Members receive State of the County Address from Executive Constantine
The response of members of the Metropolitan King County Council to today’s state of the County Address by County Executive Dow Constantine was that the next step will be integrating the Executive’s priorities into the Council’s legislative priorities for 2011 to achieve the goal of “One King County.”
“The Council and the Executive continue to take significant steps towards reforming King County as a whole,” Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, Chair of the Committee of the Whole. “The collaborative spirit between branches is inspiring. This is an exciting time to serve and I look forward to the work ahead of us.”
“The Executive has introduced a sound agenda that focuses on meeting the challenges we face now even as we prepare for the future,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “Today’s address was the starting point for how the Council will work with the Executive on making the goal of ‘One King County’ a reality.”
“I applaud Executive Constantine for his many efforts to reform King County government in ways we’ve never seen before, especially during these difficult times,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson, Chair of the Council’s Budget Committee. “We heard today how the Executive is challenging many of the old assumptions about how the County does business, and how he will continue to work closely with the Council to drive down costs, reform labor relations and refocus County efforts on customer service.”
The County Executive delivered his annual State of the County Address to Councilmembers at a special meeting of the Committee of the Whole held at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. In an address that ranged from the revival of the regional economy to support of public transportation funding options and the rebuilding the County’s aging infrastructure, the Executive focused on his priorities for this year.
“A new Transit Strategic Plan that focuses on improving transparency and productivity while ensuring social equity and geographic value is critical for recovering King County’s economy, so I look forward to working with Executive Constantine on its adoption,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee. “I’m committed to enhancing King County economic development and job opportunities by working with the Executive on streamlining King County’s procurement process and other efforts to help small businesses compete, succeed, and employ more people.”
“I am encouraged by the success of this first year and the Executive’s emphasis on collaboration and infrastructure improvements to better serve our citizens while meeting ongoing economic challenges,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, who serves as Chair of the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. “It is exciting to see the cooperation among county agencies that already has produced efficiencies in the past year. I look forward to working with the Executive on implementing new qualitative and quantitative measures to streamline government to meet the needs of our citizens all across the county.”
“I look forward to building on our reforms from last year to make King County government work better,” said Councilmember Bob Ferguson, Chair of the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. “A key priority this year is the renewal of the Veterans and Human Services Levy, which provides vital services for veterans and other King County residents.”
“The Executive has shown a willingness to reach out to all constituencies in the County,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “Today’s address focused on the importance of our suburban, rural and unincorporated communities.”
“The County must ensure our sustainable prosperity through economic development and regional job creation as the Executive outlined,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott. “The South Park Bridge in particular will both create needed construction jobs and restore economic vitality to key industries and businesses in our region.”
“I enjoyed the collaboration in working with Executive Constantine during the first year of his administration. He has laid out an ambitious agenda for 2011 and I look forward to working with him where there is agreement,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “As Chair of the Regional Transit Committee, I am excited to get to work reviewing a new Strategic Plan for Public Transportation.”
After the address, Councilmembers received a briefing on how the Executive’s priorities will intersect with the Council’s 2011 priorities, which they expect to adopt in mid-March. Both the Council’s and Executive’s priorities are focused on the implementation of the King County Strategic Plan adopted by the Council in 2010.