It was a little quiet for a few weeks there as the King County estimated 2009 budget deficit estimate creeped up over $90 million (announced by Exec. Ron Sims via Twitter). Yesterday morning Sheriff Sue Rahr told the County Council that successfully getting annexations through will not alleviate the problem--at least as far as public safety is concerned. Annexations are oft-cited by Sims office as part of the solution to the budget crunch.
I'm out of town and missed the actual testimony, but here's the summary kicked out by Rahr's:
In January 2008 Lea Hill and West Hill were annexed to Auburn, and in March 2008 Benson Hill was annexed to Renton. These annexations were not in fact “revenue neutral”. An additional 1 million dollars was stripped from the Sheriff's Office 2008 budget to make up for the lost revenue to the County’s General Fund.
Only eleven positions in the Sheriff's Office were related to the decreased work load because of the annexations. However the Budget Office cut a total of 21 positions from KCSO.
The eleven positions were identified by the Sheriff's Office as positions that could be safely cut without endangering deputy safety or the safety of the public. This was done after a comprehensive operational analysis considered response times, geography, staffing levels and alternative patrol deployments. Nevertheless, an additional ten positions were cut unrelated to the annexed areas simply to balance the budget.