Constantine must do more for Snoqualmie Valley

With months of campaigning behind him, and with his sweeping November vote tallies counted and certified, Dow Constantine officially took office as the new King County Executive on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

With months of campaigning behind him, and with his sweeping November vote tallies counted and certified, Dow Constantine officially took office as the new King County Executive on Tuesday, Nov. 24.

Marking the occasion, Constantine told a packed house at a Seattle recital hall that he planned to create a new “Culture of Performance” in King County, changing the way county government does its business, its budgets, and most importantly, how it serves its citizens.

Among Constantine’s remarks about his goals for his first 100 days was a plan to address the critical issues facing King County. He also pledged to build innovative relationships with both cities and rural areas, promising listeners he would forge new partnerships with leaders from King County’s 39 cities and unincorporated areas. “For too long, King County government has talked too much, and not listened enough,” Constantine said. “We are going to change that.” He also stressed he would do more to protect working rural farms that “provide local, healthy food to schools and farmers’ markets.”

While severe budget cuts are hampering the county’s ability to affect grand and sweeping changes, Valley residents are still looking to the county for effective leadership in everything from flood control and law enforcement to the permitting process and economic development. Enacting pivotal changes in county government culture and attitude towards service to its constituency however, costs nothing.

To achieve that change, Constantine must lead the way. He can do much under his watch to eradicate the local perception of Seattle-Centric arrogance that many citizens in East King County and the Snoqualmie Valley have towards King County government and its departments. Many times, this writer has been told by local residents of all political and economic stripes that they are tired of being treated (by county departments or officials) like the Snoqualme Valley was in Kittitas County.’

One essential step Constantine and his department heads can take towards building this ‘culture of performance’ is to creatively and effectively partner with the councilmembers of Districts 9, 3 and 6 and with local city leaders in East King County. If and when he does so, there also is no substitute for ‘boots on the ground’.

Coming to the Valley for photo ops, election forums and even (God forbid) flood response will not be enough. Constantine can do much in the months ahead to actually change the culture in King County government and how it responds to the needs of the Snoquamie Valley, but that cannot be effectively done unless he comes here to the Valley, and he listens.

• E-mail Snoqualmie Valley Record Publisher William Shaw at wshaw@valleyrecord.com.

More in Opinion

OPINION: Detox for your body and mind

Dr. Allison Apfelbaum is a naturopathic primary care doctor in Woodinville.

OPINION: KCLS supports citizen engagement year-round

Voter resources available at area libraries.

Marknisha Hervol, an eighth grader at Environmental & Adventure School in Kirkland, gets her book signed by Fredi Lajvardi during his appearance at the Peter Kirk Community Center. Samantha Pak/staff photo
OPINION: What happens when we believe | Windows and Mirrors

How an unlikely group of teenagers achieved success through the support of their community.

When we ban books | Windows and Mirrors

What message does it send when certain stories are censored?

Despite paid postage, ballots still come late

Even with the postage paid, thousands of Washington voters didn’t get their… Continue reading

Rumbling and rambling on the way to November | The Petri Dish

Republicans have to worry about Trump. Meanwhile, big money is flowing into initiative campaigns.

It’s time for back to school and back to basics for recycling

With a little help from the “Three Rs,” we can reduce the environmental impact of back-to-school shopping.

The default in our own stories | Editorial

Senior editor Samantha Pak reflects on what representation in media means to her.

No excuse for fake news rhetoric | Editorial

Journalists are being tossed into the anti-media waters being chummed by President Trump and others.

Pak headshot
Freedom to feel safe | Reporter’s Desk

Let’s not forget that July 4 is a day that celebrates the freedoms we have in this country.

Just add water | Editorial

Since 1913, the Valley Record has been one of the threads that bind this Valley together.

Summer — and summer reading — is finally here | Book Nook

The theme this year, Libraries Rock, includes a line‐up of programs and activities for all.