Satpal Sidhu for County Executive
Satpal Sidhu has announced he is running for Whatcom County Executive. Sidhu has served on the Whatcom County Council since 2015 and has been deeply involved in the community for three decades.
“My experience as problem solver, including as an engineer, business executive, educator and small business owner, is what Whatcom County needs right now, and that’s why I’m running,” Sidhu said. “The Executive must leverage the County’s limited resources to effectively address seemingly never-ending issues: housing affordability and homelessness, mental health and the opioid crisis, an ever-changing labor market, climate change, and water rights and water quality, among others. As I make my case to voters, I think they will see me as the candidate most qualified to handle the complexities of this position.”
Satpal’s colleagues describe him as a practical, civil and open-minded person who is always ready not only to talk but also to listen. “Satpal is always asking questions and looking for unvarnished answers. This is an important quality for someone in an executive position,” said Todd Donovan, a fellow Whatcom County Councilmember and Western Washington University professor. Barry Buchanan, another colleague on the Council, appreciates Satpal’s perspective on issues facing the county. “Councilmember Sidhu’s leadership is invaluable. He views issues through many lenses. He considers the fiscal and technical aspects as well as the needs of the community in his decisions, which benefits us all,” Buchanan said.
“During my tenure as a Councilmember, I have engaged in fruitful conversations with people of all walks of life and educated myself on the issues impacting their lives. Whether you come from a long line of farmers in Lynden or are a proud Bellingham native, I hear a common theme: we love this area and we want a better future for our children and grandchildren,” Sidhu said. “County government is where we can look at pressing issues without the traditional partisan blinders and really focus on finding and implementing solutions. That is a big motivator for me!”
Satpal and his wife Mundir, married for 40 years, have lived in Lynden for 30 years, and their 3 sons attended and graduated from Meridian schools. He grew up in India and spent some time working in Canada before moving to Whatcom County in 1988. He speaks 4 languages, was a Fulbright Scholar, and has substantial experience as a professional engineer, senior business executive, and Dean of Engineering at Bellingham Technical College. In 2004, he and his wife started Spice Hut in Bellingham, a quality tea and spice retail business which has been twice voted King 5’s Best Teahouse in the Pacific Northwest.
In his current role as a County Councilmember, Satpal is Chair of the Council’s Finance & Administrative Services Committee and a member of the Natural Resources Committee. In addition, he serves on several community boards and committees, including the Council of Governments, Northwest Clean Air Agency, Reserve Officers Board of Trustees, and Whatcom Transportation Authority Board of Directors.
Satpal has spent thousands of hours volunteering for groups throughout the area, including the NW Agricultural Business Center, Bellingham Police Chief Diversity Committee, St. Joseph’s Hospital Ethics Committee and Whatcom Counseling & Psychiatric Clinic. He is also a founding member of the Meridian Public Schools Foundation and currently serves on the board of the Whatcom Community College Foundation.
About the County Executive Position
The County Executive is a nonpartisan position, the role of which is defined in the Whatcom County Charter. The Executive proposes an annual budget to the County Council and supervises all administrative offices and executive departments not led by an independently elected official. The Executive responds to citizen concerns, complaints and requests, and represents Whatcom County at local, regional, state and federal levels. This position is also responsible for appointing members to various boards and commissions. The term of office is 4 years.