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Burlington adopts $48 million budget for 2019

December 15, 2018

BURLINGTON — The Burlington City Council passed a $48 million budget for the city for 2019.

The budget passed 6-1 Thursday with Councilman Chris Loving voting against.

Before the budget vote, the City Council decided against increasing Mayor Steve Sexton’s salary, approved a contribution to Community Action of Skagit County and added a position to the police department.

Sexton requested a $34,000 increase in pay, which would have raised his salary to $88,000. He has asked for raises in the past, stating his position has been underpaid for years.

Councilmen Bill Aslett and James Stavig spoke against the raise during the council’s Nov. 29 meeting, arguing that elected officials should take on their positions to serve the community, not for a big paycheck.

Stavig also emphasized Burlington has a full-time city administrator who handles many of the issues that may arise in the city and is compensated as such.

The council voted to approve a $15,000 contribution to Community Action, an increase of $7,000 from the city’s 2018 contribution.

The council’s decision to forego the nonprofit’s request for a $50,000 capital fund gift to purchase its Burlington building was in part a response to concerns that such an action would be seen as a gift of public funds.

The council was advised of that concern by two city attorneys, Aslett said in an email.

The Burlington Police Department was allocated $80,280 for a full-time community services officer who will address issues such as animal complaints, parking compliance and traffic control.

The budget also includes setting aside 10 percent of projected sales tax revenue to fund work on city streets.

There were no increases in property taxes or utility rates.

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