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Fewer Layoffs In McGinn's 2013 Budget

Liz Jones

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn Monday rolled out his budget plan for next year. It sets aside more money for new police officers, librarians and for the city's rainy–day fund. And, it calls for a lot fewer layoffs than in recent years, as KUOW's Liz Jones reports.


This is McGinn's third annual budget proposal since he took office in 2010.

His two previous plans called for job cuts in the triple digits. But this one targets just 39 layoffs of city staff. It also aims to add new jobs: that includes 10 new police officers, a few dozen library staff and more people to process building permits.

The Mayor also wants to do more to prevent youth violence. So, he's proposing more after school and night hours at some community centers. McGinn says these investments are possible, in part, because more tax revenue is coming in.

McGinn: So, we're having economic success here and it looks good. And for the first time we have a budget where we're not just making cuts but we have the opportunity to make investments — modest in relation to the need — but investments in future of this city."

McGinn's budget closes a projected shortfall of about $30 million.

As with past budgets, the Mayor is proposing some fee increases — this time at city–owned parking garages and swimming pools. The budget also calls for a new, $4–entry fee at the Volunteer Park Conservatory.

During the recession, the city's also depleted its rainy–day fund. McGinn proposes to restore it to its pre–recession level by 2014.

It's now up to the City Council pass a final budget by the end of the year. It's already scheduled a few hearings next month to get public input.

I'm Liz Jones, KUOW News.

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