2018 Budget Adopted
Last month, the Pierce County Council unanimously passed the 2018 budget, which was signed into law by County Executive Bruce Dammeier. This is the third budget I’ve been part of since joining the council (my 19th in local government) and I’m particularly proud of the way this one turned out. We’ve made some fiscal reforms that should leave the county in a much better financial position going forward. These changes also result in a more equitable distribution of our tax dollars to each community, particularly more rural areas.
I am pleased by the increased investments we’ve made to essential services such as public safety and behavioral health. In addition, I sponsored the creation of a Veterans’ Therapeutic Court.
Here are some appropriations that are important to Key Peninsula residents:
- Four new positions for the Sheriff’s Office (the Peninsula Detachment will no longer have to share a lieutenant with the Foothills Detachment, located in the northeastern part of the county).
- Funding for The Red Barn, Communities In Schools of Peninsula, the Key Peninsula Family Resource Center, Safe Streets, Key Peninsula Senior Center and the Peninsula Youth Suicide Prevention.
- Double the support to Key Pen Parks.
- Though not on the Key Peninsula, folks driving to Peninsula High School will soon have a new traffic signal and turn lanes at the intersection of 144th Street NW and 62nd Avenue NW above the baseball fields. (See “Transportation Improvements Drive Forward on the KP,” Key Peninsula News, October 2017.)
Attacking the Opioid Epidemic
On Dec. 15, the council authorized the county prosecutor to initiate litigation against Purdue Pharmaceutical and other major pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic. The vote came after months of research and a recommendation by the prosecutor, Mark Lindquist. The purpose of the lawsuit is to seek injunctive relief, meaning court orders seeking specific policy changes that will help reduce the occurrence of addiction, injury and deaths from opioid abuse.
We’ll also be seeking monetary awards for the impacts to the county’s justice, health and human services systems, as well as the cost of treatment necessary to reverse those effects.
Opioid manufacturers profited from business practices that have done enormous damage to our community. We intend to make them pay for it.
Addressing Changes for Next-Generation 911
The Pierce County Council approved changes Dec. 12 to street addresses on the Key Peninsula, Fox Island and Anderson Island that will bring the addresses into compliance with federal Next-Generation 911 standards.
The changes will also make it easier for first responders, including those from outside of area who assist during disasters or major emergencies, to find properties.
Addresses on Key Peninsula with a “KPN” directional will use “NW,” while those with a “KPS” directional will use “SW.” Approximately 365 addresses on Key Peninsula and Anderson Island that are considered problematic will also be corrected.
More than 16,000 property owners will receive a notice in January with their new official address. The changes will go into effect April 1, although the new addresses should be used for emergency services calls starting in January. USPS will honor old addresses through April 1, 2019, to give property owners time to update their addresses with their contacts.
Starting in January, we’re partnering with the Key Peninsula Community Council to have office hours in Key Center at the Key Center Corral, 9021 Key Peninsula Hwy N, Suite D. My assistant or I will be there at least one day a week to meet with residents.
As always, you can also contact my Tacoma office with your questions, suggestions or concerns at 253-798-6654 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Derek Young (D-Gig Harbor) represents the 7th District, including the Key Peninsula, on the Pierce County Council.