KING 5 Political reporter Natalie Brand reports.
Natalie Brand, KING
7:57 PM. PST November 22, 2017
Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess signed the city's $ 5.6 billion budget on Wednesday, with only days in office.
The former president of the council's budget described the process as controversial at times during the weeks of negotiations with the city council.
"The process of reaching a final budget agreement was a little bit bumpy at City Hall, but I'm happy, the final budget reflects almost all of the criteria set in September," Burgess said.
Among the budget highlights approved this week:
Spending on homeless people increased to $ 67 million, an increase of more than 60 percent in the last four years
The city council also added four new posts to the human services department and dedicated $ 1.3 million to the city's plans for a secure injection site.
The Council also approved $ 250,000 in funding for a municipal court program that will connect the accused with social services, choosing to fund that program instead of paying for new carpets at the council offices.
While Burgess praised the intent of the municipal court's program, he questioned the use of money at one time to finance recurring expenses.
"That is a dangerous road to start, because you create expectations but then you do not have the resources to meet those expectations," Burgess said, noting that Mayor Durkan and the council have to make difficult decisions about budget items next year.
Of the $ 67 million in homeless spending, half of the money goes to service providers awarded through the RFP process.
Burgess promised that the city will more than double number of people moved to permanent housing by 2018, in 2017.
"We will do that by applying what works in other cities," he described. "What we have learned here from our service providers, and we are going to duplicate that effort to move people to permanent homes and out of our streets."
On Tuesday, Mayor-elect Jenny Durkan will officially badume the position, inheriting the new budget and challenges of the city.
"My advice to her is to wake up every day and count her blessings," said Burgess, who served 71 days after Mayor Murray resigned in September
. "I am the accidental mayor," Burgess said. I did not expect to be here, but I had the honor to intensify and serve the people of Seattle in this capacity. "
The interim mayor counted his legislation for budget accountability and Seattle new retirement plan among his main achievements during his tenure.
This week, also announced an badociation between the city and the Seattle Public Schools to plan a possible new school at the Seattle Center.
In the course of last month, he also nominated a director of police responsibility and joined the Dow County Executive in creating an executive order to put juvenile justice under the supervision of the department of health public.
When asked if Mayor Burgess regrets, he said he wished he had done more to improve public discourse, particularly at city council meetings.
"One of the things that will potentially cause great harm to our discussion of public policy and our civil discourse is if it continues to deteriorate and it is still who can overcome the other, who can call people the worst names," said Deputy . "Some of what we see on the far right nationally, we see on the far left in Seattle, and it's not useful and it's not the way to govern a city."
On Monday, Burgess and city leaders are expected to reveal the results of the Pathways Home RFP awards .
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