Von Reichbauer joins Sound Transit Board



Federal Way has somebody new on the Sound Transit Board.

Metropolitan King County Councilman Pete von Reichbauer, a Federal Way resident, has been appointed to the board by County Executive Ron Sims.

Von Reichbauer is one of the council’s representatives on the board, which oversees Sound Transit projects and services. He said he’ll keep in mind the transit-related interests of south King County, his council constituency.

On parking-related issues such as the transit center that Sound Transit is planning for downtown Federal Way, von Reichbauer indicated he’ll advocate that the agency allocate parking space for nearby businesses.

“I want us to be good neighbors of the surrounding businesses,” von Reichbauer said. “I’m interested in the livability of communities, and livability means retail (stores).”

He said he’s “honored to be selected” for the board, but noted he didn’t seek the appointment. “This was a draft,” he said.

Sound Transit is developing a regional mass-transit system, including the bus hub and parking garage for downtown Federal Way, a commuter train serving King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, and a light-rail system from downtown Seattle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Ten of the 18 members of the board are from King County, and four each are from Snohomish and Pierce counties. The ratio is one board member for every 145,000 residents of a county. The three county executives appoint the members and county councils confirm them.

In nominating von Reichbauer, Sims, who is the outgoing Sound Transit Board chairman, cited his past experience as a state senator and chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.

Seventeen board members are elected officials of counties or cities (the 18th is the state secretary of transportation). Representatives of suburban cities include Federal Way City Councilwoman Mary Gates. She lost her re-election bid in November and will leave office after this year, ending her eligibility for the board.

Sims said Gates is among “really extraordinary individuals” who are leaving the board. He noted she has “served on the board since its inception and will be greatly missed.”

Sims’ new appointees, the first since 2001, include von Reichbauer, County Councilman Larry Phillips, Bellevue Mayor Connie Marshall and issaquah City Councilman Fred Butler. Their first board meeting will be in January.

Sims also reappointed County Councilman Dwight Pelz and Seattle City Councilman Richard McIver to the board.

“Over the next few years, the services and facilities provided by Sound Transit will play a much more critical role in solving our transportation problems and contributing toward the economic development of our region. Our board member selection now is critical to that success,” Sims said.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565,

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