In my opinion, the upcoming election for two Mill Creek City Council seats will set the stage for important decisions regarding service delivery to Mill Creek residents. The 2017-2018 biennial budget that will be decided next year is a critical issue for Mill Creek voters. My concern is that only 26% of eligible voters came out to vote two years ago. It’s in our best interests that all voters exercise their voice at the ballot box. Here is why you need to vote.
Mill Creek’s 2015-2016 biennial budget was balanced by using $1,700,000 of General Reserve funds and $640,000 from a special account that should have been used for long-term infrastructure investments was instead used for maintaining our local parks. Those funds will not be available for the next biennial budget by state law.
Council adopted a Strategic Plan in 2012 that states a sustainable budget must be adopted in years 2017-18 with no further use of reserve funds.
Current council is not obligated to follow any past policy decisions.
The current sitting council has already reduced services. They cut one police patrol position out of the former city manager’s suggested budget. Police Department staffing will be reduced by one additional officer when the Commander position is not replaced this month.
The new city manager is doing everything possible to tighten up current spending by restructuring departments and sharing administrative services but the potential increase in fire contract costs, significant infrastructure investments and maintaining the level of services we all desire for our community will be a challenge. It is the council’s responsibly to set the budget that our city manager is charged to operate our wonderful city.
It is in our best interest to have seven engaged and diversified representatives to protect our city’s financial future. Please take the time to understand the issues and the candidates in front of us and exercise your right to vote in this year’s election.