16 Dec 2021
The Snohomish County Council held a marathon session yesterday, December 15th. After four hours of public comment and deliberation, the County Council approved Ordinance 21-098 authorizing a sales and use tax of 0.1% for affordable housing and behavioral health. The ordinance passed 3-2, Councilmembers Low and Nehring voting against, and Councilmembers Dunn, Mead, and Wright voted in support.
There were five amendments offered:
- Sending this proposal to a vote of the people—FAILED
- Adding a five-year "sunset" with an opportunity to renew if agreed upon metrics were met—FAILED
- Amending the responsibilities of the Chemical Dependency/Mental Health Advisory Board to include oversight of this program—FAILED
- Allocating at least 25% of the revenue for behavioral health and—FAILED
- Requiring coordination with local jurisdictions, no monies spent until collaborative plan approved by council—PASSED
After a quick, 15-minute break, Councilmembers re-joined the Zoom screen and began interviewing candidates to fill the 44th Legislative District seat left vacant by the departure of Secretary of State Steve Hobbs. When a legislator vacates their office before the end of their term, the County Council is responsible for appointing a person in their place. They do not do this alone, however. The County Council received a list of three individuals chosen by the Precinct Committee Officers (PCO's) of 44th Legislative District (LD) Democrats who are responsible for providing recommendations to the County Council. Their recommendations included State Representative John Lovick, Laura Hathaway, and Greg Pratt (in order of most votes). The County Council unanimously approved Lovick's appointment 4-0.
Then things took an unexpected turn. The Democratic PCO's of the 44th LD provided the County Council with another list of three candidates to fill the State Representative seat vacated by Lovick. At the top of the list was Sean Paddock with 31 PCO votes, followed by Brandy Donaghy with 12 votes, and Joyce Copley with 6 votes. After interviewing all three candidates, the County Council went into Executive Session emerging 10 minutes later with their choice, Brandy Donaghy. Councilmembers approved Donaghy’s appointment 4-1. Councilmember Megan Dunn dissented from the group citing a desire to respect the choice of the PCO’s.
State Senator Marko Liias, of the 21st LD has been chosen to replace Hobbs as Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. Keeping the transportation Chairmanship in Snohomish County is critical so we are not forgotten as legislators negotiate the next major transportation package. Liias brings nearly two decades of expertise working on transportation policies in both the House and the Senate.
If you have any questions, please contact Misha Lujan, Government Relations Manager, at MishaL@EconomicAllianceSC.org.