King County leader reflects on 2010 milestones
January 4, 2011
King County Executive Dow Constantine last week touted a series of initiatives to reform county government after a year in the top spot.
The executive highlighted efforts to reduce labor costs, implement a “green” energy policy, reform the permitting process and upgrade infrastructure. Key accomplishments included the creation of a regional partnership to offer animal-control services in Issaquah and more than 30 other cities, and recommendations to change Metro Transit in order to put the agency on more solid financial footing.
“In one year we’ve made dramatic strides toward putting the county on sound financial footing, while handling emergent issues in a methodical and responsible way,” Constantine said in a statement.
The year also brought setbacks. In November, the electorate rejected a proposed sales-tax hike meant to preserve criminal justice services. King County Council members later cut more than 20 deputies from the King County Sheriff’s Office in a lean 2011 budget. Locally, Liberty High School is scheduled to lose a school resource officer as a result of the cuts, and a police storefront near Issaquah is due to close.
The administration and unions representing more than 90 percent of county employees agreed to forego cost-of-living raises for 2011.