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Government Summit

Posted on 19th April 2013 at 16:24

Elected officials from Cowlitz County, Kelso, Longview, Castle Rock and Woodland gathered last night at the 9th Cowlitz County Government Summit, pledging to continue the effort to find ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs for local governments. Commission Chair Mike Karnofski says that this effort continues to pay dividends for local governments and for taxpayers…govtsummit…Two significant new initiatives came out of last night’s meeting, both put forward by County Commissioner Jim Misner. The first he’s calling “The Joint Approach,” asking that the county and the city governments work together in drafting ordinances, zoning rules and other measures connected to implementation of the legalization of marijuana. Misner says that have clear, concise and consistent rules across the county will make it easier for law enforcement and for citizens as this law moves forward. The second initiative he’s calling “MOJO,” the acronym for a Multi-Organizational and Jurisdictional Officer. Misner says that he envisions this person as a Community Service Officer-type that would work through all of the cities and the county on issues of code enforcement, noise, public nuisance and similar issues. Currently, multiple personnel in multiple departments, including law enforcement officers, are trying to cover these items, taking them away from other duties. County Commissioner Dennis Weber says that it looks like the effort to create Metropolitan Parks District is dead, and they may now have to look at other options, such as privatization of some assets, or contracting with concessionaires. Karnofski says that they’re planning to continue this process, with a goal of meeting again in about six months.