King County Executive Dow Constantine on Monday appointed five Seattle-area leaders to join him on the Sound Transit Board of Directors, including two new members, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Kenmore Mayor David Baker.
Constantine reappointed three board members: King County Councilmember Pete VonReichbauer, King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove and Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus. The three represent the South King Subarea. Upthegrove’s District 5 seat on the council includes part of Kent.
“I am pleased to appoint local leaders who share my commitment to creating a world-class regional transit system that knits together our rapidly growing region,” Constantine said in a news release. “They will provide the combination of valuable experience and new ideas we need to meet the strong demand for high-capacity mass transit.”
Durkan, who was seated early in order to join the board for its December meeting, will be reappointed for a full term. Durkan will play a key role in ensuring Sound Transit and Seattle coordination succeeds in shortening the timelines for planning and implementing the West Seattle and Ballard light rail extensions.
Baker will represent the East King Subarea, which had been represented by Issaquah Mayor Fred Butler, who will retire this year. Baker has served as the Kenmore mayor for 10 years. He is active at the regional, state and local level on many boards and commissions and has recently served as president of the Sound Cities Association.
Baker has a strong interest in transportation and transit and been a member of the Regional Transit Committee, Eastside Transportation Partnership and the SeaShore Transportation Forum in past years. He was a key leader in organizing northern cities in support of bus rapid transit on State Route 522 as part of the Sound Transit 3 package.
VonReichbauer has been instrumental in leading on issues regarding the Federal Way alignment in his 14 years on the board. Upthegrove has been leader on Sound Transit issues in South King County and was active in the planning for siting the light rail station near Highline College in Des Moines/Kent.
Backus has been a strong presence in her first term on the board as a leader in securing Sounder and bus services for Auburn and Southeast King County. She will continue to be an advocate for the interests of the South King Subarea in the years to come.
Constantine’s appointments must be confirmed by the King County Council.