Council eNewsletter
NEWS  from Councilmember John Koster June 21, 2010



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John Koster's eNewsletter
 John Koster
Snohomish County Council
3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S 609
Everett, Washington 98201
8th floor, Robert J. Drewel Building
Phone: 425-388-3494
E-Mail: [email protected]

Barbara Chapman, Legislative Aide
Councilman Koster Makes School Visits


Councilman Koster was called upon by Cedarcrest Middle School in Marysville on June 4th to speak to the 8th Graders on the topic of "Government's Management of Resources".  The students had scheduled a field trip to Kayak Point Park and the conversation was primarily on which model the county would chose for renovations and changes to the park layout.  With 4 different plans to examine, the students had great questions on why certain changes should be made with regard to cost effectiveness and best use.  The discussion was engaging and the interest of the students was obvious.

The county-wide Art Competition for students in Kindergarten through 5th Grade took place in April and the winners were chosen early in June.  The topic this year was "Hungry for fun! Let's all go to the Fair! Council District 1 had 2 winners this year.  The 1st grade winner (countywide) was Kristine Anderson from Shoultes Elementary School (Marysville) and the 3rd grade winner was Kaiya Bonnalie from Eagle Creek Elementary (Arlington).  Congratulations to the winners and to all the students who participated!! 

 Art Winner      
NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System)


Snohomish County Council passed 4 Ordinances related to NPDES on June 9th.  The Ordinance Numbers are Ord. 10-023 (Land disturbing activities), Ord. 10-024 (Low Impact Development), Ord. 10-026 (Stormwater) and Ord. 10-025 (Development Fees).  These ordinances cover water pollution.  As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the NPDES permit program controls water pollution by regulating point sources that discharge pollutants into waters of the USA.  Point sources are discrete conveyances such as pipes or man-made ditches.  The ordinances passed 4 - 1 (with Councilman Koster voting No) Councilman Koster said, "This will, without a doubt, raise the cost of housing, raise the cost of doing public works projects and will raise permit fees.  These are the most onerous regulations ever passed on the property owners of Snohomish County".

County Budget Discussions with Employees


On June 2nd, the County Council and the Executive held a public meeting with the county employees to discuss the budget situation.  The day prior, the same presentation was given to elected officials and representatives of organized labor.  After monthly meetings to develop a framework for the 2011 budget, the council determined the need to keep employees in the loop as the discussion develops.  The bottom line is that due to the economic crisis which began in late 2008, revenues have plummeted (particularly sales tax revenues-a key factor in local government financing).  The original projection was $54 million but the reality was less than $38 million.  The county was forced to use $18 million of our reserves.  The picture still looks bleak.  To combat this trend, the county has tried several strategies ---eliminating nearly 100 General Fund positions and nearly 150 positions in other funds as well.  Furloughs were mandatory in 2009 for most employees and for all non-union employees in 2010.  Hiring for most positions has been frozen.  Spending for supplies, training, maintenance and other items has been cut.  As a short term strategy, this has been effective.  The county is now developing a 5 year plan. 



John Koster's Business Roundtable


The next Business Roundtable will be in September.  For more information contact Cindy at [email protected] or call 425-397-779


I hope you found this eNEWSLETTER to be informative and useful. You can make it even more valuable by suggesting topics and issues for future newsletters. Please contact me at 425-388-3494, or e-mail [email protected]. If you would like to share this newsletter, select the Forward email link below.

John Koster
Snohomish County Council