Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council
P.O. Box 101
Maple Valley, WA 98038


November 30, 2010

King County Council
516 Third Ave, Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104

Re: Proposed Unincorporated Area Council Funding for 2011

The Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council (GMVUAC) requests you carefully consider any potential major changes to the local Unincorporated Area Councils. The call to eliminate the local UACs in favor of one Countywide “Commission” (as set forth in the recently passed 2011 budget) does not seem prudent. This is especially true at a time when local citizens need a voice to enumerate local issues of importance to them.

As you are aware, the GMVUAC was a local council before gaining any formal recognition from the County. We formed at the behest of, and continue to serve, the local citizens as a means of communication with their local government--King County. The same is true for all the UACs.

This vision of local citizenry communicating directly with their local government, not only is deeply embedded in the fabric of American democracy, but is a vision the GMVUAC has lived by for over 20 years. We do not believe that a Countywide “Commission”--possibly not even locally elected--can properly serve, or even be recognized by, the local citizens in the various and diverse unincorporated areas.

Over the years the GMVUAC has maintained a good rapport with King County Council members and the various King County Departments with which we have worked. We do not want to lose that relationship, focus, and support. Nor do the local citizens who elect us and who we duly represent.

We and all UAC members serve as unpaid volunteers, because we care about our local communities. Yes, we understand there is some small cost to King County for staff time and liaison activities devoted to the UACs and that is very much appreciated. But surely, even in under tight budget restraints, there really is no savings to speak of by eliminating the local UACs and replacing them with a Countywide “Commission.”

The GMVUAC, as we expect, all the UACs, would welcome the opportunity to discuss these issues directly with you and your staffs. The door for communication is always open. Thank you in advance for considering our request in a timely manner.


Sincerely,

Steve Hiester
Chairman, Greater Maple Valley Unincorporated Area Council


cc: King County Executive Dow Constantine