News from Kurt Triplett's Administration
King County receives $900,000 federal substance abuse treatment grant
Youth and young adults completing substance abuse treatment programs will have help to complete treatment and transition successfully back to their communities, thanks to new funding announced by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The award to King County’s Mental Health, Chemical Abuse and Dependency Services Division will provide $300,000 a year for three years to support substance abuse treatment programs for youth 18-24 years of age and their families.
Executive praises Ferry District tax reduction
King County Executive Kurt Triplett today thanked the Metropolitan King County Council acting as the Ferry District Board of Supervisors for dramatically reducing the county Ferry District’s property tax. The action leaves open the possibility of a dedicated Metro transit tax at no net increase to property owners.
Exec commends Council for flood money approval
The King County Council has passed legislation approving $34.6 million in funding for flood preparation activities in the Green River Valley as requested by King County Executive Kurt Triplett in September.
Most King County offices closed October 12 for unpaid furlough
On Monday, October 12, 2009, most King County staff will be on unpaid leave and most county buildings will be closed as the county takes the eighth of 10 furlough days in 2009 to cut operational costs countywide. All department employees, with limited exceptions, such as those in public safety functions, are included in the furlough plan.
Triplett 2010 budget prioritizes public health and safety while cutting jobs and administration costs
King County Executive Kurt Triplett today transmitted a $621 million 2010 General Fund budget that shields criminal justice and public health services from major cuts and slashes administrative costs to address a projected $56.4 million shortfall. The General Fund is $26 million less than 2009 - the second year in a row that the General Fund has decreased from the previous year. Across all county funds, the budget eliminates 367 jobs
Audit finding highlights some county best practices but overstates potential savings
An audit released by the Washington State Auditor on Wednesday highlights nearly two dozen instances of industry standard best practices being used by King County to reduce taxpayer costs for utility services.
Sept. 10County declares emergency in advance of flooding
King County Executive Kurt Triplett signed a proclamation of emergency today in order to speed up preparation for an increase risk of flooding on the Green River due to damage to the Howard Hansen Dam. The action will waive county contracting requirements and help support a request for federal reimbursement for pre-emptive measures after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers warned of potential major flooding for three to five years while the dam is repaired.
Sept. 3Most King County offices closed September 4 for unpaid furlough
On Friday, September 4, 2009, most King County staff will be on unpaid leave and most county buildings will be closed as the county takes the seventh of 10 furlough days in 2009 to cut operational costs countywide. All department employees, with limited exceptions, such as those in public safety functions, are included in the furlough plan.
Sept. 3County wins tech awards
King County residents who depend on the county’s Web site for updates are getting their information from one of the most innovative, user-friendly portals around, according to e.Republic.com’s Center for Digital Government. The organization has recognized King County with three awards for excellence in Information Technology in its 2009 Best of the Web and Digital Government Achievement Awards.
Aug. 27King County Hosts Historic Barn Workshop
Residents who own an old barn in King County or the surrounding area may be eligible for matching grants to assist with barn stabilization and rehabilitation projects. The money is part of the Heritage Barn Preservation Initiative, a program of the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation that established the Heritage Barn Register, a statewide list of historically significant barns.
Aug. 20Inmate dies in custody
An inmate in the custody of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention died the morning of Aug. 20 at the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle. The person, an adult male, was booked into the facility on Aug. 18.
Aug. 19New report: more health insurance, better health for thousands of King County children and families
More than 5,700 children in King County are now receiving publicly-funded health coverage, with most already having seen a doctor and dentist, thanks to the three year old King County Child Health Initiative (CHI) effort. The successes are part of numerous highlights outlined in the 2009 King County Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) Annual Measurement and Evaluation Report that King County Executive Kurt Triplett transmitted to the Metropolitan King County Council today.
Aug. 19King County bending the trend on health care expenses
Evidence is growing that King County’s Health Reform Initiative appears to be reducing the county’s health care benefit costs. The latest report on the initiative is part of a mounting body of evidence nationally that employee wellness programs in the public and private sector do control costs and improve employee health.
Aug. 17Effort to bridge budget shortfall means King County no longer funding urban local parks
King County Executive Kurt Triplett today announced a proposal to zero-out funding for parks from the General Fund in 2010 by mothballing 39 parks in urban unincorporated areas. The move would save $4.6 million if approved by council and is one more way to cover a $56.4 million shortfall in projected tax revenues needed to maintain 2009 service levels.
Proposed Bellevue - King Co. deal means smart growth, open space
Smart urban growth development is linked with rural land protection under a visionary partnershipagreement between the City of Bellevue and King County that County Executive Kurt Triplett transmitted to the King County Council today for approval.
Aug. 13King County Executive Kurt Triplett announces preliminary cuts to budget
King County Executive Kurt Triplett today announced plans to cut $16.6 million in overhead, administrative and general government services in his 2010 budget proposal, including cuts to the offices of the Executive, budget and strategic planning. Triplet said his budget will give priority to direct services to residents as the global economic crisis continues to cause a steep drop in sale tax revenues and a $50 million shortfall in money needed to fund current levels of county services.
Aug. 7Help King County decide which services are most important
If you live in King County, your input is needed! King County government is asking residents what they would like the County to focus its resources on in the future and to help develop a plan for how the County can better serve the community. It is part of an outreach effort for the Countywide Strategic Plan, which will reflect the priorities of its residents and help guide the County's decision making and budgeting over the next five years. This is especially important now, as the County faces budget deficits and a shortage of dollars available for existing services.
Aug. 69-point Metro Transit budget action plan
Action 1 – Deferred bus service expansion by first scaling back growth with the exception of the RapidRide program and already-approved Service Partnership agreements. The revenue gap assumes growth in bus service, primarily associated with the implementation of Transit Now. Delaying that expansion closes the gap. This effectively leverages funding from other agencies and saves $36 million over the next four years.
Aug. 6Exec. Triplett proposes fixes for Metro budget deficit
King County Executive Kurt Triplett has proposed fixes for the Metro budget shortfall that preserve critical services and shares the impacts of service cuts throughout the region.
In order to save critical existing Metro Transit service, this comprehensive financial plan addresses the transit budget deficit over a 4-year period by combining the use of reserves with fare increases, deferred expansion, efficiencies and, unfortunately, service reductions.
July 23Executive Triplett proposal saves RapidRide at no new cost to taxpayers despite recession
King County Executive Kurt Triplett today proposed saving five planned new RapidRide routes in Metro Transit’s highest ridership corridors and providing for an additional one-million new passenger trips a year on the 520 bridge at no net increase in taxes. His proposal would use 5.5 cents of new taxing authority granted by the 2009 legislature, but would be offset by rolling back an equal amount in two other levies.
July 22New report: nearly 200 King County jobs created or retained with federal stimulus grants
An updated report shows King County’s efforts to secure American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) federal stimulus grants for county programs is paying dividends in regional jobs created or retained and critical projects being funded. According to the June progress report, to date the county has been awarded 10 ARRA grants totaling $79,616,551 for county programs or projects. The federal money represents an estimated total of 193 jobs created or retained.
July 17Dedicated King County tax for public health, human services and criminal justice proposed
As the national recession and cuts in state and federal funding to counties continues to undermine King County’s budget, County Executive Kurt Triplett today proposed a one-tenth of a cent sales tax dedicated to help fund public health, criminal justice and human services. The Executive says the Healthy, Safe and Strong Communities tax will give residents an alternative to the deep cuts he would need to make to balance the county’s 2010 budget.
July 13Executive Triplett to host joint annual forum for King County Unincorporated Area Councils
Representatives of the six recognized King County Unincorporated Area Councils (UACs) and residents of the unincorporated areas are invited to attend an annual forum jointly hosted by King County Executive Kurt Triplett and the Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council. Executive Triplett will be joined by King County department directors and will be available to talk with residents and members of the UACs as they discuss critical issues facing their communities.
July 3Death of inmate in custody
An adult male inmate in the custody of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention died early this morning, July 3, 2009. The inmate was found at 2:26 a.m. by staff during a routine security check.
July 2Most King County offices closed July 6 for unpaid furlough
On Monday, July 6, 2009, most King County staff will be on unpaid leave and most county buildings will be closed as the county takes the sixth of 10 furlough days in 2009 to cut operational costs countywide. All department employees, with limited exceptions, such as those in public safety functions, are included in the furlough plan.
July 1Public comment sought on King County budget and policy priorities
King County residents are invited to share their thoughts to help the county create a strategic plan that consolidates the strategic plans of departments and agencies. King County will collect residents’ ideas and opinions this summer through surveys, public meetings and online feedback.
June 23$78 million in federal stimulus grants for King County
Hundreds of local and regional jobs will be created or continued in King County as a result of federal stimulus grant money coming to the county. A new report from King County Executive Kurt Triplett outlines 39 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) stimulus funding grants King County applied for earlier this year.
June 22King County's response to state audit
King County appreciates the effort by the Auditor to help the County improve its operations and maximize value to the taxpayer. However, the County respectfully disagrees with many statements in the audit and is disappointed that the auditor's office did not include all of the county's responses to statements in the published report. The following includes the county's response to statements and some findings in the audit.
King County residents are invited to provide public comment on the nomination of eight historic county roads as community landmarks at a public hearing hosted by the King County Landmarks Commission.
June 18King County offices will be closed June 19 for furlough
On Friday, June 19, 2009, most King County staff will be on unpaid leave and most county buildings will be closed as the county takes the fifth of 10 furlough days in 2009 to cut operational costs countywide. All department employees, with limited exceptions, such as those in public safety functions, are included in the furlough plan.
King County is preparing to offer a multi-year extension of contracts with the 36 cities it provides jail services to after a new analysis shows a decline in jail use. The new analysis of jail bed use seems to indicate a trend where construction of new jail space can be slowed, allowing the cities and county more time to explore how best to meet future needs.
June 4Death of inmate while in custody
An inmate in the custody of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention died early this morning, June 4, 2009, at Harborview Medical Center. The person, an adult male, was booked into the King County Correctional Facility (KCCF) on June 1, and was transferred to Harborview on June 2, where he remained until his death.
June 4Lifeboat funding to end for many services facing elimination while stop-gap measures save some public health, criminal justice and human services
More than three-quarters of a million in public health services and nearly a half million in human services that are in the figurative budget lifeboat will disappear July 1, 2009 because King County does not have enough money to sustain the services. But, using new funding tools granted by the legislature this spring, Executive Kurt Triplett is transmitting a $2.8 million 2009 supplemental budget today that gives six more months of funding for pandemic flu-related health services, unfunded mandates, some homeless services and a two-month reprieve for the Evergreen Pool in White Center.
May 20History-preserving projects earn county’s Spellman Award
Two landmark property owners who have significantly enhanced North Bend and Snoqualmie’s historic downtowns, a unique Snoqualmie museum that restored a caboose associated with the region’s logging industry; and partners involved in creating an exemplary interpretive center at Scenic on the Iron Goat Trail are all being honored by King County next week in celebration of National Historic Preservation Month.
May 18Triplett's statement on being appointed Executive
I want to express my sincere gratitude to the County Council for choosing me for the tremendous honor of following Ron Sims as King County Executive. I want to also thank the other county elected leaders and the many community members who participated in the process to choose the new executive.
May 8Sims resigns
King County Executive Ron Sims has been sworn in as Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, DC and officially resigned his position as Executive. By Executive Order, the delegated line of succession establishes Sims’ Chief of Staff Kurt Triplett as Interim County Executive with all of the powers and duties of the office.