Puget Sound Partnership still generates optimismFebruary 8th, 2011 by cdunagan
We haven’t heard much from the Puget Sound Partnership for a while — unless you count the state auditor’s report last year. I thought it was about time to provide a progress report, including a discussion about whether this relatively new agency still holds support among legislators and other officials.
This was the concept behind my rather lengthy report in Sunday’s Kitsap Sun.
Frankly, I expected to hear more people express opposition to the concept of creating an agency with three distinct branches yet no regulatory authority. In establishing the partnership, the Legislature expected the agency to stand above the fray and wield the power of persuasion and scientific reasoning in promoting projects to restore the Puget Sound ecosystem.
Several people I interviewed mentioned “growing pains” in reference to the partnership, and many expressed optimism that the organization has been learning and is prepared to lead the way.
In the end, it seemed that the people who best understood the
functions of the Puget Sound Partnership were the strongest
supporters — although many supporters were disappointed that the
partnership hadn’t moved faster in issuing some of its reports. But
there was also recognition that the management systems being set up
were not required by the enabling legislation and were taking time
to develop. Many believed that these decision-making tools would
provide a solid foundation for future decisions.
I also wanted to write this story so that people would have a better understanding of the partnership as it begins to deliver some important reports later this year — including “targets” for ecosystem indicators and an updated Action Agenda. It will also be interesting to see how the partnership fares in a performance audit to be delivered before the end of the year by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee.
My story included brief quotes and snippits of information from a whole lot of people. Unfortunately, huge portions of lengthy interviews were left on the cutting room floor, as they say in the film-production business. Consequently, I’ve decided to bring out more information from these interviews in this blog, so please look for upcoming Water Ways entries titled “The PSP Interviews:.”