Local candidates answer
With the growth of the city moving at record speeds, it is crucial that we elect the right people for the job of moving Lake Stevens forward in an intelligent manner. The Forum created the perfect opportunity for the Lake Stevens community to meet their local city council, mayoral and school board candidates and gave those in attendance the chance to make an informed decision this election year.
Each participant was given 90 seconds for their opening and closing statements with tough questions being asked of the candidates in between.
Moderator Kevin Hulten, did an excellent job keeping the candidates on track while making sure the audience was receiving direct and honest answers from each of the 10 participating candidates.
The first question thrown at them was what each candidate feels is the most important issue facing Lake Stevens. Each of them chose growth as the main concern for the city.
They were also asked about downtown redevelopment, the new civic center, parks and recreation and about the hope of a University of Washington campus and what each is doing or has done to bring the campus here.
School Board candidates were asked how they see the state of the Lake Stevens School District and wha
t they felt the biggest issue was facing the school district at this time.
Both candidates, Joe Heineck and John Boerger, felt that the state of the district is positive and growth was a concerning factor for them as well.
The last half hour of the Forum was used to ask questions audience members had written on index cards.
One of the toughest questions asked by the crowd was whether or not the candidates had received Political Action Committee (PAC) money from anyone, including developers, and how they felt that would effect their decision making process while serving the community. Each candidate answered truthfully and honestly with Friend, Little, Spencer and Walty all stating that they had received PAC money. Spencer added that all PAC money he received is going back to the contributor while both Little and Walty stated that their past voting records prove that they don’t vote according to where they get campaign money.
Michael Friend feels that he too will make unbiased decisions if elected.
“I am glad I came tonight,” one audience member said. “I really learned a lot about what is going on in Lake Stevens and I felt I got to know each candidate a little better.”
For those unable to attend the Candidate Forum, the Journal has the audio version of the Forum here.
Three of the candidates were not able to attend including school board candidate Richard Blumhagen, and Karen Alessi who was attending a Cities and Towns meeting and Suzanne Quigley, who was attending her first Executive Board Meeting for her new job as Executive Director Talk and Listen School. Both Alessi and Quigley sent their husbands to provide an opening statement in their absence.