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Snohomish County Executive releases 2023 annual report

SNOHOMISH COUNTY—Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers released the 2023 Annual Report for Snohomish County Government on Friday, January 26, highlighting some accomplishments and outcomes for all Executive departments during 2023 and their visions going forward through this year.

“Looking back on 2023, we can be proud of the fact that we are becoming more efficient, serving more of our residents more effectively, and making our work more sustainable. I’m very proud of our over 3,000 employees and the incredible work they do across the many areas of County responsibility,” said Executive Somers said in a press release regarding the Snohomish County report. “Whether we are faced with the usual or the unexpected, we will continue to stay focused on delivering the best possible service to our residents.”

The 24-page report is divided into 17 sections, each relating to a specific department or office who submitted their accomplishments from their work last year. The following are notable accomplishments for each department. For a complete list of accomplishments, you can read the full Snohomish County annual report by clicking here.

Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR)

Meadowdale Beach Park & Estuary Restoration Project Timelapse | SnocoParks

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) completed the Meadowdale Beach Park Estuary Restoration Project. Restoration monitoring of the site will still continue over the next ten years to understand the efficacy of the project, the county said.

Department of Emergency Management (DEM)

Continued integrating uncrewed aerial systems – more commonly called drones – to enhance readiness and response. The drone fleet doubled with the launching of two new aircraft equipped with higher-quality cameras and real-time positioning. Pilots flew nearly 20 missions to ensure the accuracy of emergency dispatch maps, capturing the precise locations of 3,200 new addresses and confirming 5,300 more. Drone missions also were flown in support of Public Works partners to document the effects of river flooding.

Economic Development

Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announcing the world-leading Sustainable Aviation Fuel Research and Development Center at Paine Field on March 28, 2023. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

The Economic Development Office launched the world-leading Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Research & Development (R&D) Center at Paine Field and received $6.5 million in start-up funding from the Washington State Legislature.

Facilities and Fleet

Upfited 32 patrol cars and put into service, processed and set up over 40 new vehicles for the Health Department. Also purchased and put into service 14 all-electric vehicles including one box van.

Finance Department

The Finance Department in conjunction with the Office of Operational Excellence and the Department of Information Technology has gone live with a major upgrade to the County’s financial management system, Cayenta. The new upgrade utilizes a paperless system that has been one more major push to make the County a paperless organization. In addition, there has been several other functionality improvements.

Human Resources

Designed and implemented the new county-wide leadership programs. Three tracks available for employees and supervisors and an annual event.

Human Services

The Human Services Department concluded its work distributing federal Emergency Rental Assistance Funding (ERA). In total, the department assisted 18,854 households with $188,279,840 in federal ERA funding.

Information Technology (IT)

Launched improved cyber security monitoring capabilities in partnership with the State of Washington WaTech team.

Medical Examiner

Onboarded two new Associate Medical Examiners, secured significant grants for 2024, and identified Gary Lee Haynie, a 1979 cold case previously only known as “Spencer Island Doe.”

Office of Operation Excellence (OPEX)

Streamlined internal processes to increase the speed of project management. Reducing average length to complete a project from 401 days to 139 days. Established standards for OpEx staff to complete projects by size and type. Decreased % of total projects on hold from 64% to 41% while receiving 8 new projects per month.

Office of Recovery and Resilience (ORR)

The Office of Recovery & Resilience (ORR) awarded $8 million to five capital projects that increase behavioral health and substance use treatment capacity by 440 individuals each year, with the ability to serve thousands more.

Office of Social Justice (OSJ)

Partnered with MGT Consulting to assess the state of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within Snohomish County government and help gain an understanding of the County’s relationship with communities furthest from opportunity. MGT Consulting engaged with County leadership, staff, and the wider community to develop a final assessment of the County’s DEI efforts, which was then presented to the County Council.

Paine Field Airport

Secured a $6.5 million grant in collaboration with Washington State University and other partners to establish a Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Research & Development Center at Paine Field.

Planning and Development Services (PDS)

During 2023, the PDS office underwent a significant remodel. The result is that all divisions in the department have been consolidated into one space. This means better customer service because staff are able to get a hold of one another more quickly and customers will be able to come to the front counter and have meetings with staff all in the same place.

Public Defense

In Superior Court, public defenders litigated 50+ cases to trial and received complete exonerations in 30% of trials.

Public Works

Works completed the Little Bear Creek Advance Mitigation Site (LBCAMS), capping off four years of restoring 17 acres of wetlands. Work included demolition of numerous structures, removing wetland fill, and planting more than 21,000 trees and shrubs.

Snohomish County Health Department (SCHD)

Delivered efficient, quality Environmental Health and Vital Records services. Performed 4,200+ food safety inspections, 550+ new food establishment plan reviews, 700+ new septic and well site reviews, 1,000+ building clearance reviews, 200+ septic repair applications, 80+ solid waste facility inspections, 600+ pollution prevention assistance visits, 100+ school inspections, 1,250+ water recreation inspections, and 4,000+ each of birth and death certificates.

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