(The Middle Sq.) – King County desires extra for its cash on the Washington State Affiliation of Counties.
WSAC collects membership dues on the premise of county inhabitants and King County’s share is about $500,000. WSAC has lengthy acknowledged the problem of getting a single county account for roughly 25% of the affiliation’s price range.
Final yr King County advised WSAC it wished extra voting energy and some different adjustments if it was going to pay full dues, in line with Spokane County Commissioner Mary Kuney, who presided as president on the affiliation’s annual assembly that concluded in Spokane on Nov. 8.
Kuney mentioned King County has not at all times felt its voice has been heard when adopting the legislative agenda.
A bylaws committee labored on the problems and introduced the outcomes. All the adjustments have been adopted besides weighted voting, which did not get the required two-thirds approval of members current.
“Having weighted voting is a brand new subject and one assembly to debate wasn’t sufficient,” Kuney mentioned.
WSAC meets annually. All county commissioners and elected county executives are eligible to vote however should attend the assembly both in particular person or nearly.
Kuney identified this association already offers a de facto weighted vote.
“If persons are passionate, they’ve to point out as much as vote, and just one member confirmed up from King County” out of the ten eligible voting members. She was disillusioned the complete delegation was not there to state their case.
The problem of apportioning energy is frequent in lots of statewide associations.
Kuney recalled dialog on the Nationwide Affiliation of Counties associated to counties in Utah, the place the diploma of inhabitants variation from smallest to largest is much like Washington.
She additionally pointed to the current vote by the Washington State College Administrators Affiliation, which went in a unique route. WSSDA voted in September to drop the weighted voting that had given a number of giant districts management of the agenda and has adopted a one-district, one-vote rule.
Kuney expects the brand new president of WSAC, Lisa Janicki of Skagit County, will name for a brand new bylaws committee to proceed to wrestle with the problem in preparation for the 2024 annual assembly.
The price range adopted at this yr’s assembly permits King County to pay half dues and be thought of present if paid by June 30, 2024, within the hopes that discussions on the problem will proceed.
“Our objective is to maintain all 39 counties working collectively on frequent values and the metrics to attain them,” Janicki mentioned.
Michael White, state relations director for the King County Govt Workplace, had made it clear verbally to Janicki that King County wanted each dues reduction and weighted voting as a way to keep on board with WSAC. King County requested an extra discount in dues on the annual assembly, prompting Pierce and Snohomish to request comparable reductions.
The 2024 price range was adopted with the 50% dues lower for King County as a “flag of goodwill,” in line with Janicki.
“We are able to’t go too far in weighting voting to create a scenario the place three counties can block any motion requiring a two-thirds vote,” she mentioned. “We received’t know till King County adopts its 2024 price range if they’re nonetheless on the desk.”