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Council Approves New Layer of Accountability for Special Districts

Summary

This legislation follows news reports and expressed concerns by local citizens of alleged illegitimate practices within multiple special purpose districts.

Story

The Metropolitan King County Council today gave its unanimous approval to an evaluation of the election and financial procedures of many special purpose districts within King County. This legislation follows news reports and expressed concerns by local citizens of alleged illegitimate practices within multiple special purpose districts.

The approved motion, introduced by Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn and Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, requests that the Executive’s office conducts a comprehensive review of elections and finance processes and procedures related to certain special districts in King County. This review will ensure these districts are acting in compliance with all legal requirements related to elections and use of taxpayer funds. The special districts under the view include public utility districts, conservation districts, and other special districts with elections in which property ownership is a prerequisite to voting, such as drainage districts.

“Given recent events, it is the right thing for the County to intercede where they can to bring more accountability to special purpose districts,” said Dunn. “The public deserves to have the utmost assurance that their local governments are functioning legitimately.”

“This legislation is a good step forward in ensuring that tax dollars collected to benefit special districts are spent on what they’ve been allocated for,” said von Reichbauer. “From now on, the elected officials in these districts will be accountable to the public for what they spend and how they spend it.”

While special districts are separate from the King County government, King County provides services for special districts. The Executive’s plan will be developed in conjunction with King County Elections, the Department of Assessments, the Finance and Business Operations Division, and other departments that intersect with special districts.
Contact the Council
Main phone:
206-477-1000
TTY/TDD:
206-296-1024
Email:
council@kingcounty.gov