New tool helps taxpayers track effectiveness of county government

November 14, 2009

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 14, 2009

King County Superior Court resolved 91 percent of criminal cases within the state-recommended guideline of nine months, Metro buses were on time 76 percent last year — better than in 2007, but below the 80 percent target — and 85 percent of county roads have pavement in satisfactory condition.

County leaders learned the stats from new tools now available to residents. The programs enable taxpayers to track county proposals and see whether the efforts meet performance targets.

The county unveiled a pair of Web-based tools: the County Growth Report and King County Benchmark Program. The reports examine housing, economic, demographic, land use and transportation trends to help the public and decision-makers better understand growth management efforts in the region.

Find the tools here.

Besides the Web sites, the county Office of Strategic Planning and Performance Management has produced the second annual King County AIMs High Performance Scorecard, a downloadable, four-page document with highlights from AIMs High: Annual Indicators and Measures, a Web-based report on the state of the county and county government performance.

The tools are designed to make it easier for residents and policymakers to measure progress on being efficient, effective and accountable by comparing year-to-year benchmarks for several programs.

The scorecard uses a red-yellow-green results format to help readers answer the question: How effective are county services? The system compares performance for 19 programs with targets set by county leaders. The measures were included based on feedback from a group of county residents.

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