Budget, projects top concerns as unincorporated councils meet

November 4, 2008

By Chantelle Lusebrink

Representatives from King County’s six unincorporated area councils, including the local Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council, met with county officials Oct. 28 in Woodinville to discuss issues facing the areas in the year ahead.

King County Executive Ron Sims and the unincorporated area councils jointly sponsored the meeting.

Topics discussed at the annual meeting included the county’s $90 million budget shortfall, county cuts in services and local projects for each of the unincorporated councils.

The majority of the time was spent discussing pending budget cuts, issues and restrictions in a question-and-answer format with Sims, said Tom Carpenter, president of the Four Creeks council.

“The fact that we can have a conversation like that in a public forum is incredibly encouraging,” Carpenter said.

The Four Creeks council was established in 1996 and represents about 13,000 residents living in the unincorporated part of King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley and Renton. The council represents neighborhoods like Lake McDonald, Maple Hills, Mirrormont, Lower May Valley and Sunset Farms.

During his presentation, Carpenter focused on several successful project undertakings with the county’s Department of Natural Resources and Parks, like several small grants that helped clear an invasive grass species from parts of May Creek that contribute to drainage and flooding problems for residents in the valley. He also talked about a commission to focus on how best to incorporate community-based values into future building decisions in unincorporated areas.

“The primary focus is on what is actually going to be built,” Carpenter said. “It drives the process downward, so that people in the community have a voice in what is going to be done in their neighborhoods.”

In years past, communities in the Four Creeks area have expressed concern regarding rapid, dense development, which is not associated with the rural character of the area as set by the county in the Comprehensive Plan and Growth Management Act.

Carpenter also addressed problems, like the need for more thorough information and early communication from the county with regard to new projects, like parks, directly affecting residents that would border new projects.

The annual meeting also allows attendees to speak with many county officials and learn more about services in their areas.

Reach Reporter Chantelle Lusebrink at 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com.

On the Web

Learn more about the Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council at www.fourcreeks.org.

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