $10 million for downtown park amenities, including the pavilion, water wheel and splash pond. On April 4, one consulting firm’s total for engineering services was increased to $4 million.

In contrast, Congregations for the Homeless received $10,356 for the year round shelter, $25,108 for the men’s night shelter, $7928 for housing subsidies for formerly homeless men and $14,000 for the drop in center. The Sophia Way women’s night shelter received $22,500 and the 24 women’s shelter received $14,100. Hopelink housing received $59,315 and the Friends of Youth shelter received $48,702. How many dormitory rooms does that latter figure provide for youth and young adults?

A total of $462,000 was spent on “roof over head and food to eat.” That won’t even buy one new townhome in Redmond.

In addition to the $2.5 million in social services grants, Redmond gave $600,000 to the ARCH housing trust fund. In context, at the Kenmore meeting of the affordable housing task force (now called One Table), the developer representative explicitly said that no private developer will build for the population below 30 percent of the median income. Nonprofits and preservation are necessary for housing.

In the 2017-18 biennium, less than 1 percent of the city’s budget was allocated to the human services. If this allocation does not coincide with your values, please attend and testify at the Oct. 16 meeting.

Linda Seltzer

Redmond


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Letters to the Editor

Defending Kuderer | Letter

This letter is regarding the Feb. 6, 2020, article “Chinese organizations file… Continue reading

Insensitive remark by Sen. Kuderer | Letter

Many were shocked to learn Sen. Patty Kuderer’s remark in a committee,… Continue reading

Better mental health care needed | Letter

Mayor Angela Birney’s vision statement was just released — “A connected community… Continue reading

Accept the vote and move on | Letter to the editor

This is in response to “Affirmative action measure fails but could resurface… Continue reading

The best Christmas gift | Letter to the editor

At about 11 a.m. on Dec. 20, I was involved in a… Continue reading

Perspective on cycling support on the Eastside | Letter

Perspective on cycling support on the Eastside Imagine for a minute the… Continue reading

Campaign funds for community | Letter

Thanks to all the Redmond voters that made this election energetic and… Continue reading

An appreciated public gesture | Letter

This is in response to “Art planned for Overlake Village to celebrate… Continue reading

Community weighs in on the election | Letter to the editor

Birney: a true community builder I first met Angela Birney in 2013,… Continue reading

Vote to re-elect Siri Bliesner | Letter

I am so grateful to have Siri Bliesner representing our children and… Continue reading

Birney walks the talk | Letter

Angela Birney is the best choice for Redmond mayor. I spent 11… Continue reading

Birney’s vision for community | Letter

Why do residents and community leaders across our region endorse Angela Birney… Continue reading