Citing Budget Woes Everett Mayor Offering Employees Early Retirement

March 19, 2020

Everett Government

Council

The Everett City Council and Mayor Franklin..

Social Distancing was on display at the Everett City Council chambers Wednesday night.

It was a bit of a challenge for Everett City Council members as they began working out the details of how to hold a city council meeting with half the council present in the council chambers and the other half on the phone.

Next week all council members will meet by phone or video conference. Here is more on that from the city.

AS A PRECAUTION AGAINST SPREADING COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS), THE CITY WILL BE CONDUCTING THE WEEKLY COUNCIL MEETINGS REMOTELY. THE COUNCIL CHAMBERS WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO VIEW THE MEETINGS. DURING THE MEETINGS, WE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTING PUBLIC COMMENTS OR ALLOWING THE PUBLIC TO SPEAK IN PERSON. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO PROVIDE YOUR COMMENTS IN WRITING BEFORE THE MEETING AT COUNCIL@EVERETTWA.GOV. COUNCIL MEETINGS CAN BE WATCHED ON THE EVERETT CHANNELS OR ON-LINE THROUGH THE CITY’S WEB PAGE AT WWW.EVERETTWA.GOV/CITYCOUNCIL.March 25, 2020 Council meeting beginning at 12:30 p.m

In spite of the challenges there were some significant developments at the meeting

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Due to budget worries the Mayor has announced a plan to immediately reduce the city workforce. The hope is to save at least seven hundred thousand dollars. In what is called a Voluntary Separation Program – most city employees with two years of service or more can enroll in early separation and receive extended health care and severance payments.

The Mayor says she expects 30 to 40 employees to take advantage of the program. Police and Fire are exempt from the plan with the exception of Everett Police Management Association members who could participate.

You can see the details of the program here: Voluntary Separation

The Everett City Council is holding off on public comments and a final vote on the proposal to increase the number of retail marijuana stores from five to eight. Council President Tuohy advised the matter would be brought before council when they were back to normal operations in order to allow all those who had public comment on either side of the issue to weigh in. Council member Vogeli expressed frustration with the delay and offered to read public comments aloud. Mayor Franklin advised that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and needed response they were only allowing the most urgent items on the council agenda in order to maximize the time of staff who are stretched thin with many working remotely and concentrating on budget and public health and safety issues.

The Everett City Council ratified the request of the Mayor to postpone residential evictions for a period of 30 days in order to try keep people from being put onto the streets during a pandemic. The vote was unanimous with council members Bader and Murphy expressing serious regrets.

Editor’s note: After the story was published council member Murphy contacted MyEverettNews.com to say he and council member Bader had serious concerns over the proposal and did not agree with our use of the term regret. “My concern is that landlords are being asked to shoulder a burden that is not of their own making,” said Murphy. “I was willing to vote for this based on the limited 30 day window, I have concern over this but did not use the term regret.” My apologies for the mischaracterization. Leland Dart – Publisher.



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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