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Edition Date: December 18, 2006
Gossett elected 2007 chair of KC Council
from the King County Council

ImageCourtesy photo
Incoming King County Council Chair Larry Gossett (left) takes the gavel from outgoing Chair Larry Phillips.

Hague, Patterson named vice-chairs

The Metropolitan King County Council unanimously named Councilmember Larry Gossett as chair of the council for 2007. His appointment was part of the annual council reorganization that established two new standing council committees. “Becoming the chair of the King County Council is a special privilege and challenge, one for which my 13 years of experience has superbly prepared me,” said Gossett. “I am particularly excited about taking the helm during a year we have made a commitment to provide all members with meaningful leadership responsibilities.” Gossett was first elected to the county council in 1994. He is the current chair of the council’s Labor, Operations and Technology Committee, after having served two terms as the chair of the council’s Budget Committee. As chair of the Law, Justice, and Human Services Committee, he was instrumental in the creation and implementation of the Adult and Juvenile Justice Operational Master Plans, programs that have focused on alternatives to incarceration and emphasize treatment and prevention over detention. Those efforts have reduced jail populations and led to cost savings of up to $10 million a year, as well as the $120 million it would have taken to build a third county jail.

Councilmember Julia Patterson was named Council Vice-Chair of Policy, and Councilmember Jane Hague was re-elected as Council Vice-Chair of Employment and Administration. The Council’s management team will establish the agenda for meetings of the full council and the Committee of the Whole and coordinate the referral and scheduling of legislation.

“King County citizens want and deserve bipartisan cooperation from their local government,” said Patterson, who will also chair the Council’s Committee-of-the-Whole. “With challenges in King County ranging from transportation to health care to criminal justice, it’s vital that we continue to emphasize working together in a bipartisan manner. I will continue that effort as the new Vice Chair of Policy and Administration and as chair of the council’s Committee-of-the-Whole.”

“I’m honored to once again hold this leadership position,” said Hague. “In 2007, I look forward to continue my goal of making King County government more understandable, accessible and accountable through transportation solutions and ensuring future water supply sources.”

Patterson was first elected to the Council in 2001. She’s the current chair of the council’s Transportation Committee and chair of the King County Board of Health. She has taken the lead on issues ranging from elections reform, transportation and the creation of the Office of Law Enforcement Oversight to improve the handling of misconduct cases involving the King County Sheriff’s Office. As Vice-Chair of the Regional Transportation Investment District (RTID) and a long time member of the Sound Transit board, she has played a vital role in crafting the regional transportation-funding package that will go before the voters in 2007. She has partnered extensively with members of the Republican caucus on reform, accountability and transportation measures.

Hague was first elected to the council in 1994 and served as council chair in 1996. She has been a strong proponent of performance measures and election oversight, and was the prime sponsor of the legislation creating the Council’s Citizens’ Elections Oversight Committee. She has also been a leader for the annual budget process for many years and has helped lead key efforts to rethink how King County operates from Operational Master Plans and regional water supply planning efforts to the new independent Office of Capital Project Oversight.

Members also approved a reorganization of the council’s standing committees that includes bi-partisan leadership and two restructured committees. The External Affairs Committee will assume many of the responsibilities of the old Legislative Steering Committee in considering and making recommendations to the council on legislation before the federal, state and local governments that affects King County.

The General Government and Labor Relations Committee replaces the Labor, Operations and Technology Committee. Its duties include making recommendations on policies relating to management organizational structure, customer service and the efficiency, cost effectiveness and performance of county departments; recommendations on audit programs, labor agreements, information technology, cable communications and telecommunications issues, constitutional and human rights; and recommendations relating to the King County International Airport.

The full roster of committee leadership is as follows:

Capital Budget Committee: Chair Dow Constantine, Vice-Chair Kathy Lambert

External Affairs Committee: Chair Pete von Reichbauer, Vice-Chair Larry Phillips

General Government and Labor Relations Committee: Chair Larry Gossett, Vice-Chair Pete von Reichbauer

Growth Management and Natural Resources Committee: Chair Larry Phillips, Vice-Chair Jane Hague

Law, Justice and Human Services Committee: Chair Kathy Lambert, Vice-Chair Larry Gossett

Operating Budget, Fiscal Management, and Mental Health Committee: Chair Bob Ferguson, Vice-Chair Jane Hague

Transportation Committee: Chair Reagan Dunn, Vice-Chair Julia Patterson

Employment and Administration Committee: Chair Jane Hague, Vice-Chair Larry Gossett

Regional Policy Committee: Chair Pete von Reichbauer

Regional Transit Committee: Chair Reagan Dunn, Vice-Chair Julia Patterson

Regional Water Quality Committee: Chair Larry Phillips, Vice-Chair Jane Hague

King County Board of Health: Chair Julia Patterson