EVERETT – Mayor Cassie Franklin delivered her 2020 budget address on Oct. 30 and will present her proposed 2020 budget at the Oct. 30 City Council meeting.
“I’m pleased to present a proposed budget for 2020 that is balanced, responsible and supports the important services the City provides to its residents and businesses,” Franklin said.
The 2020 budget was built on a foundation of seven quality-of-life priorities: responsive & responsible government, safe community, economic & cultural vitality, transportation & infrastructure, engaged & informed community, and education & workforce development.
In her address, the mayor described several recent City accomplishments, including sewer and stormwater investments, the Grand Avenue Park Bridge placement, the Evergreen Branch Library expansion and park improvements. She also highlighted several new programs and announcements:
- Permanent reductions in the ongoing structural deficit now total $7.6 million
- In 2020, Everett will be the first city in Snohomish County to offer a new consumer-driven health plan and City-sponsored clinic for employees, expecting $350,000 in savings its first year and nearly $1 million per year by 2023
- Everett Fire received a three-year $1.6 million federal grant for an additional 10 first responders at Fire Station 6 and an additional aid unit
- Franklin will release a plan in 2020 to increase the police force to pre-recession staffing levels: a minimum of two officers per 1,000 Everett residents
- Two more electric buses, purchased with federal funds, will join the Everett Transit fleet in 2020, bringing the total to nine
- The Everett Animal Shelter has a new fundraising coordinator position that will generate new revenue to sustain shelter operations and care for shelter animals
- The Everett Essentials civic academy program will return in spring 2020
Franklin provided an update on public safety, including the City’s ongoing efforts to address homelessness, addiction and mental illness in Everett, and decreases in violent and property crimes in Everett over the last year. The proposed 2020 budget estimates a fully staffed police department, continues investments in the gang response unit and Community Outreach and Enforcement Team, and includes an additional motorcycle officer for traffic enforcement.
“Ensuring the people of Everett are safe is my top priority,” Franklin said. “That’s why over half of our proposed general fund expenditures will support investments in fire, police and other public safety programs.”
She also spoke about the need to address the affordable housing for all residents and provide a wide range of quality housing at all price points. More than 1,200 new units of housing are currently under construction or in the City’s permitting pipeline, including 266 new apartments in the Port of Everett’s Waterfront Place development and 295 residential units at the new riverfront development.
In closing, Franklin said the City continues its work on reducing the structural deficit while providing residents with quality services focused on shared priorities and future planning.
Public invited to provide comment
The first public hearing on the 2020 proposed budget and the first reading of the budget ordinance is scheduled for the Oct.30 City Council meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers (3002 Wetmore Ave.).
The full text of the mayor’s remarks is available on the City’s website. A video of the mayor’s address is available on the City’s YouTube channel.