Originally part of King County’s Citizen Participation Initiative
The Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council was created as part of the King County Citizen’s Participation Initiative. Launched in 1994, the CPI’s intent was to enhance opportunities for public involvement and to improve citizen access to the information and services provided by King County government.
Chartered in 1996, FCUAC has been advocating for citizen participation in the unincorporated area that lies roughly between Renton, Newcastle, Issaquah and Maple Valley.
Four Creeks was one of six officially chartered UACs in King County the others being Vashon-Maury Island, Upper Bear Creek, Greater Maple Valley, North Highline, and West Hill. King County moved from the CPI model to Community Service Areas around 2010. At that time, FCUAC was approved by the IRS as a tax-exempt public charity.
We’re all volunteers
The members of the Four Creeks UAC are all volunteers.
Some have been involved with community issues and the county for a long time while others are brand new.
Members come with different backgrounds and interests. Some are interested in land use, some are interested in water, some are interested crime, some are interested growth, and some don’t have any particular interest.
Some come to learn. Some come to lead. Some come for help.
The one thing the members have in common is simply interest in their neighborhoods and communities and the willingness to come together for a couple hours a month in an attempt to influence outcomes. Its the combined experience and interest that brings us together.
What kind of people are members?
Members vary greatly in their experience and interests. Some have very little background in working with King County while others have been involved as citizen activists for a long time.
So why get involved with a UAC?
FCUAC’s core purpose is to enhance opportunities for resident participation. We provide assets, including the corporation itself, to help reduce barriers to that participation.
All you have to do is care. You’ll learn quickly and can rely on people who’ve been at this for some time.
But everyone seems to be more informed than I
And it can look like a daunting task to think about catching up.
The secret is that no one needs to get as involved as some members choose to. It’s great for FCUAC that some members take the time to get significantly involved, and they can be an incredible asset. But it’s not a requirement for membership.
By becoming a member you have the opportunity to bring your perspective on your own neighborhood to a forum dedicated to community involvement.
What’s the time commitment
Members serve 2 year terms.
FCUAC meetings are held monthly for 2 hours in the evening. From time to time there are special meetings called to address particular topics. These special meeting also tend to be held for 2 hours in the evening.
There are other opportunities for further involvement via committees including becoming an officer (president, vice president, secretary, treasurer). Some members focus on the web site, others on outreach and surveys, still others may volunteer to provide focus on a particular issue or topic of interest the the community.
Individual members often are involved directly in other assignments or organizations relevant to the interests of the FCUAC-area residents. We have members involved in transportation concurrency, others are involved in flooding, some are involved in elections.
We’re elected by the people in the area
Positions are subject to a public election every 2 years with staggered terms. FCUAC conducts an election annually for half the seats.
From time to time appointments are made to positions that may become vacant between elections.
The FCUAC area
FCUAC covers 33 square miles east and south of Renton which has over 14,000 registered King County voters.
General code of conduct
Underlying what we do is the need to maintain open and honest communication with the county. There can be quite a bit of emotion surrounding a particular issue, however, our job is to maintain the dialog between the UAC members and the county government.
All UACs are part of the King County Executive’s Citizen Participation Initiative.
15 positions are available in FCUAC. 11 represent specific jurisdictions within the FCUAC area and 4 are elected at-large.
History of the Unincorporated Area Councils
In 1991, during its regular session, the Washington State Legislature created RCW 36-105 which authorized the creation of community councils in unincorporated areas of counties with populations over 30,000.
In 1994 Gary Locke, then King County Executive, created the Citizen’s Participation Initiative via Executive Order “to enhance opportunities for public involvement and to improve citizen access to the information and services provided by King County government, through recognition of unincorporated area councils, establishment of Community Service Centers to serve incorporated and unincorporated King County and the provision of Community Service Representatives at those Community Service Centers located within unincorporated communities.” The King County Department of Human Services was designated the lead agency in the executive order.
UACs are citizen-based unincorporated area organizations specifically mentioned in King County’s County-wide Planning Policies and the county’s Comprehensive Plan.
Four Creeks covers an area made up of 29 voting precincts organized into 11 Districts to balance representation for close to 14,000 registered voters. The Four Creeks Unincorporated Area Council (FCUAC) has 15 members; 11 representing the UAC Districts and 4 at-large positions. Members are elected by voting conducted concurrent with the normal November elections and each serve 2-year terms on the UAC. Odd numbered districts and 2 of the at-large positions become available on odd numbered years while even numbered districts and 2 of the at-large positions become available on even numbered years.
The FCUAC serves areas both inside and outside the current Urban Growth Boundary.