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County Council ready to focus on Executive’s plans to strengthen King County’s “infrastructure”


Members receive State of the County Address from Executive Constantine


The members of the Metropolitan King County Council said their focus will be on how to implement the ideas presented today by County Executive Dow Constantine at his State of the County address to reinforce the County’s “infrastructure.”

“I applaud the Executive’s blueprint for the future, but we also need to continue working together on the challenges that still face King County,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett. “Much of what he proposed—especially public transportation and public health—depend on getting the revenue needed to maintain these programs. I’m prepared to work with him on finding the funds to support these efforts.”

“I appreciate the Executive’s efforts to support the people in this region through his initiatives in public health and human services,” said Council Vice Chair Julia Patterson. “I look forward to working with the Executive to improve the health of our communities.”

“I agree with the Executive that ‘people are the center of what we do,’” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague, Vice Chair of Regional Coordination. “We need to continue focusing on how well we work with our regional partners in delivering quality competitive services that keep families healthy and jobs in the region.”

The County Executive delivered his State of the County Address to Councilmembers at a special meeting of the Council at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI).

In the address, the Executive said through working together, the County has emerged strong from the challenges created by Great Recession. The Executive said his priorities for 2013 are to prepare for King County’s future by strengthening three specific components:

Human infrastructure: Which includes jobs, continued support for veterans services, Health Care and Public Safety;

Natural infrastructure: Climate change and energy use, flood protection and environmental cleanup, protecting and building on the King County’s agricultural heritage;

Built infrastructure: Working with stakeholders in King County and with the state legislature to invest in maintaining and building County roads and public transportation.

“Investing in infrastructure was a theme I was particularly pleased to hear about from Executive Constantine,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips, Chair of the Transportation, Economy, and Environment Committee. “The people of King County thrive when we invest in jobs, transit and transportation, as well as clean air and clean water. The future of our quality of life depends on it.”

“I look forward to a continued productive working relationship with the County Executive this year,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “Delivering services and meeting the needs of the citizens of King County are goals I share with Executive Constantine. I thank him for his address this morning and I will be thoroughly reviewing his proposals as they come before the Council.”

Among the initiatives proposed by the Executive:
• A campaign to enroll 180,000 uninsured County residents into affordable health coverage,
• A program to connect veterans and their families to the benefits they’ve earned through military service,
• Directing Public Health—Seattle & King County to develop data-drive local strategies for preventing gun violence in King County,
• Continuing to partner with cities on a proposal for roads and transit,
• Continued focus on climate change, as he announced that King County has reached its goal of getting half of its energy for operations from renewable sources.

“I look forward to working with Executive Constantine and members of the county council in moving forward with assisting veterans and their families receive the benefits they’ve earned as well as reducing violence in all forms,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “As we move hopefully out of this recession, it’s important we all work together to create job opportunities for the citizens of King County.”

“I’m encouraged to see the Executive join me in making gun safety a County priority; this is an important step in protecting our communities. Gun violence is 100 percent preventable, and public health has a successful record of reducing preventable deaths with comprehensive policy approaches. That’s why at its January meeting the Board of Health called on the state legislature and Congress to take meaningful action to address gun violence and committed itself to taking within its authority,” said Councilmember Joe McDermott who chairs the Board of Health and the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee. “I’m also particularly pleased with the announcement of the Leadership Council to help the County leverage health care reform. The County will continue to lead on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. This partners well with efforts the Council has already made to make our systems integrated and efficient.”

“The growing number of veterans in King County deserves support because they have served us,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “Several new King County programs are adding mental health and employment services to reach more veterans, and now this call for more coordination and filling gaps will go a long way toward helping our heroic veterans to adjust to life back at home. I also look forward to focusing this year on flood control efforts, agricultural protection and funding for our deteriorating county roads.”

King County TV will re-broadcast today’s State of the County Address at the following times:

Monday, February 4 

 7:00 p.m.

Tuesday, February 5

 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 6

 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, February 7

 3:30 p.m.

Friday, February 8

 10 a.m. & 10 p.m.              

For additional times check the KCTV online schedule.

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