Represents: 6th Ward
Term: Jan 2014 - Dec 2017
First elected to the Bellingham City Council in 2009, Michael has been chosen as the President of the Council for 2017. His past positions include chair of the Council's Finance & Personnel Committee, Community and Economic Development Committee, and the Parks & Recreation Committee. He represents the City of Bellingham on the governing boards of Whatcom Transportation Authority (public transit), the Whatcom Council of Governments (regional transportation planning), and the historic Mount Baker Theatre.
Among Michael's many community activities, he has served in an ex-officio capacity on the boards of several organizations including the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, and Sustainable Connections. With an educational background in scientific research, psychology, and work experience as a paralegal, Michael brings his personal experience as an active citizen and from years of volunteer and community work in our public schools, local non-profit organizations, and from service on city boards and commissions prior to his election to office. He is also a long-time youth leader for his church.
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.
Michael's other priorities include long-range fiscal planning, budget transparency, tax equity, 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 and recent empty-nester, Michael enjoys getting out into nature with his hiking buddies and fixing things.