Upcoming event to give Bellevue residents a look at city budgeting

The event also aims to allow residents to provide budgeting feedback.

In an effort to give residents a better idea of how city budgeting works, the group behind Bellevue’s Neighborhood Leadership Gathering series is hosting “City budgeting through a neighborhood lens” from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at Bellevue City Hall.

The event also aims to give community members an opportunity to discuss their own budget priorities.

This year, 2020, is the second year of the city’s 2019-2020 budget (adjusted every two years). It’s also the year that Bellevue will adopt a budget for the 2021-2022 years and the 2021-2027 Capital Investment Program Plan.

The last time a Neighborhood Leadership Gathering get-together circled around budgeting was 2014.

“The budget is an operational plan and sets priorities for government, but it is not unlimited,” Neighborhood Services director Mike McCormick-Huentelman said in an email. “The exercise will seek to demonstrate the complexities of Bellevue’s competing needs and how hard it is to make decisions balancing trade-offs within limited resources.”

When the group formed in 2013, a major impetus was to bridge the gap between the city, neighborhood leaders and the community.

“Bellevue knows that the quality of life within our neighborhoods is defined by the people who live there,” McCormick-Huentelman said in an email. “We needed to develop a consistent way to have ongoing conversations with our neighborhood leaders to stay current with changing interests and priorities within our neighborhoods.”

Neighborhood leaders typically include community club and neighborhood-association heads. However, the group deems anyone invested in their community as a neighborhood leader.

Meetings are typically held twice per year. Topics are selected based on the interests of residents, which have in the past included emergency preparedness, planning for growth, utilities and neighborhood safety.

Meeting summaries are posted online at https://bit.ly/37H2tGq after they have occurred.

McCormick-Huentelman noted in an email the importance of residential input in city planning.

“Our resident priorities for Bellevue shape our future and it is important to hear broadly from our entire community,” he said. “While there are many ways for our community to communicate directly with city leadership and have their voices heard, this upcoming neighborhood leadership gathering will provide an opportunity for the community to share their priorities.”

Those interested in attending are encouraged to email neighborhoodoutreach@bellevuewa.gov or call 425-452-6836.