Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Dow Constantine sworn in as King County Executive in ceremony at Daniels Recital Hall

Nearly ten months after Ron Sims announced he was resigning as King County Executive to become the Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, his successor, Dow Constantine, has finally taken office.

In a simple, cheery ceremony at Daniels Recital Hall (which he helped to save from destruction) Constantine took the oath of office and delivered his inaugural address, built around the theme of more effective government.

Dow Constantine Sworn In
"The world around us is changing," Constantine noted. "King County will change as well. We are looking to build a King County government that is more user-friendly, transparent, efficient and effective. This is a tall order."

"We will need all hands on deck to succeed," he added.

Among those hands will be newly appointed Deputy Execcutive Fred Jarrett, one of Constantine's primary rivals, and Constantine's new Director of Customer Service, Lorrie McKay, who were mentioned in Constantine's speech.

Dow also outlined several specific objectives he wants to accomplish: expanding light rail north, east, and south, as promised to voters, create green jobs, encourage transit-oriented development, bring the county's other elected leaders together for a frank discussion about revenue and tax reform, reprioritize Metro services and get rid of the old 20/40/40 formula, protect farmland in rural communities, and launch a formal clearinghouse for employee-led reform ideas.

Asked afterward who he might appoint to the Sound Transit Board (there are several vacancies to fill) Constantine told NPI he'll be looking for someone who has demonstrated commitment to high capacity transit. "It's very likely that I will be appointing someone representing the City of Bellevue," he said, "because so much of the action over the next few years is going to getting East Link built."

"But there will be many appointments," he continued. "There's a lot of tough decisions to be made: Regional equity, people who are able to move the agenda forward [...] are important considerations for the Executive."

The King County website has already been updated to reflect Dow's inauguration. His prepared remarks are available there, along with staff biographies and photos from the event at Daniels Recital Hall tonight.


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