02/05/2007: "Council Priorities"
Pete Rose, the new County Administrator, has embarked on a very positive project with the support and encouragement of the County Council. Pete has generated a list of projects for the council to prioritize with the dual aims of developing a long-term collective vision of governance to identify those issues considered more immediately pressing. These lists are now in the process of review, analysis, additions, and deletions, with recommendations being given by each council member individually. The next step will be a compilation of these recommendations with the objective of creating a new prioritized list. The net effect will be a bona fide integrated plan with acknowledgement of required resources and implications between departments throughout the County.
What, you say! An integrated and deeply-considered series of needed actions over the coming year, rather than reacting to events? Exactly, and it's a direct outgrowth of Pete Rose's dedication to professional management, the positive response of the Council, and the new structure required by the County Home Rule Charter. The economic benefits of this undertaking will be substantial as we move forward in a planned cohesive way, as compared to addressing events in a reactive fashion. Fewer (if any) blunders, lawsuits, and ill-conceived projects.
In addition, the council is now taking advantage of their new-found ability to form sub-committees to study problems and come up with suggested solutions for the other council members to consider. Three council members, with support from appropriate staff, are forming these various study groups where they can "roll up their sleeves" and bang out some really effective in-depth proposals. Again, this opportunity is a direct outgrowth of the Charter and its provision for six Council members, three of whom can meet without violating the "public meetings act", since they do not represent a majority-voting block.
I see a more cooperative and harmonious relationship building throughout the County government. When you can meet privately and work together to solve a problem, rather than suffer through the constant posturing that the old system forced on everyone, it can't help but build a sense of camaraderie and respect between folks.
San Juan Island