Council eNewsletter
NEWS  from Councilmember John Koster November 30, 2011



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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


No General Tax Increase in

2012 Budget


On Monday, November 21st, the County Council unanimously voted to approve the budget for 2012. Since 2008, the County Council has reduced the County's annual general fund from $210.7 million to $206.1 million. All county spending has been reduced by $109.2 million. The 2012 budget includes no general fund property tax increase. County employees have committed to maintain county services despite continued budget cuts. They have been asked to do more with less and have continually risen to the challenge. Councilman John Koster, the immediate past president of the Washington Association of Counties, said Snohomish County's budget remains in much better shape than several other counties in the state. Koster voted for the overall budget but not for the 1% increase in the property tax road fund. The 2012 budget allows for a new mental health drug court and for a new customs building at Paine Field. The facility could help Boeing and other aerospace firms save tens of thousands of dollars on international parts shipments by bypassing other airports to clear customs. Overall, Councilman Koster said he would like to thank the county staff and his colleagues for pulling this budget together. "Now we will see what happens with the Legislature," Koster said, "I suspect we may be back here in March."





Snohomish County Unveils Network of Care Program


The Network of Care for Service Members, Veterans and their families is designed to take a community approach to the needs of returning veterans. This is a one-stop-shop for all services, information, support, advocacy and much more. This public service brings together critical information for all aspects of the veterans' community which includes family members, active-duty personnel, reservists, members of the National Guard, employers, service providers and the community at large. This is a highly interactive Web portal which uses internet communications technology to transfer relevant information along with a wide variety of interactive educational activity and networking. This program has been functioning in counties in Texas, Colorado, California, Maryland, Oregon and now is the first one for Washington State.


It has already generated a lot of interest with almost 47,000 hits since it was rolled out on September 26th. "We are excited to bring this web-based program to our community" said John Koster. "It is an excellent source to care for our men and women veterans returning from overseas. All the resources can be put in one easy to access place." The National Association of Counties has been the driver behind the Network of Care programs. Councilman Koster is a Board member and was also the 2011 President of the Washington Association of Counties. To access the Snohomish County Network of Care program, visit and under "Spotlight" click on the Network of Care.




Centennial Trail Gap Finally Completed


The 1.2 mile gap in the Centennial Trail south of the City of Arlington is now completed and was dedicated on October 15, 2011. The gap stretches from 152nd to SR 531 and has been the bane of trail users for the past several years. They have had to use the shoulder of a busy road to continue on the trail into Arlington. With a $1 million state grant matched by local resources the gap was completed. The Snohomish County Parks Department expects to finish the final section that will stretch north of Arlington to the Skagit County line by the end of this year.



Gap Dedication Ribbon Cutting 


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