SEATTLE — Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers assumed the lead role at Sound Transit’s Board of Directors on Thursday, taking control as the agency prepares to make good on light-rail expansion to Lynnwood and the Sound Transit 3 plan approved in November.
Other board members lent their unanimous support to Somers, who takes over a two-year term as chairman in a routine handoff from King County Executive Dow Constantine. The board typically rotates the chairmanship among the three counties in the district.
“Our greatest opportunity to bring positive change for our region is in properly implementing Sound Transit 3, a historic victory for transportation mobility, economic growth, and environmental stewardship,” Somers said in a statement.
Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Redmond Mayor John Marchione were chosen as vice chairpersons of the 18-member board, which comprises of elected city and county officials plus state Transportation Secretary Roger Millar. Snohomish County has three of those positions, Pierce County four and King County 10.
On Thursday, Somers said he would be “singularly focused on delivering the plans voters approved.” He also called for reforms at Sound Transit similar to those he’s undertaken in an attempt to make Snohomish County government more efficient.
Voters in November approved Sound Transit 3. The $54 billion package included promises to build out Link light rail to Everett by 2036. It also would extend light rail to Ballard, West Seattle, Tacoma, downtown Redmond, Kirkland and Issaquah.
Light rail is scheduled to reach Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood in 2023 as part of a ballot measure that passed in 2008. Sound Transit expects to host open houses this spring to present the latest designs. Construction is slated to begin sometime next year.