County Council adopts Dembowski amendments to parks levy

Monday, April 29, 2013

The parks levy sent to the August ballot Monday by the Metropolitan King Council included amendments from Councilmember Rod Dembowski to increase transparency of the levy and further the partnerships with our region’s cities.

“Voters need to see how their tax dollars are put to use. These amendments ensure greater transparency while strengthening our partnerships with cities throughout King County,” said Dembowski, a member of the Council’s Government Accountability and Oversight Committee. “I believe they make for a stronger parks proposal over the long term.” 

One of the amendments adopted as part of the proposed parks levy increases the frequency of the Parks Levy Citizens Oversight Board’s report from biennial to annual, to make the levy more transparent and responsive to changing needs. The amendment also requires that in addition to the King County Executive and the King County Council, the report would be delivered to the Regional Policy Committee (RPC). Reporting to the RPC ensures inclusion of cities throughout the region in the annual reporting process.
“I thank Councilmembers Dembowski and Hague for sponsoring this amendment to increase transparency and involvement of cities in King County in the regional parks levy,” said Renton Mayor Denis Law, President of the Sound Cities Association. “This amendment helps ensure that our cities and residents have a better understanding of the costs and benefits of this levy.”

Councilmember Dembowski also co-sponsored an amendment with Councilmembers Kathy Lambert and Reagan Dunn, requiring annual reporting on progress and maintenance of the system, including reporting on noxious weed control.
Addressing this amendment, Kenmore Mayor David Baker stated “This amendment will ensure additional, appropriate focus on maintenance needs at King County Parks, including the Burke-Gilman Trail.”

The Metropolitan King County Council today approved sending to the ballot a six-year levy proposal to raise revenue for the maintenance and operations of the County’s regional park and trail system, as well as funding for local city parks and the Woodland Park Zoo. If approved by voters, the proposed levy would replace two voter approved measures set to expire at the end of 2013.

Read more about this legislation on the King County Council’s LEGISEARCH system and type in “2013-0112”

Follow the Council’s deliberations through Facebook and Twitter by signing up through the King County Council website.


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