Council Schedule Highlights Week of September 23rd, 2019
Monday, September 23rd, 2019
Jim McCune, Chair
Pam Roach, Vice Chair
This meeting will be broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and channel 20 (Rainier Connect). Access electronic meeting materials at http://www.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees. Video archives are available at www.piercecountytv.org.
Presenter: Jody Ferguson, Director, Emergency Management
Apparently we have made plans in case of an electromagnetic pulse attack. I’m not sure what else you should do with that information, but there will be a presentation from Emergency Management staff. Everything else I know came from The Matrix.
Tuesday, September 24th, 2019
Regularly scheduled meetings are broadcast live and replayed on channel 22 (Comcast and Click! Network) and channel 20 (Rainier Connect). Access meeting materials at www.piercecountywa.org/councilcommittees.
Presentation of the Executive’s 2020–2021 Pierce County Budget
Executive Bruce Dammeier
The Charter requires the County Executive to recommend a budget to the Council. This presentation kicks off the Council’s part in the process. We’ll comb through the recommendations and make adjustments ahead of final passage in late November.
Thanks to voters who approved an amendment to our Charter, this is also the first biennial budget for Pierce County. While there are many benefits, the longer duration certainly raises the stakes of negotiations.
Proposal No. R2019–126, Suicide Prevention Awareness Month — Proclamation
Pierce County has an unacceptably high rate of death by suicide that’s doubled since 2007. At a rate of 21.8 per 100,000 residents, we are also at a far higher than our peers in Washington and across the country.
The Council partnered with the Gig Harbor/Key Peninsula Suicide Prevention Coalition by allocating $45,000 for, among other efforts, placing signs with resources and encouragements like “You are not alone. Make the call” and “Life is worth living” on the Narrows Bridge. We now know at least one person was saved when a person on the bridge called the helpline.
But we also need to do much more. Early behavioral health screening and intervention is critical, but without direct county investment that won’t happen. We need to join our peers and pass the .1% sales tax for behavioral health.
Most of Pierce County’s employees receive their health benefits through the Teamster’s Trust. The remainder are enrolled in a self-insurance program administered by Regence Blue Shield and Kaiser Permanente. The proposal would transition the latter group to the State’s program with similar benefits.
While it appears that premium costs would be reduced for most employees and the County, I’ve started to hear concerns about out of pocket costs. It’s evident at least that many were not aware of the changes. As a result, I’ve asked the Chair to continue the bill to a later date allowing time for due diligence.
Proposal No. R2019–121, Retreats and Committees of the Whole — Budget Schedule Revised
This is just a slight amendment to the Council’s budget schedule, but as mentioned above, the Executive’s presentation is the start of budget season so I thought you’d like to see the schedule.
Council Budget Retreats:
- Wednesday, October 2–9:30 a.m. at the Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St W, University Place, WA
- Thursday, October 3–9:30 a.m. at the Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St W, University Place, WA
- Wednesday, October 9–9:30 a.m. at the Environmental Services Building, 9850 64th St W, University Place, WA
Committee of the Whole (all meetings are held in the Council Chambers):
- Wednesday, October 23–1:30 p.m.
- Thursday, October 24–9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Friday, October 25–9:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, October 30–9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Thursday, October 31–9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Friday, November 1–9:30 a.m.
- Thursday, November 7–9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
- Friday, November 8–9:30 a.m.
- Wednesday, November 13 — Noon
- Friday, November 15–9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
My Weekly Calendar
A couple of years ago we got a request for my forward-looking calendar. Rather than have staff waste their time on public record requests, I decided to publish screenshots. Now I’m adding a link to the calendar as well. If you have questions, feel free to call. Keep in mind, my schedule isn’t static. Things will get added, deleted, changed, etc. There are conflicts that I have to pick between. But if people want to see where I’m at and who I meet with, that’s fine by me.