Sound Transit Board elects Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy as chair

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Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon and King County Council Member Julia Patterson elected vice chairs; Claudia Thomas thanked for a decade of Board service

The Sound Transit Board of Directors today unanimously elected Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy to serve as its chair for the next two years effective Jan. 1.

"I look forward to working with leaders across the region to continue Sound Transit's track record of delivering major projects and serving thousands of riders each day," McCarthy said. "Expanding public transit services is critical to ensuring the Puget Sound region has the infrastructure it needs to move people and goods as we attract new investments, jobs and residents in the years ahead. The opportunities ahead of us are great as we work together to navigate the challenges created by the recession."

By unanimous vote the Board's two new vice chairs will be Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, the outgoing chair, and longtime Board member Julia Patterson of the King County Council.

"It has been a pleasure to serve as chair of the Sound Transit board during the past two years," Reardon said. "We have seen some exciting changes and continue to move forward with our plans for increasing transit options for the region. I am pleased to pass the baton to the capable hands of Executive McCarthy and look forward to continuing to serve the agency as vice chair alongside Julia Patterson." 

"Sound Transit's challenges are particularly pressing due to the recession's impact on revenues in South King County. Our transit riders are relying on us for funding solutions," Patterson said. "I look forward to continuing to work for commuters in South King County and throughout the region."

Board members recognized Reardon and outgoing vice chairs Fred Butler of the Issaquah City Council and Claudia Thomas of the Lakewood City Council for their leadership and joined in a chorus of appreciation for Thomas as she retires from office. The Board issued a proclamation honoring Thomas's 10 years of service on the Sound Transit Board.

"I feel honored to have served our region's commuters for the last decade. You can count on me to be there as Sound Transit opens new projects and services in the years ahead - and especially next year when Sounder commuter rail begins serving Lakewood."