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October 15, 2018

Proposed Budget Amendment

The City Council considered, and rejected, the support of climate change programs on October 15, 2018. This occurred in the "lame duck" period between the primary election of August 7 and the seating of new Council members in mid-November. Four Council members were due to be replaced in November -- three because of defeat in the primary and one because of retirement. Many observers felt the proponents of climate change actions were in a stronger position in October than would be the case after mid-November.

The proposal was a budget amendment that increased the funding of the Office of Sustainability and Innovations by $313,000. The funds were to come from the General Fund in the short term. The General Fund was to be repaid from the County Mental Health and Public Safety Millage Fund (0100) after the Millage funds became available in early 2019. The rules of the Council required eight "yes" votes for passage.

The budget amendment did not include funds for mental health or public safety services. That is, supporters of climate change actions did not seek to improve the odds of passage by moving to a compromise measure.

When supporters of the amendment realized they did not have the necessary votes for passage, they successfully postponed action on the amendment to November 19, 2018, Every Council member expressed her or his opinion of the amendment in the discussion prior to passage. These opinions are the basis for the entries in the table displaying the views of Council members.  A video of the meeting and the text of the resolution are available.

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