Bellevue Mayor

Bellevue Mayor Ned Burns

The Bellevue City Council will continue a public hearing on Monday to determine specific funding and expenses for fiscal year 2021. The council passed a not-to-exceed budget of $3,493,467 earlier this month, but has not yet decided how to spend the funds on staff salaries and other projected expenses.

The budget decreases expenditures by $521,585 compared to last year.

Mayor Ned Burns said city department heads had done a “monumental job” of reducing expenses while the city faces financial uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Burns expressed dismay that no one from the public had made comments about the financial decisions facing city leaders.

“It always bums me out when we get no public comment,” he said during the last hearing.

The city council debated whether to increase or decrease staff salaries next year within the not-to-exceed budget total and began scrutinizing line items to see where money could be saved to support salaries.

“It’s going to be a tough year and we don’t yet know how tough,” City Council Chairwoman Kathryn Goldman said.

Goldman advised increasing salaries by 1 percent and revisiting them in six months to see if that number needed adjusting. Several other ideas on staff pay are still under discussion.

The proposed general fund budget, which covers most city services, is set to drop by $38,596 to $1,545,862. It includes an 11.2 percent cut to the administration budget, a 5.3 percent cut to community development, a 4 percent cut from the parks department and a 5.4 percent cut from the streets department.

For the full story, see the Wednesday edition of the Mountain Express.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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