Lake Forest Park continues to cut services and staff

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sarah Phillips and Tema Nesoff
positions eliminated

Photo courtesy City of LFP

From etc* - the City of Lake Forest Park electronic newsletter

On June 30, 2011, the City eliminated two more positions, the Community Services Manager and the Community and Government Affairs Manager. These position eliminations are part of the adopted City strategy to maintain a balanced budget for 2011-2012 in the face of reduced revenues.
"The City staff will be working diligently to reduce the impact of the elimination of these two positions; however, there will be a reduction of services to the citizens of Lake Forest Park." said Mayor Dave Hutchinson 
"Because of the efforts of these two employees, the citizens of Lake Forest Park now enjoy recreational opportunities at Horizon View Park, Lyon Creek, Animal Acres, and Grace Cole Nature Park."
Tema Nesoff, Community Services Manager, and Sarah Phillips, Community and Government Affairs Manager, raised over $2.5 million in parks acquisition funds during their tenure with the City.  
In addition, they raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for park restoration and development, public education for recycling and solid waste reduction, Tree City, and arts and culture. They started community programs and provided staffing and guidance for community and citizen advisory groups. Tema and Sarah will be missed," the Mayor continued.

These position eliminations are in addition to the budget and service reductions which the City had already undertaken in 2011:
  • City Hall staff and public works employees were furloughed for 5 days.
  • The Planning Department reduced staff and hours of service.
  • The City Clerk reduced staff and hours of service for passports.
  • The Police Department eliminated a patrol officer.
  • The Finance/IT Department eliminated a computer support position.
  • Public Works did not hire summer seasonal staff this summer to keep the parks, drainage ditches and road right-of-ways maintained.
  • The Town Crier newsletter is no longer published and mailed to homes
  • The electronic town crier is scheduled for reduced publication.

These savings are in addition to the 2009-2010 budget reductions of $931,000 — an 8% budget reduction — which included the elimination of two police officers, a police administrative assistant, a public works facility maintenance worker and a senior planner. The underlying revenue imbalance caused by I-695's elimination of sales tax equalization, I-747's 1% cap on property taxes and the current economic situation continues to be a persistent problem for many municipalities in Washington.
"Formulation of the City's budget for the 2013-2014 biennium will be a challenge with a community that is presently not interested in adjusting revenues to meet the inflation gap, which is a prerequisite to the maintenance of the current level of reduced services," added Mayor Dave Hutchinson.


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