Representative Mike Hope unveiled his jobs package on the steps of the Snohomish County Courthouse.
Hope is running for Snohomish County Executive.
The final days before the primary election have arrived and Rep. Mike Hope-Lake Stevens, took the steps of the Snohomish County Courthouse and offices, the building he hopes will become his new digs if he wins the election for Snohomish County Executive in November.
At Thursday’s press conference, Hope’s goal was to share his comprehensive job package and economic platform to get Snohomish County residents back to work.
“Creating new jobs and fresh economic opportunities for Snohomish County residents will be my top priority as County Executive and this event will demonstrate to the county that we have a concrete plan and vision for the future,” Hope said before the event. “We need a fresh vision for Snohomish County; one that includes creating new jobs, retaining current employers and recruiting new businesses as its primary objectives. Why can’t we be that bright spot in the economy that everyone talks about? I believe we can be, with a clear vision and leaders willing to listen to good ideas.”
With over 38,000 jobs lost in the county in the last four years and the employment rate over 10 percent, up from 4.2 percent in 2007, Snohomish County leads the state in unemployed workers.
Hope’s economic platform centers on five key points: Collaborating regionally/competing globally; Reinvesting in the private sector; Keeping our workforce at home; Rooting out mismanagement and Prioritizing our educational efforts.
In an effort to streamline county government and avoid redundancy throughout county departments, Hope plans to create an office of Regional Collaboration which will identify areas where duplication of services exists and will then implement policies to eliminate that duplication.
“These policies are aimed at improving services, saving money, increasing efficiency, and providing better services,” Hope explained. “This office will be led by the County Executive and will consist of current staff by redefining their roles in conjunction with the county charter.”
He also wants to ensure that Snohomish County has good relationships within the county government as well as with cities and municipalities and their leaders.
“To compete globally our county government must have a good working relationship with our Mayors, City Councils, businesses, and other key partnerships in our community and across Puget Sound,” Hope said.
Reinvesting in the private sector will ensure job growth within the county. Helping businesses not only survive but also thrive is a top priority to bring unemployment down.
How does he plan to do this? By developing a funding source for early stage capital; Incentivizing local government to adopt anti-imbalance procedures to zoning; and by being transparent, trustworthy and bi-partisan.
“For the county to play an effective economic development role, it must first be a trusted partner that makes wise use of resources, delivers excellent services and protects the health and safety of its citizens,” he said.
Snohomish County has a well-educated and highly skilled work force living within its boundaries and keeping them living and working here is an important step in the overall well-being of the county.
Keeping residents here will reduce traffic congestion and consume less fuel, which in turn will enhance the environment and will significantly reduce costs.
“We need to provide the necessary infrastructure in Snohomish County to attract businesses here. When people work close to home we save,” Hope said. “This will be accomplished by investing in roads, parks and other future infrastructure so we’re not just a bedroom community for Seattle, but rather create the environment making Snohomish County an attractive place for businesses and their workers to call home.”
Hope’s fourth step is Rooting out mismanagement which will consist of three primary focuses.
The first is to establish an Office of Professional Integrity, or OPI, which will be tasked with conducting investigations of possible ethical and legal wrongdoings.
The second is to scrap and refocus SnoStat and start the Business Intelligence Decision Support System (BIDSS).
“Although the county has a statistical tool, SnoStat, this tool is not currently being used effectively to better not just police services, but all aspects of county government. We will use an analyzed business intelligence system as a decision support system, optimizing the deployment of resources to results-based outcomes,” Hope said. “This will allow us to: Compare best practices; Improve transparency; Increase accountability; Leverage technology at no additional cost.”
The next step will be to create an ethics code and a rigorous and consistent hiring process.
Enhancing education opportunities is the last step in Hope’s job plan. By educating our future business leaders and skilled workers right here in Snohomish County, we will potentially be able to bring more businesses here and maintain those family wage jobs that we so desperately need.
“A trained, skilled workforce is essential to building our much needed infrastructure. Without these educational opportunities, business will not relocate or stay here. We are just not competing solely against King County, but globally,” Hope said. “The legislature took the first steps in the 2011 legislative session to ensure that Snohomish County would receive the capability to turn out engineering students at the new WSU expansion campus. I served as the republican lead that was necessary to pass this bill, and I vow to dedicate the capital expenditures to assist the state and city of Everett with any future expansion of WSU Everett.”
For more information on Hope’s job package and economic platform visit www.hopeforexec.com.