Year in review: King County Executive lists accomplishments
Received from King County Executive Dow Constantine’s office today:
2010: a year of accomplishment and reform
After one year, tangible progress made toward protecting community values and returning King County to financial stability
After his first year in office, King County Executive Dow Constantine says his agenda for reform has put the County on a path to financial stability, bringing fundamental change and significant accomplishments consistent with the values of our community.
“In one year we’ve made dramatic strides toward putting the County on sound financial footing, while handling emergent issues in a methodical and responsible way,” said Executive Constantine. “Thanks to our strong leadership team, and dedicated King County employees, we have accomplished much to protect what matters most to the people of King County.”
Among the accomplishments of his administration in the first year, the Executive cited:
* Full funding for the long-awaited replacement of the South Park Bridge, in collaboration with federal, state and local leaders.
* Federal funding for long-term interim repair of the ailing Howard Hanson Dam to reduce the flood risk in the Green River Valley, in collaboration with federal, state and local leaders.
* A regional partnership with cities on a new model for animal services.
* A regional partnership with cities on jail planning, to avoid unnecessary construction of new city jails.
* A consensus with regional leaders on reforms in the provision of Metro bus service.
* The purchase of 250 acres of Maury Island, including a mile of shoreline, that completes the Executive’s 12-year effort to preserve the longest remaining undeveloped Puget Sound shoreline in King County.
* Completion and adoption of the first-ever countywide strategic plan.
* Completion of the first phase of an upgrade to the County’s human resources business processes, replacing manual practices from the 1970′s with more efficient automated workflows that provide critical access to real-time data.
* Creation of a new County energy policy to achieve even greater energy efficiency, reduce operational costs, and curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
* Reform of DDES permitting to a fixed fee model rather than hourly rates, and creation of a customer service unit for rural owners.
Adoption of a new King County budget, one week ahead of schedule, achieved several of the Executive’s goals by:
* Consolidating his effort to put County government back on sound financial footing by creating annual efficiencies of three percent, leading to budgets that will be sustainable over time,
* Sticking to his principle of maintaining reserves without resorting to one-time gimmicks,
* Working with more than 90-percent of the County’s employees to preserve services to the public by forgoing a cost-of-living adjustment for next year, and
* Preserving the principle of restoring services, to the extent possible, in those areas where employees have sacrificed their COLA.
Prudent management of county finances and realistic budget planning contributed twice in 2010 to reaffirmation by the major rating agencies of King County’s AAA credit ratings on the sale of county bonds. The high ratings enable the county to save taxpayer dollars by obtaining the most favorable interest rates on financing for major projects, despite unprecedented budget challenges.
“We’ve changed the calculus on what had been an unsustainable rise in costs, and more closely matched our expenditures with our revenues,” said Executive Constantine. “We are putting King County on the right track, and I look forward to what we can accomplish in the year ahead.”
For a complete list of Executive branch accomplishments for 2010, see www.kingcounty.gov/exec
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