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After two terms, Jack Louws says he will not seek a third as Whatcom County executive

Whatcom County is facing two major issues, Executive Jack Louws says

In his annual State of the County address to the Whatcom County Council in 2017, Executive Jack Louws pointed to two major issues facing the county -- the availability of water in rural areas and funding for a new jail.
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In his annual State of the County address to the Whatcom County Council in 2017, Executive Jack Louws pointed to two major issues facing the county -- the availability of water in rural areas and funding for a new jail.

Jack Louws will not seek a third term as county executive for Whatcom County, he announced Friday.

The 61-year-old Louws is in his second term as county executive.

That term ends in January 2020.

“My years of public service to Whatcom County have gone by quickly and I feel blessed to have been able to serve the community I love,” Louws said in a news release.

“At the end of my term, I’ll be turning over the reins to a new administration,” he said. “I intend to do whatever I can to make sure that the transition is a smooth one.”

When his current term ends, Louws will have been in public service for 20 years in a variety of elected positions.

“There comes a time when your personal life and everything else you have going on becomes a priority,” Louws said in an interview after his announcement. “Public office takes a bit of a toll on a person after a while. “

Prior to being elected county executive, Louws served as the mayor of Lynden for two terms, from 2002 to 2010.

Before that, he served on the Lynden City Council from 1990 to 1994.

Louws said he and his wife Cindy planned to travel but would remain active in the community.

He said he looked forward to spending time with friends and family and exploring parts of the U.S. in a motor home.

Louws said there was “significant advancement” in technology for Whatcom County government during his tenure. Among his accomplishments, Louws said he was “pleased that the county is in a fiscally sound position to meet future challenges.“

Louws wasn’t the only top official to announce he would not seek re-election.

On Tuesday, Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville said she will not seek a third term.

When she retires after her term ends in December, she will have served as mayor for eight years.

Linville was the first woman to be elected mayor of Bellingham.

Before becoming mayor, Linville served as a state representative for the 42nd District for 17 years.

Kie Relyea has been a reporter at The Bellingham Herald since 1997 and currently writes about social services and recreation in Whatcom County. She started her career in 1991 as a reporter and editor in Northern California.

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