Last year when Sue Rahr was asked to cut $7.5 million out of her budget, she responded by volunteering to ax things like how much she pays into the administrative costs handled by the county for several departments. It was a non-starter then from Executive Ron Sims' perspective and the department was ultimately forced to cut 47 deputies and 18 civilian staff.
This year, the department has been asked to cut another $7 million, the equivalent of some 70 deputies, according to spokeperson John Urquhart. So today Rahr sent new Executive Kurt Triplett a proposal that again suggests cutting what the department pays into administrative costs, asks that the mandated 5 percent raises currently granted by the deputy union contracts be reduced to 2 percent, and would remove Triplett's security detail.Like last year, this budget proposal doesn't really stand a snowballs' chance in hell. Still, Urquhart says: "We plan on fighting the $7 million cut that the Executive's office is proposing. Because on the face of it, that's 70 deputies from unincorporated King County. It's time the County started prioritizing."
Triplett's office declined to comment on any of the specifics of Rahr's proposal. "We'll consider her proposals along with the other department proposals as we put the budget together," spokesperson Carolyn Duncan says.
Requesting a cut to the union contracts also pretty much guarantees that Rahr won't get the officers guild endorsement. But she didn't get it in 2005 either and doesn't really have a serious challenge this year. So she should still be able to coast to reelection regardless.