City Council Applauds Budget Proposal

City Manager John Caulfield presented the proposed 2011-2012 Biennial Budget to the Mountlake Terrace City Council on Monday night.

The budget presentation was largely focused on the fact that the City of Mountlake Terrace has been able to maintain essential city services that citizen’s have come to expect even in the current economic downturn.

“The city’s effectiveness in managing its financial resources during one of the most difficult economic times in several generations is a very positive reflection upon our organization,” said City Manager John Caulfield. “This is due to the prudent financial discipline practiced by the City Council, such as having a balanced budget, staying the course with our six-year financial forecast and a continued focus to live within our means.”

The city’s operating budget, which provides the community’s most basic services such as police, fire, building inspections, recreation and parks maintenance, is expected to be flat when compared to 2010 and 2011. Operating expenditures are projected to decrease by 0.9% in 2011 followed by an increase of 1.9% in 2012.

“While most local governments throughout the Puget Sound region and United States are feeling the impact of the current economic volatility, our residents and businesses can look to the city with confidence to provide the infrastructure and the range of services desired by our community,” Caulfield said.

“We have been able to go above basic services and expand our capital improvement and economic development programs so that we are well-positioned to accommodate redevelopment and revitalization opportunities in the community when the economy improves,” added Caulfield.

“We need to recognize this momentous occasion,” Mayor Pro Tem Laura Sonmore commented, “We have a balanced budget in economic hard times when other cities are laying off and cutting services. “ We’re taking a strategic approach to maintaining a balanced budget.”

The City Manager went over several of the ways that the City has been able to “trim the fat” from the City’s expenditures. Some of these were $400,000 savings by eliminating management positions since 2006, $300,000 savings by implementing best management practices in management of city vehicles since 2009 and $250,000 savings per year by contracting out custodial work that was previously done in-house.

“It’s a marvel,” Councilmember John Zambrano said.

I hope citizens listening are encouraged to invest in our city. We have the best staff and services and are financially stable. This is beyond my wildest dreams. You have made Mountlake Terrace the envy of this area.

“When I first got involved in the community, you were holding public meetings on the Comprehensive and Town Center Plans,” said Councilmember Doug McCardle. I was looking at the goals and objectives and noticed how much the staff and council was behind the goals. The plans were set and not put on a shelf. That’s one of the big reasons we are where we are. It cast a vision of where citizens wanted to see Mountlake Terrace go.”

Councilmember Rick Ryan added

When talking about the budget…I’m proud to say I’m from Mountlake Terrace.

Mayor Jerry Smith led the council in giving a round of applause for the City Manager and City staff for the achievement.

The Council will hold a series of budget meetings in October, followed by public hearings in November. The Council is expected to adopt a budget for the 2011-2012 biennium in November.

[box type=”download”]Click here to view the budget presentation (PDF, 3.3MB)[/box]

(Image: brass scales, a Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from dorkymum’s photostream)

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