New KC Department of Local Services

Updated Through June 3, 2019

Link to the new KC Department of Local Services .

View the slide show (pdf format) that DLS Director John Taylor presented and discussed with our Council and attendees at our April 1, 2019, meeting: KC DLS — 4/1/2019.  Our meeting summary has a brief recap of the topics discussed and some of the insight provided by Mr Taylor and DLS staff: GMVAC Mtg 4-1-19.

January 22, 2019 — The King County Executive’s Cabinet approved four partnership agreements between the new King County Department of Local Services and the county departments that provide the following services to unincorporated areas: Department of Natural Resources and Parks – Parks Division; Department of Natural Resources and Parks – Surface Water Management Program, Stormwater Services; Regional Animal Services of King County; Public Health – Seattle & King County – Environmental Health Services Division, On-site Sewage Systems Permitting, On-site Sewage Operations and Maintenance, and Plumbing and Gas Piping Inspection.  These four service partnership agreements mark a significant milestone in the new model for delivery of services to the 250,000 residents and the businesses in unincorporated King County.  These agreements will enable the new department and its partners to improve the coordination of services and data sharing. This will allow the county to report back to the residents served in a more meaningful way and provide a better understanding of how effectively services are being delivered.  These new agreements position King County Local Services to provide timely responses to issues that affect area residents and businesses and improve transparency and accountability by more accurately measuring how county service providers are performing in the unincorporated areas.  “Through these agreements, Local Services can respond more quickly and be more accountable on issues affecting residents and businesses outside city limits,” said Local Services Director John Taylor. “The agreements put us on the same page with data sharing, creating policy improvements, and aligning services. This will allow us to better coordinate our resources and work more effectively with the communities we serve.”  Local Services will spend the next year working to create similar agreements with other service providers. “We’ll also continually improve our existing agreements as needed. And we’ll work with other non-King County service providers to create similar partnerships that could benefit residents and businesses.”  “These new agreements between the Department of Local Services and other county departments are a great step towards providing exceptional services to the residents of unincorporated King County,” said King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert.  “When working to serve 250,000 unincorporated residents, coordination, teamwork and communication are vital. The newly formed Department of Local Services is already making substantial changes to the way these residents access their local government, and I’m excited to continue working with them to better serve the residents of unincorporated King County,” Lambert said.  The Service Partnership Agreements are available on the Department of Local Services website.

October 2, 2018 — King County Executive Dow Constantine appointed John Taylor as the Director of the new Department of Local Services, to commence operations January 1, 2019.  Read about this appointment and his confirmation by the KC Council on December 10, 2018, here: John Taylor Appointed DLS Director     Confirmation of John Taylor as New DLS Director .  John is well known to the GMVUAC and rural area residents for his many meetings with the Council to present and discuss the Surface Water Management Fee program.  We look forward to working with John in his new position overseeing a vast new department that will affect each and every one of us in the rural area of unincorporated King County.  The Deputy Director of the Department of Local Services is Danielle de Clercq — read the announcement of her appointment here: Danielle de Clercq Appointed Deputy Director .  Mark Rowe has been named the new Deputy Director for the Permitting Division — read some background information about him here: Mark Rowe Background.  The new DLS will have nearly 500 employees and will consist of a Permitting Division for development permit review, code enforcement, and subarea planning; a Road Services Division responsible for the 1,500 miles of roads and 182 bridges in the County, and a Director’s Office, which will include the Community Service Areas Program that coordinates directly with unincorporated area residents and groups — such as the GMVUAC.

BACKGROUND

By unanimous vote, the Metropolitan King County Council on Monday, September 17, 2018, adopted Ordinance 2018-0312 to establish the new King County Department of Local Services.  As noted in this announcement from Executive Constantine, the new department will consist of a Permitting Division for development permit reviews, code enforcement, and subarea planning; a Road Services Division with responsibility for 1,500 miles of County roads and 182 bridges; and the Community Services Area program. The new department will also contract for services from other County agencies.  The Department of Local Services will be funded with existing revenues. The Executive will propose a 2019-2020 biennial King County budget on September 24. The Council will hold hearings on the proposal and is scheduled to adopt a County budget by Thanksgiving. Once that occurs, the new department will begin operations on January 1, 2019.  With this action, King County is prepared to continue working with you on communication, outreach, and engagement with the residents of the unincorporated areas. More than 700 residents attended this year’s Community Service Area Town Hall meetings, and at four of those meetings, people were able to type their questions directly into an online application. The answers are posted to their questions on KC’s Local Services webpage – look for the yellow “Town hall Q&A’s” box on the right. Also on this page, the County’s online survey, “King County’s Local Services: What do you think?,” remains open until the end of the year, and you are asked to please share it with your neighbors so they can offer their thoughts.  Executive Constantine released a one-minute video introduction to DLS which you are welcome to share with your neighbors. The Executive is expected to name the first Director of Local Services in October.

INITIAL PROPOSAL TO CREATE NEW DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL SERVICES

Revised proposed legislation regarding the Department of Local Services is available for review here: KC Council – File #2018-0312 – July 9, 2018 .

King County held its annual Town Hall/Open House on May 15, 2018, at the Hobart Community Church.  Read the announcement here: KC Town Hall-Open House-Notice-05 15 2018 .

Note that legislation has been introduced to create a new DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL SERVICES that will include the DPER together with various functions of the KCDOT and KCDNRP.  Inter-agency and -department agreements are intended with the PH-SKC On Site Septic Systems Program that could result in improved performance and customer service — time will tell.  Information regarding the Local Services Initiative may be read here: Local Services Initiative_Report , and more detailed information regarding this new Department may be viewed here:  KC Exec Proposes New Dept of Local Services_01 22 2018 .  On February 13 the KC Council was briefed and presented more detailed information on this proposal, which may be viewed here: Legislation Details (With Text)   2018-B0015_Dept of Local Services   LSI GAO presentation Feb 13 . At the KC Council’s March 12, 2018, meeting, a Motion was submitted at the request of the KC Executive outlining guidance regarding the establishment of the new Department of Local Services — documents may be read here:  2018-0159 Transmittal Letter    2018-0159 Legislation Details (With Text)    2018-0159 Legislative Review Form

The GMVUAC had Harold Taniguchi present and discuss details regarding this new department at our April 2, 2018, monthly meeting. At our meeting, Mr Taniguchi advised us that the present plan is to NOT include plumbing services, onsite sewage system services, and Boeing Field airport directly in the new Department — but to have inter-agency agreements with these services that will hopefully coordinate related programs to give residents better services.

The GMVUAC will endeavor to keep this post updated with relevant information, including legislative text and public hearings/meetings as such becomes available.

 

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