CONTACT: Bryan Dominique, Communications Manager, (253) 392-4221 or email at [email protected]
In a 4-3 vote, the Pierce County Council failed to override County Executive Bruce Dammeier’s veto of the Community Needs Fund (Ordinance No. 2023-68). The Council requires a supermajority to override a veto, where at least five members vote to override the Executive’s action.
The program would have authorized the Council to provide funding to community organizations and local government partners for initiatives that were determined to enhance the quality of life for community members in every part of Pierce County. Funding was capped at $75,000 yearly or $150,000 in the biennium per councilmember for community-led initiatives. Funding proposals would require a Council vote. The 2024-2025 Biennial Budget included $1.27 million in funding for community needs.
“Our Community Needs Fund would have helped many people in immediate need. These are people experiencing homelessness right now. They are people experiencing food insecurity right now. They are seniors who need senior centers to stay active and connected right now,” said Council Vice Chair Marty Campbell (District 5). “We could have put money directly and transparently to the organizations working in these spaces quickly.”
The Council passed the Community Needs Fund Ordinance on Tuesday, Oct. 31, establishing the framework for the program.
The Council will pass the budget on Tuesday, Nov. 21, without the Community Needs Fund. Council Chair Ryan Mello (District 4) says, “We will look for creative ways to get funding into the community where it will matter most, especially our vulnerable populations. It’s unfortunate that three of my colleagues chose to stand with the Executive and limit their ability to meet the needs of their districts more readily.”
Dammeier has used his veto power eight times since taking office in 2016.