Rod Dembowski

Rod Dembowski

Dembowski Selected to Chair King County Council

Dembowski will take over the position from Joe McDermott, who served as chair for three years.

Rod Dembowski was selected to serve as the King County Council chair at the first meeting of the year on Jan. 7.

The restructuring is an annual event where new chairpersons are selected for the council and its subcommittees. Dembowski will replace Joe McDermott, who served as chair for three years. “I was happy to be selected the chair of the council this year,” Dembowski said. “It’s kind of the ordinary course—we do a little bit of the rearranging of the chairs.”

Chairs were appointed to seven committees, including the newly created Local Services and Mobility and Environment committees. The Mobility and Environment Committee will focus on transit and environmental issues in the county and replaces the former Transportation, Economy and Environment Committee that disbanded last year. That committee will be chaired by Dave Upthegrove.

The Local Services Committee will work with the newly created Local Services Department and will focus on the county’s role as a regional government. It will address rural road funding challenges as well as permitting and zoning issues. It will additionally look at how to balance different land uses in areas like the Sammamish Valley, where winery tasting rooms and agriculture uses are coming into conflict.

The Local Services Department is headed by John Taylor, who was appointed on Dec. 10 and will serve nearly a quarter-million residents living in unincorporated King County.

The county council will additionally explore moving its meetings to Wednesday instead of Monday to reduce weekend workload for county employees. Committee meetings could be moved earlier in the week to facilitate the schedule change.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

More in News & Comment

Photo via Pexels
King County residents needed for first respiratory study using Apple watches

UW study to help find if devices can detect early warning signs of acute respiratory infections, such as COVID-19 and flu.

Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance
Puget Sound renters will need housing assistance

Nonprofits, activists are expecting greater need as workers are laid off.

Photo courtesy of Johnson and Johnson (
Johnson & Johnson vaccine halted in Washington over side effect

Following federal guidance, Washington health care providers are temporarily pausing Johnson &… Continue reading

File Photo
High court ruling spurs effort to retool state’s drug laws

Meanwhile, the Blake decision has gotten people out jail, charges dismissed and possibly clemency for some.

The Monroe Correctional Complex on April 9, 2020. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Formerly incarcerated people regain right to vote in Washington

Rights restored immediately upon release.

Spring Chinook Salmon. Photo courtesy Michael Humling, US Fish & Wildlife Service
Salmon update: King County wants cleaner water, more habitat

Salmon and orcas are in the spotlight once again as King County… Continue reading

Guns seized during April 7 arrests (photo credit: Dept. of Justice)
More than 20 arrested across the Puget Sound in drug distribution conspiracy

DOJ says law enforcement agencies seized over 70 guns and hundreds of thousands in cash.

Sheriff’s office wants help identifying Green River killer victim

Staff reports In 2003, Gary Ridgway, Washington’s notorious Green River killer, pleaded… Continue reading

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg. File photo
King County needs more lawyers to attack backlog of cases

6,107 open cases is double the normal amount for King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

Public Health – Seattle & King County staff administering COVID-19 vaccine to a local emergency responder. COURTESY PHOTO, Public Health-Seattle & King County
Starting April 15, everyone 16 and older is eligible for a vaccine

Gov. Inslee said an expected increase in vaccine supply enables the state to open eligibility.

A CVS pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Phase Finder for vaccine eligibility to be eliminated March 31

Eligibility verification via Phase Finder no longer required for appointments, vaccinations beginning this week.

Courtesy photo
Issaquah School District settles negligence lawsuit for $4.25 million

The lawsuit alleged the district covered for a now-convicted child molester while he was a teacher.