Dow Constantine Commits To Cooperation With Local Cities
King County Executive Dow Constantine re-affirmed in a talk in SeaTac on Friday (Jan. 8th) his commitment to creating a new spirit of cooperation with other local governments.
Constantine, who took office in late November, declared, â€œWe are going to improve our relationship â€¦ between King County and the 39 cities in King County.â€
This new relationship with the cities â€œwill be one of partnership,â€ he said.
Constantine added that the county also has an opportunity to work with businesses to prepare and â€œprovide leadership for the economic recovery that is to come.â€
He spoke at a membership meeting of the Southwest King County Chamber of Commerce at the Cedarbrook Lodge.
â€œThis region is the economic engine of the state,â€ he continued, noting that 30 percent of Washingtonâ€™s population, 40 percent of its non-farm workforce and 50 percent of its economic activity is in King County.
These are primary reasons why â€œKing County needs to reform the way it works with business â€¦ needs to reform the way it works with the cities.â€
Reforms need to include county staff doing â€œthe leg workâ€ to find those regulations that affect individual businesses, so owners and managers can focus on running their businesses.
â€œWe need to find ways to incubate new local businesses,â€ and then work to keep them here â€œrather than seeing them move elsewhere,â€ he said.
â€œPermitting in King County now is daunting,â€ Constantine said, and the county needs to establish â€œone-stop shoppingâ€ for business licenses and building permits, and to work with the state to simplify business tax codes.
County government also needs to be more efficient, he said.
â€œIâ€™m very hopeful about our future as a region,â€ Constantine continued. â€œItâ€™s clear that the economy in fits and starts is starting to come around. We need to make sure that living wage jobs are available to everyone.â€
He added that â€œvisitor taxes,â€ which helped build Safeco Field, Qwest Field and other public facilities, â€œneed to go to help bring more visitors to King County.â€