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As we all get ready to head into this Memorial Day weekend, I want to say thank you for all your support. As you read on, you will see that the issues we are able to solve at the County come with insight and recommendations from you. Your participation is invaluable in making Pierce County a great place to live, work and play!

I hope that everyone has a safe holiday weekend and that you and your family are able to make time to attend any of the ceremonies being held across the County or find a moment to honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice serving our Country.

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Ad Hoc Committees Update

Beginning in January, the Council created two Ad Hoc Committees on Budget and Human Services. My intent with the creation of the Budget Ad-Hoc was to take a more focused approach to identify existing funding the County could dedicate towards behavioral health services. The Human Services Ad Hoc Committee, has been focusing on the policy and coordination of behavioral health services in Pierce County with Chair Connie Ladenburg.

We heard from the public during numerous Committee of the Whole (COW) meetings last fall that the council should examine the HSRI study and decide which infrastructure and service recommendations that the County could initiate in the short term, as well as determine which recommendations could be implemented in the long term. 

The Ad Hoc committees have been working on the HSRI deliverables, and I asked Councilmember Ladenburg this week, at our regular Council meeting, to provide an update on committee progress. This includes the creation of a Behavioral Health Coordinating Committee which was an HSRI recommendation. The Pierce County Council has set the final Council hearing for Ordinance 2017-13s, which will implement some of the ad hoc deliverables, for the Council Meeting on June 20, 2017. At that meeting, Councilmember Ladenburg and I will also be proposing additional funding for existing mobile outreach crisis teams in the County.  

Watch Councilmember Ladenburg’s comments this week at the Council meeting.

The Pierce County Council has made it easier to clean-up nuisance properties

I am so pleased that every member of the Pierce County Council signed on as co-sponsors to my public nuisance Ordinance 2017-22s that passed last week. The six highlights of this ordnance are:

1. Public nuisance/derelict structures are now the highest code enforcement priority of the Pierce County Planning & Public Works (PPW) AND once a nuisance is verified a property owner will have 90 days to comply or the case goes to the Prosecuting Attorney.

2. The PPW Department will provide quarterly written reports to the Council identifying the cases and properties as well as actions to date.

3. Two additional enforcement employees, a code enforcement officer and additional building inspector to expedite cases and get your neighborhoods cleaned up quickly!

4. Additional funding toward the solid waste management fund, planning and land services fund and the blighted property fund.

5. A NEW information portal coming this fall to  the PPW website which will enable the public to actually track the status of the code enforcement violations online. This is something I'm very excited about and was derived from YOUR feedback to my office.

6. Finally, a request of the County Executive to perform a full evaluation of the code enforcement program and the cost/benefits of creating a specialized Community Response Team.

This week I was able to show King 5 News a home that has been on our list of problem properties for some time. Nearly a year ago we heard from several neighbors about this home on Spanaway Loop Rd S. With the passing of the public nuisance ordinance properties such as this will follow a more streamlined and accountable process. Watch the King 5 story for more information.   

Thank you to everyone that has ever called my office and given me your feedback and insight. These abandoned homes and garbage covered lots can erode the fabric of a community and this ordinance will help our communities fight this blight. 

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