EVERETT — Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon marched through his key goals for 2008 in a speech today, highlighting his ideas for addressing affordable housing and homelessness, helping farmers and improving the environment.
In his 20-minute State of the County Address, he gave updates on his ongoing efforts with those issues.
“Among the greatest challenges facing Snohomish County families today is the need for affordable housing,” Reardon said. He plans to propose reforms of the county’s social service spending and land-use regulations to help make housing more affordable.
It was Reardon’s fifth State of the County speech and first since voters re-elected him in November.
He said the county continues to make strides converting its public works fleet to biodiesel fuel, and has plans to begin construction of a biodiesel seed processing facility at the county Cathcart landfill property on Highway 9.
This year, the county also plans to complete an assessment of its carbon footprint, and Reardon said he plans to propose land-use changes to offset climate change impacts.
Reardon also used the speech to press the County Council to quickly approve funding for a community inclusion manager. The proposed position is intended in part to help recruit more minorities to work in county government and to apply for contracts.
The council rejected the proposal last year, but two of the three council members who opposed the measure left office in December.