Councilmember Megan Dunn, left, stands next to County Executive Dave Somers as he presents his 2023 budget proposal to her, Councilmember Nate Nehring and Councilmember Sam Low. (Snohomish County)

Councilmember Megan Dunn, left, stands next to County Executive Dave Somers as he presents his 2023 budget proposal to her, Councilmember Nate Nehring and Councilmember Sam Low. (Snohomish County)

As County Council begins budget talks, here’s how you can weigh in.

Department heads will make their pitches in the next few days. Residents will get a say at a forum and two hearings this month

EVERETT — Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers has put forth a $1.5 billion spending plan for 2023.

Starting Monday, the Snohomish County Council will dig through its details then set — with public input — its own spending priorities.

Council members will hold hearings this week and next to listen to county department heads outline their agency’s financial needs.

Residents will be able to learn about the decision-making process in a public forum at 6 p.m. Oct. 12. They will be able to make requests on how to spend the money at hearings at 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Oct. 25. All three events will have options to participate in-person or via Zoom.

Council members will focus on use of two pots of money: a projected $316 million general fund, the county’s main account for operating, and $85 million of unspent federal dollars received through the American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA.

Somers’ taps the one-time federal funds to bolster initiatives to create affordable housing, reduce homelessness, expand access to child care and increase behavioral health services.

Public safety is also a major area as Somers wants funding for more body cameras, a new sheriff’s office precinct and pay hikes for deputies. He’s also proposed using federal funds to hire two new deputy prosecuting attorneys — half the number sought by Snohomish County Prosecutor Adam Cornell.

Here is the anticipated order of department presentations. Hearings begin at 9 a.m. Monday and 9:30 a.m. the other days.

Monday: Solid Waste, Roads, Facilities and Fleet, Information Technology, Planning and Development Services, Hearings Administration, Emergency Management.

Tuesday: Medical Examiner, Sheriff’s Office, Human Services, District Court, Superior Court, Clerk, Conservation and Natural Resources.

Wednesday: Airport, Auditor, Public Advocate, Human Resources, Prosecuting Attorney, Public Defense.

Tues. Oct. 11: Treasurer, Executive including Office of Recovery and Resilience, Economic Development, County Council, Assessor, Health District, Finance.

Additional details can be found through the county web page, snohomishcountywa.gov/

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dospueblos.

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