King County Executive Dow Constantine this afternoon responded to inaction by the Metropolitan King County Council on several proposals to let voters decide what level of public safety services they wanted to support for next year...
King County Executive Dow Constantine this afternoon responded to inaction by the Metropolitan King County Council on several proposals to let voters decide what level of public safety services they wanted to support for next year:
"I am disappointed that a minority on the Council prevented voters from having the choice to protect public safety. Their inaction will have direct consequences for our residents.
"I must now prepare and submit a budget for 2011 that cuts essential criminal justice programs, whether or not a ballot measure is eventually proposed for November.
"To help soften the impact of those severe reductions, I have also directed my budget office to immediately evaluate service cuts that can be made in the middle of this year.
"The reform agenda I have in place involves long-term strategies to permanently reduce growth in the cost of county services. Creating efficiencies is an integral part of the equation, and productivity improvements were one-fourth of my proposal for 2011.
"I look forward to having the Council join me in my work to methodically, continuously improve the cost-effectiveness of county services, and I remain committed to working with the Council on any remaining reasonable solution that prevents drastic cuts to public safety."
King County provides regional services to 1.9 million residents including more than 340,000 people living in unincorporated areas. Services include Metro transit, public health, wastewater treatment, courts, jails, prosecutors, public defenders, community and social services, the King County International Airport, and local services such as police protection, roads services and garbage collection. King County is the 14th largest county in the nation, covering 2,134 square miles, 39 cities, 760 lakes and reservoirs, and six major river systems with 3,000 miles of streams.