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Dunn Appoints Commissioners to Three Vacant Drainage District Seats Following Concerns of Fraud and Illegitimate Election Practices

Summary

Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn charted a new path forward for the residents of Drainage District #5 following the King County Council’s unanimous approval of Mark Van Wieringen, David Ballestrasse, and Alan Predmore as new commissioners.

Story

Today, Metropolitan King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn charted a new path forward for the residents of Drainage District #5 following the King County Council’s unanimous approval of Mark Van Wieringen, David Ballestrasse, and Alan Predmore as new commissioners.

The commissioners must now sort through issues raised by separate investigations by the Enumclaw Police Department and State Auditor that found $413,323 had been misappropriated between May 2012 and December 2017. The state audit tallied another $66,035 in what was described as questionable transactions.

“These recent events exposed not only a few bad actors, but a greater weakness in state law regarding special purpose districts,” said Dunn. “That’s why I’ve introduced legislation here in King County to add a new layer of accountability for certain special purpose districts. The public needs to be able to trust beyond a doubt that their local governments, however small, are legitimate and transparent.”

Dunn’s legislation, co-sponsored with Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, requested that the King County Executive report to the Council on all special purpose districts within King County that do not hold regular general elections under state law. The Executive’s Office will undertake comprehensive elections and financial compliance reviews of these special purpose districts.

Special purpose districts generally serve a single function and operate separately from a city, town, or county government. They provide an array of services and facilities including electricity, fire protection, flood control, health, housing, irrigation, parks and recreation, library, water-sewer service and more recently, stadiums, convention centers, and entertainment facilities that are not otherwise available from city or county governments.

Each special district is governed by a 3 member body. Their terms are six years and they serve until their successor is elected and qualified. One member of the governing body is elected at the time of special district general elections in even-numbered years.

The three newly appointed commissioners will stand for election in February 2020.

Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Email:
council@kingcounty.gov