Tuesday, May 31, 2011

City Neighborhood Council's budget committee meets this Tuesday, May 31, 5-6 p.m. in room 370 of City Hall.

Come help discuss CNC's annual budget letter and the possible consolidation of DON with four other agencies.

 The City Neighborhood Council's Budget Committee invites you to its meeting this Tuesday, May 31, 5-6 p.m. in room 370 of City Hall (601 Fifth Avenue, third floor).  We will discuss the draft budget letter to the Mayor and City Council that the CNC, as it has yearly, will adopt at its June 27 meeting.  Attached is the draft that was sent out along with the agenda for the May 23 CNC meeting.  There is still time for the district councils and the CNC budget committee to suggest revisions.
In particular, we will discuss on Tuesday the McGinn administration’s consideration of partial or full consolidation of the Department of Neighborhoods with four other agencies (Office of Economic Development, Office of Housing, Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Office of Sustainability and Environment).  This possibility poses both risks and opportunities for the mission we have associated with DoN for the past two decades, and we welcome your thoughts.  Following is how this topic is addressed in the attached draft CNC letter:
CNC is cautiously receptive to proposals to consolidate the Department of Neighborhoods with some other offices, but only if doing so strengthens the core DoN functions discussed above.  We are intrigued by a possible merger of DoN with the Office of Economic Development and the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, which together could become a new Department of Neighborhoods, Economic Development, and Arts and Cultural Affairs.  However we suggest that it would be a better fit to move the Office of Housing to the Department of Health and Human Services and to move the Office of Sustainability and the Environment to the Department of Planning and Development. 
Background about the neighborhood budget process.  City Council resolution 28115 that charters CNC and the district councils as official advisory bodies, states that "The responsibility of the City Neighborhood Council shall include review and recommendations regarding City budget issues, including the general fund, capital and block grant budgets, and the Neighborhood Matching Fund."  The resolution also states that "The City Council shall consider the recommendations of the City Neighborhood Council and the comments of neighborhood organizations and District Councils in its review and actions on the City budget." 
The CNC Budget Committee seeks to involve the district councils and other volunteers in budget discussions.  Past CNC letters on the budget to the Mayor and City Council (and other background on CNC and the district councils) can be found at http://seattle.gov/neighborhoodcouncil.  For questions or to comment, please contact CNC Budget Committee chair Chris Leman, cleman@oo.net (206) 322-5463.

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