Economic Alliance Snohomish County President Troy McClelland presented to Monroe City Council last week. McClelland presented information on the Aerospace Convergence Zone, an official Innovation Partnership Zone (IPZ) established through the Washington State Department of Commerce, and discussed the Alliance’s role as far as furthering economic development in Snohomish County.
Per their mission statement, the Economic Alliance Snohomish County “exists to be a catalyst for economic vitality resulting in stronger communities, increased job creation, expanded educational opportunities, and improved infrastructure.”
McClelland explained that the Alliance is a public-private collaboration, with approximately 30 percent of their funding coming from Snohomish County, the city of Everett, and other municipalities, with approximately 70 percent from private organizations. They also receive funding through both state and federal grants.
He shared that part of his role in promoting Snohomish County is to use designations like the Aerospace IPZ to the region’s advantage.
The IPZ program was created in 2007 by then-Governor Christine Gregoire. A primary objective of the program is to help create a cohesive message throughout specific areas of Washington State to promote and encourage economic development, technology, new businesses and sustainable jobs. The IPZ status can be a distinct advantage as far as future funding potential through either the state of Washington or at a federal level.
Recently, Monroe engaged in a collaborative effort to establish a recreation-based IPZ with the cities of Sultan, Gold Bar, Snohomish, Index and Skykomish. Everett Community College, the Outdoor Adventure Center in Index, GROW Washington, Snohomish County Parks and the Sky Valley Chamber of Commerce were also partners in the effort. The Washington State Department of Commerce declined to assign the official IPZ designation in 2013, but the group hopes to reapply in 2015, with a stronger emphasis on research and development.
Recently, it was brought to Monroe’s attention that they are currently a part of the existing Aerospace Convergence Zone, which is the official aerospace IPZ located in Snohomish County. Areas of Edmonds, Bothell, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Granite Falls, Arlington, Stanwood, Marysville, Everett and Tulalip make up the zone.
“Monroe is the perfect place for an aerospace company to come, on a lot of different levels,” said McClelland.
Places like Monroe and Arlington, McClellend said, are perfect for manufacturing companies that want to be in the general vicinity of Boeing but maybe not right in their backyard. He shared that he recently showed Monroe to an aerospace painting company who may be considering establishing facilities in the Puget Sound region.
“They wanted to be close, but not too close,” said McClelland.
The Alliance focuses on business retention, recruitment and community connections. McClelland explained that another major area of emphasis is working with the legislators in Olympia to advocate for Snohomish County as a whole.
He explained that presenting a cohesive message with a unified voice works to the county’s advantage, and that approaching Olympia as a collection of disparate cities does not obtain the desired results when attempting to create countywide positive change.
He referenced Pierce County as being an effective county when it comes to approaching state government officials.
Snohomish County Executive John Lovick discussed the value of the same collaborative concept earlier in the year during his State-of-the-County address. He also cited Pierce County, and recalled that the region’s representation in Olympia was once referred to as the “Pierce County Mafia.”
“When the elected officials from Pierce County show up in front of the legislators, they listen,” said Lovick.
The Economic Alliance Snohomish County is working to improve and streamline that cohesive message to Olympia.
Some of the organizations that contribute to the private portion of the Alliance’s funding are the Snohomish County Public Utility District, the Boeing Company and the Everett Clinic.
For additional information on the Economic Alliance Snohomish County, visit their website at: http://www.economicalliancesc.org/.
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
Discussion began on the development of a social media policy that would apply to all city staff and elected officials at the city of Monroe. For the purposes of the policy, social media is defined as any use of the city’s website to promote social interactions with citizens. Such things as Facebook, Twitter and a blog are currently being utilized.
The policy in general will strongly advocate for the utmost in professionalism regardless of the social media service being utilized. Conducting official city business via any social media medium is prohibited. If used by councilmembers, the tools should be utilized to communicate with the public in an informal manner.
The city will work to develop policy which will be oriented towards Public Records Act compliance.
The item was placed on the extended agenda for approximately six weeks out.