New Department of Local Services has its first director

Announced by King County today:

Executive Dow Constantine appointed John Taylor to serve as the first director of the Department of Local Services, which will better coordinate and deliver direct services to the nearly 250,000 people who live in unincorporated King County.

Taylor currently serves as an assistant division director at the King County Department of Natural Resources & Parks. He will lead the newly created Department of Local Services, which will consist of a Permitting Division for development permit review, code enforcement, and subarea planning, a Road Services Division responsible for 1,500 miles of roads and 182 bridges, and a Director’s Office, which will include the Community Service Areas program.

“John Taylor will provide the leadership our new department needs to deliver outstanding service to the quarter-million people of unincorporated King County,” said Executive Constantine. “I want the Department of Local Services to start with a strong foundation that empowers our talented employees to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction, and that is the workplace culture John will promote.”

King County is the regional government for 2.2 million residents, offering services such as transit, public health, public safety, emergency management, and wastewater treatment. For the nearly 250,000 people who live in urban and rural unincorporated communities, the county is the de facto city government.

“Executive Constantine wants to make sure that everyone who lives in unincorporated King County has their own version of a city hall, a hub that coordinates services that improve their quality of life,” said Taylor. “Having a new department dedicated to unincorporated communities will make it easier for us to deliver direct services that would be unmatched in any city.”

Taylor coordinated a landmark agreement signed last year by Executive Constantine that will simultaneously restore salmon habitat, strengthen the region’s agricultural economy, and reduce flood risks in the Snoqualmie Valley.

He earned his master’s degree in public administration at the University of Vermont.

The framework for the new department is based on a study that Senior Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett conducted at Executive Constantine’s request to determine how to better deliver direct and contracted services in unincorporated King County, including transportation, public safety, clean water, and increased access to opportunity.

The King County Council unanimously approved Executive Constantine’s proposal to create the Department of Local Services, which will begin operations on Jan. 1, 2019. Taylor’s appointment is subject to approval by the King County Council.


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