Council prioritizes public safety but cuts King County Fair and 4-H
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council today unanimously adopted a 2010 King County Budget that prioritized public safety by cutting less than one percent from criminal justice agencies, maintained the sexual assault and domestic violence safety net and balanced a $200 million deficit in the Metro budget without cutting services.
“I’ve been saying since the beginning of the year that this budget must prioritize public safety,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “We have done that in this budget and that’s why it received my vote.”
Unfortunately, the King County Executive and organized labor could not come to an agreement about salary and benefits savings and thus the Council was forced to dip into reserves to fill an additional $6 million budget hole.
“Spending reserves to balance the budget is not sustainable,” said Dunn. “For another year King County has failed to address the structural budget gap created by too much spending and not enough revenue. Everyone is talking about the structural budget gap being a revenue problem. There is another side to that equation – spending. I’m hopeful that a new Executive can begin to address the main driver of the general fund, which is salaries and benefits.”
Dunn also expressed disappointment that the Council failed to fund the King County Fair and a partnership with the Washington State Cooperative Extension to fund 4-H.
“The King County Fair and the 4-H program are so important to the citizens and youth of my district,” said Dunn. “I am very disappointed that the Council could not find a way to fund them–but I’m not done fighting. The Council should continue looking for ways to fund these programs.”
The King County budget will now go to new County Executive Dow Constantine for his signature.