Enumclaw Mayor Jan Molinaro’s sphere of influence just got a lot larger.
It was announced Jan. 8 that Molinaro was elected to the Sound Cities Association’s board of directors as the representative of the South Valley Caucus, which puts him in a position to guide policy changes on issues like economic development, transportation, and public safety around south King County.
Unless you’re embedded somewhere within municipal government, it’s likely you’re unaware of the Sound Cities Association and its mission.
The organization was created in the 1970s as a way for King County cities to collaborate on various issues that affect their communities. While the body can’t set policy on its own, the SCA has appointing authority to dozens of regional boards and committees, including the Puget Sound Regional Council.
“Our appointees on those boards and committees are engaged in setting regional policies on a variety of topics, including land use, transportation, human services, economic development, and others,” Deanna Dawson, the executive director of the SCA, wrote in an email interview.
At the moment, the organization has 38 member cities, which together have a combined one million residents.
As the new South Valley Caucus representative, Molinaro will be acting on the behalf on Enumclaw and Black Diamond, as well as Algona, Milton, and Pacific; his predecessor was Pacific Mayor Leanna Guier, who is also the president of the SCA.
Molinaro said he wants to use his new position to address two large-ticket items in the South King County area: state Route 410 and affordable housing.
“Highway 410 is always an issue. That is something that has to be put back on the radar at the state level, because that’s where the funding is going to come from,” Molinaro said. “There’s some heavy lifting to do there, and it’s going to need more than one person.”
Molinaro also hopes the SCA can convince the state legislature to approve funds for affordable housing projects in South King County, including Enumclaw.
“The last apartment complex that was built was over 20, 25 years ago,” he said. “Having some new, affordable, multi-unit [residences] would really benefit the community.”
For more information about the Sound Cities Association, head to http://soundcities.org/.