Mayor proposes sweeping job cuts, boost to parking fees

Mayor proposes sweeping job cuts, boost to parking fees »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Over 200 Seattle city employees could lose their jobs come Jan. 4 and the city could start implementing paid parking on Sundays, mayor Mike McGinn announced Monday as the city struggles with a massive budget shortfall.

In addition, the city is looking to increase fees for myriad city services to help make up a $67 million gap.

The budget proposal does not make any significant cuts to public safety departments, but cuts millions from the parks department, requiring reduction in hours for some community centers and wading pools. And staffing will be reduced at some community libraries.

Anyone who parks in the city should also be prepared for a major hit to their wallet in the proposed budget, as fees will go up and the city is planning to go after parking ticket scofflaws by locking their cars with an immobilizing boot.

Among the proposals unveiled Monday:

  • Parking rates would increase by $1.50 an hour in downtown Seattle, and by $0.50 an hour in other parts of the city

  • City would extend paid meter parking by two hours to 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and institute paid parking on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Parking scofflaws would have a boot attached to the car that would not be removed until arrangements are made to pay all parking fines.

  • 214 currently-filled positions will be eliminated on Jan. 4, as well as an additional 80 un-filled positions. Of those cuts, 64 are senior-level positions.

  • For most city employee groups, there will be no salary adjustments for 2011.

  • City Light rates will go up 4.3% in 2011 and an additional 4.2% in 2012. Garbage rates will increase by 7.5%. Water rates will increase 3.5%.

  • Increase park fees, which could bring in $1 million

  • Increase other city services fees, such as cat licenses and library fees.

  • Increase fees associated with police and fire permitting fees and court fees.

  • Charge home security companies for false alarm calls that require police response.

  • There are no cuts to fire or police departments, but the city will not hire 62 police officers that were originally budgeted.

  • Eliminate discretionary travel and training, and consolidate some city programs

  • McGinn will take a $10,000-a-year pay cut.

The announcement comes as King County executive Dow Constantine also unveiled budget cuts to county staff and services Monday, including the potential loss of over 200 county jobs.

Read McGinn's full budget proposal

Also, the Seattle City Council is asking for public feedback at budget hearings.