McGinn’s 2014 budget: Record $1 billion spending plan

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SEATTLE — Mayor Mike McGinn on Monday presented his 2014 budget to the City Council, and it includes a lot of new spending.

McGinn says times are better now, and Seattle can afford to restore many of the cuts that have taken place in the past few years.

The favorable economy has generated more sales tax and other revenue, allowing the city’s General Fund budget to surpass $1 billion for the first time.  That’s a 7% increase over this year.

mcginn9McGinn has big plans for that new money, including road repairs ($37 million), new transit routes ($3.2 million), human services ($5.6 million), and public safety, including more cops. That’s something everyone seems to want.

“The budget I’m proposing today adds 15 more (police officers). That’s 42 more than officers than were authorized in 2012,” McGinn said.  “I understand that this is the highest authorized staffing level ever for our SPD.”

In a show of unity with City Council members that he is often at odds with, the mayor endorsed their plan for funding a program to bring universal preschool to all Seattle children.

Monday’s speech wasn’t just a long list of new spending.  The mayor also took a significant amount of time talking about his values and the fact that he’s focused on neighborhoods as much as downtown.

“While everyone cares about this city,” McGinn said, “we need to be careful that those with the money, the power, and influence don’t have the ability to put their thumbs on the scale for their priorities.”

City Council reaction was muted.  Tim Burgess, chairman of the council’s Budget Committee, cautioned about the new spending.

“There’s clearly no doubt that he wants to open the checkbook and open it really wide,” Burgess said.

Burgess, a former mayoral candidate who now supports McGinn’s opponent, state Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, in the November election, said the council will take a hard look at the mayor’s plans before it gives it the final approval.

“I think some of the programs, the crime prevention programs that he’s said he wants to expand, we don’t yet know if those programs are working or if they are effective,” Burgess said.

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1 Comment

  • AndyBlue

    Not with you McGinn. Your police chief resigns in shame. Your OPA director resigns in shame and unfortunately you didn't when the people realized you forced a year long federal investigation to tell us what YOU already knew about our non existed police accountability.

    McGinn should be in prison along with city council member Tim Burgess (the former cop) and safety committee chair during all these years of corruption throughout the police department. You tell me how having absolutely NO accountability went over this former cops head.

    They aided the biggest FRAUD ever committed on the citizens of Seattle and they are both still collecting a paycheck while we all pay dearly. And they BOTH approved retroactive raises for the entire Seattle Police department going back through 2011. Enjoy your children's overcrowded classrooms… Someone has to pay for this massive fraud and now it is cheating your children's education and future.