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Record No: Res 31954    Version: Council Bill No:
Type: Resolution (Res) Status: Adopted
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 8/10/2020
Ordinance No:
Title: A RESOLUTION relating to the City's annual budget process; stating intent that the City will consider a one-year budget proposal for 2021 only; and superseding Resolution 28885 to the extent inconsistent.
Sponsors: Teresa Mosqueda
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Amendment 1 (added 8/17/20), 3. Signed Resolution 31954, 4. Affidavit of Publication


RESOLUTION __________________


A RESOLUTION relating to the City’s annual budget process; stating intent that the City will consider a one-year budget proposal for 2021 only; and superseding Resolution 28885 to the extent inconsistent.


WHEREAS, in 1994 the City Council and Mayor passed Resolution 28885, which adopted a modified biennial budget process for The City of Seattle beginning in 1995; and

WHEREAS, since 1995, every two years the Council and Mayor have adopted a budget for the following year and endorsed a budget for the year following; and

WHEREAS, appropriations have always been adopted on an annual basis under chapter 35.32A RCW; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing financial crisis in 2020 has made long-term forecast and budget projections less reliable than usual; and

WHEREAS, City departments and City Council staff spend a great amount of staff time preparing and analyzing the “second-year” budgets in a typical biennium; and

WHEREAS, given the circumstances present in 2020, the biennial aspects of the City’s budget process observed for the last 25 years will hinder City progress and goals for 2021; NOW, THEREFORE,


Section 1. Section 1. The City Council (“Council”) finds and declares:

A. In the exercise of The City of Seattle’s police powers, the City may pass regulations designed to protect and promote public peace, health, safety, and welfare.

B. On January 24, 2020, the Seattle Office of Emergency Management announced that the first reported case in Washington and in the United States of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) occurred in Snohomish County.

C. On February 28, 2020, Public Health - Seattle and King County announced the first King County and United States death due to COVID-19 at Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland, Washington.

D. On February 29, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to new cases of COVID-19, directing state agencies to use all resources necessary to prepare for and respond to the outbreak.

E. On March 3, 2020, Mayor Jenny Durkan issued a proclamation of civil emergency in response to new cases of COVID-19, authorizing the Mayor to exercise the emergency powers necessary for the protection of the public peace, safety, and welfare.

F. On March 11, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee amended his emergency order to prohibit gatherings of 250 people or more for social, spiritual and recreational activities including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based, or sporting events; parades; concerts; festivals; conventions; fundraisers; and similar activities.

G. On March 13, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee amended his emergency order closing all schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties through April 24, 2020 to apply statewide.

H. On March 13, 2020, the U.S. President declared that the COVID-19 outbreak constituted a national emergency.

I. On March 16, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee mandated the immediate two-week closure of all restaurants, bars, and entertainment and recreational facilities and amended his emergency order to prohibit gatherings of 50 people or more.

J. On March 18, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a statewide moratorium on evictions, prohibiting landlords from serving a notice of unlawful detainer for default payment of rent and issuing a 20-day notice for unlawful detainer, unless the landlord provides an affidavit stating that the action is believed necessary to ensure the health and safety of the tenant or others.

K. On March 23, 2020, Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a “Stay-Home Stay Healthy” order that required that all non-essential businesses be closed and banned all gatherings for two weeks, and on April 2, extended the order until May 4.  On May 1, 2020, Governor Inslee extended that order until May 31.

L. The City of Seattle’s 2020 Budget was adopted in late 2019, before the impacts of the COVID-19 could be anticipated.

M. The impacts of the COVID-19 emergency include a severe local, state, national, and global economic recession, all of which impact the City’s revenue streams.  As a result, it is necessary for the City to revisit and adjust the 2020 Budget to reflect the new economic reality.

N. The COVID-19 public health emergency and resulting financial downturn have made future financial projections unreliable. The production and consideration of a 2022 Proposed Budget as part of the modified biennial budget process established by Resolution 28885 is an unnecessary use of valuable City staff time and resources. 

Section 2. The Mayor and City Council intend to create, consider, and adopt a budget for 2021 in the fall of 2020 without endorsing a budget for 2022. To the extent Resolution 28885 is inconsistent with this resolution, Resolution 28885 is superseded.

Section 3. In consideration of the City Council and the Mayor adapting its traditional biennial budgeting practice per Resolution 28885, the Council requests that the City Budget Office (CBO) and the Department of Finance and Administration Services (FAS), in consultation with Council Central Staff, evaluate and report on both the near- and long-term solutions that allow for sufficient and transparent budget planning, including:

A. By October 1, 2020 and every year thereafter, CBO providing to Council Central Staff a six-year financial forecast, including disclosure of all embedded assumptions;

B. By February 1, 2021, CBO in consultation with Council Central Staff will provide a report that outlines a non-modified biennial budget process that is consistent with RCW 35.32A; and

C. By April 31, 2021, FAS and CBO, in consultation with Council Central Staff, submitting a report outlining a plan that includes timelines and costs to implement a comprehensive budget/fiscal data sharing system that will allow the public and the Legislative Branch to access said data.




Adopted by the City Council the ________ day of _________________________, 2020, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its adoption this ________ day of _________________________, 2020.


President ____________ of the City Council

The Mayor concurred the ________ day of _________________________, 2020.


Jenny A. Durkan, Mayor

Filed by me this ________ day of _________________________, 2020.


Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk