For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been asking you to guess what a diverse crew of local political figures—Republican AG Rob McKenna; Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell plaintiff Maj. Margaret Witt; Tea Party guy Clint Didier; and progressive poster boy, newly elected state house Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon (D-34, W. Seattle) among others—have in common.

Here’s the answer: They’ve all got political New Year’s resolutions for 2011 (not just the typical ones about working out), and they took the time to share them with us.

We kicked off the series this morning with a New Year's resolution from DADT hero, Maj. Margaret Witt.

Our second resolution comes from Republican King County Council member Reagan Dunn, who pushed for a tougher labor policy during the county's negotiations with unionized workers during this year's devastating budget cycle.

Dunn is poised to run for higher office, potentially attorney general, in 2012 (a race that could pit him against a fellow county council member, Democrat Bob Ferguson).

Not surprisingly, Dunn's resolution is all about criminal justice: Specifically, coming up with a sustainable source of funding for criminal-justice services, including the sheriff's department and the county prosecutor's office, in King County.
My New Year’s resolution for 2011 is a long term funding plan for criminal justice in King County.  Given issues of tax suppression, a Sheriff Guild contract that guarantees a minimum pay increase of 5 percent a year, a poor economy, and political paralysis, I realize this is somewhat akin to a beauty pageant contestant asking for world peace.  Nonetheless, public safety is something that I care deeply about and it will be a top priority for 2011.

The November elections sent a pretty clear message that the public has no appetite for new taxes.  My colleagues and I on the King County Council, therefore, must agree on a plan to fund criminal justice without a tax increase.  Easier said than done I understand.

One of my first goals will be to convince people that “public safety” does not mean unincorporated police service.  Of the nearly $50 million dedicated to “public safety” in the recent sales tax package, unincorporated police received only $9.5 million.  The rest would have been spent on courts, prosecutors, jails and community corrections.  Those programs are far more important to urban Seattle than unincorporated areas.  The only way to get agreement is for every corner of the county to admit that it’s their problem as well.

Obviously, I’ve got my work cut out for me.  I truly believe, however, that when reasonable people want to compromise solutions can happen.  That’s my goal for the New Year.—Reagan Dunn
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