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Impacts From the Failure of Proposition 1 (Levy Lid Lift)

Nov 14, 2018 - The City of Mercer Islandís Proposition 1 (Levy lid lift) failed at the November 6 General Election. 
Over the course of the next six years, this measure would have generated sufficient funding to maintain current levels of service across a wide range of City programs, including police and emergency services, mental health counseling, safety net services, maintenance of parks, trails, playgrounds and ball fields, and recreation services.
With the failure of the levy lid lift measure, the City will need to make reductions, starting with programs that the City is not legally required to provide.
In the Proposed 2019-2020 Biennium Budget, service reductions for the Cityís Youth and Family Services Department include reducing a full-time administrative assistant position and a full-time geriatric specialist position to half-time. In addition, there will be two full-time school-based mental health counselor positions eliminated.  Currently, four counselors serve each of the four elementary schools.
For the Parks and Recreation Department, one full-time Special Events Coordinator position will be eliminated, and other vacant positions will be left unfilled, reducing the number of community events, limiting maintenance and stewardship activities, as well as reducing Community Center hours of operations.
Moreover, other proposed cuts include the Deputy Fire Chief position, and the Police Department will leave vacant a full-time patrol officer position.
The City Council is currently reviewing the proposed 2019-2020 budget that includes the reductions described above as recommended by the City Manager to balance the budget. The Councilís next review will be on November 20 to give the City Manager direction to finalize the budget for the next two years. More information about the depth and impact of proposed cuts can be gleaned from the Budget Message section of the proposed 2019-2020 budget.

The City still projects an estimated deficit of $3.7 million starting in 2021, which will result in further service reductions going forward.



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