ARLINGTON — Outgoing Snohomish County Council member John Koster was honored by the Arlington City Council, including his successor Ken Klein, on Dec. 2 for his work on behalf of the citizens of the city of Arlington and the county as a whole.
Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert read from the resolution honoring Koster, whose 12-year term of service on the County Council began when he was sworn into the First District seat, which includes the city of Arlington, in January of 2002.
Tolbert then listed Koster's accomplishments during his tenure, which have included stints as the County Council's chair and vice chair, in addition to chairing the Planning and Community Development Committee, the Operations Committee and, currently, the Law and Justice/Human Services Committee.
"I think you had them all, didn't you?" Tolbert laughed.
"I did, just about," Koster said with a smile.
Tolbert also noted Koster's service to the citizens of Washington for three terms in the state House of Representatives, as well as in organizations including the Puget Sound Regional Council, the Washington State Association of Counties — of which he was president in 2011 — and the National Association of County Officials.
"Despite his accomplishments and long record of public service, John still has the heart of a third-generation dairyman who never forgot where he came from or his hometown," Tolbert read from the resolution, which likewise cited Koster's graduation from Arlington High School and Everett Community College, and his service as Board president of the Arlington Christian School.
After Tolbert read from the resolution crediting Koster not only with demonstrating commitment and dedication to the citizens of Snohomish County, but also with enhancing the county's initiatives and accomplishments through his leadership, communication skills and ability to forge alliances, she added some personal words of thanks.
"You have been a great friend to this city, its citizens, its elected officials and its staff," Tolbert said.
"It's been an honor to serve the citizens of this city and the county," Koster said. "The county and the city of Arlington have had a great working relationship over the years."
When Tolbert presented Koster with a framed copy of the City Council's resolution, Koster presented her with a framed picture in turn, marking the closing of the Centennial Trail gap at the Armar Road Trailhead on Oct. 15, 2011.
"That project was a demonstration of his fortitude and stick-to-itiveness," Tolbert said of Koster, who acknowledged at the time that he was "guilty of harassing" Snohomish County Parks Director Tom Teigen by constantly asking him when the gap would be closed.