Friday, December 31, 2010

Dow Constantine had the Best Year of Any Local Politician

There have been a few "Year in Review", or "2011 Predictions" made in the local media that curiously show Dow Constantine's picture and then their story runs off to the Seattle mayor and other local issues (yes, the mayor is treated as an issue).

I suppose it is implied that the King County Executive had a good year while some of the stories rehash the City of Seattle Executive's public conflicts. I know that it is not an exciting story, having to ask all of your county employees to give up pay to help balance the county budget.
It isn't as exciting as, say, having the new mayor grilled by the city council (so, no follow-up meeting?)

Well, the list of accomplishments is worth repeating linked here, listed below.
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 theprovision 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.

The county is bleeding money, fact.
Without major changes in local tax structure the county, including Metro bus service, will see major cuts in every budget going foreword, fact.
The state legislature has resisted action to help the county because of the many budget problems the county has failed to begin to address in the past, fact.
This year the county pulled together to seriously begin to address major budget issues, including demonstrating leadership by example (except the King County Sheriff Deputies, and their shameless County Council weasel Reagan Dunn), fact.

So, with that I will state, Dow Constantine had the Best Year of Any Local Politician

Dow Constantine