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Council appoints Kurt Triplett as King County Executive


County Council cites his professionalism and knowledge of the issues


Interim County Executive Kurt Triplett was unanimously appointed today by the Metropolitan King County Council to serve as King County Executive. Triplett will serve until the results of the November general election for County Executive are certified.

“We had an impressive group of nominees and the Council was faced with a difficult choice,” said Council Chair Dow Constantine. “I am confident Mr. Triplett will be able to capably lead us through this time of transition.”

“I would like to congratulate Kurt Triplett on his appointment as the next King County Executive,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “I was pleased to establish a Blue- Ribbon Committee that allowed for an open and transparent process to interview and recommend candidates. Today’s unanimous vote shows that the process worked.”

Triplett was one of two nominees recommended last week by a Blue-Ribbon Selection Committee co-chaired by former Seattle Mayor Norm Rice and Kent Mayor Suzette Cooke. The Council interviewed Triplett and Royer in depth this morning, along with former County Councilmembers Louise Miller and Steve Hammond.

“As Chair of the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, I look forward to working with Kurt Triplett in this time of transition and economic uncertainty,” said Councilmember Larry Gossett. “He will draw on his 17 years of experience and leadership in County government to inform the difficult choices before the Executive’s office in the next six months.”

“With the 2010 budget in the process of being written and many other extraordinary challenges confronting us, we need an interim Executive who knows the day-to-day operations of King County,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “We need stability now in preparation for the new direction that will come when voters make their decision this November.”

“King County will benefit from Kurt’s perspective and experience during this time of transition in the Executive’s office,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “I look forward to working with the Executive on giving King County’s unincorporated areas the attention and assistance that they deserve. In addition, I hope he will work closely with the district representatives on the Council both on budget and policy issues. At this time of economic stress, we need to weigh all costs carefully and be sure they are prioritized. It will take teamwork and cooperation to develop a budget within existing revenue.”

“In the dire financial crisis we’re facing, Kurt Triplett represents what we need in King County in the short term – continuity and stability,” said Councilmember Julia Patterson. “New leadership will come this fall, but for now, we need someone who can ably steer our government through our upcoming budget and help transition staff from Ron Sims’ leadership to a new Executive this November.”

Before his designation as interim County Executive upon the resignation of former County Executive Ron Sims on May 8, Triplett served as the Executive’s Chief of Staff. He has also served as deputy director of the Department of Natural Resources and Parks, and as Senior Legislative Assistant to former County Councilmember Cynthia Sullivan.

The appointment is the culmination of a selection process that began April 6 when the Council adopted legislation to establish the blue-ribbon selection process. Former Executive Ron Sims resigned his office following his swearing-in as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama Administration.

Triplett will be formally sworn into office as soon as tomorrow. He will serve as County Executive until the results of the November general election are certified in late November.

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