The rate of child removal for neglect or abuse is higher in Pierce County than anywhere else in Washington State. While dependency cases are up everywhere, thanks in large part to the opioid epidemic, the increase in Pierce is startling. This issue first caught my attention when I joined the Council and met with our Juvenile Court. In fact it was also my first hint at the scale of the opioid problem.
This was the impetus behind the Help Me Grow pilot project in Tacoma, Parkland, and Lakewood. Judge Van Doornick, who is on the “Baby Court” docket, pulled together a group of folks including Rep. Laurie Jinkins, myself, and staff from DSHS and the Attorney General’s office. The idea was to go “upstream,” find a way to identify at-risk families, and focus resources early to prevent trauma to the child and keep the family together. The program is run by First 5 FUNdamentals with a grant that Rep. Jinkins was able to obtain in this year’s state budget. In addition, I sponsored a grant from the Pritzker Children’s Initiative administered through the National Association of Counties (NACo) designed to provide technical guidance and potentially fund a fellow position.
By coincidence, this week our team will be traveling to the NACo Conference where we will meet with the four other participating counties in this first cohort of the program. It will be interesting to see what other parts of the country are doing to improve the earliest years of vulnerable children. The idea is to build this into a national movement to help kids Birth-3 years old.
Tuesday, JULY 10th, 2018
9:30am SPECIAL MEETING COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE
This meeting will be broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect) Electronic meeting material can be accessed at http://www.piercecountywa.org/councilcommitteesVideo archives are available at www.piercecountytv.org.
Presentation: Review of the Capital Facilities Plan Presenter: Hugh Taylor, Senior Legislative Analyst
I’ve mentioned before that the state of Pierce County’s capital facilities is shockingly poor. We’ve got detailed analysis from staff on the scale of the problem and it’s time to start making significant investments before costs escalate even further. This is part of the reason I sponsored a bill to remove set asides for capital revenue.
The question is, where to start and how much to committ?
This Committee of the Whole is a chance for the Council to begin tackling the problem. The can has been kicked long enough.
This meeting will be broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and on channel 20 (Rainier Connect) Electronic meeting material can be accessed at http://www.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees. Video archives are available at www.piercecountytv.org
Proposal №2018–50, Charter Amendment — Process for Filling Vacancies in Certain Partisan Offices An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Proposing Amendments to Section 4.70 of the Pierce County Charter to Address the Process for Filling Vacancies in Certain Partisan Offices; Requesting the Auditor to Submit these Amendments to the Voters at the November 2018 General Election; and Requesting the Prosecuting Attorney to Draft an Appropriate Ballot Title.
Sponsored by: Councilmember Douglas G. Richardson
Under Washington law parties get to recommend three candidates for filling a vacancy in a position that was held by that party. The county legislative body must select from that list. But what happens if it’s an independent or minor party without elected precinct committee officers to make the recommendation?
This charter amendment would allow the Council to use the same process that’s designed for nonpartisan offices.
Proposal №2018–52, Charter Amendment — Technical Correction to Direct Legislation Procedures An Ordinance of the Pierce County Council Amending Ordinance 2018–31s to Make Technical Corrections to Sections 5.70 and 8.65 of the Pierce County Charter Relating to Direct Legislation Procedures; Requesting the Auditor to Submit these Amendments to the Voters at the November 2018 General Election; and Requesting the Prosecuting Attorney to Draft an Appropriate Ballot Title.
Sponsored by: Councilmember Douglas G. Richardson
This Charter Amendment is to make some technical corrections. It came at the request of the Auditor to fix the process for referenda.
Proposal No. R2018–80s, Tehaleh Development Agreement Initiation A Resolution of the Pierce County Council Initiating a Development Agreement Pursuant to Section 18A.100.060 of the Pierce County Code; Directing the Department of Planning and Public Works (PPW) to Negotiate Acceptable Terms and Conditions to be Incorporated into a Development Agreement for the Tehaleh Employment Based Planned Community (EBPC); and Requesting PPW Forward an Ordinance and Proposed Development Agreement to the Council for Phase 2 of the Tehaleh EBPC for its Consideration.
Sponsored by: Councilmembers Dan Roach and Rick Talbert
This will mostly be of interest for folks on the Bonney Lake plateau and in the valley. The next phase of Tehaleh (formerly Cascadia) is up for approval. The master planned community would add thousands more homes but also build infrastructure to serve the area.
This resolution initiates negotiations, but I want to be clear it is not the development agreement itself. It simply authorizes the Executive’s office to begin discussions. An agreement must come back to the Council for approval.
As mentioned above I will be meeting with county colleagues from around the country. In addition to our Help Me Grow pilot project, my focus is on Health Committee business where we will discuss the federal response to the opioid epidemic and resources for counties in formulating a health response to substance use disorders, as well as all policy proposals submitted for the committee’s consideration.
My Weekly Calendar
Last year we got a request for my forward looking calendar. Rather than have staff waste their time on public record requests, I decided to publish screenshots. If you have questions, feel free to call. Keep in mind, my schedule isn’t static. Things will get added, deleted, changed, etc. There are conflicts that I have to pick between. But if people want to see where I’m at and who I meet with, that’s fine by me.