Everett Budget Deficit Jumps From $13 Million To $18 Million For 2021

August 13, 2020

Everett Government

Everett is trying to make sure the public is involved in all aspects of the budget process.

Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic the City of Everett, Washington was facing a $13 million dollar budget deficit for 2021. Today during a public Question and Answer session on social media, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin revealed that gap has grown to $18 million dollars.

Back in April the Everett City Council voted approval of $3.4 million dollars in immediate cuts to the city’s general fund covering most of the departments in the city. At the time Mayor Franklin said the following.

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.”

Many of those cuts were earmarked to continue into 2021 but at that time City Council budget chair Scott Murphy cautioned that no decisions were set in stone for 2021. Here is what he told MyEverettNews.com in April.

“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.”

Now is the time where the 2021 budget is being considered. At next Wednesday’s Everett City Council meeting (August 19th) the city administration will present a list of options to balance the 2021 budget. (by Charter the City of Everett must pass a balanced budget prior to the start of each new year) Starting in September there will be multiple opportunities for the public to weigh in on what is important, what should stay and what should go. Here is a list of meetings and important dates in the upcoming budget process through the end of the year.

budget

Click to enlarge chart.

Earlier this month the city released a public participation plan that outlines methods the City will use to inform, engage, listen and respond about its fiscal year 2021 budget planning process and multiple opportunities for the community to provide input.

The city is also developing an area on its website for the public to stay up to date on the 2021 budget process.



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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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