Council President Richard Conlin
CONLIN ELECTED COUNCIL PRESIDENT
Council also adopts new committees and chairs
SEATTLE – Councilmember Richard Conlin was elected by the other councilmembers today as Council President. His two-year term began immediately with the adoption of new committees and their chairs. Council President Conlin said, “We have an obligation and opportunity to create a sustainable and just city, and to contribute our energy, experience, and talent to America’s future.” The Council President is the leader of the City’s lawmakers and directs the 80-member Legislative Department. If the Mayor is absent from the City or is incapacitated, the Council President acts as the Mayor. The Council President also runs the Full Council’s meetings that establish the laws of the City. Council President Conlin said, “The people of Seattle expect us to be open and transparent, to communicate with them and with each other, to deliberate and express different points of view openly and honestly, and to make decisions that exercise our best judgment to keep the City on course for a better future. We will do our best to live up to those expectations. We look forward to an exciting and productive Council term.”
Council President Conlin was elected to the Seattle City Council in November 1997 and reelected in 2001 and 2005. In his first term, he chaired the Council’s Neighborhoods, Sustainability, and Community Development Committee, whose key mission was to move 37 neighborhood plans through Council approval. In his second term, Conlin served as Chair of the Council’s Transportation Committee. He worked on implementing the region’s plan for improved transit, developing new funding sources for transportation maintenance and neighborhood transportation improvements, and supporting pedestrian and bicycle improvements to reduce dependence on the automobile. For the last two years and for the next Council term, Conlin is chairing the Environment, Emergency Management, and Utilities Committee. The committee has oversight of solid waste, water, drainage, and sewer utilities, emergency management programs, and a set of environmental initiatives, including salmon recovery, action on global climate change, critical areas regulations, green building programs, and sustaining the urban forest. His work includes a major reshaping of Seattle’s approach to solid waste and recycling—the “Zero Waste Strategy”—and developing sustainable infrastructure policies.
Prior to being elected to the Council, Council President Conlin was Director of the Community and Environment Department at Metrocenter YMCA from 1985 to 1996 and one of the co-founders of Sustainable Seattle. He lives in the Madrona neighborhood.
Today, Council President Conlin led the adoption of new committees and their chairs for the coming Council term. The Culture, Civil Rights, Health, and Personnel Committee will have purview over the arts, the libraries, nightlife, civil rights and more, and will be chaired by Councilmember Nick Licata. Councilmember Licata will also oversee the City’s collective bargaining, professional negotiations and mediations as chair of the Labor Policy Committee. Councilmember Bruce Harrell will chair the Energy and Technology Committee that includes supervision of City Light and the city’s technology planning, cable telecommunications planning, and citizen technology access. As mentioned above, Council President Conlin will continue to chair the Environment, Emergency Management, and Utilities Committee. The Finance and Budget Committee that oversees the City’s biennial operating and capital budgets, levies, and taxes will be chaired by Councilmember Jean Godden. Councilmember Richard McIver will run the Housing and Economic Development Committee that presides over the City’s housing policies and programs. Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will chair the Parks and Seattle Center committee charged with legislative matters relating to open space, community centers, the Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium. The Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will be chaired by Councilmember Sally Clark and deal with zoning, design, and land use regulations, neighborhood plan updates and implementation, and the oversight of ethics and elections. Councilmember Tim Burgess will head up the Public Safety, Human Services and Education Committee that works on issues related to law enforcement, fire prevention and suppression, homelessness, food security, aging, Council-School Board relations, and the Families and Education Levy. Councilmember Jan Drago will continue to chair the Transportation Committee that oversees street maintenance, traffic control, and transit, pedestrian and bicycle programs.
President Conlin’s remarks