Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon submitted a $201 million General Fund Executive Proposed Budget on Friday containing no service cuts or employee layoffs.
The General Fund budget proposal is based on three guiding principles: maintaining current service levels, preventing further general fund layoffs and matching current year expenditures with continued, conservative revenue projections.
“Our taxpayers deserve predictability and reliability regarding the government services they fund,” Reardon said. “Second, I believe it is crucial that a sense of normalcy and certainty be maintained within county government itself. Lastly, this approach ensures that this county is positioned stronger than any other in the region to regain economic momentum and recover from this recession.”
For this budget to work, Reardon said all county departments must achieve managed savings goals as they have during 2009 along with continued furloughs and personnel-cost savings. At the request of each independent countywide elected official, Reardon has begun or has requested negotiations with every employee bargaining unit regarding personnel-cost savings through 2010.
“Despite the difficulty of this task, our managers, both elected and appointed, have demonstrated beyond every measure that it is possible and that it works,” Reardon said.
The General Fund budget is part of a larger $608 million overall county budget that contains fee and revenue-driven funds. A decrease in revenues and workloads may impact some fee-supported positions found in the consolidated budget.
Snohomish County, like all governments nationwide, continues to suffer from decreased revenues. Sales tax collections remain flat and are expected to be 14 percent below 2007 levels. Property tax collections also will be less in 2010.
Yet, Snohomish County’s cost-savings through the year have allowed it to keep parks open, prevent necessary human services from closing and prepare for new growth as the economy improves.
“We, today, begin our ascendance and take critical steps to protect our local economy from further erosion while providing the services our residents demand,” Reardon said.
To review the 2010 Executive Proposed Budget summary, go to www.snoco.org and search “2010 budget.”