Pierce County Councilmembers voted Tuesday, Jan. 10 to select veteran lawmaker Joyce McDonald (District 2) as Council Chair for 2012.
In a demonstration of bipartisan cooperation, the Republican-led Council also selected Democrat Rick Talbert (District 5) as vice chair. Dick Muri (District 6) was chosen to serve as executive pro tem for a fourth consecutive year.
The leaders were chosen during the seven-member Council's first meeting of the year.
"I appreciate the confidence my peers are showing in my ability to lead us during tough economic times," said McDonald, a Puyallup resident who is beginning her fourth year on the Council. "Over the past three years, we have carefully and strategically reduced the size of Pierce County government while preserving public safety and other core services. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Council, other elected officials and department heads to make sure we are providing quality services effectively and efficiently."
The chair presides at all regular Council meetings, while the vice chair presides in the absence of the chair. The executive pro tem is a councilmember selected to perform some of the County Executive's duties in the event of the executive's absence or temporary disability.
Before her election to the County Council in November 2008, McDonald spent five terms in the Washington State House of Representatives. A native of Scotland, McDonald immigrated to the United States in 1973. She and her husband Gary have four adult children and 10 grandchildren.
Talbert, who is starting his second year on the Council, previously worked for Pierce County as a performance auditor and served eight years on the Tacoma City Council. He is a graduate of Tacoma's Lincoln High School and Western Washington University. He and his wife Christy are raising their family in Southeast Tacoma.
Muri, serving his ninth and final year on the Council, is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who lives in Steilacoom. He currently serves as chairman of the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health. He and his wife Mary have four adult children and four grandchildren.
Councilmembers also reorganized four committees. Here is a list of the meeting schedules and members:
Rules and Operations Committee
Meets Mondays at 10 a.m.
McDonald (chair), Talbert (vice chair), Muri, Stan Flemming (District 7, alternate)
Community Development Committee
Meets first and third Mondays at 1:30 p.m.
Talbert (chair), McDonald (vice chair), Timothy Farrell (District 4), Flemming, Dan Roach (District 1)
Economic and Infrastructure Development Committee
Meets second and fourth Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m.
Flemming (chair), Bush (District 3, vice chair), McDonald, Roach, Talbert
Public Safety and Human Services Committee
Meets second Mondays at 1:30 p.m.
Roach (chair), Farrell (vice chair), Bush, Flemming, Muri
More information is available by calling 253-798-7777. The full council meets Tuesdays at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the tenth floor of the County-City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. S., Room 1045, Tacoma.
Council meetings are televised live and replayed each week on Pierce County TV (channel 22 in most areas) and streamed live and archived at www.piercecountytv.org.
Joyce McDonald, Council chair
Hunter George, Pierce County Communications director