Birth to 25 advisory board becomes permanent

The Pierce County Council at its Oct. 19 made the Birth to 25 Advisory Board permanent.

The Birth to 25 Council is a 20-member board tasked with proposing to the county executive and County Council a long-range plan to ensure the successful development of infants, children, youth and young adults — that is, people ages birth to 25.

Passage of the original legislation creating the board in April 2019 was contingent upon a sunset date of Dec. 31, 2022.

Councilmember Amy Cruver was the lone objector to the ordinance, Proposal No. 2021-70, and the amendment to it getting rid of the sunset clause.
She pointed out taxpayers already fund several local, state and federal programs geared toward helping young people, while stating that the pandemic has meant few meetings have been held by the board, not many people have expressed interest in it, and a high turnover rate of board members.

“We have had virtually no opportunity to discern its effectiveness, and I think that means we should not make it permanent so quickly,” Cruver said. “We need to give this advisory board the opportunity to be successful before making it permanent.”

The ordinance passed by a vote of 5 to 1, with councilmembers Hans Zeiger, Marty Campbell, Jani Hitchen, Ryan Mello and Derek Young voting yes to Cruver’s no vote.

In other business, the council saw a presentation regarding the Fox Island Bridge, the 1,950-foot span built in 1954 that is the only road into and out of Fox Island. The bridge is being evaluated for repair or replacement.

The two-year rehabilitation/retrofit option is estimated to cost $79.5 million, while the replacement option — also a two-year endeavor — is estimated to cost $168.1 million.

Finally, the council passed a resolution proclaiming Oct. 21 as “Community Conflict Resolution Day” in Pierce County.


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