Navigating your county government – from Jim McCune

[Editor note: the following is from an email County Councilman Jim McCune put out otday. It has a lot of helpful citizen information so we decided to post if for you.]

Our daily lives can be complicated enough, then you get a postcard or an e-mail from a government agency (federal, state or local) seeking your input regarding policies for water, farmland, wildlife, transportation, or any number of issues that have direct consequences to your personal estate. How can anyone possibly keep up? What is a person to do?

While there are many urgent issues that need attention, I’d like to help clarify how you can at least begin to navigate your local government.

One way to learn about issues important to you is to sign up for automatic updates at Notify Me . Here, you can choose which departments you want notices from.

Our unusually pleasant weather has folks looking for recreational activities. Check out the website for Parks and Recreation .

One of the Council’s biggest endeavors at the moment is reviewing the County’s Comprehensive Plan, which is a policy document intended to guide growth in unincorporated Pierce County over the next 20 years. It is now available for the public to review ( piercecountywa.org/realize2030 ).

The updated Pierce County Comprehensive Plan fulfills a state legislative requirement of the G rowth M anagement A ct, that is due by June 30, 2015. Pierce County must review its existing growth policies and update them if they don’t meet new state and regional requirements that have been established since the plan was last updated.

You are encouraged to review and comment on the Draft Plan update through the public comment form , e-mail or letter. Open houses and public hearings are also scheduled through the end of June, 2015. Of course, you can always send your comments to me directly and I can put them in the public record.

Here is an interesting analysis: Washington’s Growth Management Act: Goals and Promises from 2001. The League of Women Voters published an excellent booklet describing the history and goals of the GMA.

Let me know what you think of the GMA.   Perhaps the most points of contact I receive pertain to code violations. Piles of garbage and abandoned cars come to mind. Pierce County Responds is designed to receive your concerns or complaints and direct them to the proper agency for a response. If you do not have access to a computer, you can always call and leave a message at 253-798-4636. Keep in mind that government does not work at a fast pace. The folks in this department are very busy. They actually are quite tenacious in their work.

Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.  Enjoy your weekend!

Sincerely,

Jim McCune

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