Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sound Transit: Meet your new Chair, Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon

Just in, the Sound Transit Board has elected their new chair Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

From the Snohomish County Press release:

Reardon named new Sound Transit chairman

As board chairman, he offers renewed commitment to voters

Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon was selected Thursday as the next Sound Transit board chairman, saying he would be sure the agency follows through on its commitments to voters.

“Creating a culture of cost controls during challenging times is paramount to keeping the trust of voters,” Reardon said, referring to the 2008 approval of one of the largest transportation referendums in statewide history. “Sound Transit is and will continue to be the key to regional traffic relief and infrastructure improvement.”

Since his election in 2003 as Snohomish County executive, Reardon has produced an annual balanced budget, shoring up deficits through fiscal constraints and improved workplace efficiencies. The same method of thoughtful governance is what will ensure that Sound Transit produces on-time and under-budgeted service deliveries including the extension of light rail to the northern, southern and eastern sections of Sound Transit’s service boundaries.

“We must meet the needs of taxpayers living in sub-areas of service,” Reardon said. “We can do that through a spirit of cooperation and partnership, both private and public.”

Strengthening community ties and partnerships is one way the board can increase its effectiveness while resolving differences, he said.

“Nothing should stand in the way of creating a premier transit system that reduces congestion, pollution and, simply, the amount of time that people spend on the roads and away from their homes,” he said. “This is what our residents want and what they deserve.”

Reardon has served as Sound Transit’s board vice chairman and head of the finance committee since 2008. During that time, he has spearheaded a regional approach that provides quick transportation relief as well as long-term infrastructure improvements.

That work is evident in the rapid bus deployment between King and Snohomish counties as well as the future of light rail throughout the region.

Reardon’s term as board chairman begins Jan. 1, 2010. He will serve as chairman until Dec. 31, 2011. He replaces outgoing Seattle Mayor Greg Nichols. The Sound Transit board is governed by 18 members. Seventeen are locally elected officials, while the 18th is the Washington State Department of Transportation secretary.

Snohomish County has three representatives, including Reardon, Everett City Councilman Paul Roberts and Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine. Board appointments are made by the County Executive and confirmed by the County Council.

On an editorial note, being that Reardon is a longtime board member and it is Snohomish County's "turn" for the chairmanship this is not a big surprise. I am not sure what private partnership opportunities the press release is referring to (perhaps eastside rail?). That issue aside, Sound Transit is in light rail construction mode and needs a strong leader and vocal transit advocate in light of the many challenges facing the agency, namely declining revenues and the politics around Eastlink expansion. Transportation Choices Coalition is looking forward to working with Executive Reardon in his new capacity and wishes him the best in this new and challenging venture.


  1. Mathew "RennDawg" RennerDecember 16, 2009 at 4:18 AM

    He is great, great at ignoring those who disagree him. I've sent him over 100 e-mails over the past few months. Not one responce.