By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
In a show of bi-partisanship, a majority of Snohomish County councilmembers selected Democrat Terry Ryan as council chair and Republican Nate Nehring as vice-chair at their first meeting of 2019.
According to a Snohomish County news release this is the first time in over a decade that a Republican and a Democrat serve at the same time in county council leadership.
Under normal circumstances Councilmember Brian Sullivan would have been chosen to serve as vice chair. However, he is term limited and would have had to step down from this job at the end of the year. It is likely he will be running for county treasurer this fall.
“We had a unique circumstance in that Councilmember Brian Sullivan was slotted to be Vice-Chair but he is term limited and running for another office,” said Ryan.
He went on to say, “With all the political gridlock nationally, this is an opportunity to show the County Council is working together for the betterment of all of Snohomish County.”
“I am looking forward to working with Nate and the entire Council as well as the County Executive and his staff,” added Ryan. “We have a lot of work to do in 2019.”
“I am honored by the support of my fellow councilmembers,” said Nehring.
Nehring went on to say, “Council Chair Ryan, our fellow councilmembers and I have great working relationships and I anticipate significant progress on our most pressing issues this year.”
The Snohomish County Council selected Ryan to serve as chair of the council for 2019 with three votes for, one vote against, and one abstention on Monday, January 7, 2019. Councilmember Stephanie Wright cast the against vote and Sullivan abstained from the vote.
Nearing also received three votes for, one vote against, and one abstention. In this case Sullivan was the single vote against, and Wright abstained.
Ryan served as vice-chair in 2018 under Council Chair Wright and last served as council chair in 2016.