Pierce County Council poised to approve 2013 budget

Pierce County Council is set to approve a 2013 budget that trims spending while protecting core public safety services.

In public meetings on this week, councilmembers voted to make a number of adjustments to the budget proposal submitted in September by County Executive Pat McCarthy. Highlights included votes to restore four of the vacant positions the Executive had proposed cutting in the Sheriff’s Department, at a cost of $400,000; increase spending on parks maintenance by $180,000; and set aside $480,000 $874,000 in fund balance to provide a cushion against any downturn in revenues that may occur.

The budget contains no cost-of-living adjustment for county employees, including elected officials.

The Council voted Tues., Nov. 6 to approve some of the supporting ordinances that implement the budget, but it did not take a final vote on the main budget ordinance. The Council delayed its final vote until its Tues., Nov. 13 meeting to ensure the public has time to review and offer comment. The budget documents are posted online here (the main ordinance is 2012-76s).

The Nov. 13 meeting will be held at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers, located on the 10th floor of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S. The public also can call the Council at (253) 798-7777 or find a list of councilmember e-mail addresses online here.

County Council’s Nov. 13 meeting can be seen live on Pierce County TV (channel 22 on the Comcast and Click! networks) and on piercecountytv.org. The hearings held this week will be archived for on-demand viewing here.