Council District 6
516 Third Ave., Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104
Toll Free: 800-325-6165
Our priority during this budget process was to continue King County’s legacy of delivering quality services that keep us prosperous, safe and healthy. Using “LEAN’s” continuous improvement principles, we have collaboratively done so, and in record time. I am also glad to report that we have narrowed the “structural gap” of our budget from 5 to 6% to 1.5 to 2%. We have increased funding for the homeless youth, water quality testing, affordable housing, the sheriff’s office, youth services and other initiatives while being good stewards and accountable to our citizens.
In partnership with the King County Housing Authority and others, we were able to piece together funding that saved a total of 200 units of “Section 8” affordable housing. These units are occupied by low income families and seniors in areas where these residents would not otherwise be able to afford to live, specifically Bellevue, Redmond, Auburn and Vashon. These are places where these properties are more likely to be sold and developed, leaving those needing affordable housing scrambling to find transitional housing when they do not have the extra money to do so. The million dollars we were able to identify helped close a much needed funding gap. This funding was leveraged with another $21 million in public and private funds for this need.
Accountability to our citizens is also affirmed by this budget. Collaboration and continuous improvement were “watch words” as we crafted this budget, ensuring the careful use of county funds. One of our strongest avenues for ensuring continuous improvement is through the County’s LEAN total quality management process that is results oriented. These improvements mean more money shifting from less efficient processes and organizational structures to direct services to the people. Examples include efficiencies that saved 1.2 million dollars in how we deliver mental health services in our jails. We have also streamlined the use of paper processes in the elections department and reduced the time of processing car tabs from three weeks to three days.
With this budget, we are making a conscious choice to bring our LEAN resources together, bring forward training to make continuous improvement part of the fabric of every King County employee's daily work, and to strategically direct where our largest LEAN efforts should be focused. This budget funds additional employees to prioritize areas of the county where we can find efficiencies that provide the “biggest bang for the buck.
On balance, as our economy has struggled and is getting back on its feet, leadership at King County has pulled together to find solutions. Unlike “the other Washington,” King County has collaborated between the three branches of government across party and jurisdictional boundaries to get things done. I am proud to help craft a Council budget makes an immediate difference in people’s lives. Learn more at: http://1.usa.gov/1eIE6dM
Metro service cuts
Due to funding shortages, Metro plans to reduce service up to 17% in mid-2014. This is 600,000 hours of bus service affecting nearly 7 out of 10 bus riders, forcing deletion on the Eastside of 65 bus routes with another 86 routes reduced or changed to cut costs. Here is the latest announcement on these proposed cuts.
I believe that it is essential that we receive funding tools from the legislature during the special session that provides local options for so that voters are able to choose the levels of service they are willing to support.
This is not just about transit. It is not just about roads. It is roads and transit. We are the economic engine of the state and have a need for stable and on-going transportation funding.
Eastside commuters are using public transit these days in ever increasing numbers. The projected 17% cuts in service in 2014 have the potential to derail that growth. We have many roads that we are constantly repairing or will be going to gravel, especially in our rural areas. We have bridges that we continue to repair and many that we will have to close. We have a transit system that many depend on. This will result in fewer travel options, longer travel times, more transfers, more overcrowded and less reliable buses.
Here is a website where you can see what routes are affected: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future/
There will be open houses and workshops to discuss the proposed cuts on November 21 at Bellevue City Hall and Kirkland Library on January 15.
You can also give your thoughts by calling 206-263-9768, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on line at http://metro.kingcounty.gov/am/future.
Regional Advisory Council launches cooperative planning for Eastside Rail Corridor
On October 29, 2013, the Eastside Rail Corridor Regional Advisory Council (RAC) gave its unanimous approval of a report affirming cooperation on future uses of the corridor. We have reached a milestone that is another important step toward sustainability for our community and its citizens. Literally, and figuratively, we are creating a corridor which will connect people with jobs, services and recreational opportunities within their community. At the same time, we are preserving the opportunity for future uses of the corridor that can benefit our entire region – a legacy for generations to come.
The report provides a summary of the RAC’s work to date, and calls for continued collaboration between the owners of the rail corridor. The report summarizes recommendations from the first phase of the regional planning effort for what will become a multi-use corridor, offering connections for trails, high-capacity transit, potential freight reactivation, rail use and utilities for generations to come. The report also describes the RAC’s vision for the corridor, the corridor’s history, and the process used by the RAC to develop these recommendations.
The Eastside Rail Corridor is a corridor of regional significance. It can create connections within and beyond the Puget Sound region – from Vancouver to Vancouver and beyond. It will enhance mobility, provide much-needed green space, support economic development, and allow for utilities to support growth, connections our transportation and trail networks, and help strengthen the ties within neighborhoods and between communities. Preserving the corridor in public ownership and planning for multiple uses along its length will be our generation’s legacy to the future.
The owners of the ERC – King County, Redmond, Kirkland, Sound Transit and PSE – have come together to collaboratively plan for the future of this important dual use corridor. As members of the ERC Regional Advisory Council, the owners will discuss how to complement one another’s uses of property rights within the corridor, hear from stakeholders and interested community members and then will make recommendations about how the ERC can best be designed for trail and transit use. We had a very successful open house on July 31—Here is KING 5 TV’s report by Amy Moreno.
Photo: Members of the ERC Regional Advisory Committee at the Oct. 29 RAC Report Signing Ceremony
Read the media release
Read the full report
South Kirkland Park and Ride project
On September 16 we cut the ribbon on the South Kirkland Park and Ride which is a “Transit Oriented Development” that supports commuting to work with an expanded facility. It also provides housing opportunities for those who work and live in the area and includes affordable housing units—this helps especially at this time when we have been named the #17 least affordable housing market in the US of the 25th largest cities. This project establishes an innovative and integrated gateway to Kirkland and South Bellevue.
As congestion increases along the 520 corridor this transit oriented development creates a desirable alternative for the Eastside which takes cars off the road and prepares us for the transition to the new 520 floating bridge. This public and private partnership is a shining example of collaboration between the King County Council, the City of Bellevue, the City of Kirkland and Metro Transit as well as our private partners, Polygon Northwest and Imagine Housing. I was delighted to see this construction occur while we continued operations of the South Kirkland Park& Ride.
The total parking will increase from 600 to over 850. This includes 530 spaces in the three story parking garage and 260 surface lot spaces. Once construction is completed on the mixed-use housing project we will top 850 spaces. This includes 9 electric charging stations and two rows of bike racks. In addition to the additional park and ride spaces, there will be a mixed-income, mixed-use housing development where there were none before. This will include a total of 243 apartments and is slated to open for initial occupancy in fall 2014. Polygon Northwest is building 185 residences, approximately 7,000 square feet of retail. Local non-profit affordable housing developer Imagine Housing and its affiliate, Red Vines 1, will build and operate 58 affordable residences.
Thanks to all our partners as well as the staff who worked on the project and made this happen.
Watch the video of the ribbon cutting and project on K-Life/Kirkland TV’s “Currently Kirkland” program.
Help shape the future of King County!
King County is seeking your input on a new version of our strategic plan, which will shape the future of county government over the next five years. To reach as many people as possible, we are offering two ways for you to participate:
On-line: Share your experiences and ideas at www.OneKingCounty.info, an interactive, online discussion forum among residents and King County.
In Person: Meet your neighbors and continue the conversation at one of seven public workshops throughout the county. On Thursday, October 24, Bellevue Community College will host a workshop on the Eastside from 6-8 pm. The address is is 3000 Landerholm Circle SE, Bellevue, WA 98004, Room C-130 (Garden Room).
It is easy to register for the website. Follow this link to give us your thoughts on the following questions:
• What makes King County a great place to live?
• What challenges do you face living in King County?
• What is your BIG idea for King County's future?
Please participate as soon as possible as the deadline for gathering your input is November 30. For more information, go to: www.kingcounty.gov/exec/PSB/CountyStratPlan/StrategicPlanUpdate or contact my office at email@example.com
On Thursday, July 25 I was delighted to join Woodinville Little League President Helen Jackson and King County Parks Director Kevin Brown as State Senator Andy Hill presented a symbolic check for $750,000 to local little leaguers for improvements to the Northshore Athletic Fields.
$750,000 Grant for Northshore Athletic Fields
The state grant funding will cover needed improvements at the fields, including restroom facilities, equipment storage, handicapped access, batting cages, a concessions stand and field improvements. The ball fields are managed under a public/private partnership with King County Parks.
This is not only “for the kids” but a great example of the community, county and state working together to provide for their needs in these challenging times. The improvements will start immediately and are expected to be completed in the next two years. Congratulations!
Norm Maleng Award
On May 18th the domestic violence service agency LifeWire (formerly Eastside Domestic Violence Program) hosted their World of Hope Dinner & Auction.
During the event, Judy Maleng presented the LifeWire's prestigious Norm Maleng Award to myself and King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert, honoring us for our inspirational leadership and dedicated service ~ personally and professionally ~ to end domestic violence.
I am humbled receiving from Judy Maleng LifeWire's Norm Maleng Award along with Kathy Lambert for our domestic violence advocacy. It is especially poignant to me as Norm Maleng was my mentor, friend, confident and ally. Norm Maleng was a tireless advocate for children and youth and exemplified exceptional leadership and tireless commitment to ending domestic violence." Read more.
Learn more about LifeWire at: http://www.edvp.org/