County Council endorses Everett site for UW branch

The Snohomish County Council voted 4-1 this morning to endorse building a University of Washington branch campus at Everett Station.

The vote was carried by the Democratic majority on the council.

The Everett Station site ranked No. 1 in a state consultant’s technical analysis of possible university locations.

Republican County Councilman John Koster voted against the endorsement. He argued that the council should stay out of the political fray and leave the decision to the state Legislature. Also, he said a Marysville site that ranks second would better serve residents farther north.

“I think this is the wrong move by the council,” Koster said.

The council bowed out of the debate long enough, County Council chairman Dave Somers said. As elected officials, the council has a duty to weigh in on the debate and support the Everett site because it was No. 1 in the technical analysis.

“At this point with the Legislature considering action on this, this is something we need to speak to,” Somers said. “We are elected to come here and provide some leadership on very difficult issues.”

County Executive Aaron Reardon said Monday he would approve the resolution.

A state Senate hearing scheduled Thursday will formally launch debate over the future location of a UW branch campus.

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