Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon signed Friday the ordinances making up the 2011 budget during a public ceremony attended by members of the County Council and individually elected officials.
The $204 million General Fund budget passed unanimously by the Council in November closely resembles the budget proposed in September by Reardon. It is the first budget Reardon has signed in four years and provides needed services without raising taxes.
“Our county’s 2011 budget is the result of unprecedented teamwork on the part of each department, office and elected official as well as their staff,” Reardon said. “This work took place not only in the last several months as the 2011 budget was specifically drafted, but during the past two-and-a-half years as we have responded to the economic crises affecting all Americans.”
Reardon acknowledged that difficult decisions had to be made, but the difference between Snohomish County and other governments around the region – including the state – is that “we have not shied away from making those decisions.”
“Together, we are focused on core services, we are taking the necessary steps to secure our finances, and we are working together on behalf of the people we serve,” he said.
Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Roe and others said during the signing ceremony that collaboration was a key to a successful budget process.
“Everybody realized this was serious and not a time for competition but a time for cooperation,” Roe said. “We got there, not without sacrifices, but without any acrimony.”
The 2011 budget protects public safety and provides services to the most vulnerable, including the Nurse Family Partnership program, operated by the Snohomish Health District and proven to promote the health and safety of infants and new mothers.
Reardon cautioned leaders Friday to be mindful of continuing challenges, especially as the state considers cuts to its budget.
“We must continue to be vigilant and ready to respond should the economy retract once again,” he said. “But I trust that the foundation of teamwork and accountability we have established will allow us to continue to partner constructively in this mission.”
Also present Friday were Snohomish County Council Chairman Dave Gossett, Council members Brian Sullivan and Stephanie Wright, County Assessor Cindy Portmann, County Clerk Sonya Kraski, Sheriff John Lovick and representatives from other elected offices and departments.