remarks by Mayor Ava Frisinger delivered as part of the presentation of the 2005
proposed budget to the City Council on
October 4, 2004
evening to the people of Issaquah and Honorable Members of the Issaquah City
Council. I am pleased to
present this Administrationís proposed fiscal year 2005 budget.
budget addresses our communityís core issues consistent with local service
needs and our Councilís adopted policy priorities.
it addresses these needs responsibly through steady financial stewardship
and strong budget controls.
last three years have been particularly challenging for Issaquah as we have
felt the pressure of infrastructure needs, population growth, and a national
few examples of our needs: In addition to aging infrastructure in need of
repair and replacement, our sewer, water, streets, and storm water systems
inventory has increased by 30 percent in the last two years.
Parks acreage increased by 55 percent this year and will have
increased by 70 percent in 2005. Of
course, Parks expansion is an asset to Issaquah and one we will maintain for
at the City, have worked hard over the past three years to meet the
challenges of a weak economy. With
strong financial stewardship by this administration and strong budget
controls, our departments continue to provide high quality services and
projects to this community.
will take this opportunity to introduce some of the dedicated public
servants of Issaquah: Jim Blake, Finance Director; Bob Brock; Public Works
Engineering Director; Steve Cozart, Deputy Chief of Police; Bret Heath,
Director Public Works Operations; Mark Hinthorne, Director Planning; Leon
Kos, City Administrator; Anne McGill, Parks and Recreation Director; Joe
Meneghini, Deputy Administrator; and John Minato, Building Official.
I thank you, everyone, for implementing the policy direction of our
Council during tough times.
does this budget do? This
budget enters 2005 with a beginning fund balance of $3,600,000 (an amount
equal to 15.3% of the yearís total budgeted expenditure), a balance built
up through strict budget controls over the past three years.
Based on projected revenues and expenditures in 2005, we will
end the year with $3,200,000 (13.6 percent of budgeted expenditures, well
above the Councilís minimum 8 percent goal).
The increases over last yearís operating level reflect an increase
in the street fund subsidy, the newly created Municipal Court, insurance
premium costs, and the 2 percent cost-of living adjustment for our city
employees. [Projected revenues
are 7.7 percent higher: expenditures are 7.5 percent higher.]
Cityís Capital Improvement fund continues our strong progress with
improvements to our street, sewer, water, and storm water systems.
A few key projects: the Juniper Street Bridge replacement; the I-90
Undercrossing; SE 56th Street/East Lake Sammamish; and $2,000,000
of storm water improvements. We
are investing over $8,000,000 in transportation improvements. Issaquah
continues to lead in successfully securing grants to fund our capital
projects (such as the Rainier Bridge replacement), with more grants per
capita than any other city in the state.
want to highlight one particular area: the proposed ITS (Intelligent
Transportation System) project which goes to the voters for bond approval
next month. This project
focuses on improved traffic mobility by enhancing and speeding up traffic
flow within our city through modernizing and synchronizing our traffic
signals. This is a wide-ranging, significant step forward for our
local transportation system.
continue our strong commitment to the environment with the Squak Valley Park
restoration along Issaquah Creek and we take a further step toward a better
environment with the proposed purchase of a hybrid car replacement for use
as a fleet pool vehicle at City Hall.
crucial focus of 2004, which we advance in 2005, is Emergency Operations and
Readiness. Issaquah opened its
new Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in 2004 and secured several homeland
security grants. Our EOC and
our emergency services providers, our Police Department continue in their
readiness to serve the community.
this budget speaks to our City Councilís expectations.
Last year, as part of their deliberations, the City Council listed
decisions and actions they expected of the Administration. I will speak of
but one of the many expectations we have met. Over the years, the
Administration, has sought better ways to do our work and has undertaken
reorganizations to allow us to act more efficiently and more cost
effectively. We do this on a
continuing basis. This year,
for example, we have reorganized Parks and Recreation, Information and
Administrative Services, Public Works Engineering, and Finance with
significant cost reductions.
City of Issaquah continues to provide high quality services and projects.
This 2005 budget provides the
services and projects this community expects without an increase in our
property tax rate or utility rates. Active financial management by the
Administration has allowed us to maintain high bond ratings as a City.
This directly benefits our tax payers whom will save $726,000 over
the next nine years because the City repaid an outstanding bond issue ahead
difficult economic challenges, we continue to provide a broad range of high
quality services to our community, thanks to the sound financial management
expected of us and provided by our departments.
I look forward to working with the City Council through the 2005
budget process and invite the publicís involvement in crafting our fiscal
plan for the coming year.