Lake Forest Park imposes a hiring freeze

Monday, April 20, 2020

Revenues are down
from traffic cams

By Tracy Furutani

The city of Lake Forest Park will not be filling any vacant positions, nor will they be hiring any seasonal workers this year, according to city administrator Phillip Hill.

This action was taken in anticipation of a significant reduction in the city’s revenue due to the effects of the pandemic, he said, “the passport office has been closed since early March, sales tax is anticipated to be reduced by at least 20% and gas tax revenue by up to 80% while we all stay home.”

The business and occupation tax revenue, traffic safety camera payments and construction permit fees are expected to significantly decrease, according to city finance director Lindsey Vaughn at a City Council Budget and Finance Committee meeting last Thursday.

There were some bright spots.

“Cash flow [from property tax] is coming as normal to date,” said Vaughn, adding “as far as the real estate excise tax…we are pretty confident that we will meet that [revenue goal] by the end of the year.”

“We have made a tactical choice as a council that this is not the right time to seek new revenues,” said committee chair and council member John Resha. He cautioned between that and the loss of revenue, that the city’s paving and street management would be affected.

In addition to the hiring freeze, all city travel and training are suspended, unless it is needed for required certifications or would impact critical services. Further, previously contracted work may be suspended pending evaluation by the city.


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