Local leaders make regional connections

Newly elected officials convene at PSRC

PSRC welcomed a fantastic group of newly elected councilmembers, mayors and port commissioners from communities around central Puget Sound for the Working Together event.  

The workshop is hosted every two years to offer new local officials in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties an opportunity to learn more about the Puget Sound Regional Council and how the region is planning for growth.

Josh Brown, PSRC’s Executive Director, set the stage with a presentation on growth trends and an overview of the role PSRC plays in regional planning.

In small group discussions, the new leaders identified the most important regional issues in their communities and resources needed to address these challenges.

Managing rapid growth and all that comes with it was a key concern.  Addressing traffic congestion, making transit accessible for more people, and ensuring communities have enough affordable housing are all issues that need to be addressed regionally. Other important issues and ideas voiced by the new electeds included:

  • Noise and health impacts from Sea-Tac Airport
  • The need to grow jobs outside of the Seattle area
  • Establish one-stop shops for people who need assistance
  • Create better revenue systems for funding infrastructure and services
  • Ensure equity is addressed in policies and plans
  • Community safety

The workshop also included perspectives from veteran elected officials: King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci, PSRC Vice President; Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier, PSRC President; Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson, Transportation Policy Board Chair; Kent Mayor Dana Ralph, Transportation Policy Board Vice Chair and President of the Sound Cities Association; and Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers, immediate past PSRC President.

Conversations with the veteran elected officials touched on the importance of working together and building relationships, even if you don’t agree on everything.

They urged the new elected officials to zero in on a subject they were most interested in and look for ways to join countywide or regional boards focused on that topic.

Workshop Materials:

PSRC Basics handout

PSRC Annual Report