Offer input on 2013 King County budget

September 25, 2012

Residents can comment on King County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed 2013 budget next month at a series of meetings countywide.

The meetings, hosted by the King County Council budget team, start Oct. 3 in Courtroom 3F at the Maleng Regional Justice Center, 401 Fourth Ave. N., Kent.

The next meeting, and the closest event to Issaquah, is Oct. 10 in the City Council Chambers at Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Ave. N.E.

The last meeting is Oct. 17 in the 10th floor King County Council Chambers at the King County Courthouse, 516 Third Ave., Seattle.

The meetings start at 6:30 p.m. Residents can watch coverage from the meetings the next day on King County TV, Comcast and Broadstripe Cable channel 22. The budget team also plans to post updates to Facebook and Twitter.

State policy change dings county jails, but not Issaquah facility

September 11, 2012

Officials said a recent change in state policy means fewer inmates in King County-run jails — and $9.4 million less for county jails next year due to fewer bookings from the state Department of Corrections.

King County officials said the drop contributes to a projected $13 million shortfall next year in revenues to support operations at the King County Jail in Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. The shortfall could lead officials to eliminate 40 or more positions in the proposed 2013 jail budget.

The state corrections agency contracts with the county to house thousands of felons released from prison who then violated their conditions of release. The so-called “DOC violators” go back to jail to await administrative hearings.

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State parole policy changes deliver $9.4 million hit to county jails

September 3, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Sept. 3, 2012

Recent changes in state policy mean fewer inmates in King County jails — and $9.4 million less for local jails year due to fewer bookings from the state Department of Corrections.

King County officials said the $9.4 million drop contributes to a projected $13 million shortfall next year in revenues to support operations at the King County Jail in Seattle and the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. The shortfall could lead officials to eliminate 40 or more positions in the proposed 2013 jails budget.

The state corrections agency contracts with the county to house thousands of felons released from prison, and then violated their conditions of release. The so-called “DOC violators” go back to jail to await administrative hearings. Since 2008, King County booked, on average, 6,844 inmates per year, and held about 330 per day.

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King County offers extra services for Passport Day in the USA

March 2, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. March 2, 2012

Travelers embarking for international destinations need a passport — and King County is offering additional hours Saturday for people in need of passports.

The county is opening some community service centers for additional hours March 10 — or Passport Day in the USA — to accommodate people unable to apply for a passport in person during a typical workweek.

Under a change to law federal law in 2010, all U.S. citizens to present a valid passport book if entering or re-entering the United States by air. People entering from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean at land borders and sea ports-of-entry must present a passport book, passport card or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government.

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County to host budget forum at Pacific Cascade Middle School

September 20, 2011

NEW — 11:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2011

Citizens can offer input on King County’s 2012 budget next month at a local forum.

County Councilwoman Julia Patterson, leader of the council’s Budget Leadership Team, announced Pacific Cascade Middle School and other sites for budget forums. The budget team is seeking input on County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposed 2012 budget.

Issaquah’s representative, Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, Councilwoman Jane Hague and Councilman Joe McDermott also serve on the budget team.

“King County Council must adopt a balanced budget for 2012 that protects the public and preserves the most critical functions of county government,” Patterson said in a statement Monday. “These public hearings are an opportunity for the residents of King County to make their voices heard on the issues that matter most to them.”

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King County offers extra passport services Saturday

April 4, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. April 4, 2011

Travelers embarking for international destinations near and far need a passport — and King County is offering additional hours Saturday for people in need of passports.

Passport Day in the USA is Saturday, and the county is opening some community service centers for additional hours to accommodate people unable to apply for a passport in person during a typical workweek.

In 2010, a change in law took effect requires all U.S. citizens to present a valid passport book if entering or re-entering the United States by air.

People entering from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean at land borders and sea ports-of-entry must present a passport book, passport card or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government.

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Executive offers bold plan in State of the County address

March 1, 2011

King County Executive Dow Constantine reflected on milestones from 15 months in office and outlined a bold agenda for the months ahead in the State of County address Feb. 28.

The top elected official in the county offered a plan to shore up aging infrastructure and the social safety net amid drastic budget cuts. The address to County Council representatives and community members also emphasized regional partnerships.

Dow Constantine

“The choices we make will have a lasting and profound impact. As our parents and grandparents did, we too owe it to those who come after us to be responsible, thoughtful and smart,” Constantine said. “If we do our jobs right — building on the commitment to partnership and collaboration that have created the many successes of the past year — we can translate our internal reforms to external results.”

The executive delivered the speech at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, in part to highlight efforts to shore up the aging Howard Hanson Dam. The dam, upstream from Kent along the Green River, required local, county and federal agencies to join together to secure funds for long-term repairs.

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Executive Dow Constantine delivers State of the County address Monday

February 25, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Feb. 25, 2011

King County Executive Dow Constantine is poised to deliver the State of the County address Monday to County Council members, leaders and community members.

The speech — Constantine’s inaugural State of the County address since assuming the top job in November 2009 — offers a chance to highlight accomplishments, highlight the executive’s legislative agenda and the council’s priorities.

Constantine is due to deliver the speech at a special council Committee-of-the-Whole meeting at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, 401 Fourth Avenue N. The speech starts at 10 a.m.

Leaders picked Kent for the location to highlight the population centers beyond Seattle, as well as the diversity of residents served by county government.

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Unions agree to give up cost-of-living increases for county employees

August 16, 2010

NEW — 3:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 2010

Unions representing about 500 county employees agreed to forgo cost-of-living increases for next year, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced Monday.

Constantine and Washington State Council of County and City Employees President Chris Dugovich said the county and the union had reached a tentative agreement Monday morning. The union represents almost 500 District Court clerks, hazardous-waste workers, custodians and juvenile detention supervisors, among other employees.

“Our interest is in saving services for the public and preserving jobs for our members,” Dugovich said in a statement. “When a job goes away it is not likely to come back anytime soon. That hurts not only our members but the residents who depend upon the public services our members provide.”

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County expands Mental Health Court to Issaquah

July 13, 2010

King County plans to expand Mental Health Court — a groundbreaking program launched in the aftermath of a tragedy — to Issaquah by late July.

Launched as a pilot program in February 1999, the court uses a team approach to place defendants in treatment for mental illness. Supporters said the program bridges the gap between mental health treatment and criminal justice systems.

The court accepts mentally ill misdemeanor offenders, and then monitors them during court-ordered treatment. Participants waive a trial and agree to participate in treatment.

The court assigns a team — including a judge, prosecutor, public defender, treatment court liaison and probation officers — to monitor defendants throughout the process. Participants can be jailed for straying from the program.

District Court and elected officials announced the expansion July 9 at the Issaquah Courthouse.

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