WHAT DO SOUND TRANSIT AND THE KING COUNTY REGIONAL HOMELESSNESS AUTHORITY HAVE IN COMMON?
Will Democrats ever allow accountability for regional agencies?
Marc Dones recently announced his resignation as CEO of King County Regional Homelessness Authority (KCRHA). It’s the latest sign of the organizational dysfunction that has permeated the two-year-old bureaucratic agency. But can anyone who has followed the saga that is the KCRHA really be surprised? KCRHA’s problems stem from the poor organizational structure, which lacks public accountability and leads to major decisions being made by a small group of local politicians who only spend a few hours a month working on KCRHA issues. Not surprisingly, this organizational structure is very similar to the one which governs Sound Transit, another flailing public agency… Shift WA.
SESSION MUST BE OUT, AS PETTY INSLEE TAKES OVER
The media and legislators have seen this game before (as Shift has reported), but it never fails to disappoint when Governor Jay Inslee starts taking out his veto pen once legislators have left town, and spitefully deletes a few provisions he doesn’t like from bills which have passed with bi-partisan support. The latest example was eliminating the right for the public to again tour the state’s Capitol Dome, as covered by the Washington State Standard, with State Senator Mark Schoesler noting “It’s petty. We are the tenants and we can’t even go through our own building.”
You can read more about how the governor again showed his small side after “Schoesler, of Ritzville, penned language allowing the director of the Department of Enterprise Services to shepherd any lawmaker and their guest up the steep spiral staircase to the peak of the nearly 100-year-old building”, here… Shift, Washington State Standard.
WHEN GOVERNMENT THROWS AROUND YOUR MONEY, MAYBE THEY SHOULD LOOK AT WHO IS SPENDING IT – AND HOW
KUOW provides a reminder that when government is handing out big checks, some people will try to get their hands on that money, reporting that a “former finance director of two Seattle nonprofits pleaded guilty Tuesday to two felony counts of federal wire fraud.” The details of the $3 million+ fraud are a bit stunning, with allegations the felon “spent the money on personal expenses including gambling, clothing, and travel, and created false ledger entries to conceal her actions.” You can read about the lengthy investigation and even lengthier scam (2011-2020) here… KUOW.
THE ZOMBIE COMMISSION THAT WILL NOT DIE – YET
People who are cynical about government being wise with taxpayer dollars will get a prime example for future use, according to the (Tacoma) News Tribune, since the “Commercial Aviation Coordination Commission is planning to meet next month, and any vote is possible, according to commission Chairman Warren Hendrickson.” That’s right, the zombie commission that wasted the past few years looking for a new Puget Sound airport site, and which will go out of existence soon after the meeting, and whose mission Governor Jay Inslee just put a stake in as covered by Shift, could still put out “a recommendation (which) could be used by lawmakers in the future to legitimize a site as a prospective location for a new airport.” You can read more fun about dysfunctional government here… News Tribune, Shift.
KING COUNTY NEEDS MORE TAX DOLLARS – TO PAY HIGHER SALARIES TO ITS EMPLOYEES
The sordid story about Marc Dones disastrous “leadership” at the King County Regional Homeless Authority (KCRHA) remains to be told, though Shift is highlighting some pieces, but the release of salary information at same time as his departure announcement provides a stunning look at the priorities of the massive agency – and it sure wasn’t solving the homelessness problem in the region. Instead, it appears that the KCRHA operated mainly as a source for high salaries and great benefits, according to MyNorthwest, with “(T)hirty employees reportedly earned six-figure salaries, with Dones topping the list as he earned nearly $250,000 annually in his role as CEO. The deputy CEO, Helen Howell — who has taken over as the interim CEO for the immediate future — was the only other employee to top $200,000 as an annual salary.” To see more about how “KCRHA hired approximately 100 new employees during Dones’ tenure for the newly conceived organization, which started up operations in mid-2021” you can read here… Shift, MyNorthwest.
DAM IDIOTS ARE BACK
Another legislative session is over, so another wasteful dam study must be on tap for the folks in the Snake River basin. As Shift has reported in the past, Seattle-area environmentalists never tire of using taxpayer money to study how to rip out dams which provide economic and energy lifelines in Eastern Washington. They even ignore the fact they could focus on the salmon-killing dams which power Seattle, but as the Seattle Times op-ed explains today, our dams are ok.
The latest in-depth coverage is provided by Capitol Press, and provides the perspective from agriculture not often heard on the West side, that “(W)hen you look holistically at this issue, dam breaching does not make sense”, according to Heather Stebbings, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, who continues, “The one thing we don’t support is dam breaching.” You can read more deeply here…Shift, Capitol Press, Seattle Times.
OVERHEARD ON THE INTERWEBS...
BUYING GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS, ONE STORY AT A TIME
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ALMOST SEEMS LIKE A CAMPAIGN ISSUE
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