EDMONDS, Washington (STPNS) -- The Snohomish County Council appointed Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling to the Sound Transit Board of Directors last Wednesday, following a recommendation by Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.
Reardon cited Earling’s years of service with Sound Transit from 1992 to 2003, where he spent time as both the board chairman and vice chairman.
Earling replaces Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine, who had wanted to be reappointed.
Reardon said Earling has "unparalleled experience in both transit and growth-management issues." He said Earling was the “most qualified candidate.”
“That was a good appointment,” Earling said. “I’ve had 11 years experience with Sound Transit, plus my years on the state Growth Management Hearings Board.”
What makes Earling a good fit for the Sound Transit Board also positions him perfectly to help Edmonds achieve an integrated balance of transportation modes.
“We’ve got ferries, buses, cars and rail all in one spot,” Earling said. “We’re not used to thinking this way, but we’re a transportation hub.”
And its role will only become more important in the future.
“To maximize ridership, different nodes need to work together,” Earling said. “The connections are tremendously important.”
Earling is also interested in the extension of light rail into south Snohomish County from Seattle.
“Another big piece is the alignment of light rail in Snohomish County,” he said. “We’re interested in getting them to put in a stop around 220th Street for connections to Edmonds by bus.”
Earling’s position doesn’t stop at the “larger issues.”
“The biggest issue for me ‘locally’ is the lack of Sounder parking,” Earling said. “I’ve talked to a few owners around the area of the parking lot looking for some temporary parking.
“They really need to provide additional parking spaces both in Edmonds and in Mukilteo.”
The idea of working towards making the different parts of the “hub” connect properly is important for more than just transportation issues.
“There is potential for economic development in those areas, too,” Earling said.
‘For instance, in Auburn and Kent, they’re had a lot of economic development springing up around their transportation centers.
“We need to make sure we take advantage of that in a positive way.”
And it’s not just our mayor who is working on these issues. Earling cites a whole list of employees and elected officials who are also working on those issues.
“This council (city council) is doing a good job of thinking more regionally,” Earling said. “We need to take a larger role in the region.”
“We’re working to raise our visibility regionally – throughout the area. We’ve taken more visibility at the state level.”
Earling offers as example the following list of people working regionally as part of their duties at the city:
Carrie Hite- Washington State Parks and Recreation Board member.
Rob English- Infrastructure Coordinating Committee Chairman in Snohomish County
Stephen Clifton- Snohomish County Tourism and Promotion Committee and Industry and Development Board for the Economic Alliance
Shawn Hunstock- President of Puget Sound Finance Officers Association
Rob Chave- Planning Advisory Committee for Snohomish County Tomorrow
City Council –
Diane Buckshnis- Snohomish County Tomorrow (Snohomish County long-range planning)
Strom Peterson- Regional Fire Authority
Lora Petso- Regional Fire Authority
Frank Yamamoto- SNOCOM
Adrienne Fraley-Monillas- Snohomish County Health District
Joan Bloom- Seashore Transportation Forum
Snohomish County Economic Alliance Board of Directors
Community Transit Board
Sound Transit Board
All electeds –
More active role in Snohomish County city and towns
Many involved in legislative matters this year.
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