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Official portrait of King County Councilmember Larry Phillips, 2015

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Statement from Council Chair Larry Phillips on Not Seeking Reelection

Councilmember Larry Phillips speaks at a press conferenceIt has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of King County and the region, representing the Fourth District on the King County Council. It has been inspiring to be consistently immersed in the decision making of our region in meeting the many challenges—and changes—of the past two decades. But now it is time to set a new course; consequently I do not intend to seek re-election this fall to the King County Council.

This decision is not reached easily. While I still possess the energy and desire to help our region meet the many challenges growth poses to our quality of life, and remain committed to preserving the values we hold close in this unique and beautiful home we share, I hope to do so in new ways.

For voters of the Fourth Council District it is now time to begin setting about choosing a new leader. Whoever they ultimately choose, it will take optimism and constructive intelligence, as well as tenacity and a willingness to master the details of local and regional government to effectively meet the challenges of our times and near future. Persistent growth, mobility and infrastructure demands, income inequality and wealth disparity, natural resource protection, enhanced fiscal resources, and above all, climate change adaptation and mitigation, will be just a few of the issues a new Councilmember will have to tackle.

I like to say, ‘The beauty of King County and our great natural resources are only surpassed by the energy and creativity of the people who live here.’ For me, that has never been more true than in serving with my Council colleagues, County personnel, and especially my personal staff in meeting the needs of the people we represent. Individually they are extraordinary public servants; collectively they are a powerhouse of institutional strength for our community. As an elected official, and as a citizen, I will always be grateful for their steadfast commitment to, and accomplishments on behalf of, King County and our region.

I also truly appreciate the support of the voters who have returned me to office, as well as all those who have fought alongside me to promote the values we share and to meet the challenges we faced. They have made it possible to assert leadership in a number of areas critical to our well-being, sense of place, and capacity to meet the future.

I will leave my service on the King County Council knowing the great landscapes of King County are far better preserved than when I started. Our air, waters, and natural resources are better protected, and the people living here enjoy a healthier environment and more prosperous community. I also know in leaving we have at King County enhanced the arts, parks, open space and recreation, fiscal responsibility, and government efficiency and reform, and substantially begun to address our transportation, transit, and mobility needs. Each of these adds to our quality of life; as such, my tenure on the Council has been time well spent. This is, after all, a place—and a community—worth fighting for with optimism, intelligence, and resolve.

Going forward, I will remain, as I always have, engaged in the affairs of my family, deeply committed to their welfare, opportunity to prosper, and ability to thrive. It is time to start a fresh chapter, engage in new challenges, and enjoy all that our community has to offer.

King County Councilmember Larry Phillips’ Accomplishments -- 1992-2015

While there will always be issues facing our county and region, these are some of the issue areas and specific accomplishments I have had the privilege to work on throughout my time serving as elected Councilmember for the Fourth King County Council District.  I would be happy to discuss in detail; please feel free to contact me for more information.


  • 4Culture creation
  • Harborview Hospital
  • Historic Preservation
  • Kingdome
  • Mariners
  • McCaw Hall
  • Olympic Sculpture Park
  • Pacific Science Center
  • Seahawks
  • Seattle Symphony
  • Sonics new arena


  • Chicago Climate Exchange
  • Strategic Climate Action Plan
  • Climate and National Security


  • Affordable housing
  • Airplane overhead noise reduction
  • Cedar River Council
  • Youth Sports Facilities Grant Fund
  • Waterworks Grant Fund


  • Budget & Fiscal responsibility
  • Elections reform
    • Transition to all-mail voting in 2008
  • Labor Policy
    • Project Labor Agreements
  • Office of Law Enforcement Oversight
  • Regional Governance
  • Youth & Family Justice Center rebuild


  • Agricultural land preservation
  • Growth Management Act
    • Forest Conservation
    • Rural Forestry Incentives
    • Transfer Development Rights
    • Urban Growth Area boundary
    • Snoqualmie Preservation Initiative
    • Raging River forest
  • Comprehensive Plan
    • Grand Ridge
    • Cap on rural growth
    • Treemont


  • Cedar River Legacy
  • Conservation Futures funding
  • Eastside Rail Corridor
  • Evergreen Forest Trust
  • Flood Control
  • Urban reforestation & habitat restoration
  • King County Parks, Open Space and Regional Trails
    • Parks and Open Space bond
    • Ballfield funding – 101 new sports fields
    • Cougar Mountain Regional Park
    • East Lake Sammamish Trail
    • Maury Island Regional Park
    • Public Benefit Rating System
    • Open space acquisitions and state legislation
    • Rattlesnake Ridge
    • Soaring Eagle (60 Acres)
    • Cedar River Trail
    • Green River Trail
    • Section 36 on Sammamish Plateau
    • Rattlesnake Ridge
    • Beaver Lake
    • Manke
    • Tollgate
    • Lake Sawyer
    • Three Forks Park
    • Snoqualmie Tree Farm
  • Smith Cove Park


  • Endangered Species Act response
  • Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) creation
  • Water Resource Inventory Area 8 (WRIA 8) leadership
  • Waterways 2000: countywide watershed conservation


  • Metro Transit
    • Regional Transit Task Force
    • Metro Transit Strategic Plan
  • Sound Transit
    • Light rail
    • ST2
    • Sustainability plan
  • Transit funding
    • “Transit Now” sales tax increase for bus service.
  • Transit governance


  • Puget Sound stormwater reduction
  • Wastewater treatment
    • Brightwater Treatment Plant
    • Combined Sewer Overflows
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