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Mayor highlights 2012 achievements, goals for 2013
By Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville

Mayor Kelli Linville

 My first year in office has been a time of incredible learning, re-establishing our City’s relationships inside and outside of government, focusing on priorities and taking action on community needs and interests. If there’s a theme here, it is this: together, we’re getting things done!

I have a passion for effective, accountable government and forming strong partnerships to deliver quality public services. We have engaged the Bellingham City Council, community members, City employees, and elected officials and peers at other agencies in setting and accomplishing our priorities. And I’m very happy to report that, together, we are doing just that. Here’s an update on some key projects.

Progress on priorities

Directing resources toward priorities

Much of my work the past year included refining priorities and directing resources to accomplish them. Even though our economy appears to be stabilizing, we continue to make hard choices about how to provide excellent services within our resources. That’s why our budget process is so important; it is the formal system we use to identify and direct funding to implement our City-wide work plan.

Last spring, the Bellingham City Council agreed to adopt a two-year budget, and directed us to balance our City General Fund with no more than a $400,000 deficit in 2013 and a zero deficit in 2014. These targets were ambitious, and the budget I proposed last fall achieved them. I am proud of City staff and the department head team for the hard work they invested to meet Council’s expectations.

Council chose to modify those goals when they adopted a final budget late last year. We will continue to work together to direct our resources toward priorities. I believe we can still reach a balanced budget by 2014 and will recommend a budget later this year that accomplishes that goal. We simply must eliminate our deficit spending to ensure our core services are sustainable into the future. I hope community members will follow our budget deliberations and provide feedback about which City services are most important, so that we can continue to meet essential needs first.

Agenda for 2013

While I am very proud of all we accomplished last year, we will build on that agenda for 2013. In the coming months, look for progress in the following areas:

We’ll provide information in the months ahead with more detail about our progress on these projects and opportunities for community members to tell us what they think. Meanwhile, you can count on us to continue to work together to get things done and provide essential services to the residents of Bellingham. Let us know how we are doing by contacting my office at 360-778-8100 or mayorsoffice@cob.org .

Published:  February 7, 2013

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