Incoming Council Chair Larry Gossett, left,
takes the gavel from outgoing Chair Larry
Phillips. Gossett was elected chair as part
of the council's 2007 reorganization.
Larry Gossett will become chair of the Metropolitan King County Council for 2007. Gossett's appointment was part of an annual council reorganization that establishes 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," Gossett said. "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 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, Gossett helped to create programs that focused on alternatives to incarceration and emphasized treatment and prevention over detention.
Those efforts have reduced jail populations and led to a 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 vice chair of policy, and Councilmember Jane Hague was re-elected as vice chair of Employment and Administration. The council's management team will establish the agenda for the council's meetings 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."
Hague said she looked forward to 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.
Hague was first elected to the council in 1994 and served as council chair in 1996 and 1997.
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 organization, 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 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; and
• King County Board of Health: Chair Julia Patterson.
For more information, visit the Web site: www.mkcclegisearch.metrokc.gov/legistarweb and type in "2006-0597"
King County Council Chair Larry Gossett will be joined
on the council management team by Councilmembers
Jane Hague, left, and Julia Patterson.