Represents: 6th Ward
Term: Jan 2018 - Dec 2021
First elected to the Bellingham City Council in 2009, Michael served as President of the Council in 2017. He chairs the Planning & Community Development Committee and serves on the Public Works & Natural Resources 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), Sustainable Connections, and the Downtown Bellingham Partnership. He also serves on the Regional Fire Authority Planning Committee and the County's Homeless Strategies Work Group.
Among Michael's many community activities, he has served in an ex-officio capacity on the boards of several organizations including Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism and the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce. 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.