Friday, September 18, 2009

Fwd: News from King County Councilmember Larry Gossett

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: King County Council Member Larry Gossett <>
Date: Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 10:32 AM
Subject: News from King County Councilmember Larry Gossett

In this newsletter

·         King County Budget Update

·         Prepare for Flooding in the Green River Valley

·         Transportation Town Hall

Dear Friend

Just as the worldwide recession caused you and your family to
reevaluate your priorities and how you spend your money, King County
is undergoing the same process with your tax dollars. As the Chair of
the 2010 Budget Process, I will engage my colleagues in many of the
same or similar conversations that have occurred in households
throughout the county – what are our priorities and how should we
spend our limited resources to best achieve our goals. Alternatives to
detention, public health, criminal justice, and the threat of flooding
in the Green River Valley will definitely top the list of issues the
county must face now and in the foreseeable future. If you have any
thoughts on these and other priorities or have a comment regarding
your regional government, please feel free to contact me at

King County Budget Update

Much attention has been given to the projected $56 million deficit
facing the county's general fund – the fund that supports the courts,
the sheriff, public health, etc. – in 2010. However, the general fund
is not the only county fund to be affected by the bad economy. In
fact, virtually all King County funds are in financial distress as a
result of the recession. By way of example, the projected deficit for
Metro Transit is $213 million for the 2010/2011 biennium.

The stress placed on all King County funds during a time of economic
slowdown is exacerbated by the structural gap or the difference
between the statutorily allowed rate of growth in revenues and the
increase in expenditures. Many county funds rely heavily on revenues
from sales tax, real estate excise tax, or new construction all of
which are much lower than previously projected. As Budget Chair, I
have worked closely with our Council Budget Leadership Team, the
County Executive and the Office of Management and Budget all year to
closely monitor this situation. For more information on the King
County budget please visit

Prepare for Flooding in the Green River Valley
(No More Katrina's)

The US Army Corps of Engineers has warned King County residents that
the Green River Valley is facing a high likelihood of severe flooding
this winter – and possibly for the next three to five years, as a
result of structural problems with the federally owned and operated
Howard Hanson Dam. King County and the affected cities of Kent,
Auburn, Renton, and Tukwila have been working together to prepare
residents for flooding this winter.

Residents and businesses in the affected areas should not wait for
winter – you should begin by purchasing flood insurance, making an
emergency plan, and preparing an emergency kit. Most importantly, if
you live in the Green River Valley you should prepare for the worst –
starting in the rainy season of October.

For more information on flood preparedness visit To prepare an emergency kit
or to learn more about 3 Days 3 Ways visit

Councilmember Gossett with staff and members of Casa Latina. Gossett
will be receiving Casa Latina's annual leadership award at their 15th
Anniversary Gala Dinner on October 17, 2009.

Transportation Town Hall

I previously mentioned Metro is facing a $213 million deficit for the
2010/2011 budget biennium. Because of this deficit, I am hosting a
Town Hall meeting on public transportation. I would like very much for
you to come to this meeting and receive background information on this
budget shortfall and let me know how you think we should fix this
problem. Should we raise bus fares or taxes to create more revenue or
should we cut bus routes or encourage people to ride light rail? The
Town Hall will be held

Wednesday, September 30, 2009
at 6:00
at the Rainer Vista Boys and Girls Club
located at 4520 MLK Jr. Way South.

I will be pleased if you attend and bring others who are concerned
about or impacted by King County's public transportation budget

If you have any questions or comments about the county's budget,
Metro, or any other aspect of county government please do not hesitate
to contact me at (206) 296-1002 or
Please visit my website for updates on county news and local events at

If you have any questions or comments, please email me at

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