In the Puget Sound area, we collaborate on planning issues in a four-county region. The rivers, roads, and traffic flow between Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish, and King counties. These are the most populated counties and contain the metropolitan cities of Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, and Bremerton. Our transportation challenges are legendary. People live, sleep and play north, west, and south of the job centers near Seattle and the challenges we face for planning for hundreds of thousands of new residents means the traffic backs up regardless of our jurisdiction boundaries as people commute home from their jobs.
For the past five years, I have served as one of four county co-chairs on the Regional Staff Committee of the Puget Sound Regional Council. I was able to say goodbye at the last meeting I would chair in March.
I have enjoyed learning about the challenges we face in our region and working with colleagues from the cities and towns in this area. We are all working together to plan for the future. I highly respect the public servants who gather together at least monthly to collaborate. Their jobs are to plan and assure that we have the roads, housing, utilities, schools, parks, and open spaces that will be needed in the future.
At my last meeting, they took some time to say goodbye and recognize my years of service and commitment. I’m so grateful for each of these hard-working people who bring their knowledge, skills, and abilities to solve really difficult problems. As a staff, they will continue to develop maps, data, and information so that our respective elected officials can understand and decide the best policy choices. I have complete faith in their ability to come together and find a path that will meet the needs of our residents. While I’m sad to say goodbye, I’m hopeful that when the pandemic is over we can see each other again in real life. For today, it is a regional goodbye for me. I know that in a few days, I’ll miss seeing my friends every month!