Members of the Metropolitan King County Council said they are looking forward to working with County Executive Dow Constantine on achieving the ideas presented today in the Executive’s “Blueprint for Reform.”
“I support Executive Constantine’s call for reform to make County government more efficient and accountable,” said Council Chair Bob Ferguson. “The Executive and Council must work collaboratively on getting the County’s fiscal house in order and improving service for residents.”
“Executive Constantine has a clear vision for the future of King County,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “I look forward to working with the executive to address the County’s structural deficit through better financial stewardship while creating a culture of service and results.”
Immediate improvement of customer service, increased partnership with cities in King County on regional issues, and the creation of a Cabinet-level position for a director of Labor Relations were among the proposals presented by Constantine to the Council as he spoke about his first 100 days in office.
“I am pleased with the organizational efforts of this administration and the talented team the executive has put together,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “It is particularly encouraging that this administration pledges to reform land-use permitting practices and fee structures and to provide excellent customer service to those in our unincorporated areas as well as our urban areas. As chair of the Government Accountability and Oversight Committee, I look forward to implementing the commitment to sustainability, innovation and better use of technology, and making King County one county working together.”
“We have to keep our sleeves rolled up in partnership because, as Executive Constantine noted, there’s a lot of work to do to stabilize King County’s budget and improve customer service and performance,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “We’ll also need to call on our regional partners as their collaboration is critical to delivering quality services efficiently across the region.”
“I am impressed with the substantive strategic plan that Executive Constantine and his staff put forth today,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “I agree with his focus on government reform; King County can best respond to the fiscal crisis by reforming how it does business.”
Constantine also called for creating a sustainable County budget through a countywide effort to drive down the annual growth in the cost of doing business to the level of background inflation while discussing a cap on expenditures when revenues rebound in the future so that the savings could be tapped during recessionary downturns
“I am pleased to know that Executive Constantine is working proactively with all County agencies that are affected by our general fund budget, and focusing on those services most valued by the citizens of King County, including criminal justice, public health and human services,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson. “As Chair of the Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, I look forward to working with the Executive as we develop a plan to protect the public’s priorities and minimize painful cuts that the County will undeniably face again in 2011.”
“I am pleased the Executive's Countywide Strategic Plan will look at all county policies and procedures through a lens of equity and social justice,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “It is vitally important that all levels of King County government are accountable to all residents, especially those have been historically disenfranchised from our society and those that are severely impacted by the economic recession facing us today. I'm encouraged that this plan does not forget those members of society who need government the most.”
“I was encouraged that Executive Constantine prioritized the key problems facing county government and proposed some broad solutions for fixing them,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “Many of his messages are ones that I have championed for years. I look forward to working closely with him to address the budget crisis we face this fall as well as other reforms along the way.”
“Our citizens deserve quality service at an affordable price, so a tight focus on controlling our costs and eliminating duplication in how we run County government is definitely the right focus for these tough economic times,” said Councilmember Jan Drago.