StoryMetropolitan King County Council Budget Chair Julia Patterson and Councilmember Larry Gossett, members of the Council’s Budget Leadership Team, today released this statement in response to County Executive Constantine’s announcement on proposed cuts to public safety in his proposed 2011 Budget:
“Today’s announcement by the Executive of the proposed cuts in public safety are a stark realization of concerns that have been raised throughout the year. This spring, Sheriff Rahr warned our Budget Committee of the difficult choices she would have to make because of our budget crisis.
“In the last two budgets we have cut the general fund by $150 million. We have eliminated programs and found ways to work smarter with less. But the simple fact is that another $60 million must be cut. All that is left are reductions that will have real impacts on the services that by law we are required to provide.
“The Executive’s proposed cuts exemplify the economic crisis that is facing King County government. We will continue to work on finding more efficiencies, but the reality is, there is no way to mitigate the cuts we are going to have to make in our criminal justice agencies.
“We are determined to review the Executive’s proposal and scour it for every possible reduction we can find, but everyone has to prepare for the pain these reductions will cause. Now is the time for letting the Council know what your priorities are.”