KING COUNTY BUDGET: Helicopter stays; so does Water Taxi ‘stable funding’

The King County Council has finalized its budget. Back in September, we mentioned two items in County Executive Dow Constantine‘s original proposal, so here’s an update on how those fared:

The first was a plan to cut the KC Sheriff’s Office Air Support Unit, which would have meant no more helicopter availability for Seattle Police as well as other agencies assisted by the KCSO helicopters. The final budget did NOT include that cut, so the helicopter will stay in service.

Second, the proposal to provide “stable funding” for the King County Water Taxi (West Seattle to downtown and Vashon Island to downtown) stayed in the budget, according to a statement from King County Council chair Joe McDermott, who represents the areas served by the Water Taxi. As we reported in September, the funding will come from a levy that is already in place, originally intended for the Water Taxi, then shifted to buses, now shifted back.

8 Replies to "KING COUNTY BUDGET: Helicopter stays; so does Water Taxi 'stable funding'"

  • Canton November 15, 2016 (6:19 am)

    That’s funny, Dow said the sky was falling and there was no money. Now that his little baby ST3 passes, all is good.

    • WSB November 15, 2016 (7:05 am)

      The two are entirely unrelated; Sound Transit 3 does not put money into the county general budget, nor take from it. County councilmembers cut somewhere else in the budget instead. – TR

      • West Seattle since 1979 November 15, 2016 (8:29 am)

        Thanks WSB.  It’s hard to keep it straight sometimes, and if we don’t like something, it’s really easy to feel that it’s tied to something it really isn’t.  

  • Canton November 15, 2016 (8:30 am)

    I realize that. It was a comment in regard to the city passing every single tax on the table, and the county was feeling left out of cash shower. Dow threatens to cut the only programs that would scare the money out of people. All of a sudden, the county’s budget is all good. Do you know what exactly was cut to save those much needed programs? Just saying Dow now has a job for life on ST3 board.

    • WSB November 15, 2016 (8:35 am)

      A couple of county councilmembers had a news conference downtown a few days ago to announce they had found a way to save them. Unfortunately, going to it was out of our scope for the day, no news release ever followed the alert about the n/c, and my followup question to County Council communications went unanswered. Looked through the various budget documents last night before writing this and nothing was obvious. Going to ask one more time, though. – TR

  • Dave November 15, 2016 (12:07 pm)

    If Mayor McGinn and ignorant, fear mongering luddites didn’t nix the plan to replace the helicopter with cheap drones, this wouldn’t be a problem.

    • WSB November 15, 2016 (1:04 pm)

      The helicopter is a county aircraft; that’s why it’s in the county budget. Mayors have no say over it.

  • Your Mom November 16, 2016 (8:03 am)

    “As we reported in September, the funding will come from a levy that is already in place, originally intended for the Water Taxi, then shifted to buses, now shifted back.”

    This is the problem.  They do whatever they want and we let them.  A levy was passed for the water taxi and the funds were sent to the buses instead.  Why even pretend we have any say in anything that they do.  People wonder why no one has any trust in the government anymore.  

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