by Matt Rosenberg September 29th, 2011
King County Executive Dow Constantine has unveiled his $5.3 billion proposed 2012 budget for the county, and highlighted a range of efficiencies he said his administration had achieved. The county council will review, possibly amend, and adopt the budget by November 21. There’s a way to have your say on the budget. If you live, work or go to school in King County, you’re invited to take an online survey by October 16 that will help the county shape its budget priorities.
The survey is sponsored by Countywide Community Forums, a privately supported civic engagement program run in conjunction with the King County Auditor’s Office. This is the eighth round of the community forums since the program began in 2007. The online survey includes an optional 10-minute video (below) and optional fact sheet that are built in.
According to CCF the intent of the survey is to let stakeholders take “a 40,000 foot view of the county budget with a focus on best practices. The key question is how can we create a sustainable budget that avoids ‘crisis mode’ budgeting and maintains vital services? Things like rainy day funds, efficiencies, dedicated funds, and structural gaps are a part of the conversation this fall. We take a closer look at Metro Transit as our “case study” and a new effort to increase employee productivity. It’s a budget conversation for everyone, and in the end, what we’re really talking about is the kind of King County that we want for the future.”
The survey can be accessed by clicking on the top link at this page. Registration is optional; the survey can be taken anonymously but some demographic data must be given. Final reports based on surveys are presented to the King County Council’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee and are archived at a special page maintained by the county auditor’s office. Past topics have included the county budget, transportation, public safety, customer service, public engagement, and economic opportunity.
CCF and its partners are also staging some face-to-face events which include conversation about King County budget issues followed by taking the survey. There will be a forum and barbeque this Sunday at the MLK Community Center in Seattle. Additional CCF budget conversations are scheduled in Issaquah, Seattle, Redmond, Carnation and Tukwila. See “current events and forums” at CCF’s main page.
“The Good, The Bad (And The Ugly) of King County Government,” Seattle Times editorial, September 23, 2011.
Audit of King County Sheriff’s Office, King County Auditor, September 20, 2011.
Citizen Priorities For Government In Challenging Economic Times,” report of King County Auditor on Round Six of Countywide Community Forums, Autumn, 2010.
(Full disclosure: Matt Rosenberg served as Executive Director of Countywide Community Forums in 2010.)