Represents: 6th Ward
Term: Jan 2014 - Dec 2017
First elected in 2009 to the Bellingham City Council, Michael has been chair
of the council's Finance & Personnel Committee since the start of 2011.
He also serves on the Lake Whatcom Reservoir and Natural Resources
Committee, and the Planning & Community Development Committee. As part of
his duties, Michael is a member of the Firefighter’s Pension Board, the
Emergency & Ambulance Advisory Board; Whatcom County’s Open Space
Committee, and the Lodging Tax Advisory Commission.
At the state level, Michael is active in the Association of Washington Cities, and since 2010 has served on the AWC's Legislative Committee to help develop a coordinated policy agenda for state lawmakers in Olympia.
Among Michael’s many community activities, he serves in an ex-officio capacity on the boards of several organizations, including the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, and Sustainable Connections. His also volunteers on the non-profit board of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Whatcom County, and as a youth leader for his church.
With an educational background in scientific research, psychology, and paralegal studies, Michael brings his personal experience as an active citizen and from years of volunteer and community work in public schools, non-profit organizations, and from service on city boards and commissions prior to his election to office. He was first drawn to local government by the challenge we face to preserve our quality of life by balancing our man-made and natural environments in a way that works in the long run. Protecting and restoring the Lake Whatcom reservoir is a prime example, where our roads and houses threaten the quality of our drinking water and the health of the lake.
In addition to securing our drinking water, Michael's priorities include long-range fiscal planning, preservation of our quality of life, and carefully planned growth within the downtown, the waterfront district, and urban centers in a way that respects local character and avoids sprawling development. He sees the city government as a key player in promoting local prosperity, through cooperative activities as well as by maintaining a focus on quality government services that enhance Bellingham's livability. Local jobs and housing affordability are other key issues Michael has been working on.
A fifth generation Washingtonian, Michael enjoys getting out into nature by hiking, biking and snowboarding when time permits, as well as spending time with his daughter, Rebecca, and their two dogs, Skagit and Fisher.
1134 Finnegan Way, #303
Bellingham, WA 98225