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Council adds cash for some groups

Continuing to tinker with a proposed spending plan for 2011, Enumclaw City Council members axed some items and funded others during their Nov. 22 session.

The municipal budget began with a proposal by Mayor Liz Reynolds and has been addressed during a series of budget workshops and public hearings.

The discussion on the 22nd was fueled by Councilman Jeff Beckwith, who came armed with a list of ways to save money and, on the flip side, a list of items he hoped to see funded during the coming year. On the to-be-funded side of the ledger were several nonprofit agencies that have traditionally received funding but were eliminated in Reynolds’ original proposal, which looked to bridge a $600,000 gap between anticipated revenues and expenditures.

Beckwith’s first item was Plateau Outreach Ministries, a nonprofit agency that provides assistance in numerous ways to the needy in the community. Beckwith suggested funding POM to the tune of $15,000, a motion that quickly passed with only councilmen Glen Jensen and Rich Elfers in opposition.

Beckwith recommended funding the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center in the sum of $2,000, noting, “every city in King County supports this group.” When the proposal was dropped to $1,000, it passed by a 4-3 margin.

Among Beckwith’s items failing to receive council support was a motion to provide $4,000 to the city Parks and Recreation Department so it can continue special events like the community Easter Egg hunt and Halloween party.

“It goes back to the quality of life issue,” Beckwith said, asking for the budget addition.

His request was supported by councilmen Kevin Mahelona and Sean Krebs, but was defeated by Jensen, Elfers, Mike Ennis and Jim Hogan.

Beckwith also suggested adding $15,000 for a small-business assistance program operated by Green River Community College, a request that failed. Also rejected were Beckwith’s requests to fund the local youth center and a domestic violence program operated by the YWCA.

Looking at cuts from the proposed budget, Beckwith suggested decreasing funding for city administration by $10,000, an item that was supported.

But when he floated the idea of eliminating $10,000 from the Enumclaw Police Department, the rest of the council balked.

Beckwith noted he wasn’t trying to single out specific departments but was “just trying to spread the pain around a little bit.”

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