Virtual Meeting Highlights:
The Council met from 7:30pm - 11pm. League Observe believes attendance and approval of prior meetings minutes took place before she logged in.
Members Present: Mayor Angela Birney, Councilmembers Tanika Kumar Padhye, Jeralee Anderson (President), David Carson (Vice-President), Steve Fields, Jessica Forsythe, Varisha Khan, Vanessa Kritzer.
Presentation on 2021-22 Budget
First up was a presentation by the Finance Dep. Director Kelley Cochran on the 2021-26 Financial Forecast. First she
spoke to how they made up for the $6 million gap this year due to the virus. They eliminated 9 vacant
positions and took reductions in a variety of services.
There is planned $202 million general fund revenue for 2021 - 22. Taxes make up 61% of this revenue. The
State-shared revenue portion is at risk because the State has its own budget issues due to the virus.
Operating Expenses are predominantly Salaries and Benefits at 65% of total operating expenses.
Budget risks include:
1. Sales tax collections because sales are down.
2. State-shared revenue and
3. Utility tax revenue, which is also down as businesses are vacant and/or employees are working from home.
Business license renewals took place in Feb./Mar. so they were normal this year, but there is a
planned drop of 14% for next year.
CM Forsythe: Wanted to know where the shared revenue goes.
Answer from Cochran: This is mandated. Marijuana revenue goes to public safety. Motor Vehicle tax revenue goes to maintenance of streets. Criminal justice revenue goes to public safety. One percent property tax increase planned is $260,000. One percent is the max increase allowed in any given year.
Cochran said things keeping her up at night were how odd the recession is (business is down but development is still ongoing and strong); and trying to figure out how to maintain services when ongoing revenue is decreasing.
CM Khan: We need to look at other revenue generating opportunities to cover the 2021 - 2022 gap of
$13 million. Not just look at expenditure cuts.
CM Fields: Agreed with Khan and said we also need to restructure the business license fees. Recreation revenue was down by $3 million, a 48% decrease due to the virus, not having classes. Fields said he was wondering how difficult it would be to restart the rec programs if they continue to be cancelled. Will there be staffing issues, expertise lost?
Utilities revenue will be down in 2021 - 2022 due to lack of water demand from commercial customers. In May, demand dropped 70%, now at about 40%. It was also noted that Redmond purchases 60% of their water from Cascade Alliance each year at a fixed amount.
The budget will be presented on Oct. 6, followed by reviews and a final budget for approval on December 1.
Next up was an open discussion on the development of legislative priorities for Redmond for 2021. The city lobbyist reviewed some of the priorities from this year and suggested the council agree on four to six for the upcoming year. That there would be better chances of success if we limit our focus and maximise our resources.
Many different suggestions were put forth by various council members.
- How do we transition when the moratorium on evictions is lifted;
- Carbon tax;
- Ban on neck holds;
- Mental health
- Community response
- Extension of rent increase freeze / lift ban on rent control
- Climate change
A draft will be compiled in October for review in Nov. and approval Dec. 1.
(9:43 - 9:50 break)
Housing Action Plan
This was only an information update on the approach and goals for the plan - no plan was presented. The questions the council asked last time were in attachments they received.
CM Kritzer: Asked that when the plan is presented it include an environmental impact/sustainability
piece. In November the draft of housing strategies will be presented for review, adjustments and plan to be
adopted in April 2021.
The council statement drafted by Fields and Forsythe was discussed. It is called a Climate Emergency Declaration. Council members had only gotten the draft that day and requested more time to review and make comments. The purpose of the declaration is to provide a sense of urgency, put mobilisation in Mayor’s court and state the importance to work with other communities.
Council Talk Time
Last on the agenda was council talk time. Council members needed to apply for participation in
various Sound Cities Association ("SCA") meetings. The due date is Oct 4. It is important that they organise application because only one council member can serve on a specific committee. If two accidentally apply, both will be excused from that particular committee.