April 20, 2024 12:41 pm

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Mead and Nehring to lead Snohomish County Council in 2024

SNOHOMISH COUNTY—Councilman Jared Mead (D), representing District 4, and Councilman Nate Nehring (R), representing District 1, were re-elected as Chair and Vice Chair of the Snohomish County Council, respectively, by their fellow councilmembers during the body’s Administrative Session on January 2.

Jared Mead
Jared Mead

“I’m honored and grateful to be re-elected by my fellow councilmembers as Chair of the Council,” said Chair Mead. “Last year, we accomplished some wonderful things together for the people of Snohomish County, and I’m excited to continue that progress in 2024.”

The Council Chair presides over Council proceedings and provides leadership and direction to Council staff and administrative functions. The Council Vice-Chair serves as part of the leadership team and presides over Council proceedings in the absence of the Chair. This is the third time in the past decade that both political parties are represented in Council leadership.

Nate Nehring

“I am thankful to my colleagues for their trust and confidence,” said Council Vice-Chair Nehring. “I am looking forward to serving in leadership with Chair Mead for another year and focusing on bipartisan solutions to the issues facing Snohomish County residents.”

Tuesday’s leadership vote passed 4 to 1 for both the chair and the vice-chair with Councilwoman Megan Dunn of District 2 dissenting for both votes. Nehring nominated Mead as Chair with Councilman Strom Peterson of District 3, representing the Lynnwood and Edmonds areas, seconding both nominations. Councilman Sam Low of District 5 nominated Nehring for Vice-Chair.

“I am looking forward to another successful year of finding bipartisan solutions when we can, and when we can’t, to do so with respect and understanding,” said Councilman Peterson. “Congratulations to Chair Mead and Vice-Chair Nehring.”

Both Mead, 32, and Nehring, 27, are the youngest members on the council and both started their political careers as members of their local city’s planning commission. Mead was elected to the Mill Creek City Council in 2017 and Nehring was appointed to the Snohomish County Council that same year filling the vacancy left by Ken Klein in December of 2016 who now works for County Executive Dave Somers.

Mead and Nehring were actively involved in leading the Building Bridges events that toured the county last year. The program’s goal is geared to understanding and removing the barriers of political polarization. The Tour was in partnership with Braver Angels, a national citizens’ organization uniting red and blue Americans in a working alliance to depolarize America.

“I appreciate the great work our bipartisan team has done at the Council and in the community this past year,” said Councilman Low. “I am looking forward to their continued work in 2024.”

Councilwoman Megan Dunn at the Snohomish County Council Administrative Meeting on January 2, 2023. SOURCE: Snapshot from livestream of meeting via Granicus.

Councilwoman Dunn shared that her vote against Mead and Nehring was not against bipartisanship but for “transparency and accountability.”

“I appreciated the work this past year of Chair Mead and Vice Chair Nehring to pass a unanimous budget and oversee a smooth process during the chambers renovations,” said Councilmember Dunn. “While I have voted for bipartisan leadership in the past and I appreciate working across the aisle on environmental policy and the upcoming Biennial budget, Council would benefit from a change in leadership.

“I respectfully voted no today with the expectation that moving forward we will see clearer communication from leadership to the council, that major legislative changes would be discussed in committee by the full council, we have increased involvement and report backs from our regional boards and commission commitments, and that the council has unified messaging and involvement in our County legislative priorities.

“I’ll be proposing an improved process for transparency and accountability for any outside work which could include operating rules for meeting participation, utilization of county resources, and any official council communication.”

The Council votes for a chair and vice-chair annually during its first meeting of the new year. Council leadership serves a one-year term.

SOURCE: Snohomish County Government with additions by the Lynnwood Times.


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