Snohomish County Board of Health charts path forward

The following is a release from the Snohomish County Health District:

The following is a release from the Snohomish County Health District:

On the heels of a report by The William D. Ruckelshaus Center, the Board of Health indicated a preference to put aside the question of the Snohomish Health District consolidating with Snohomish County government. Instead, the Board will reevaluate its charter and committee structures in order to make governance adjustments needed to move the agency forward.

The Board commissioned Ruckelshaus earlier this year to conduct the assessment to assist in its deliberations about whether to explore potentially consolidating the Health District into County government, while also obtaining input regarding the purpose, role, governance structure and funding strategy for public health in Snohomish County. The Ruckelshaus team conducted interviews with 73 individuals over the past few months. Those conversations indicated that now is not an ideal time to make such a transition.

“There are a lot of key decisions to be made in the coming weeks and months,” said Board Chair and Snohomish County councilmember Brian Sullivan. “It’s important to me that we bring clarity on the consolidation issue so that Health District staff and members of the Board know where we stand.”

Sullivan proposed that the Board reconstitute an executive committee framework as laid out in the Health District’s charter. Doing so would likely aid the Board’s deliberation of issues ahead related to the 2017 budget process, the upcoming retirement of the District’s director and county health officer Gary Goldbaum, and work needed to secure sustainable funding for the agency.

“Public health is essential to each of our communities and to Snohomish County,” said Board Vice Chair and City of Edmonds councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas. “The Board is committed to doing what we can to preserve and rebuild the services that the Health District staff provide every day.”

The Board of Health will consider any necessary amendments to its charter at its next meeting on Nov. 8.

To learn more about the Board of Health, visit