remarks by Mayor Ava Frisinger delivered as part of the presentation of the
2006 Proposed budget to the City Council on
Mayor Frisinger presented the 2006 Proposed Budget to Council on October 3, 2005. Her message to Council and the citizens of Issaquah follows:
am pleased to present the Administration’s fiscal year 2006 proposed
Operating and Capital Budget. Brighter
economic times let us make greater investments in our City’s services.
We are in a strong position to provide for community needs in public
safety, the environment, traffic, infrastructure, parks, and open space.
The Administration’s Budget recommendations reflect community values
and needs, and the Council’s adopted priorities.
are some of the coming year’s important opportunities and challenges.
It is imperative to maintain a strong and protective police force.
The number of calls for service has grown as our town has.
This Budget adds two new police officers to protect our community.
addition, I propose further investments to add to our police officer’s
safety and operational effectiveness through computer technology upgrades.
Proposed 2006 Budget continues our commitment to the environment, clean water,
protecting our streams, and protecting our salmon and our open spaces.
Our partnership in the Hope Creek Restoration moves forward while we
continue to monitor recent improvements to the
have made significant transportation progress in the past three years. It
wasn’t long ago that both ends of Gilman, at SR 900 and
investments in public improvements are:
of these investments is based on our community values and needs.
We are able to do these because of our responsible fiscal stewardship
of public tax dollars. Over the
past years, this Administration consistently has been prudent with spending
and has built up a very strong reserve. 2006 will continue in this direction.
the financial front, the Proposed Budget represents a 4.1% increase in
expenditures which is primarily for the Police and Parks service improvements
I have highlighted. Our revenues
continue to grow with a 6.1% increase over 2005.
inflation costs are up 2.3%, and to maintain our Police, Fire and other vital
services, and to offset inflation’s impact, the budget includes a minimal 1%
increase in the property tax collection.
Let me repeat this. It is
an increase in the collection. During
the past eight years, the City property tax rate has gone down from
$2.37/$1,000 of assessed valuation to $1.60/$1,000, which represents a
decrease of 32.5% (almost a third). This
budget also includes a number of water, sewer and stormwater improvement
projects, but no utility rate increases are being proposed.
The City has been innovative/creative in substantially reducing the
cost of the main utility project for 2006, the West Downtown Trunk Sewer Line,
cutting the cost nearly in half.
summary, the Administration’s proposed Budget is balanced, fiscally prudent,
and responsible. And it
anticipates our ending cash reserves at 19.8% of the year’s budgeted
expenditures, close to double the high end of the Council’s goal.
Our experience over the past four years has been one of exceeding
budgeted projections significantly. I
expect that to occur again in 2006.
face some challenges and some work to be done.
If passed this year, Initiative I-912 will affect the financing plan
for Issaquah’s ITS project. As
Council is aware, the ITS project is a voter approved bond project for which
we received a $1.5 million grant from the State.
This grant funding will be used to reduce the bond amount. However, if
I-912 is approved and the state revisits its funding priorities, there will be
$8 billion in projects and $3 billion in funding.
No matter what happens with I-912, ITS is fully funded and proceeding
as scheduled toward completion.
will be having two annexation votes this coming November, one in Klahanie and
the other in South Cove/Greenwood Point.
If successful, these annexations will add more than 14,000 new
residents. We will have much work
ahead in transitioning services from
conclusion, Issaquah is a strong community with a solid foundation and a great
history from which to move forward. And
the budget I present tonight builds on that foundation and our community
values. I look forward to working
with the Council and community in the coming year.