Council reviews 2021 budget proposals for the first time, artist OKs Civic Park

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Seattle artist Clark Wiegman, top right, shares a photo of artwork he created for the installation at the entrance to Seattle’s Gas Works Park.

Edmonds City Council had its first public review on Tuesday night of city department directors’ proposals for the 2022 budget, and also approved an $ 18,000 contract with Seattle artist Clark Wiegman to design works by art for the renovated municipal park. Once the final design is approved, an additional contract will be submitted to the council to cover the fabrication and installation of the artwork.

The new Civic Park design by Walker Macy includes the location of a welcoming signature piece of art near the park’s main entry point on 6th Avenue North. During Tuesday night’s meeting, Wiegman met the board virtually and also presented photographs of his work.

The budget presentation began with remarks from Director of Administrative Services Dave Turley, who addressed concerns he had heard about the budget’s timing, including that it had been rushed. (See October 18 My Edmonds News comment from board member Diane Buckshnis here.) Turley said the city follows state law and accepts best practices in developing the 2022 budget, and added that the budget calendar is in the order of extended day of council since August 4.

“I’m a little surprised that this is being brought up now, that people are feeling rushed when you have had two months to find out,” he said.

“I just want the public and the media to know that there is nothing immoral about trying to pass a budget before Thanksgiving,” he said. Turley said that as long as he is CFO, he will submit a similar budget timeline, so people can focus on the budget before vacation distractions.

“My interest is to have a collaborative and efficient process that everyone understands,” he said.

Buckshnis responded that his concerns center on the board receiving the Capital Improvement Plan / Capital Facilities Plan (CIP / PFC) budget document much later than it was originally promised for. exam. This leaves little time for council members and citizens to hear the presentation and make comments, she said.

(During their budget retreat in May 2021, council members stressed the need to have discussions on the city’s PIC / CFP earlier in the budget process, as this work involves long-term planning and can inform budget priorities.)

In remarks ahead of Tuesday night’s budget presentations, Buckshnis and board member Vivian Olson raised another concern: Approval of the budget before Thanksgiving means whoever is elected on November 2 to the 2 position board seat. now owned by board member named Luke Distelhorst, would not have a chance to participate in the budgeting process. (The winning candidate – Janelle Cass or Will Chen – would take office after certification of the ballots later in November.)

Board member Laura Johnson countered that during the 2020 budgeting cycle, board members had to sort through 41 budget proposals in a six-hour meeting on December 10 – most had not been submitted in advance and therefore could not be considered by council members or voters.

“For me it was rushed, and you could argue it wasn’t as transparent as it could be,” Johnson said.

The Director of Administrative Services, Dave Turley, made a budget presentation Tuesday evening.

Turley then introduced the department heads to present their proposals. (Note that we are highlighting some items here, but you can see the complete list of budget packages on this link.)

Human ressources

– Increase funds for pre-employment medical assessments for the police department, $ 6,800

– Fund assessment centers to help recruit corporal and sergeant positions in the police services in 2022. $ 15,000

Administrative services

– Contract increases for municipal lawyer Lighthouse Law Group as well as for general counsel Zachor & Thomas. $ 35,300

– Adjustments to non-ministerial costs such as excise taxes, elections and voter registration, and Sno911. $ 74,689

– Increased maintenance costs for software that includes Zoom meetings and remote employees. $ 52,560

– Equipment maintenance costs. $ 26,700

Police

Edmonds Police Chief Michelle Bennett makes her presentation.

– Add a command post to establish mid-level management and adjust the remuneration of two other existing posts that will be converted into commanders. The recommended addition would allow the Edmonds PD organizational command structure to shift from Corporal to Sergeant, Commanding Officer, Deputy Chief to Chief. $ 266,385

– Purchase of body cameras and fleet cameras, as required by changes to the state police law. Includes hardware, software and personnel to manage additional data collection. $ 731,088

– Establish a maritime public security unit that includes the reinstatement of the police dive team, to assist in search and rescue, recovery and evidence search operations. $ 73,150

– Create a police service community engagement program that includes a volunteer program, community academy, young explorers program and volunteer reserve. This would be overseen by the ministry’s new community engagement officer, Tabatha Shoemake. $ 73,500

– Make security improvements at the perimeter of the police campus to encourage pedestrian movement around the perimeter rather than crossing it. $ 270,180

the mayor’s office

The director of economic development, Patrick Doherty, presents the mayor’s proposal for a person in charge of the Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion program.

– Hire a Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) program manager who would provide city-wide leadership to advance the goals of race, equity, diversity and inclusion. $ 155,677

Community services / economic development

– Increase the position of half-time information officer to a full-time position. $ 69,000

Development services

– A partnership between the city’s climate protection committee and Washington State University Extension to develop and implement a seven- to eight-week public education and action series. Each session will provide information on various aspects of climate change with information on discounts, programs and climate action opportunities specially designed for residents of Edmonds. $ 20,000

Rob Chave of Development Services discusses the proposed rooftop solar subsidy program.

– Rooftop Solar Grants Program focused on low and moderate income applicants. $ 150,000

Parks, Recreation and Culture Services

– Personal services, $ 534,500

Understand :

$ 81,000 for a full-time personal services administrative assistant
$ 50,000 for supplies such as blankets, toiletries, gas / bus cards, etc. and office supplies for the new division office
$ 175,000 in professional services (social worker’s annual contract and update of key evaluations to better inform decisions)
$ 500 travel reimbursement
$ 3,000 for communications (flyers, brochures, handouts, etc.)

– Responsible for the development of the park and capital projects. Routine services are provided by a contract employee. $ 119,840

– Creation of an ADA transition plan for the park installations. $ 120,000

Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Angie Feser talks about the ADA’s proposed transition plan for Edmonds Parks.

– Increase in leisure operating costs. $ 40,717

– Fleet replacement vehicle for a field arborist. $ 60,000

Public works and public services

– Third building maintenance operator for installations. $ 84,000

– Update the assessment of the condition of the facilities from 2018. $ 15,000

– Carpet cleaning throughout the city twice a year. $ 45,000

– Two new facility maintenance vehicles. $ 145,000

Director of Public Works and Utilities Phil Williams says purchasing new maintenance vehicles will solve the problem that staff now use personal vehicles for their jobs.

– Ongoing repair and maintenance of buildings. (This is a contingency fund for contingencies, separate from what is covered by previously approved bond financing.) $ 100,000

– Ongoing employee participation in the commute reduction program, which encourages employees to use transportation alternatives such as public transit and carpooling.

– An additional variable message sign. $ 30,000

– Support for community events to cover employee overtime. $ 40,000

– A consultant to conduct a review of utility rates and installation overheads – to recommend rates for the next three years. $ 120,000

– An update of the city’s overall stormwater plan. $ 300,000

– An update of the transport plan. $ 185,000

– Hiring of two additional full-time wastewater treatment plant operators. $ 214,000

– Installation of a new odor purifier in the municipal park designed to reduce odors coming from sewer pipes in neighboring neighborhoods. $ 297,000


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