Ways and Means Hearings Open with Ten Departments: Committee Meetings Will Continue Through Wednesday Night

The Everett City Council’s Committee on Ways and Means, a committee of the whole, opened its review of the FY 2015 budget Monday night, by meeting with 10 department heads, who each were accompanied by Mayor Carlo DeMaria, Chief of Staff Melissa Rodrigues and City Auditor Richard Viscay.

In this inaugural budget season for the new Everett City Government, the Council’s Ways and Means Committee is slated to meet with each department in city government to review their budget requests and the Mayor’s proposed appropriations for those departments, before sending the entire budget back to a full Council Meeting next week, Monday, June 23 for a vote on the budget.

Monday night’s department head reviews included the following departments; libraries, recreation, E911, parking clerk, city solicitor, purchasing, city services, human resources, human services, and building department.

Recreation Director Sam Amado, Parking Clerk Joanne Gregory and Purchasing Director Lara Webbe each defended increases to their budgets that were based on planned improvements to services, addition of new staff and plans for new programs that are being proposed for 2015.

Amado explained that an increase to the salary line item in the Recreation Department is geared toward helping him hire new assistant program directors, to expand program offerings in the evening hours and serve more residents who wish to participate in health and fitness programming being offered there.

Gregory, Rodrigues and Viscay explained the proposal to move the Parking Clerk Parking Enforcement Officers to space in the Everett Police Station, while transferring parking collections activities to the Collector’s office at City Hall.

The familiar sight of parking clerks seated behind the glass enclosure in the main lobby of City Hall will be a thing of the past.

According to Rodrigues, if the Mayor’s proposal to hire two multi-lingual greeters at City Hall is approved, those new greeters will work from the corner counter in the lobby, with the glass removed to provide a more open and welcoming environment.

Parking Clerk Gregory will move with her PEOs to the police station and conduct their operations from there, while the collection of parking sticker fees, parking meter receipts and parking fines will continue to be conducted by the Collector’s office.

Additionally, Webbe, who is seeking a new position of Assistant Procurement Officer/Asset Manager, will primarily be tasked with assembling an inventory and implementing new software to more fully track all city property, equipment and vehicles, to ensure proper valuation of city assets, provide accountability and prevent loss.

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