Everett Still Facing Long Term Budget Deficits

May 11, 2016

Everett, Everett Government

Long term budget deficits linger as Everett struggles with priorities…

budget deficit

There’s a $9 million dollar gap in the budget for 2018 growing to $15 million dollars in 2020

Today the Everett City Council budget committee heard that while things look good this year and next there’s a nine million dollar deficit in the budget for 2018, a 12 million dollar deficit in 2019 and a 15 million dollar deficit in 2020.
Paul Kaftanski, who was tapped by Mayor Stephanson in 2013 to lead a Structural Deficit Advisory Team of city employees to find ways to decrease spending and increase revenues, gave a report to the budget committee this afternoon that says while the budget will be balanced in 2016 and 2017 due to increased fees and a recovering economy, there remains structurally, a long term deficit.

In an address to the Everett City Council on March 19th of 2014 the Mayor explained the situation facing the city and that hard decisions would have to be made. Here is that entire speech.

3.19.14 Everett Mayor Budget Address to Everett City Council

On April 2nd, 2014 Kaftanski laid out options for cuts in services and increases in revenue. Here is that outline.

In 2014 Everett went ahead and made several fee adjustments including raising car tabs by $20.00 to pay for road overlay programs, increased the business license fee, upped mitigation and development fees and eliminated the bookmobile and lifeguards at Silver Lake.

The City also ordered studies of Everett Transit, the Everett Police Department and Everett Fire Department to find efficiencies in their operations. More than $66,000.00 was spent with a firm called Fitch and Associates to study the Everett Fire Department. That study has now been put on the shelf. During the budget meeting today Everett Chief Financial Officer Debra Bryant reported the city is in a very chilling place with the firefighters contract negotiations and said they are being fought on every front but doesn’t want to air that in a public forum. “Fitch is on hold,” said Bryant.

The study of the Everett Police Department is now on a long-term hold as there are 22 vacancies left to fill and with the new social workers and other changes in the police department it’s thought now is not a good time for an efficiency study.

Kaftanski advised the budget committee that the city needs to decide what priorities it has for capital projects and services. “Services drive capital investment and staffing,” said Kaftanski. “Vision is community driven.”

City council member Brenda Stonecipher mentioned she’s had several people say okay we’re paying more now but what is the city doing and said she’d like to see some concrete plans from the administration on spending.

Budget chair Jeff Moore said he wants the committee to hold a workshop to explore exactly where the city’s finances are and discuss future options.

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About myeverettnews

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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6 Responses to “Everett Still Facing Long Term Budget Deficits”

  1. anon Says:

    We’re like Detroit!

    Remember this city buys expensive trash cans that get vandalized by the trash people. Then those trash people leave their babies in them trash cans. Then the city spends a lot of money catering to them trash people instead of taking care of it’s regular non- trash people citizens. And for whatever reason, those non-trash people vote trash people in to be their city council members, and be the voice of them. Then they come up with ridiculous ideas to help out the trash people.

    Can we get a non-garbage person to represent us, and set priorities? I’ll do it for free!

    It’s a big trash people circle. It pays to be be garbage. Livin’ in the garbage dump.

  2. Kay Says:

    I absolutely LOVE this site – we actually GET some information! Interesting article … my thoughts: they take away a lifeguard from a busy park that families use in the summer months, i.e., a seasonal expense – yet continue to pay Highlighted Hair Ray’s ‘spokesperson’ in the $80K annual range?! There is no need for a spokesperson Ray – get real. The city is in dire condition on every level, and there is no amount of spin your ‘spokesperson’ can do to pretty up. Eliminate that position and between salary and benefits, that is a HUGE savings. I personally would far prefer to pay for public safety than someone speaking on your behalf! Priorities messed up much?! Seattle is a huge city – where is their spokesperson?! Oh wait – their MAYOR considers that to be HIS job!! Just what is it that this guy does other than show up for photo op’s at Boeing every couple of months?!!

    • anon Says:

      His Majesty in Seattle is an idiot. He wastes more taxpayer money than anyone! Him and his stupid friends is the New England Patriots to the NFL. A bunch of dirty cheats who get away with it every time, then everyone falls in love with them again for whatever GD reason.

  3. Bourne Says:

    Recovering economy ?
    This is a democrat slight of hand trick right?

  4. HILLARY Says:

    What great article that will probably only be see here, thanks Lee. As for all the brain dead sheep out there this is your crystal ball.