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Financial Sustainability Plan

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Why is Kenmore’s Financial Sustainability Plan important NOW?

Although the City of Kenmore has been adopting balanced budgets, operating expenditures could start exceeding operating revenues as soon as 2022. This could create a $2 million structural deficit by 2026. Last fall, City Council approved a process for creating a Financial Sustainability Plan and a charter for a task force of community members to assist in solving this problem. The Task Force, City staff and Management Partners are currently working together to review this issue, determine the problem and advise on future steps. This discussion is about your City budget and community, please join the conversation!

2021 - 2026 Financial Sustainability Plan

January 2020–Present

Due to State-imposed limits on property tax growth, flat growth in other revenues, unfunded state and federal mandates, and other factors, the City’s operating revenues are not keeping pace with the cost of doing business. As a result, the City of Kenmore faces an upcoming structural deficit in its operating budget (General Fund and Street Fund).

Re-evaluating priorities, services and revenues can help bring a budget with a structural deficit back into balance.

The City Council has directed staff to begin the public process of creating a Financial Sustainability Plan.

A first phase of the process involved the following activities in the 4th quarter of 2019 and early 2020:

  • A community survey
  • An independent assessment of the City’s financial projections and long-range forecasts
  • Updates to the City’s Priority-Based Budgeting system
  • Communications about the budget and City finances, including a financial forecast report to the City Council in January 2020.

Starting in January 2020, the issue and possible solutions will be discussed in a thorough public engagement process, including use of a task force of community members to examine the issue and advise the City Manager on the City’s options. This process will conclude with a report from the City Manager to the City Council before the City Council begins their deliberations on the 2021-2022 biennial budget. The goal of this process is to create a plan which reflects our community’s values and balances revenues and expenditures for six years.

Financial Sustainability Plan Task Force

On October 7, 2019, the City Council approved a process to create a Financial Sustainability Plan. This process authorized the creation a City Financial Sustainability Plan Task Force to advise the City Manager on ways to resolve the City’s upcoming structural deficit.

On November 12, 2019, the Council approved the task force’s charter. 10 community members applied to serve on this task force, nine were interviewed, and seven accepted positions on it by January 2020.

The task force is advisory in nature. It is comprised of seven Kenmore residents, many of whom have a professional experience in accounting or financial management. The members are:

  • Mike Vanderlinde
  • Lou Novak
  • Elisabeth Spring
  • Darleen Ademba
  • Lynn Zwaagstra
  • Anthony Tarnowski
  • Jeffrey Pooley

The task force’s purpose is to learn more about the City’s financial forecast and budget, deliberate solutions, and write an advisory report to the City Manager. The City Manager will then write a report to the City Council with his recommendations.

Learn more:

The tasks force meetings will be posted here. All meetings will be streamed live and recorded. Comments are welcome in person at task force meetings, where there will be a brief public comment period at the start of every meeting, or anytime by email at

       Meeting #1: Wednesday, January 22:  agenda video

Meeting #2: Tuesday, February 11: agendavideo

Meeting #3: Tuesday, February 25: agendavideo

Meeting #4: Tuesday, March 10: agendavideo

Meeting #5: Thursday, April 16: agendavideopresentation 

Please contact us for any questions or if you’d like to receive updates on this project.