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April 16, 2009 3:45 PM

Seattle city councilmembers issued cat toys - to save money

Posted by Emily Heffter

As the city of Seattle grapples with an $80 million budget shortfall over the next two years, some administrative staff are saving taxpayer money by issuing cat toys to members of the City Council.

Councilmembers use laser pointers during meetings to point at the big PowerPoint screen. But the laser pointers get lost a lot, and they're expensive to replace, said Nancy Roberts, the council's administrative support supervisor. The pen-shaped pointers go for $25 or $30 at an office-supply store.

A cat-owning staff member pointed out that essentially the same thing could be had at Petco for $5.
So Roberts issued a laser light cat toy to each councilmember today.

"We're just very cost-conscious this year about everything, and trying to think outside the box," she said.

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Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Jennifer Sullivan
Covers the state Legislature from Olympia.

Chantal Anderson
Covers the state Legislature from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Writes about the city of Seattle and local politics.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Jim Brunner
Writes about money and power from Seattle.