The 2024 Budget process began this summer with budget instructions going out to City Department Heads on August 7th. Notification emails were sent to the head of each department that included budget instructions, a draft budget schedule, and the initial base budget created by the Finance Department.
The initial base budget starts with a forecast of future revenues from all sources based on current trends, new initiatives, and resources provided by the Association of Washington Cities (AWC) and the Municipal Research Service Center (MRSC). Initial expenditure budgets generally start as a baseline equal to, or slightly above, the prior year's budget with the exception of one-time requests that are removed from the total. This initial base budget includes current staffing levels, current programs, and current levels of service only. Any additional positions, personnel or program expenditures are included as requests to the budget.
Departments have the opportunity to submit requests for additional staffing, equipment, and projects based on the needs of their department and the city as a whole.
The Mayor and City Administrator meet with each department regarding the requests in an attempt to prioritize the budget based on the City Council priorities and available future funding. The Mayor's recommended budget, which often includes multiple alternatives, is presented to City Council during a workshop meeting in September. The remaining workshop study sessions are for Council to discuss recommendations and give feedback based on citizen communication and city needs.
Budget documents and presentations are added to the Finance Budget page of the city website as they become available.
Public hearings will be held on October 24th and November 14th at 6:00pm at The Mill in Lake Stevens and via Zoom.