Mayor Woodward releases 2022 draft budget
Brian Coddington, Director of Communications, 509.625.6740
Monday October 4, 2021 at 4:22 p.m.
Mayor Nadine Woodward’s draft budget based on 2022 priorities prioritizes funding for public safety, homelessness, housing and economic development and maintains basic service levels while balancing impacts on the continuing income caused by the pandemic.
Woodward proposed increased spending on investments in police training, an on-the-ground partnership between officers and behavioral health specialists, reduced wait times for police public record requests, the support for victims of violent crime and human trafficking, additional resources for downtown and neighborhood clean-up and staffing to support the decrease in the length of residence permits and the increase in housing supply. She also proposed organizational investments in diversity, equity and inclusion, public access to government, and prioritization and improvement of cybersecurity needs.
“We have taken a prudent and thoughtful approach to spending to meet service expectations while being realistic about the continued revenue impacts resulting from the pandemic,” Woodward said when announcing the budget proposal. âThe investments you see are strategic, small, and in many cases a first step.
Income projections for 2022 provide mixed news. While the forecast revenue of nearly $ 215.6 million for the general fund represents an increase of 5.9% over the revenue currently projected in 2021, there is still $ 5.3 million below the trend of pre-COVID income.
Woodward will continue to work on the budget over the next few weeks to release a final budget proposal on November 1. This will include continuing discussions with City Council to further work on common priorities and remaining open items and discuss funding strategies that are consistent with organizational budgeting principles that only allocate one-time money to one-off expenses and live within the means of the City.
She will focus in particular on a handful of key talking points, including further refining resource allocations for the homeless, sustainable firefighting operations, and protecting the city’s finances from the continued impact. pandemic, and the strategic uses of federal pandemic relief funds to cover the city once. needs or fill funding gaps.