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Phillips, McDermott and Hague to lead County Council in 2015


Council completes 2015 reorganization with appointment of Council Chair, Vice Chairs and creation of two new committees


The Metropolitan King County Council today gave its approval of its yearly reorganization with the reappointment of Councilmember Larry Phillips as Council Chair. The Council also approved retaining Jane Hague and Joe McDermott as the Council’s Vice Chairs.

“I am honored to once again lead the legislative branch in serving the people of King County and meeting the challenges ahead,” said Phillips. “In 2015, we face critical issues in securing reliable and certain transportation, public safety, and environmental services. Protecting and enhancing them for King County residents is our top priority. We must also act to secure King County’s fiscal future, as well as maintaining our human services safety net, addressing climate change, and protecting the health of Puget Sound and our waterways.”

“I am proud to continue as Vice Chair for the 13th largest county in the U.S.,” said Hague. “I look forward to continuing our work on positive issues that will keep our citizens safe, healthy and economically successful.”

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.

Phillips is the most senior member of the King County Council. He was Chair of the Council from 2004-2006 and has served as chair of the Council’s Budget, Growth Management and Transportation Committees. Phillips has been a leader on growth management, water quality, environmental protection, fiscal management, and transportation.

Councilmember Hague joined the County Council in 1994, and was elected Council Chair two years into her first term. She has held most major Council leadership positions as well as serving on the Budget Leadership Team multiple times. Hague’s leadership has also extended to the National Association of Counties, where she served as president and remains a member of the Board of Directors.

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

Along with the appointment of the Council Chair and Vice Chairs, Councilmembers also approved the chairs and members of the Council’s standing committees. The Council also approved the creation of two new committees: Health, Housing and Human Services and Law, Justice and Emergency Management.

Health, Housing and Humans Services, which will be chaired by Councilmember Dave Upthegrove, will be responsible for public health, human services and housing programs. Councilmember Kathy Lambert will chair the Law, Justice and Emergency Management Committee, which will have oversight of policies relating to public safety, criminal justice and emergency management.

The rest of the committee chairs will remain the same as in 2014.

Committee of the Whole  Jane Hague, 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 — Joe McDermott, 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.

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 — Dave Upthegrove, Chair
Makes policy recommendations relating to public health, human services and housing programs.

Law, Justice and Emergency Management — Kathy Lambert, Chair
Consider and makes recommendations on policies relating to public safety, criminal justice and emergency management.

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 – Dave Upthegrove, 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 – Reagan Dunn, 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.


2015 County Council Committee Assignments


Committee of the Whole: Hague, Chair, McDermott, Vice Chair. All Councilmembers serve on the Committee.

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

Government Accountability and Oversight: von Reichbauer, Chair, Dembowski, Vice Chair. Members: Dunn.

Transportation, Economy and Environment: Dembowski, Chair, Hague, Vice Chair.
Members: Lambert, McDermott, Phillips, Upthegrove, von Reichbauer.

Law, Justice and Emergency Management: Lambert, Chair, Gossett, Vice Chair.
Members: Dembowski, McDermott

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

Regional Policy Committee: von Reichbauer, Chair.
Members: Gossett, Lambert, McDermott (Alternate).

Regional Transit Committee: Dunn, Chair.
Members: Hague, McDermott, Dembowski (Alternate).

Regional Water Quality Committee: Upthegrove, Chair
Members: Hague, Phillips.


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