The city council has adopted a nearly billion-dollar 2013-2014 city budget with minimal changes from Mayor Mike McGinn's initial proposal—although not, as we noted earlier this month, without much hand-wringing and protest from McGinn over elements of his proposed budget that the council eliminated. 

For example, McGinn failed to get the council to fund: A whiz-bang gunshot locator system that, McGinn claimed, could locate gunshots within 4/10 of a second and within a 50-foot radius. The gunshot-locating machines, which would have been equipped with cameras and stationed at 52 locations around the city, would have cost $750,000 in the first year and $200,000 a year thereafter. Council members, citing evidence that the machines have failed in other cities to deter crime or police response times, scrapped the program. 

He also failed to get funding in 2013 to study a streetcar on Eastlake, which the council forestalled until 2014, citing the need to improve service on 12 priority bus corridors now. "What that allows us to do is to put funds for 2013 into more rapidly implementable improvements in the 12 priority bus corridors that have been identified in the Transit Master Plan ... so that the buses can be much more reliable," council transportation committee chair Tom Rasmussen said this morning.

At one point, the discussion between the two sides got so tense that the council uninvited McGinn's budget director, Beth Goldberg, from the council table. Goldberg watched the remainder of the council's deliberations from the other side of the dais, from the public seats in council chambers.

The council restored funding for CURB under the stipulation that the city's human services department must figure out specific outcomes for CURB to meet and determine whether the program is meeting them. 

McGinn did get funding restored for two proposals the council initially placed on the chopping block: Pay-by-phone parking, which allows drivers to add time to parking meters remotely, by cell phone (the council proposed cutting the program because, although it adds convenience for drivers, it costs the city money), and funding for the youth crime prevention program Communities Uniting Rainier Beach, which council members, including longtime CURB proponent Nick Licata, argued is no longer serving its purpose of deterring crime, and is instead serving people, including adults, who have already been arrested.

The council restored funding for CURB under the stipulation that the city's human services department must figure out specific outcomes for CURB to meet and determine whether the program is meeting them. 

Additionally, McGinn got most of what was in his initial budget proposal, including funding for up to 20 new police officers by the end of 2014 (the exact number will depend on how many new officers are recruited and how many existing officers leave); funding to advance the city's Transit Master Plan; money to study high-capacity transit to Ballard; and ongoing funding for the city's pay-by-cell-phone parking program, which the council considered cutting.