Everett Begins Making Major Cuts To Programs

April 22, 2020

Everett Government

Editor’s Update Saturday April 25th: Received word from Everett City Council member and chair of the Budget Committee, Scott Murphy. He wanted to make sure that citizens are aware that while the cuts in the amendment that the council voted on include actions through 2021 these are just assumptions and there is nothing legally binding that if funds were found or circumstances were to change that would keep the council from bringing back the programs cut for the 2021 budget.

On Thursday April 23rd Murphy even sent the administration the following message after the Mayor’s message was released.

“As budget chair, I tried to help clarify in the meeting yesterday (and my point was confirmed by Administration), the decisions made yesterday by the Council do not impact our 2021 budget as we have not even begun to work together on that budgeting process. This situation is unfolding rapidly, and while it may be necessary to continue certain 2020 cuts into 2021, I don’t want the public to incorrectly believe that those policy decisions have already been made. Perhaps any posting on the City’s website can be modified to more accurately reflect the Council action yesterday.”

At the meeting Murphy even offered an amendment which was seconded by Councilmember Stonecipher that would have tabled the vote a week to allow for more public notice and input. That amendment was voted down and the council passed the measure unanimously.

Original Post Wednesday April 22nd: Today the Everett City Council approved the first of what may be several cuts to popular City of Everett programs as the budget realities of the COVID-19 Pandemic begin to land. Some of the cuts made today…


The closures may keep coming.

Closing Forest Park Swim Center through 2021.

Closing Carl Gipson Senior Center through 2021.

Eliminating recreation programs, including, but not limited to: the Animal Farm, fitness and wellness classes, softball and baseball leagues, and sports and summer day camps.

Eliminating the annual Viva Color flower program and reducing the Jetty Island program.

Discontinuing a significant portion of municipal arts events and programs, including, but not limited to:

  • The Fourth of July parade and festival,
  • Music in Parks,
  • Cinema under the Stars,
  • Word on the Street,
  • Street Tunes,
  • Annual arts grants will be suspended,
  • Reducing library services,
  • Reducing labor and maintenance and operations costs.

    Everett, Washington Mayor Cassie Franklin issued the following statement about the cuts.

    “I am grateful to Council for supporting the very difficult budget reductions presented to them today.

    Cities across the country are faced with dire economic realities as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.

    Our workers are out of work. Our businesses are closed or operating at limited capacity.

    These circumstances are collectively taking a toll on the City’s revenue base.

    The City is facing a loss in revenue for 2020 that is currently forecast to range between $11.4 million and $21.1 million – and this could worsen.

    Today’s actions, painful as they were to make, were very necessary.

    The $3.4 million in General Fund reductions approved today reflect cuts in nearly every City department, with especially deep cuts to our Parks and Recreation and municipal arts programs.

    They build on cost-cutting measures already taken this year, such as reducing operational expenses and travel and training, and reductions in workforce through voluntary separation, furlough or layoffs.

    Though it’s tremendously difficult to lose valuable team members, shutter popular services and cancel fun summer events, these sacrifices are necessary to protect the City’s financial viability, and ability to deliver its core services.

    It is our hope that by acting quickly now to reduce losses, we can minimize the need for more drastic changes in the future.”

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