Mar 01 2010
We can’t read the news without reading about our federal budget deficit, state deficit, County’s deficit, and, of course, Seattle’s.
It is my responsibility to demonstrate clear leadership to a Utility that has a budget roughly the size of the entire City – Seattle City Light. Based on the snowcap and the amount of water runoff, we are able to predict the amount of net wholesale revenue. Based on these predictions, we anticipate a revenue shortfall between $40 to $50 million. Rather than allow this deficit to strain our existing resources next year, I have requested that the Utility develop a work plan and a spending pattern that requires it to conduct its operations and budget in alignment with the anticipated revenue. Simply put, do not spend money that you do not have. I need a plan by the end of March.
As you can see by the attached letter, I do not mince words. Without sacrificing our commitment to have a safe and reliable infrastructure and without eliminating our commitment to our environment and efforts in conservation, we simply will have to figure out how to do more with less. (See earlier blog regarding our efforts to reduce overtime at the Utility.)
My goal is to rely on the hard work and the ingenuity of the Utility’s employees to follow the budget constraints that we must operate under. I need this leadership from the Utility. We have to protect our citizens and our ratepayers.