Drewel calls his new job a dream

Snohomish County Executive Bob Drewel will take over as the new executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council, a four-county planning agency that tackles transportation, growth and other issues.

The agency’s executive board unanimously voted to hire Drewel Thursday at the group’s meeting in Seattle. He will be paid $160,000 a year.

Drewel will replace outgoing executive director Mary McCumber, who is retiring. McCumber has been director of the council since it was formed in 1991.

The regional council coordinates growth and transportation planning in King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

The agency has a staff of about 50 and a biennial budget of roughly $17 million. The council controls the annual distribution of about $100 million in federal highway and transit funds, and also supports the region’s Economic Development District.

"It is a wonderful opportunity. It’s just a splendid, splendid thing," Drewel said.

He recalled a recent conversation with Navy Capt. Dan Squires, commander of Naval Station Everett, when the two talked about "dream sheets." Sailors put the places where they would most like to serve on such wish lists.

Drewel said his new job would be on his.

"If you filled out a dream sheet, this job would be at the top," he said.

Drewel has been Snohomish County executive for 12 years. He could not seek re-election last month because of term limits in the county charter.

Leaders across the state praised the regional council’s decision.

"Bob Drewel will be a fantastic executive director of the Puget Sound Regional Council," U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said in a statement after Drewel was hired.

"He is a patient, effective and determined leader who brings people together to get the job done," Murray said.

"His experience in transportation and economic development make him the perfect person to lead such an important regional agency. I look forward to continuing to work with Bob to help make progress for the people who live and work in the Puget Sound."

Drewel will start work at the regional council in January.

He said he was looking forward to working with the agency’s staff, a group he called remarkable. But Drewel quickly added that he had been blessed to have an impressive staff serve him as county executive.

"No one person does something like this. It’s just been a remarkable team effort in Snohomish County," Drewel said.

Drewel was president of Everett Community College before he took over as county executive. He lives in Arlington with his wife, Cheryl. The couple have two grown daughters.

Reporter Brian Kelly: 425-339-3422 or kelly@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

News logo for use with stories about Mill Creek in Snohomish County, WA.
Police: Mill Creek man fatally stabbed wife amid financial woes

After quitting his job at Amazon, the man amassed about $50,000 in debt, triggering a discussion about finances, he told police.

Outside of the current Evergreen Recovery Centers' housing to treat opioid-dependent moms with their kids on Thursday, May 25, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$8M in behavioral health grants to benefit children, youth, families

Snohomish County awarded one-time federal funding to five projects that will reach at least 440 new people each year.

Penelope Protheroe, President and Founder of Angel Resource Connection puts together a huge batch of rotini with meatballs and marinara before heading out to distribute the food and other supplies on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, around Everett, Washington. ARC uses the Lake Stevens Senior Center kitchen to cook up meals for people without homes. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
She feeds Everett’s homeless; ‘no sit’ ban makes her mission harder

Everett banned handing out food and water in city-designated zones: “They just want people to disappear … be somebody else’s problem.”

Ashley Morrison, left, and her mother Cindi Morrison. (Photo provided by Cindi Morrison)
Everett’s ‘Youngest Old Cat Lady’ legacy continues after death

On social media, Ashley Morrison, 31, formed a worldwide community to talk about cats and mental health. Her mom wants to keep it going.

Most Read