Share |

Executive assigns top advisor to open new channels of communication with residents of unincorporated King County

New Community Service Areas program will reform County’s outreach and engagement for rural and urban unincorporated areas

King County Executive Dow Constantine has named one of his top advisors to lead the opening of new channels of communication with residents of the county’s unincorporated areas through creation of Community Service Areas.

“This reform will harness the work of County employees who already have good connections with residents in the unincorporated areas, so that residents can have a single staff link to specific projects in parks, roads, land use, public health and public safety,” said Executive Constantine.

The Executive has named Alan Painter as Manager of the Community Service Areas (CSA) program for unincorporated King County, consolidating three staff from other agencies to improve public engagement in the unincorporated areas.

“Already we’ve brought together staff who have been working with residents in the same area of the county but had never met,” said Painter.

Painter said the interdepartmental teams will hold public meetings at least once a year in each CSA, in close collaboration with the King County Councilmember for that district and with other countywide elected officials.

The CSA program was approved last fall by the County Council to reach out to residents in the areas where they live, and better reflect the diversity of the county.

The Executive will send a proposed ordinance to the County Council later this month to formally define boundaries for the CSAs that encompass all of unincorporated King County, including areas without previous representation by an Unincorporated Area Council.

The new program provides a conduit for greater participation by all residents in an annual work program for each CSA, and enables County staff to work closely with an expanded group of community councils and civic organizations.

Under the new program, community organizations in each CSA can apply for grants of up to $5,000 to promote the engagement of local residents in community or civic activities.

As Manager of the Community Service Area program, Painter and his group will:

  • Develop a schedule for annual public meetings in each CSA,
  • Develop CSA work programs that are linked to the annual budget cycle, and
  • Establish the new community grant program.

“I look forward to listening to residents, solving problems, and help them to play an active role in shaping the future of their communities,” said Painter, who reports to the Executive’s office.

Painter previously advised the Executive on human services, health, and housing policy, and is a former director of the Department of Human Services for the city of Seattle.

The first open house for the new program is set for the Vashon-Maury Island CSA on Tuesday, April 10, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. at the McMurray Middle School Multi-Purpose Room, 9323 Cemetery Road, Vashon Island. At the open house, residents can offer feedback on the draft Vashon-Maury CSA Work Plan and the new CSA program, discuss community priorities, speak with program staff, and obtain information about County programs and services in general.

Open houses for other CSAs will be announced throughout the year.