Seattle Courant

City Council Soft-pedals Budget Cuts and Leaves Tough Choices for Mayor

City of Seattle Seal
By Keith Vance
May 15, 2009 03:05PM

There’s nothing shocking here.

Resolution 31134 reads: “[T]he City must continue to protect the health and safety of all Seattle’s residents, while at the same time providing essential assistance to the most needy among them.”

So it looks like the City Council is of being nice and not rocking the boat. They support investments in feeding the poor, the police department and preventing youth violence. It doesn’t say so in the resolution, but I bet the Council thinks babies are cute too.

So what should Mayor Greg Nickels cut to balance the 2010 budget? The City Council has endorsed, but has not adopted next year’s budget, that will happen in the Fall, so there’s still an opportunity for the Council to be involved in this process if they chose.

The list of cuts contained more questions than answers, but here’s what the Council voted for on Monday.

Reduce or suspend contributions to the Fleets and Facilities Department’s Asset Preservation Program and reduce rent charges if possible.

“Increase the ‘span of control’ within some areas of management to reduce internal costs while preserving the financial resources needed to support direct services to the public. Reductions at all levels of management may provide opportunities for savings.”

The Council also recommends reducing the number of vehicles in the city’s fleet, reviewing fuel purchasing policies, evaluating consultant costs, improve departmental efficiency and reviewing the city’s participation in various local, regional and national organizations.

How these recommendations will result in $70 million in savings is unclear.

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Here’s the full text for Resolution 31134.
City Council Action Summary for the week.