Now, that’s ironic!

As you might suspect, I am frequently asked to give greetings/welcome/opening comments to groups that meet throughout our County. They can range from the Pierce County Prayer Breakfast, to the South Sound Military Community Partnership Elected Officials Council, to the upcoming Agriculture Transportation Coalition (the first time the Coalition has met outside California!).   Yesterday, my remarks were part of our Economic Development Office’s Education Forum.

The Economic Development Department focuses on the “work” part of our vision for “a vibrant Pierce County where people choose to live, work, and raise a family.”  Part of our strategy for keeping (and hopefully growing) good employers in Pierce County is to provide opportunities to learn about important issues that might affect their operations. Hans Kueck heads this effort up and yesterday he brought in local tax professionals to help explain the intricacies of recent federal tax reform. (Their earlier forum on marijuana in the workplace had their biggest ever turnout!)

As I drove to the forum at Lakewood City Hall, I reflected upon our work to grow family-wage jobs in Pierce County for our citizens.  I want our 100,000 neighbors who commute to Seattle and King County every day to have a choice to work closer to their homes, where they can be part of their communities.  To accomplish this, we are streamlining permitting, simplifying regulations, and adjusting our fees to help existing employers expand and encourage new ones to start.  I welcome both the construction jobs and the ongoing jobs for our citizens!

Normally, as I drive to a speaking engagement I don’t listen to the radio, so I can focus on my preparation.  Yesterday was the exception.  So, as I was thinking about all the things we are doing to get good jobs in Pierce County, what should I hear on the radio?  Construction workers were chanting “no head tax” in response to the Seattle City Council proposal to charge a $500 per employee annual fee.

Now, that’s ironic!

Switching topics, you may have heard that due to an update to the 911 system, about 17,000 properties now have new addresses on Key Peninsula, Fox Island and Anderson Island.

You can imagine how eager residents in that area were to switch to the new addresses.  And, given the complexity of the transition, it hasn’t been without a bump here or there.

That’s why I was so happy to read this great thank you note, which I’m happy to share with you:

I want to offer my thanks for the excellent service your staff, Deb May and Tiffany O’Dell, provided in response to my recent inquiry.

I serve on the Board of the Glen Cove Road Maintenance Association, on the Key Peninsula. Our association is changing its road signs in response to the recent address changes. Deb and Tiffany helped us to validate the addresses of all our association members and identify those that changed. This helped us in our road signage efforts and to keep our association’s address records accurate.

Deb and Tiffany were quick to respond, knowledgeable, and displayed a level of service any local government should be proud of.

On behalf of our association, thank you for your assistance.

Many thanks to Deb, Tiffany and the many others who have worked diligently to make the transition as smooth as possible!

As I wrap up this week’s blog, I want to encourage you to join us on Saturday, May 19 as we celebrate the ribbon cutting for the newest addition to the Foothills Trail.  The trail features 19 protected miles through beautiful scenery and is the result of years of work and advocacy by our Planning and Public Works, and Parks and Recreation teams, as well as dedicated folks from the Rails to Trails Coalition, and others.

We will be gathering at Veterans Park in South Prairie at 11:00 am.  I’m bringing my bike to ride the new section to Buckley and I hope to see you there.

For those of you who haven’t walked, biked or run the trail, enjoy this video from Councilmember Dan Roach, who trains for his triathlons on the trail.

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!