Budget 2021 Update from Councilmember Jared Mead

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Snohomish County

Budget 2021 Update from Councilmember Jared Mead

Budget 2021 Overview

The Snohomish County Council passed the 2021 operating budget after months of deliberation and collaborative budget analysis. The budget is a product of public testimony and discussions and I am incredibly proud to be part of the transparent and bipartisan process used to ultimately reach difficult budget decisions. Overall, the budget does good for our communities during these more than difficult times but I recognize that it is not perfect. I wasn’t able to secure everything I wanted in the budget- specifically funding for environmental protections and social justice issues and I was on the losing end of a handful of 3-2 votes. Throughout the next year, I will be focused on continuing to advocate for the values of our district and finding ways to reinvest in these important issue areas.


The passage of the 2021 budget was no small feat, and it’s certainly fair to say that every Councilmember was forced to make compromises to their proposals, myself included. Overall, I think we were able to secure critical wins. I’ve highlighted some of the wins that I think are worth celebrating while acknowledging that there is still more work to be done.   

  • Avoided increasing property taxes which will help families during these rough financial times. 
  • Avoided layoffs and maintained the same, if not generated more, county levels of service for our residents. 
  • Started a pilot program to start the process of converting our county fleet to electric vehicles. 
  • Invested $300,000 for officer-worn body cameras. 
  • Included my amendment for a $100,000 for a Law Enforcement Efficiency Study that will help us identify what types of calls officers are responding to and where there is opportunity to evolve our approach to policing. 
  • $250,000 for various social justice initiatives including $100,000 for a research-based study to identify the needs of our underserved communities. 
  • Added 2 Designated Crisis Responders and 1 Supervisor to expand the Designated Crisis Responder Program to the Snohomish County South precinct to provide our law enforcement officers with more support and alternatives to respond to crisis calls. 
  • Funded salary parity for Office of Public Defenders admin staff and included funding for IT improvements for OPD. This will help in our efforts to ensure that Snohomish County residents are afforded their constitutional right to an adequate public defense should they ever need it.

Work to be Continued

Looking forward, I’ll be dedicating my work to the following items that I feel were lacking or missed in the 2021 budget, including:

  • Social Justice - Some important progress was made but it is still not everything that I had hoped we could lock-in, and I certainly recognize that there is more work to be done. At the beginning of budget discussions, the Council started with $500,000 recommended for Office of Social Justice proposals and the total amount was ultimately reduced to $250,000. I am grateful that we were able to secure some critical funding but there is room for further investments. Over the next year, I am committed to fighting for social justice and finding equitable solutions for our community.
  • Environmental – Council voted to remove the automatic inflation increase for the Surface Water Management fee which will severely reduce the funding we have for environmental preservation and improvement projects. As an environmental advocate who has focused on these issues throughout my entire career, this is especially concerning to me and I will do everything to work across stakeholder groups so we can correct this mistake moving forward.  
Budget Deliberation

I want to thank all of the members of the community who took time over these last few months to use their voice to provide feedback and input relating to the budget, our staff who has worked diligently in the last months providing information and answering questions for Council, and the rest of the Snohomish County Councilmembers who worked in a collaborative and bipartisan manner to create a fair budget for our community.

I look forward to the opportunity to continue this essential work on behalf of Snohomish County residents. If you would like to provide feedback or if you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to my office using the contact information below and thank you again for participating in our democracy.

Contact Councilmember Jared Mead

Councilmember Jared Mead

Snohomish County Council
3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S 609
Everett, Washington 98201
8th floor, Robert J. Drewel Building 
Phone: 425-388-3494
E-Mail: Jared.Mead@SnoCo.org

Legislative Aide: Angela Ewert

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