SPOKANE -- Spokane Mayor David Condon delivered his first State of the City address during Monday night’s city council meeting.
Mayor Condon calls his budget proposal a “no-growth” budget. He says he’s spent months determining how to wipe out a $10 million deficit. The city says Condon has been listening to Spokane residents to see what’s most important to them when it comes to the budget.
The proposal holds expenses flat and is balanced. It overcomes a projected shortfall of about $10 million.
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.
Mayor Condon turned over his budget proposal almost a month early. Since the mayor is handing in his budget proposal early, it may give the city more time to evaluate and consider what he’s calling for.