Municipal League honors King County Library System, elected officials

April 3, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 8 p.m. April 3, 2012

Efforts to help people find jobs, learn English and grow small businesses earned the Issaquah-based King County Library System a top honor from the Municipal League of King County.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization recognized the library system as Organization of the Year, and also honored King County Executive Dow Constantine and local state Sen. Steve Litzow, in the 53rd Annual Civic Awards.

Each year, the Municipal League and the Municipal League Foundation present the honors to highlight people and organizations for significant contributions to the community. Organizers plan a Thursday ceremony to honor the recipients.

Constantine earned the James R. Ellis Regional Leadership Award for years of public service, efforts to bring a culture of performance to county government, completion of major projects and improved relationships among the county and other jurisdictions.

The award honors individuals and organizations for contributing significant leadership in tackling regional public policy issues.

(Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler and other members of a Regional Transit Task Force earned the honor in 2011 for proposing mass transit solutions for the region.)

Litzow, a freshman Republican from Mercer Island, and state Sen. Ed Murray, a veteran Seattle Democrat, shared the Warren G. Magnuson Award for bipartisan leadership to pass same-sex marriage legislation. (Litzow represents Issaquah neighborhoods in the 41st Legislative District.)

Organizers named Genesis Project founder Andy Conner as Citizen of the Year. Conner, a King County Sheriff’s Office deputy, established the nonprofit organization to help young victims of sex trafficking in South King County.

Former Bellevue Councilman Grant Degginger is the Public Official of the Year. (Issaquah Mayor Ava Frisinger earned the Public Official of the Year title in 2009.)

John Starbard, King County Department of Development and Environmental Services director and a former Newcastle city manager, is the Public Employee of the Year. Organizers lauded Starbard for spearheading a comprehensive reform initiative to increase efficiencies and improve customer service.

West Seattle Blog earned the Government News Reporting of the Year title for comprehensive coverage and high quality reporting on local government issues.

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