By MAYOR JIM HAGGERTON
Collaboration is a word used a lot these days in the halls of government. Competition for resources and shrinking funding means government leaders can no longer “go it on their own” or work in a vacuum. Working together has become critical to our success.
Cooperation among cities and agencies is critical for responding to emergencies, solving crimes and coordinating logistics for large events, such as the recent motel raid along Tukwila International Boulevard, when more than 400 law enforcement staff from a multitude of agencies and municipalities worked together to reduce crime along Tukwila International Boulevard.
The City has worked diligently to collaborate with regional and local partners to benefit our residents and businesses. The South Correctional Entity (SCORE) jail in Des Moines serves the confinement needs of seven member cities and a number of contract agencies, providing a much-needed service to Tukwila and neighboring jurisdictions.
The Cascade Water Alliance, a municipal corporation comprised of seven municipalities (including Tukwila), has become a regional leader in establishing joint municipal utilities, allowing entities to come together to provide cost-effective, essential public services, and have helped bring attention to the need for fire hydrant water and protection in every community.
Our membership and participation in the National League of Cities (NLC), Association of Washington Cities (AWC), and Valley Cities has been invaluable in creating and developing relationships that give all of us a bigger voice and presence with our state and federal legislators regarding common issues and concerns, bearing out the belief that there is power in numbers. Sound Cities Association (SCA) is an organization of 35 cities involved in King County Regional Committees to address areas of importance to all of our cities.
The South King County Fire Training Consortium (SKCFTC) is comprised of multiple fire departments and one law enforcement agency located in South King County. The consortium shares training resources in order to reach common goals that they might be unable to reach separately.
It takes time and commitment to participate in the national, state and regional organizations but the results and benefits gained for our residents and businesses are huge.
Collaboration and partnerships are an integral part of our day-to-day activities as we work to streamline processes and deliver services across our community, and they are woven throughout our Strategic Plan:
• “Build a broad and collaborative approach to preventing crime and increasing the sense of safety.”
• “Partner with organizations that help meet the basic needs of all residents.”
• “Strive for excellent education, vocational supports and personal growth opportunities through effective partnerships and City services.”
• “Strengthen the City’s engagement and partnership with the business community.”
• “Advance Tukwila’s interests through participation in regional partnerships.”
Our elected officials and staff across the City work closely with the Tukwila School District, the Chamber of Commerce, a wide range of service providers and many others as we strive toward our vision of becoming the City of opportunity, the community of choice.
Building trust and developing effective relationships takes time, but we know from first-hand experience, significant results can be achieved by working together to solve common issues. Our Strategic Plan challenges all of us to develop and expand existing partnerships and seek new opportunities to work together, both internally and across our region.
On a more personal note, as we say goodbye to 2013 and welcome the new year, I hope you will also embrace opportunities to partner with others and by doing so, you can make a positive difference in someone’s life. Being a volunteer in a local or regional non-profit group, the Veterans Administration, local churches, food banks, schools, and others is a great way to be part of something bigger.
In closing, I would like to compliment all of our City employees for their generosity and efforts, especially at this time of year, to help address the needs of children and families in Tukwila.
Wishing you a very happy holiday season!
Mayor Jim Haggerton
Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton can be reached at mayor@tukwilawa,gov.