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Thursday, October 2, 2008

More Budget Cuts

posted by on October 2 at 13:28 PM

In addition to the cuts I wrote about yesterday—namely, three programs aimed at keeping youth and others off the streets and out of jail—Mayor Greg Nickels’s proposed budget includes significant cuts to youth-violence prevention, emergency preparedness, and domestic violence programs. Here are a few more of Nickels’s proposed cuts:

$135,000 in city funding for SOAR, a program aimed at helping kids succeed early in life and promoting early-childhood education. SOAR’s other funding comes from United Way and cash-strapped King County.

Funding for domestic-violence and sexual abuse prevention programs, including $20,000 in funding for CHAYA, a community-based program in South Asian immigrant and refugee communities that Nickels has targeted for elimination before; and $19,000 for “protocol development for conducting parenting evaluations in domestic violence cases.” (City Council budget chair Jean Godden’s office says she plans to propose restoring funding for both programs.)

$500,000 for emergency preparedness assistance to community organizations.

$278,000 for services for senior citizens, including $78,000 from the homesharing program, which matches homeowners with seniors looking for a place to live, and $200,000 added in 2008 for senior centers.

$288,000 from programs that match homeless and low-income people to community services.

$78,000 from Reinvesting in Youth, a countywide effort to reduce the high school dropout rate.

For a complete list of budget committee meetings, public hearings on the budget, and documents related to the budget itself, go to the city council’s budget page.

RSS icon Comments


Before people start screaming, "How dare Mayor McCheese cut these vital social programs!?!?" maybe someone should take the time to figure out if these programs are actually beneficial and accomplishing something...

Posted by michael strangeways | October 2, 2008 1:34 PM

Yeah, I find it a little shocking that it costs almost 300 grand to "match homeless and low-income people to community services." That's important, but it still bugs me that the money is being spent on that and not on the community services themselves.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 2, 2008 1:40 PM

Thank Christ Nickels spent $850,000 to install wholly useless surveillance cameras in Pioneer Square.

Posted by Dr. Savage Mudede | October 2, 2008 1:50 PM

Have to agree with the commenters above. I'll need to see some information on the actual effectiveness of these programs before I start screaming bloody murder over the proposed cuts. They all sound like great ideas, and the ones you provide links to seem to have well-defined missions, but...when I see thinks like 400 grand spent to "match homeless and low-income people to community services", I have to wonder how effectively that money's being spent, considering it's not funding any community services directly.

Posted by Hernandez | October 2, 2008 1:54 PM

Suspect this is only the beginning. The next couple years will be a budget wipeout.

Posted by tomasyalba | October 2, 2008 1:56 PM

I wonder how bad the library is gonna get hit.

Posted by Rotten666 | October 2, 2008 1:57 PM

Why on earth is the city spending money to develop a protocol for evaluating parenting skills in domestic violence cases? The city has absolutely nothing to do with child custody-- that's handled in superior court. In a municipal court prosecution for a misdemeanor DV assault, the only issue is whether the assault took place. An evaluation of parenting skills wouldn't be relevant or admissible. Maybe this is connected to some non-criminal social service program, but the fact that the word "cases" is used leads me to believe it's criminal. But even if it's not, what is the purpose of these evaluations when the city has no authority to intervene in child custody issues?

Posted by giantladysquirrels | October 2, 2008 1:57 PM

@7, social workers have cases too.

I don't know, but I imagine it's to pay for parenting skills evaluation and training in shelters. The women who end up in these shelters are often completely at sea, with zero of the support networks you and I take for granted, and are often so destroyed psychologically by their family situation that they don't even know where to begin with their kids.

Posted by Fnarf | October 2, 2008 2:09 PM

the homesharing program is a very cost-effective program for addressing the skyrocketing rent and property taxes in the city. if you're a renter looking for a cheap/free, quality place to live, you can get matched to an older adult who owns a home but could use some assistance with small things like buying groceries, or mowing the lawn. people! this is really cost-effective, per person, compared to building affordable senior housing or affordable any housing. (not that that isn't important.)

Posted by poettree | October 2, 2008 2:12 PM

@2: services are useless if no one knows where they are.

Many homeless people spend a lot of time shuttling around between various agencies trying to find a fit - an open shelter bed, a case manager, a DV program, a financial literacy class, what have you. Homeless management is not quite as simple as moving stock around in a Gap; it requires one-on-one evaluation and referral. There are dozens and dozens of agencies that participate in these programs.

Of course, the city has a HUD-mandated HMIS (homeless management information system), called Safe Harbors, but it's a hopelessly snafued boondoggle that does little more than generate incomplete and redundant reports for the feds. It was originally envisioned as a system to track the homeless from service to service, provide easy access to information about open beds, open food banks, program slots, and so forth, but it turns out that it's almost impossible to work with even for reporting, and agencies are chary of giving up all the information about their clients, like SSN's and stuff; many don't even collect it. Unfortunately, HUD demands that they have this system, even though they don't pay for it and it doesn't -- can't -- work.

Posted by Fnarf | October 2, 2008 2:23 PM

Why aren't you talking about how bike related programs are getting more funding than ever? Maybe we could move some of that funding for these programs you are discussing.

Oh, wait. You love Cascade Bicycle Club. So, you won't discuss that.

Posted by why don't you talk about who is getting MORE funding? | October 2, 2008 2:28 PM


this is your son in law Daniel calling.

I wanted you both to know, man and wife, that I am very saddened by once again missing the family celebration for the passing of Grandma Elsie Freeburg.

This is NOT an open forum for computer hackers or political pundits as


{believe it or not, hate fearing homophobes...}

and gays and lesbians and transgendered entertainers and simple people all over the world are wracked with suffering everyday.

That is why so many telecommunication specialists the world over are trying very sincerly to solve some of the technical problems with financing and interface in the computer world.

So please,

follow my lead as little as possible when blooging for personal use here, as IF you are a hacker with skills superceeding that of the worlds fastest and smartest computers.

Remember, "the long arm of the law" always catches your children AFTER you are dead and gone.

That is why I have to publically bring this to my family here,

at The

because I have ( like you), well connected family and friends.

I am reminded of when I read the re-print of Dan Savages letter of regret and ( easy now simpleton, simon...)tears when his mother passed.

Don't call in sick this election because of weakness in the knees.

Uncle Lee Archer, of Walnut Creek near Danville California...

Hello Aunt Kathy and the "boys".

I would have liked to have said hello to you personally.

Becareful telecommunication warriors and legalist's... money and power have the power to send, kill and receive... as well as take.


Posted by d.b.kieneker | October 2, 2008 2:29 PM

Blame it on the Raaaiiiineeeeerrrr bbbbeeeeeeerrrr.......

danny boy


Don't forget that Sir Lindsay Buckingham has manny.

Posted by d.b.kieneker | October 2, 2008 2:33 PM

Blame it on the Raaaiiiineeeeerrrr bbbbeeeeeeerrrr.......

danny boy


Don't forget that Sir Lindsay Buckingham has manny.

Posted by d.b.kieneker | October 2, 2008 2:35 PM

@8, the budget line doesn't say it's to pay for "evaluation and training." It says it's to "develop a protocol." If it was for parenting skills training, that would be one thing, and that wouldn't require evaluation. Just make parenting training available at the shelters you're talking about. Even if there's some need to evaluate people before providing this alleged training, I'm curious why the city needs $19,000 to develop its own protocol for this evaluation.

Posted by giantladysquirrels | October 2, 2008 2:47 PM

Fnarf is turning into a bureaucratic apologist now.

Preparing for the fall comrade?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | October 2, 2008 3:02 PM

BA, bureaucracies exist. Government priorities need to be administered. And fighting homelessness is a government priority in Seattle, whether you think it's a good idea or not.

Posted by Fnarf | October 2, 2008 4:38 PM

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