As the mayor of Tumwater, and a City Council member for many years, I’m in the unique position of having worked with many county commissioners over the years. I can say without qualification that our current commissioners have worked the best with our cities in the more than 20 years I’ve been an elected official. That isn’t to say we haven’t had our disagreements, but we’ve worked through them in a civil, collaborative manner that is the envy of many other cities and counties throughout the state.
This includes growth management, environmental protection and transportation issues. The most recent example of this is our agreement to share Community Development Block Grant funds to help support services for lower income residents in our county. This agreement has the potential to bring over half a million federal grant dollars a year to provide much-needed services in these difficult economic times.
This is just one example of the dozens of agreements between Thurston County and the cities within the county to share services and responsibilities. Governments that work well together save money and allow us to focus our limited resources and staff time on solutions rather than fighting with each other.