By unanimous vote, the Puget Sound Regional Council’s General Assembly reelected Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers as President and Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier as Vice President of the regional planning agency.
The General Assembly also voted to adopt the 2018 Regional Transportation Plan, which maps out how the region will meet transportation needs over the next two decades and keep pace with expected growth.
“The region has a lot of work to do to prepare for the day when almost 2 million more people will be living here. The good news is that we are coming together to find solutions that will have a positive impact for generations,” Executive Somers told the General Assembly.
“We have many big challenges facing us that we need to get right if we’re going to sustain our extraordinary quality of life and unparalleled natural environment. These challenges include a rising cost of living, adequate affordable housing, homelessness and the opioid epidemic,” Somers said, adding “We must work as a region to tackle these issues, with both our urban and rural areas contributing to the solutions.”
Executive Somers highlighted current work at PSRC, including a major project to develop VISION 2050, a regional growth strategy to plan for 1.8 million more people and 1.2 million more jobs by 2050.
Other important regional efforts include supporting state efforts to secure design, production and assembly of Boeing’s New Midmarket Airplane in Washington state and a conducting a new regional aviation baseline study.
Somers also called attention to the region’s efforts to catch up on transportation needs. The current four-year regional transportation improvement program includes over 600 active projects worth a combined $37 billion.
“That puts us ahead of our peers. However, the improvements can’t come soon enough for everyone here and the millions of people we represent,” Somers said.
Later this year PSRC will add more projects to the transportation pipeline, selecting projects for $525 million in federal funds.
The meeting was capped off with a panel discussion featuring Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, moderated by Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson.
More than one third of the 130 newly elected local leaders in the region last year were women. Today 54% of the people who live in the region’s cities and towns have a woman as their mayor.
The General Assembly also adopted the agency’s supplemental budget and work program for fiscal years 2018-2019.
The PSRC General Assembly includes elected representation from King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap counties, and more than 80 cities and towns, state agencies, transit agencies, ports, and tribal governments.
PSRC develops policies and coordinates decisions about regional growth, economic development and transportation planning for a growing region.
– Puget Sound Regional Council