Washington law outlines the process that cities use to prepare and adopt the budget. Mountlake Terrace uses a two-year budget for the period of January 2011 through December 2012. The budget process begins in the spring, with the City Council identifying goals to be achieved during the next two to three years. Department directors then gather information, and make recommendations to the City Manager on how best to achieve the Council's goals.
This information includes everything from reductions in one area to increases in another. After reviewing the information with staff and the City Council, the City Manager presents the Council with a balanced budget in the fall. The City Council then holds a series of public meetings in October and November to discuss the proposed budget and to make changes. For more information please view the November 16, 2010 Adopted 2011-2012 Biennial Budget (PDF).