The Bellevue City Council meeting got heated Monday night. The council presented a counter proposal eliminating a rolling brownout of the Bellevue fire department, as well as a five million dollar budget shortfall. The council passed the amended budget 4 to 1.
Council member Paul Cook was the only member to vote against the budget. He surprised his colleagues after saying he didn’t believe the council worked together to make the best possible budget. He said the property tax increase is too high.
The newly amended budget will increase Bellevue property taxes sixty two dollars this year and 76 dollars during the 2014-2015 budget year. The mayor said, “Each department head has gone back to back to their department to make this happen we’ve worked really hard so I’m in support.”
Still numerous Bellevue community members spoke against the budget with outrage.
One community member said to the city council, “I’ll tell you I’m very disappointed in you people.” Another person explained, “looking at all of those fiscal things were playing an astronomical amount of money for services we’re over paying for or not seeing any benefit from as citizens.”
The plan includes 14-percent spending cuts. The city council explained everyone on city staff would keep their jobs though open positions in the police department, public works, street department and public maintenance would be eliminated.
The proposal will also add 9 firefighters to the department. This is the first two year long city budget in Bellevue.