Final election results reveal low turnout

December 3, 2013

King County certified the general election results Nov. 26.

No changes were made to the initial local results.

Mayor-elect Fred Butler slightly widened his lead against Joe Forkner, ultimately gaining 74 percent of the vote. The four City Council races were all unopposed, handing Eileen Barber, Stacy Goodman, Tola Marts and newcomer Mary Lou Pauly four-year terms.

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State of the County address outlines plans for infrastructure

February 5, 2013

NEW — 4 p.m. Feb. 5, 2013

King County Executive Dow Constantine outlined initiatives to curb gun violence, provide easier access to services for military veterans and family members, and enroll 180,000 uninsured residents into affordable health care.

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Dow Constantine

Constantine presented the proposals to the public and the King County Council on Monday in a State of the County address delivered at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry.

In the address, Constantine said the county emerged strong from the challenges created related to the Great Recession, and said priorities for the year focused on the county’s future by strengthening human infrastructure — such as jobs, health care and veterans services — natural infrastructure — including efforts to address climate change, flood protection and environmental cleanup — and built infrastructure — such as maintaining roads and transit.

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Coalition promotes human trafficking awareness

January 16, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2013

In recognition of Human Trafficking Awareness Day, observed nationally on Jan. 11, King County Council members issued a proclamation Monday to bring regional attention to modern-day slavery.

Representatives from the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Bridge Residential Recovery Program for prostituted youth, Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network, Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking Alliance and the advocacy group Washington Engage joined the council in recognizing the regional partnerships to combat human trafficking.

“In Washington, we can be proud that we were the first state in the union to criminalize human trafficking, and King County successfully prosecuted the state’s first human trafficking case,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative and the proclamation sponsor, said in a statement. “Local officials and rescue organizations are working together to send a strong message that forced servitude and prostitution of immigrants and teens will not be tolerated.”

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Council bids farewell to Bob Ferguson, incoming state attorney general

January 16, 2013

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 16, 2013

King County Council colleagues bid farewell to outgoing Bob Ferguson on Monday, as the longtime councilman prepares to assume office as state attorney general.

Bob Ferguson

Bob Ferguson

Ferguson is scheduled to take the oath of office Wednesday in Olympia. In November, he defeated a council colleague, Issaquah-area representative Reagan Dunn, to succeed outgoing state Attorney General Rob McKenna.

“It has been an honor to work with Bob Ferguson for the last nine years,” council Chairman Larry Gossett said in a statement. “All of the people of the state of Washington will now benefit from the energy and intelligence we have seen during his time on the council.”

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Unincorporated King County residents avoid $20 roads fee

December 18, 2012

Residents in unincorporated King County — including Klahanie, Mirrormont and Preston in the Issaquah area and more than 200,000 people countywide — no longer face a $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance.

King County Council members dropped the proposed fee from the 2013 county budget, and approved the spending plan Nov. 13 in a unanimous decision. Instead, officials plan to lobby the state government for additional road dollars — a challenge as the state faces another budget shortfall next year.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas.

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Transportation is high priority as leaders list state, federal agendas

December 11, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 11, 2012

Transportation is a high priority as King County prepares to ask state and federal leaders for assistance to upgrade roads and other infrastructure.

King County Council members adopted legislative agendas for the state and federal governments Monday. The lists focus on transportation improvements and efforts to preserve human services.

“The challenges facing Olympia and Washington, D.C., have a direct impact on how King County can serve its residents,” council Chairman Larry Gossett said in a statement. “The adopted agendas are clear directives from both the council and the executive on what the county’s priorities are and how we plan to work with our delegations to achieve those priorities.”

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Issaquah’s King County Council representative is tapped for legislative role

December 9, 2012

NEW — 10 a.m. Dec. 9, 2012

Leaders at the Washington Association of Counties tapped the Issaquah representative on the King County Council, Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, for a top legislative role.

Lambert is serving as the Legislative Steering Committee co-chairwoman alongside Klickitat County Commissioner David Sauter. Lambert served on the committee for several years previously.

The association is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization to represents Washington’s counties before the Legislature, state executive branch and regulatory agencies.

“I enjoy working with the Legislative Steering Committee because council members and commissioners from all across the state get together and share their concerns as well as their successes in dealing with the many problems facing county governments in Washington State,” Lambert said in a statement. “Our state’s 39 counties have many things in common, and we can work together when we go to Olympia. King County, as the 14th-largest in the country, also has some unique issues to deal with, so it is good to have partners across the state willing to work with us.”

Vehicles return to service for nonprofit organizations

November 20, 2012

Leaders donated used vehicles from the King County Metro Transit vanpool fleet to provide transportation assistance to local governments, community programs, seniors and youths.

King County Council members authorized the donation. The vans served in the Metro Transit vanpool fleet for at least six years and reached the end of their service life.

“Serving the mobility needs of those too young and too old to drive, as well as those with health challenges, is an important service for King County to provide,” Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Issaquah’s representative, said in a statement.

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King County Council adopts 2013 budget without roads fee

November 13, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. Nov. 13, 2012

King County Council members dropped a proposed $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance and, in a unanimous decision Tuesday, approved the 2013 budget without the fee.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas. The decision to drop the proposed fee affects residents in unincorporated King County communities, including Klahanie, Mirrormont, Preston and other areas outside Issaquah.

Rather than creating a transportation benefit district in unincorporated King County, officials plan to lobby the Legislature for a comprehensive state transportation package to address road maintenance.

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Committee removes $20 roads fee from King County budget

November 8, 2012

NEW — 11:15 a.m. Nov. 8, 2012

The committee responsible for crafting the 2013 King County budget dropped a plan to charge unincorporated-area residents a $20 vehicle-license fee to fund road maintenance, officials announced Thursday.

The proposed $7.6 billion budget contains $685 million for the general fund — the source of dollars for elections, law enforcement and other basic government functions. King County Council budget team members said 73 percent of dollars from the fund go toward public safety and criminal justice programs.

The proposed budget does not dip into cash reserves or the county’s rainy day fund.

In September, King County Executive Dow Constantine proposed a $20 fee to fund road maintenance and storm response in rural and unincorporated areas.

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