Councilman proposes additional tools to combat gangs

April 9, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. April 9, 2012

Reagan Dunn, a local representative on the King County Council, outlined additional tools Monday to combat gang-violence.

Reagan Dunn

The proposed legislation calls for establishing anti-criminal street gang emphasis areas and allow judges to prohibit people convicted of gang-related crimes from entering areas of high gang activity.

In 2011, officials recorded 802 gang-related incidents countywide.

“Illegal gang activity is on the rise and has put our communities at risk,” Dunn said in a statement. “These ordinances will give law enforcement another tool to use against those suspected of gang-related activity. It’s a giant step in the right direction and I urge my colleagues to support its immediate adoption.”

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Proposed $200 million property tax levy clears hurdle

April 5, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. April 5, 2012

The proposed $200 million property tax levy to raise funds for a juvenile detention center cleared a King County Council committee Tuesday — a key step to sending the measure to voters.

Budget and Fiscal Management Committee gave a “do-pass” recommendation to a measure to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle. The legislation heads to the full council for final consideration. The council must act by the end of April to place a measure on the Aug. 7 primary ballot.

Led by Councilman Bob Ferguson, council members proposed the nine-year levy. If the levy is placed on the ballot and passed, homeowners should pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000.

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King County to host forum on proposed property tax levy

April 3, 2012

Residents can learn more about a proposed $200 million property tax levy at a King County Council forum April 5.

In March, county leaders proposed the levy to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

The forum runs from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Wyckoff Auditorium at Seattle University, 900 Broadway.

Residents can hear from the council members supporting the initiative and other speakers.

Led by Councilman Bob Ferguson, council members proposed to put a measure on the August ballot for a nine-year levy. If the levy is placed on the ballot and passed, homeowners should pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the Issaquah representative on the board, joined Ferguson and councilmen Larry Gossett and Joe McDermott to introduce the legislation.

County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Superior Court judges also support the proposed levy.

Sheriff candidate picks up council members’ support

March 27, 2012

Outgoing King County Sheriff Sue Rahr’s handpicked successor received support from King County Council members March 22, as the council prepares to appoint the next sheriff.

Steve Strachan

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairwoman and the Issaquah representative — joined Councilman Bob Ferguson and Councilwoman Julia Patterson to introduce legislation to name Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as interim sheriff after Rahr resigns March 31.

“I look forward to welcoming Chief Deputy Strachan as King County’s interim sheriff next month,” Lambert said in a statement. “I am particularly interested in the strategic plan he has developed for coordinating the many regional as well as local law enforcement and investigative functions of the sheriff’s office. I also look forward to increased collaboration with our 12 contract cities as we provide them with the best possible service.”

Rahr plans to step down as the top law enforcement officer in King County on March 31 after a long career in local law enforcement to lead the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission.

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Issaquah councilwoman joins colleagues to back chief deputy for sheriff post

March 23, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. March 23, 2012

Outgoing King County Sheriff Sue Rahr’s handpicked successor received support from King County Council members Thursday, as the council prepares to appoint the next sheriff.

Steve Strachan

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert — Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee chairwoman and the Issaquah representative — joined Councilman Bob Ferguson and Councilwoman Julia Patterson to introduce legislation to name Chief Deputy Steve Strachan as interim sheriff after Rahr resigns March 31.

“I look forward to welcoming Chief Deputy Strachan as King County’s interim sheriff next month,” Lambert said in a statement. “I am particularly interested in the strategic plan he has developed for coordinating the many regional as well as local law enforcement and investigative functions of the sheriff’s office. I also look forward to increased collaboration with our 12 contract cities as we provide them with the best possible service.”

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Mountains to Sound Greenway heritage plan earns King County endorsement

March 20, 2012

NEW — 3 p.m. March 20, 2012

King County Council members endorsed a plan Monday to designate the greenbelt along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area.

In a unanimous decision, council members called on Congress to recognize the Mountains to Sound Greenway — a ribbon of conservation lands, recreation areas and suburban cities interspersed among farms and forests — in a federal program for “nationally important” landscapes.

The council motion is the latest support for the National Heritage Area effort. The push includes numerous supporters in Issaquah, such as Mayor Ava Frisinger and the Issaquah Alps Trails Club, a crucial and early greenway backer.

Councilman Reagan Dunn, prime sponsor of the motion, lauded the council for supporting the effort.

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County leaders propose property tax increase for juvenile detention center

March 6, 2012

King County leaders proposed a $200 million property tax levy March 1 to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

Kathy Lambert

Led by Councilman Bob Ferguson, County Council members proposed to put a measure on the August ballot for a nine-year levy. If the levy is placed on the ballot and passed, homeowners should pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the Issaquah representative on the board, joined Ferguson and councilmen Larry Gossett and Joe McDermott to introduce the legislation. County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Superior Court judges also support the proposed levy.

“We have done extensive work on several proposals for a replacement juvenile justice facility, and this appears to be the best option for kids, for families and for the neighborhood,” Constantine said in a statement.

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Councilman applauds decision to create ‘blue alert’

March 6, 2012

Local King County Councilman Reagan Dunn praised state legislators March 2 for creating a “blue alert” system to inform the public about people suspected of injuring or killing law enforcement officers.

The “blue alert” legislation passed both chambers of the Legislature and headed to Gov. Chris Gregoire to be signed into law. Modeled after the AMBER alert, a “blue alert” could use media resources to inform the public about suspects accused of harming law enforcement officers.

“Law enforcement officers dedicate their lives to the protection and service of others,” Dunn said in a statement. “Providing them with a ‘blue alert’ system shows we understand that an assault on them is an assault on the blanket of safety they provide all of us.”

Dunn introduced a County Council proposal to support the legislation Feb. 23, hours after a man fatally shot a state trooper in Kitsap County. The council unanimously supported the measure Feb. 27.

Local state Rep. Marcie Maxwell cosponsored the legislation in the House of Representatives.

Dunn, a Republican, is running for state attorney general against Democrat Bob Ferguson, a fellow councilman.

King County leaders propose $200 million property tax levy for juvenile detention center

March 1, 2012

NEW — 9:30 a.m. March 1, 2012

King County leaders proposed a $200 million property tax levy Thursday to fund a replacement for the aging Youth Services Center, a juvenile detention facility in Seattle.

Kathy Lambert

Led by Councilman Bob Ferguson, County Council members proposed to put a measure on the August ballot for a nine-year levy. If the levy is placed on the ballot and passed, homeowners should pay about 7 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $20 per year for a home assessed at $350,000.

Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, the Issaquah representative on the council, joined Ferguson and councilmen Larry Gossett and Joe McDermott to introduce the legislation. County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Superior Court judges also support the proposed levy.

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Issaquah representatives tapped for King County Council committee posts

February 28, 2012

The local representatives on the King County Council act as leaders on regional justice and transit issues, after the board reshuffled members’ assignments for 2012.

Kathy Lambert

Reagan Dunn

Following the annual reorganization, the Issaquah representative, Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, serves as chairwoman for the Law, Justice, Health and Human Services Committee. Members recommend policies related to criminal justice and emergency management, plus human services and housing programs. Issaquah-area Councilman Reagan Dunn also serves on the committee.

The council announced the changes to committee assignments Jan. 30. In addition to committee assignments, all nine council members serve on the Committee-of-the-Whole.

“King County has achieved a lot over the last several years, but it’s critical that the council maintain its focus on maximizing taxpayer dollars and improving service delivery,” council Vice Chairwoman Jane Hague said.

Lambert serves on the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee — the group responsible for outlining policies related to the 2013 county spending plan.

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