King County government is setting measurable goals for its future that are service-oriented and fiscally responsible, under the first-ever King County Strategic Plan sent to the King County Council today by County Executive Dow Constantine.
StoryKing County government is setting measurable goals for its future that are service-oriented and fiscally responsible, under the first-ever countywide Strategic Plan sent to the County Council today by Executive Dow Constantine.
“Adoption of this plan is a critical first step toward a more efficient, more effective and more accountable King County,” said Executive Constantine. “This plan provides a strong foundation of shared commitment to service, partnership and fiscal responsibility so that we can become an organization that is responsive to those it serves and quickly adapts when efficiencies are identified to improve how we do business countywide.”
The five-year plan, entitled “King County Strategic Plan, 2010–2014: Working Together for One King County,” was created with input from hundreds of residents, staff and elected officials over the past 18 months. It is a key tool in the Executive’s efforts to reform county government by collaborating across departments and agencies to bring down costs, develop specific priorities and strategies to improve services, and focus the county’s resources on those strategies upon which stakeholders have agreed.
On March 8 Executive Constantine released an Executive Draft of the countywide strategic plan that reflected input from his new leadership team and the public review process. Councilmembers and King County’s independently elected officials have since provided feedback.
“Their involvement throughout this process has made this a clearer, more focused, and ultimately better plan,” said Constantine.
The strategic plan identifies five priorities for implementation in the first year that are central to the Executive’s long-term reforms of county government:
1. Set standards and expectations for the immediate improvement of customer service;
2. Build lasting regional partnerships;
3. Stabilize the long-term structural budget problem by clearly defining King County service levels and giving voters choices;
4. Build a culture of performance; and
5. Empower our workforce to work together as one King County.
The Executive has also proposed an “Initial Implementation Plan” that outlines how King County departments and agencies will be responsible for carrying out the strategies included in the plan and measuring progress. This will include working with employees at all levels of county government to ensure that the vision, mission and guiding values laid out in the plan are embodied in everything King County does, from processing permits to driving buses to providing for public health and safety. This additional layer of measurement is aimed at improving the county’s ability to link everyday decision-making and performance evaluation with the high-level goals laid out in the strategic plan.
To ensure accountability at all levels of government, the Executive is asking elected leadership to meet twice a year to review the county’s performance on the Strategic Plan and make mid-course corrections as needed.
The strategic plan is the first time King County has worked closely with those inside and outside of government to create a single vision of the county’s future and the strategies the county will employ to make that vision a reality.
The plan must be adopted by the King County Council, which will provide its own process for review and more opportunities for public feedback.