The Pierce County Council stayed within its Republican majority today to elect Joyce McDonald as its new chairwoman.
In a bipartisan move, the council for the first time since 2008 elected a Democrat – Rick Talbert – as vice chairman.
“I think that’s great,” McDonald said. McDonald, a Puyallup Republican who was the council’s vice chair, said it was her idea for Talbert to be vice chairman.
McDonald said the issues the council deals with are rarely partisan in nature. Last summer, she unsuccessfully proposed asking voters to make the council’s positions nonpartisan.
McDonald succeeds Roger Bush, who has been chairman for the past three years. Bush, R-Frederickson, said in December he wouldn’t seek a fourth consecutive year as the council’s leader.
As chair, McDonald will set the agenda for the council’s meetings. But she pledged during an interview today to work in a collaborative style.
“I believe strongly that we’re a team,” McDonald said. “When you serve as chair … you’re not the boss. You’re not in control.”
McDonald, 59, is in the fourth and final year of her first term on the council. She said Tuesday she hasn’t decided yet whether she will run for reelection.
Prior to her election to the council in 2008, McDonald served five terms as a state representative from the 25th District.
Talbert, 46, served two terms on the Tacoma City Council before he was elected to the County Council in 2010.
The council also reelected Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, as executive pro tem. The slate of officers was approved 5-0 without any discussion.
Five of the seven council members are Republicans.
Council member Tim Farrell, a Tacoma Democrat, was absent. Stan Flemming, a University Place Republican, abstained.