Lynnwood tackles budget shortfall

  • Sun Apr 4th, 2010 10:02pm
  • News

By Oscar Halpert Herald Writer

LYNNWOOD — The City Council will look for ways to blunt a worst-case-scenario $4.8 million shortfall during a 7 p.m. work session today at City Hall, 19100 44th Ave. W.

“Each council member was told to bring their ideas in three areas: cuts, transfers and revenue increases,” Council President Ted Hikel said.

The economic recession has cut deeply into sales taxes, one of the city’s main sources of income. From 2008 to 2009, sales tax collections dropped $3.2 million or more than 17 percent.

Tensions escalated during a March 17 budget workshop. Finance Director John Moir resigned March 22, days after the heated meeting.

He’s been replaced by assistant finance director Vicki Heilman.

In 2009, the city’s slumping finances led to 3.5 percent across-the-board cuts — mostly by delaying construction projects — with an additional 1.6 percent cut at the end of the year.

No employees were laid off last year, and there were no furloughs.

At the council’s request, the city is paying a Seattle consultant $10,000 to review the city’s 2009 and 2010 finances. Stephen Miller is expected to present his findings to the council April 12.

Oscar Halpert: 425-339-3429, ohalpert@heraldnet.com.