Last week, the Pierce County Council reinforced its 2018 priorities to include a continued focus on economic development, behavioral health/homelessness, public safety, and property abatement/public nuisances.
“As we discussed our priorities for 2018, it was abundantly clear there is still a great deal to be done in these areas for those we serve,” said County Council Chair Doug Richardson.
The Council’s economic development policy emphasizes the need to build the economy by supporting businesses, promoting job growth, encouraging tourism and investing in infrastructure.
In 2017, the Council authorized over $4.6 million in behavioral health program funding and in the new year continues its commitment to strengthening behavioral health in Pierce County. The Council’s 2018 behavioral health policy focuses on early intervention and diverts people with behavioral health issues away from the criminal justice system and into treatment options.
Reducing the number of people in Pierce County experiencing homelessness is also a top priority for the Council in 2018. This work will be done through programs that provide housing to those coming out of treatment facilities, or by partnering with both public and private developers.
With the passage of public nuisance Ordinance 2017-22s and chronic nuisance Ordinance 2017-29 the Council declared that blighted properties will not be tolerated in Pierce County. As a result, the Council will develop policy in 2018 that promotes safe neighborhoods and protects property values through aggressive institutional and departmental enforcement of public nuisance laws and abatement of blighted properties and drug houses.
The 2017 Supplemental and 2018 Budget added an additional seven deputy positions to the Sheriff’s Department. For 2018, the Council is providing targeted resources to public safety and justice departments and agencies to prevent and reduce crime in the community and prosecute criminals.
“I look forward to addressing these priorities during my final year in office,” said Dan Roach, County Council vice-chair. “We have problems to solve and I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Council to provide long-lasting solutions.”
For more information about Pierce County Council meetings or members please visit www.piercecountywa.org/council.
Libby Catalinich, Pierce County Communications Director