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McDermott, Dembowski and Dunn to lead County Council in 2016


Council reorganization includes appointments of Committee chairs and member committee assignments


Metropolitan King County CouncilmemberJoe McDermott will Chair the County Council in 2016. McDermott was unanimously selected as Council Chair today by the full Council, and will be joined by Rod Dembowski and Reagan Dunn, as the Council’s two Vice Chairs.

The appointments of McDermott, Dembowski and Dunn are part of the reorganization of the County Council for 2016. Councilmember Dembowski will serve as Vice Chair of Policy Development and Review with Dunn serving as Vice Chair of Regional Coordination.

“I’m honored that my colleagues unanimously elected me to lead the King County Council as Chair this year. We have much to be proud of, and many challenges to overcome,” said McDermott. “I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues, with the Executive, and with the residents of King County to address issues of growing income inequality, housing affordability, homelessness, continued transit and transportation improvements, and environmental stewardship. I know that if we work collaboratively – as community leaders, residents, businesses and local government – we can overcome these challenges.”

McDermott joined the Council in 2010 after serving in the state Legislature for a decade. McDermott has been the Council’s Budget Chair since 2012 and has served as the Council’s Vice Chair since 2014. McDermott has also been the chair of the King County Board of Health since 2011.

Reagan Dunn joined the County Council in 2005 and has served as the Chair of the Council’s Law, Justice and Human Services Committee, the Regional Transit Committee and the Chair of the King County Flood Control District Board of Supervisors.

“I take the responsibility of serving as a Vice Chair of the Council very seriously,” said Dunn. “I appreciate the confidence my colleagues have placed in me and look forward to working with them to find solutions to the issues facing King County.”

Rod Dembowski has served on the Council since 2013 and has been the Chair of the Council’s Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee since 2014.

“I appreciate the confidence my colleagues have placed in me to serve as Vice-Chair of the Council,” said Dembowski. “I also look forward to continuing to lead on transportation and environmental policy as Chair of the Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee. From updating King County’s Comprehensive Plan, to ensuring the successful implementation of Best Starts for Kids, and working to secure long-term funding for our public health clinics, there’s tremendous opportunity to improve every community in our region.”

As the Council’s Management Team, the Chair and Vice-Chairs work together to set the agendas for meetings of the Council and Committee of the Whole and coordinate the referral and scheduling of legislation.

The Committee of the Whole, the only Council committee on which all nine members serve, will have a new Chair. Councilmember Kathy Lambert will Chair the committee in 2016.

Along with a new chair for the Committee of the Whole, there will be new chairs for three of the Council’s standing committees and two of the Council’s regional committees in 2016:

• Councilmember Dave Upthegrove will lead the Council’s deliberations on the 2017-2018 King County Budget as Chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee.
• The Council’s Law and Justice Committee will be led by Councilmember Larry Gossett as Chair.
• New Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles will Chair the Health, Housing and Human Services Committee.
• Kohl-Welles will also chair the Council’s Regional Water Quality Committee
• Councilmember Claudia Balducci, the new Councilmember for District 6, will Chair the Regional Transit Committee.

Committee of the Whole — Kathy Lambert, Chair
Considers legislation and policy issues of interest to the entire Council, and is the only standing committee on which all nine members serve.

Budget and Fiscal Management
— Dave Upthegrove, Chair

Develops the Council’s policy direction for the King County Budget, and makes recommendations on the County’s structural funding gap and capital and operating budget appropriations. Upthegrove will also chair the Council’s four-member Budget Leadership Team (BLT) for the County Budget deliberations.

Government Accountability and Oversight Pete von Reichbauer, Chair
Responsible for making recommendations on improving the efficiency, cost effectiveness and performance of all branches of County Government and enhancing the oversight, accountability and transparency in King County government.

Transportation, Economy and Environment — Rod Dembowski, Chair
Responsible for oversight of transportation (including public transit and county roads), salmon recovery, and water quality and control. Makes recommendations on policies relating to growth management (including land use development and regulation), comprehensive planning, annexations, affordable housing, and the unincorporated and rural areas.

Health, Housing and Human Services — Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Chair

Makes policy recommendations relating to public health, human services and housing programs.

Law and Justice — Larry Gossett, Chair

Consider and makes recommendations on policies relating to public safety and criminal justice.

Members today also appointed chairs for the three regional committees established under the King County Charter that provide a forum for development and review of countywide plans and policies. These committees include elected officials from other local jurisdictions:

Regional Water Quality Committee
 — Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Chair

Develops, reviews, and recommends countywide policies and plans for water quality and sewer service issues, long range capital facilities plans, rate policies and facilities siting to guide King County’s regional water quality responsibilities.

Regional Policy Committee — Pete von Reichbauer, Chair
Reviews and recommends regional policies and plans, other than transit and water quality. Issues that may be referred to the Committee or be the subject of the committee's policy development include, but are not limited to, public health, human services, open space, housing, solid waste management, regional services, financial policies, criminal justice, jails and district court services, and the siting of regional facilities.

Regional Transit Committee — Claudia Balducci, Chair
Reviews and makes recommendations to the County Council on policies and plans for the public transportation services operated by King County. These policies govern the planning and delivery of bus service, commuter vanpools, and van service for people with disabilities; establishing of the structure for transit fares; the purchase of new buses; and the construction of bus shelters, park and ride lots, and other transit facilities.

2016 County Council Committee Assignments  

Committee of the Whole: Lambert, Chair, Dembowski, Vice Chair. All Councilmembers serve on the Committee.

Budget and Fiscal Management: Upthegrove, Chair, Lambert, Vice Chair.
Members: Balducci, Dembowski, Gossett, McDermott.

Government Accountability and Oversight: von Reichbauer, Chair, Kohl-Welles, Vice Chair. Member: Dembowski.

Transportation, Economy and Environment: Dembowski, Chair, Balducci, Vice Chair.
Members: Kohl-Welles, Lambert, McDermott, Upthegrove, von Reichbauer.

Law and Justice:
Gossett, Chair, Lambert, Vice Chair.
Members: Balducci, Dembowski, Dunn, Kohl-Welles.

Health, Housing and Human Services:
Kohl-Welles, Chair, Lambert, Vice Chair.
Members: Gossett, Upthegrove.

Regional Policy Committee: von Reichbauer, Chair.
Members: Balducci, Gossett, Kohl-Welles (Alternate).

Regional Transit Committee: Balducci, Chair.
Members: Dunn, Upthegrove, McDermott (Alternate).

Regional Water Quality Committee: Kohl-Welles, Chair
Members: Dembowski, Dunn, Lambert (Alternate).

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