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County to unveil new strategy for outreach

Islanders will get a glimpse of King County’s new strategy for community outreach when several public officials visit Vashon next week to discuss plans for an Island-based community service area.

The county will hold an open house from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at McMurray Middle School, where officials will roll out what they’re calling a “draft work plan” for the Island. Vashon is the first unincorporated part of the county to be named a new community service area, a geographic designation that was easy to make because of the Island’s discrete boundaries, officials said.

The new community service areas  replace unincorporated area councils, such as the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council, which for years were considered the official venues for the county to reach residents not represented by cities or towns.

The county instead wants to broaden its outreach, officials have said, and they’ve developed a program they believe will enable them to garner more input from residents in unincorporated King County.

Next week’s open house launches the county’s first effort at establishing a community service area and stands as a pilot project for the new endeavor, said Kendall Hodson, who works in Executive Dow Constantine’s office of strategic planning and performance. A number of county officials will be on hand, she said, to discuss everything from the county’s passenger-only ferry service to roads maintenance to public health.

“We want to have a good conversation. We want a broad representation. … We hope to get all the folks at the table and ask, ‘Is this helpful to you,’” she said.

Officials will follow up with another work plan, based on what they hear from Vashon residents, she added.

 

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