The City of Black Diamond may have to shut down, according to its mayor. That is, unless the mayor and the City Council can agree on a budget for 2017 at a meeting Thursday night.
On the surface, the disagreement appears to be about government spending. But below that is a deeper disagreement over how much to spend on oversight of a massive development that will dwarf the size of the existing town.
Former King County Councilmember Brian Derdowski is a critic of the development. He’s been advising the City Council (pro bono, he said) to resist what he considers the mayor’s scare tactics.
Derdowski: “We won’t give in to tyrants so we get our water, so we get our police.”
Mayor Carole Benson said the city is doing a fine job already watching over the developer. She’s called for the City Council to approve her budget.
Meanwhile, the 6,000 house development can out-wait a city government shutdown. Brian Ross is CEO of the developer, Oakpointe.
Ross: “For sure, we would have to stop working, there’s no question about that. And there would be a significant financial impact to us. But it won’t permanently change anything. We own the land, the projects are approved, and it would just be a temporary delay.”
The city’s interim budget expires at the end of March. But the mayor said the government shutdown would begin long before that.