That was my reaction when the notification showed up on my phone that Pete Carroll was no longer coaching the Seahawks.  Like many of you, I have enjoyed watching Coach Carroll’s 14-year run as head coach.  I am so thankful for all the memorable games, especially the Seahawks winning Super Bowl XVLIII.  I appreciate his boundless enthusiasm and ability to create a culture where elite athletes and their dynamic personalities could succeed as a team.

So where do the Seahawks go from here?  I am not sure, but I will still be cheering for the Seahawks next season.

I feel the same way when I see some of our long-time County leaders retiring.  How can we ever go on without Melanie Halsan in Planning & Public Works?  Her leadership and attitude were key to the department’s culture.  And what about Jim Schacht in the Prosecutor’s Office?  He led our criminal division through the last five very challenging years.  Sandy Moore, in the Assessor-Treasurer’s Office, has been ensuring our qualified seniors get the property tax exemptions they deserve for years.  How can we possibly go forward with a recently approved law significantly expanding the exemption program without her 33 years of experience?

Every time I see an “Our Family” in my email announcing a retirement – and year-end naturally brings a bunch of them – part of me winces at the loss of experience and expertise that is walking out the door. 

But then I take a breath and thank them for their many years of service to our community and wish them the very best in the next phase of their lives.  They have served our community well and earned their chance to focus on family and long-delayed travel plans.

And I also see the new leaders joining “Our Family”- some coming from within our County ranks like our new Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Coreen Schnepf and some arrive from outside, like Planning & Public Works Assistant Director Lauren Flemister.  And nearly all have big challenges ahead of them, like Exemptions Supervisor Denise Marsyla!

These new leaders and their teams are up to the challenges!

We are all just stewards of these positions entrusted to us by the people of Pierce County.  I have full confidence; we are ready for 2024 and beyond!