Submitted by Doug Richardson, Pierce County Council Chair, District 6.
Pierce County has received $158 million in federal funds via the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act). This week the Council heard a proposal for how to invest these funds to help our county recover.
A steering committee was appointed that included several respected community leaders representing wide and diverse interests and constituencies. The committee was co-chaired by Executive Bruce Dammeier and me as the County Council Chair and met for several hours to develop the recommendations presented to the Council.
The proposal features four areas for investment: public health emergency response ($67 M), economic stabilization and recovery ($30 M), community response and resilience ($22 M) and government services ($15 M). The committee also recommended a $24 M contingency fund to address needs that have not yet emerged.
As part of its work, the steering committee established funding “principles” to guide how to consider the many needs across the County. The principles included considering the County as a whole, leveraging existing partnerships for greatest effect, moving quickly and flexibly, using an equity and vulnerability lens, and acting with transparency and impact.
I applaud the work that the steering committee accomplished and you can see the presentation here. Over the last few days the Council has discussed how best to leverage the federal funds, including the proposal presented by the steering committee. We plan to vote on a related resolution on Tuesday, May 5. You can view that meeting online and on PCTV Comcast Channel 22, Click 22/522 and Rainier Connect 20/513.
In the meantime, I encourage you to share your thoughts with me on what you think the priorities should be and where you believe the funds should be directed. You can reach me at email@example.com.