2015

Mayor Reynolds 2015 Budget Message

 

Dear Citizens of Enumclaw:

I’m delivering to you the finalized and adopted Enumclaw City budget for the year 2015. Although the City is required by state law to adopt a balanced budget, it is by no means to be interpreted as a healthy budget.

This budget reflects the continued financial struggles of balancing revenues with expenditures. Though we are in what appears to be a slow recovery to our local economy, the severe cutbacks from State and County funding sources continues to place a crippling financial strain upon our community. What was once financial collaboration between State and County government has now become an economic hardship upon us requiring our community to identify and fund the services that were once their responsibility. The City of Enumclaw’s Administration has been resourceful and diligent to curb costs through these tough times. Our staffing models though, are at minimum levels, having had to endure departmental cutbacks. We could not have financially survived the greatest Recession on record without our employees being a part of the solution for our economic survival.

I want to thank all the employees for their part in cutting costs and deeply appreciate the concessions from our Labor Unions for stepping up to assume more of their health care costs and for our non-union personnel and staff assuming increased workloads. Many times taking on multiple rolls entirely out of their departments responsibilities and I want to thank them for their willingness and dedication to do so. I also want to acknowledge and express my deepest gratitude for all the volunteers in our community who have made a difference… for without their collaboration many of the community services you see occurring would not exist.

My administrative staff and department heads continually strive to present the City Council with information to address the changes necessary to achieve long term sustainability for our community. The emphasis to council was “Let’s Rebuild Enumclaw together “…

This action required a team approach to put into place the long range financial planning strategies needed in order to transform city core service operations into a model of sustainability.

No longer can we assume or rest comfortably thinking our State and County governments will financially be there for us. So, we must take these matters into our own hands while never forgetting to live within our means.

Stability towards sustainability begins with development of a financial model and execution of subsequent steps with a “stick to” attitude that will enable us to focus and create a funding mechanism that will zero in on the target of core services. This strategy is vital to positioning Enumclaw in the arena that will allow us to be more competitive in the job market. Providing quality core services can help bring new jobs. New jobs attract new families and new families begin to turn the wheel of economic growth in many areas. When we, as your elected officials, can proudly stand and say we have reached stability and sustainability with our fundamental core services then we can move onto the next goal.

If we are unable to adequately respond to and address the required core functions of being a city, such as providing a properly staffed police force, providing financially healthy utilities, instituting a sustainable street maintenance program, and providing the vital infrastructure replacement needs, then we as elected official are letting you down.

My staff put a considerable amount of thought, time and energies into this budget and I thank them for their expertise. And while this budget does hit on some positive notes related to the uptick in Puget Sound area recovery, it also required your council to make some tough financial decisions.

I would like to thank the Enumclaw City Council for their bold leadership in recognizing the need to use banked property tax capacity to address a portion of the structural deficit in the General Fund. Raising taxes is not popular, but unintended consequences of the 2012 property tax rollback needed to be addressed. Council went even further, eliminating funding from some outside agencies that relied on city funding when times were more prosperous. Our existing staffing model and service levels remain at a dangerously low level; without a correction the ripple effect felt by members of the community would have continued if difficult funding decisions and policies were not made…but they were, and I am thankful for the efforts of all involved.

 

The following items are what I believe the 2015 budget will be able to accomplish.

 1. Adequately Fund and Maintain the Essential Core Services for the City

2. Protect and Enhance the City’s Fiscal Health and Stability

3. Address Capital Infrastructure and Public Facilities Needs

4. Be Responsive to Development Proposals and Accommodate much needed Community Growth

5. Provide for Economic Development in a Smart and Effective Manner and Produce Measurable Results

 6. Sustain and Enhance a High Quality of Life that is Outlined in the Updated Comprehensive Plan

 I remain dedicated to this community, to guide us forward and am always grateful and willing to work alongside for the betterment of the community as a whole.

 

Best wishes always,
Mayor Liz

 

 

Click here to download the 2015 Final Budget