Northwest NEWS

November 25, 2002

Local News

City of Bothell Council adopts 2003/2004 budget

On Monday, Nov. 18, the Bothell City Council approved their first biennium budget for the years 2003/2004.
   According to the City this budget has been extremely difficult to balance due to the reduction of revenue projections which are $2 million less than the 2002 revenue level. The 2003/2004 biennial budget represents a decrease of nearly 10% when compared to 2001-2002. The City's total budget for 2003/2004 is $108,564,731.The Current Fund budget for 2003/2004 is $57,676,569.
   In preparing the budget recommendation for the Council's consideration, the Executive Leadership Team collectively:
   Ranked the services the City provides to identify core and non-core services
   Trimmed unnecessary items from the budget
   Reduced resources to improve efficiencies and/or to reduce the level of service
   Restructured internally to create efficiencies
   Took a hard look at what services the City provides and determined which services are critical or mandated and which are discretionary
   Explored service delivery options
   Utilized public input and the recent survey to build a strategic budget over the two year period. At the Nov. 18 meeting the City Council decided to not increase taxes to the citizens but to reduce expenditures. The City Council stated they will look for future funding opportunities to build a stronger revenue base.
   The elimination of twelve positions comes from reductions in staffing from all departments.
   Other reductions come from decreased funding for overtime, training and miscellaneous operational costs. Staff is currently looking at the new staffing levels and anticipates making changes to continue to modify existing services, establishing new processes and groupings of staff to continue to provide quality services within the organization. One example is to eliminate the multiple entrances to City Hall and establish one entrance combining the receptionists' duties.
   "In the past, organizations have been asked to reduce expenditures but continue providing the same programs. The result is poor overall performance. The citizens of Bothell deserve better and we are committed to providing excellent service to our citizens," states City Manager Thompson.
   Some of the areas where services were eliminated or reduced include recreational programs, community events, crime prevention, development and permitting services, parks maintenance along with internal services.
   The City has been working with local businesses and organizations to partner with or take over some of the programs. The Greater Bothell Association has stated they want to work with City staff to provide assistance for local community events and a local church is considering taking over the City's preschool program.
   "It's nice to live in a community where the community members step forward to help when help is needed", states Mayor Bob Bandarra. "The community has always been a strong community which is what makes Bothell such a wonderful place to live."