Message from DON Director regarding Mayor’s 2014 Proposed Budget

RE: Mayor’s Proposed 2014 Budget

Dear community member:

This afternoon, Mayor McGinn presented his Proposed 2014 Budget to the Seattle City Council. While the Mayor did not discuss all of the specifics of the proposed budget, I want to share budget information as it relates to Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. As the city slowly recovers from the recession, there are positive opportunities for this department to continue our mission:

Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF)

If you haven’t already heard, the Mayor’s proposed budget includes an increase of $500,000 to the Neighborhood Matching Fund. This increase restores the amount of funds available to support neighborhood projects back to pre-recession levels. To support these increased NMF grant-making activities and awardees, a project manager position will be added. This is important because our NMF project managers provide one-on-one assistance to help community groups be successful in applying to the fund and completing their projects.

An additional $60,000 will be added to NMF to create a special designation that will help neighbors participate in projects focused on discouraging criminal activity. Incorporating CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) principles, a consultant will be hired to develop the policies and the community engagement model to help communities assess problem areas and implement solutions.

Support for Coordinated Departmental Community Engagement

A new position called a Capital Projects Coordinator is proposed to be added to the Neighborhood District Coordinator/Public Outreach and Engagement Program. This position will assist city departments coordinate community outreach and engagement, proactively address construction impacts, and mitigate problems that arise from large City capital projects. It will serve as a liaison between the city and the community and will proactively identify projects with significant community impacts, as well as propose outreach and engagement strategies before the project starts. It will also serve as a source of information for residents. To support this new work, an administrative assistant position that is presently half-time will be increased to full-time.

Support to Washington Hall, a Community Asset and Seattle Landmark

Lastly, it is proposed to include one-time funding of $300,000 to support Washington Hall, a community asset and historic gathering place located in the Central District. As part of its $6.5 million renovation project, these funds will be used for to improve access to the building with the installation of an elevator, in addition to seismic upgrades that will help to make it safe and ADA-accessible so that everyone in the community can enjoy its performances and cultural events.

The Mayor’s entire Proposed 2014 Budget can be found at www.seattle.gov/financedepartment. Seattle City Council will now review the budget, conduct meetings with each department, and hold public hearings on October 3 and 24. You can learn more on their website at www.seattle.gov/council/budget/.

Thank you, as always, for your support of Seattle’s communities and our Seattle Department of Neighborhoods’ mission of strengthening our vibrant neighborhoods and engaging all communities.

Sincerely,

Bernie Matsuno, Director
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods