John Wilson was elected King County Assessor in 2015. He previously served as Chief Deputy Assessor for four years. His work gained a reputation for savvy development of mobile technology and public-facing solutions that enhance customer service while driving down costs. During his tenure, he rebuilt the department’s website, increasing traffic 10-fold to nearly 4 million page-views a month.
Wilson led a team that developed a best-in-class mobile iPad application for field data collection that annually saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in avoided costs. And he spearheaded King County launching an online property tax appeals platform that after two years is handling close to 60% of all appeals filed.
Following on his work in the Department of Assessments, Wilson joined King County’s Information Technology staff where he led a major countywide effort to build an “innovation culture” by encouraging employees and departments to think differently. He also played an important role in refining and improving deployment of a new Microsoft-based Unified Communications platform.
Wilson has also served as a key staff member for leading public officials. He worked as Communications Director for former Congressman Al Swift. He was selected to be the first Public Information Director for the Northwest Power Planning Council while former Washington Gov. Dan Evans was chair. And Wilson served both as Communications Director and Chief of Staff to former King County Executive Ron Sims. Working for Sims, Wilson helped drive regional efforts on freight mobility, expanding parks and open space, and building greater regional collaboration on transportation, the environment and other key local government services.
As a reporter, then producer, and finally executive producer at KING 5 News, Wilson’s work won the prestigious DuPont Columbia Award (broadcast’s equivalent to the Pulitzer Prize) three times in five years – professional recognition unmatched by any television station in the Seattle-area market. His broadcast work has appeared on KING, ABC Network News, NBC Network News and CNN. Wilson also earned print journalism awards as a reporter at The Seattle Times and Seattle Weekly.
As a leading public affairs consultant in the Pacific Northwest, Wilson was retained by former Gov. Gary Locke to develop the nationally winning strategy to keep Boeing building the 787 Dreamliner at Everett. He helped the American Civil Liberties Union lay the foundation for reform of state marijuana laws. Because of his keen understanding of United States and Canadian trade, Wilson was chosen by the State of Washington and Whatcom County to identify trade and economic opportunities that could flow from the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C. His grasp of trans-border issues led to Wilson also working for the federal Canadian government and the Province of Alberta on cross-border commerce.
John has two sons and two daughters. For relaxation, he loves to read, cook on weekends, listen to jazz, hike in good weather, and to travel.