Paine Field resolution grounded

EVERETT – Snohomish County Councilman Kirke Sievers earlier today withdrew his request for the county to support bringing passenger flights to Paine Field.

Sievers said word from his replacement, state Rep. Brian Sullivan of Mukilteo, prompted the move. Term limits are forcing Sievers from office after 12 years of representing Everett and Mukilteo.

“I received a letter last week (from Brian Sullivan) requesting to put this off until next year,” Sievers said at a meeting of the County Council. “I’m pulling the resolution today.”

Many in the crowd, which included Mukilteo Mayor Joe Marine and Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson, applauded the news. The cities of Mukilteo and Edmonds, along with Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace and Woodway, have all gone on record as opposing commercial air service at Paine Field.

Everett-area business leaders and the Snohomish County Republican Party have come out in favor of passenger flights as an economic development tool.

Any future action on policy for the county-run airport would depend on a council member’s reintroducing the proposal next year.

A state study of airports and future air traffic includes Paine Field and will be an important one to watch, County Councilman Gary Nelson said. Nelson, who represents southwest Snohomish County, also is leaving because of term limits.

County Councilman Dave Somers thanked Sievers for pulling the resolution.

“I think the resolution is premature at this point,” Somers said. “I look forward to taking it up in the new year with the new council.”

County Councilman Dave Gossett called the resolution “ill-timed.”

“It makes more sense to let the new council discuss this next year,” Gossett said.

Sullivan, Somers, Gossett and County Councilman-elect Mike Cooper, who is replacing Nelson, all have said they oppose passenger flights at Paine Field.

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