King County Government
5:04 am
Tue November 16, 2010

King County passes lean budget

The King County Council has voted for a lean 2011 budget that slashes 300 positions, many in law enforcement. Even some council members acknowledge it could hurt public safety.

There will also be fees charged to people using Family Court Services.

The Council says it had no choice but to make the cuts after voters said “No” to a sales tax increase.

During four hours of debate and deliberation, the main drama came when Councilman Reagan Dunn, who opposed the budget, proposed several last minute amendments.One would take money from Public Health and use it to hire back sheriff deputies, another would add supplemental money for domestic violence services.

That made several other council members angry, including Kathy Lambert and Council Chair Bob Ferguson. Ferguson said the tough choices had already been hammered out and charged Dunn with playing politics.

"I have to go home to my wife and tell her I voted against adding services for domestic violence victims,” said a disgusted Ferguson.

Councilman Dunn, defended his tactics saying it’s just part of the democratic process." People have the right to disagree over policies,