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David Reich appointed as King County’s chief economist

The King County Forecast Council gave its unanimous support to the appointment of David Reich as the County’s new Chief Economist. Reich, who was appointed at the Council’s May 31 meeting, will direct the County’s Office of Economic and Financial Analysis (OEFA), the agency responsible for preparing the official economic and revenue forecasts for the County, which form the basis for the County’s budgeting process and financial decision making.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with the Forecast Council and continue the fine work OEFA performs in support of County services,” said Reich.

Reich is currently the Economic and Financial Analysis Manager for the County’s Office of Performance Strategy and Budget. He has worked as an economist with Seattle Public Utilities and the Washington state Department of Ecology. Reich is a graduate of the University of Washington, with a Ph.D. in economics, as well as a masters in public administration.

“Mr. Reich’s technical skills are impressive. His ability to present information clearly and concisely, which will help our efforts to make King County government more transparent, is equally impressive,” said King County Councilmember Joe McDermott who chairs the Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee. “Mr. Reich will be an asset to our entire region — not just King County.”

“With Dave’s proven ability I expect he will build an even stronger partnership between the Executive and Council in our budgeting and financial analysis,” said County Executive Dow Constantine, who praised Reich’s work for his office over the last two years.

OEFA was established after County voters adopted an amendment to the County Charter in 2008. The office was established to promote objective, transparent economic and financial analysis and reporting. The responsibility of the Chief Economist is to forecast major county revenues, including but not limited to property taxes, sales taxes (general, transit, mental health, and criminal justice), real estate excise taxes, and investment pool yield and balances.

Reich will work with agencies across the government, including Executive departments, the Council, and other jurisdictions to develop and implement financial models, spreadsheets and databases to support the forecasting responsibilities of the OEFA. The Chief Economist reports to the King County Forecast Council, which consists of the County Executive, two members of the County Council, and the Director of the Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget.

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