Issues

Priority Issues for 2018 and Beyond

1. Plan for the impact of 100,000 projected new residents to Thurston County by 2040

● Save taxpayer dollars by avoiding the unnecessary infrastructure costs associated with urban sprawl

● Protect Thurston County’s agricultural economy 

● Complete the County’s long-overdue Comprehensive Plan update

● Preserve the distinctive urban/rural balance of Thurston County

2. Ensure the fiscal health of Thurston County

● Restore budgetary reserves that have severely declined by two-thirds over the last two years through careful long-term financial planning

● Reduce the percentage of county’s General Fund that goes to law and justice (75%) by supporting innovative approaches to crime, such as expanding therapeutic courts, mental health mobile outreach, and law enforcement-assisted diversion (LEAD) programs

● Build a coordinated, post-incarceration re-entry program to reduce criminal recidivism and pressure on social service networks

● Work to access more state and federal money for Thurston County

3. Build partnerships with our cities and local organizations on key regional issues

● Assert county leadership in a coordinated effort on the issues of rising regional homelessness, lack of affordable housing, addiction and substance abuse, mental health treatment, and rising poverty

● Restore funding to the Thurston Conservation District to provide direct technical, non-regulatory assistance to agricultural landowners and organizations supporting landowners in conservation efforts

4. Provide timely, predictable, and sustainable land use policies

Protect and preserve water quality and a sustainable water supply

 Promote measures to keep agricultural lands in production, and support and enhance the local farming economy

● Develop and secure federal approval of a 30-year Habitat Conservation Plan that will protect the endangered species and simultaneously ease the burden on property owners created by the federal listing

● Complete long-overdue Shoreline Master Program updates to bring the county into compliance with state law regarding protection of shoreline function

● Create a regional Climate Action Plan for Thurston County

● Promote county use of low-impact development and green building practices