Elizabeth Nelson's City Council Blog

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I write a City Council newsletter with my summary of agenda items coming before City Council. Sign up to receive it first via email, or read it here later on this blog.

Climate Change Action Funding

In response to the level of interest expressed by residents, this is an explanation of what happened at Monday night's (Nov 19, 2018) City Council meeting re: funding for the office of Sustainability and Innovations.  In short, a budget amendment was passed (unanimously) for $250,000 of additional funding, to come from the general fund reserve.  The funding that Council approved is additional to money already committed in the annual budget process; it does not commit any funds from the Mental Health and Public Safety millage rebate.


The office of Sustainability originally requested $313,000 of funding in the form of a budget amendment, to address seven core areas.  They requested that the money come, ultimately, from the unrestricted rebate funds of the Community Mental Health and Public Safety millage.


A separate budget amendment was offered by CM Jack Eaton and CM Anne Bannister, offering $215,000 of funding that addressed two of these seven core areas. (In this proposal, the money was to come from the general fund reserve.) I offered an amendment to add an additional $35,000 to the Eaton/Bannister proposal, bringing the total funding up to $250,000.  My amendment was approved and so council ultimately approved $250,000 of funding, to address four of the seven core areas named by the office of Sustainability. 


Below is a list of the seven areas, highlighting the four areas we funded. The original text can be found at: http://a2gov.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3692514&GUID=98162F89-FC6F-4BB7-B008-4A245A0BDA1F&FullText=1


I realize that what we passed was a compromise. I also understand that budget allocations are an ongoing discussion and an ongoing process. Your input was helpful to me and prompted me to push for more funding with my amendment. This particular funding request was an amendment to the 2018 budget, which had been decided before I joined Council.  The decision required eight votes of Council because it was additional funding, beyond what had been previously allocated in the annual budget process.  In just a few short weeks, the current Council will be meeting to set priorities for the next fiscal year and so I look forward to that conversation.