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King County

Charter Amendment No. 2
Repeal of Charter Section 475 – Work Programs and Allotments

Shall King County Charter Section 475, relating to preparation of work programs and requested allotments and to appropriation transfers, be repealed, as provided in Ordinance No. 16546?



Section 475 of the King County Charter requires all county agencies, except the county council, to present work programs and requested allotments to the county executive to control expenditures and prevent deficits. It also contains provisions regarding the transfer of appropriations by the executive and the council. Section 475 was originally adopted in 1969 and since the budget processes that are referred to in Section 475 are no longer used, the section has become obsolete.

At the request of the county executive and the county council, the King County Charter Review Commission recommended repeal of Section 475. If approved, this charter amendment would repeal Section 475.

The repeal of Section 475 is not intended to affect existing legislation or to limit the power of the council to adopt legislation regarding the matters addressed in Section 475.

When it comes to a “constitution” such as the King County Charter, flexibility, including the freedom to adapt to changing times and circumstances, is critical. This is especially true with respect to tools used to monitor and control expenditures. Charter Section 475 addresses the fiscal control issue by means of a system of quarterly allotments and other devices. These devices were crafted to work with a budget control system that no longer exists. This Charter Amendment frees up present and future elected officials to enact by ordinance systems of fiscal control that are responsive to contemporary needs and which build upon modern budget monitoring methods without unnecessary Charter restraints.

Both Executive and Council staffs agree that allotments are cumbersome, outdated and add nothing to effective fiscal control. Moreover, the recently convened King County Financial Policies Advisory Task Force recommended that the allotment provision be removed from the Charter. The 2007-2008 Charter Review Commission, on which we each served, concurred without dissent. We urge voters to support this needed fiscal reform.

STATEMENT PREPARED BY: Bryan Glynn, Doreen Cato, Mike Lowry

No statement submitted.

Ordinance 16546


Proposed No. 2009-0282.2                                  Sponsors  Ferguson


AN ORDINANCE proposing to repeal Section 475 of the King County Charter pertaining to work programs and allotments, and submitting the same to the voters of the county for their ratification or rejection at the November 2009 general election.


            SECTION 1. There shall be submitted to the voters of King County for their approval and ratification or rejection, at the next general election to be held in this county occurring more than forty-five days after the enactment of this ordinance, an amendment to the King County Charter repealing Section 475, as set forth herein:

            Section 475 repealed. Section 475 of the King County Charter, “Work Programs and Allotments,” is hereby repealed.

            SECTION 2. The clerk of the council shall certify the proposition to the county elections director, in substantially the following form, with such additions, deletions or modifications as may be required by the prosecuting attorney:

Shall the King County Charter be amended to repeal Section 475, “Work Programs and Allotments”?

        SECTION 3. The repeal of Section 475 of the King County Charter is not intended to affect existing legislation or to limit the power of the council to adopt legislation regarding the matters that were addressed in Section 475.

Ordinance 16546 was introduced on 4/20/2009 and passed by the Metropolitan King County Council on 6/8/2009, by the following vote:


              Yes: 9 - Mr. Constantine, Mr. Ferguson, Ms. Hague, Ms. Lambert, Mr. von Reichbauer, Mr. Gossett, Mr. Phillips, Ms. Patterson and Mr. Dunn

No: 0

Excused: 0

Simple Majority (Washington State Constitution Art. XI, Sec. 4 and King County Charter Section 800)

1232 en-US Production

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