Snohomish County Executive News January 2018

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

News from the County Executive

January 2018

Opportunities for Progress!

As I wrap up my second year as Executive, I wanted to thank you for all of your support. I have committed myself to building the best possible team, using all of our regional tools to benefit all of our residents, and staying focused on the key policies that will make Snohomish County the best place to live, work, and play.

As we start 2018, I want to make sure we are working on those issues most important to the residents of Snohomish County.

Agenda for 2018

Opioid Epidemic

The opioid crisis has impacted every community across the region and caused significant suffering and loss of life.  As a result, in November I partially activated our emergency management system to address the epidemic. As far as we know, this approach to managing the crisis has not been tried before. It gives us one place for the coordination of policy and for ensuring we are using resources as wisely as possible. It has the benefit of bringing together local and regional partners, including the Sheriff’s Office, cities, and fire districts. It also allows us to set regional goals that everyone can work toward. We have already seen some successes and will continue to push this high-priority issue. Too many families are suffering, either directly from addiction or from some of the negative impacts from addicts. We will continue to work for a healthy and safer community.

Fiscal Responsibility and Government Reform

One of my main motivations for becoming Executive was to restore fiscal responsibility to county government. We don’t have an endless supply of money and need to be very cautious about our spending.

We have worked hard over the last year to tighten spending, find efficiencies, and also explore ways where we can do more with less. Our focus on reform and continuous improvement continued through 2017, and we plan for even more departments to take on reform efforts in 2018. To date, we have seen the greatest progress in our Planning and Development Services Department, where process improvements are speeding permitting decisions. We know that by empowering employees to solve problems and find efficiencies we can have a significant impact on customer service and the bottom line.


Public Safety

Public safety has been and will remain the top priority for Snohomish County. Over 76% of our general fund budget goes towards law and justice agencies, with law enforcement and corrections being the largest portion. We were able to maintain our commitment to public safety in the 2018 budget and add a few more deputies. There is no doubt that we have seen county-wide impacts on public safety from the opioid epidemic, and we will continue to find innovative ways not only to address the many challenges our communities face but also to keep our residents and visitors safe.


Courthouse Renovation

In 2017, we were able to finally get the courthouse project back on track. We decided to renovate the courthouse, adding a new wing, to make sure it is both safer and better able to handle the demands of the next fifty years. By renovating the courthouse, instead of building an entirely new building, we will save the taxpayers somewhere in the range of $80 million. We will also have a much better building for our law and justice agencies and the members of the public who use it. We will break ground on the project this year.


Paine Field Commercial Terminal

I am very proud of the thoughtful work we’ve done to prepare for commercial service at Paine Field. It will be a tremendous advantage to our business and residents who want to avoid the long drive to Sea-Tac. I love Sea-Tac airport but getting there and home can be a hassle. Someone living in Snohomish County can start their trip to almost anywhere in the world from Paine Field and vice versa. We have heard loud and clear that airport neighbors want to keep any noise to a minimum. With about two dozen flights a day—out of an airport with over 300 take offs and landings every day—we think the impact will be minimal. And the benefits immense. As we work to attract businesses to Snohomish County, Paine Field will continue to grow as an asset. This week’s announcement by Alaska Airlines of their eight destinations—Portland, Phoenix, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Jose, Las Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego—means that residents across Puget Sound will have a great option for their air travel for work or pleasure.


Have a safe, productive, and wonderful 2018!

Dave Sommers

Dave Somers
Snohomish County Executive

3000 Rockefeller Avenue 

M/S 407 

Everett, WA 98201

PH: 425-388-3050

FAX: 425-388-3434

 Public Advocate

PH: 425-388-3365

dave somers