Bellingham mayor sets budget priorities for next two years

As the COVID-19 pandemic eases but economic uncertainty continues, Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood set his budget priorities for the final two years of his term in a briefing Monday to a City Council committee. His guidance came as City Council members began initial discussions about a timeline for the 2023-2024 budget at a committee meeting Monday, April 25.

“I expect a moderate budget cycle this year, again,” said Forrest Longman, deputy finance director.

In a memo to department heads shared with the council, Fleetwood outlined five areas of importance:

▪ Public safety, including alternative responses.

▪ Continuing investment in climate action and reducing the city’s climate impact.

▪ Maintaining and expanding investments in affordable housing

▪ Supporting vulnerable populations

▪ Easing the effects of the new coronavirus pandemic and supporting recovery efforts.