The turnout was small but the knowledge received at the Journal’s annual Community Candidate Forum last Thursday night was informational and will help local voters choose wisely who will represent them in the city and the county.
Moderator and former Journal Editor, Kevin Hulten, asked the candidates candid questions regarding their intentions and beliefs. Audience members were also able to write their own questions which Hulten asked the panel.
The panel in attendance included Steve Dana, who is running against Dave Somers for Snohomish County Council position 5. Somers was unable to attend.
Dana, a restaurant owner in the City of Snohomish, is a firm believer in reducing the size of county government and supports business within our communities.
“County government needs to consider people as well as the environment,” he said. “We need to get back to a time when we had an opportunity to manage our own land. We have been too liberal with the money spent.”
Dana believes that the biggest crisis we will face as a county is having the revenue to pay for services.
“I want to get us back to the point where we are more efficient,” he said.
Running for City Council position 1 is Michiko McBride and Kim Daughtry. McBride fell sick the day of the forum and was not able to attend.
Daughtry, retired U.S. Navy and a regular at city council meetings believes that by being involved within the community can only make Lake Stevens a better place to live and work. He sees safety, a healthy community and recreation as top priorities.
“It’s time for me to get back involved in an area that’s been good to me,” Daughtry said. “I started attending all of the council meetings two-and-a-half years ago. I’m looking forward to making Lake Stevens the city of choice for people to live.”
He would also like to promote Lake Stevens as the “hometown of choice” and maintain fiduciary responsibility.
“I will know where our tax money is coming from and where it is going,” Daughtry said.
In council position six, incumbent Kathy Holder was
unable to sit on the forum panel because she is currently taking classes a
couple of nights a week. She is running against Tony Charity, who did not make
it to the forum.
Holder, a retired Army Officer, did send in a statement
in which she said that traffic and pedestrian safety are concerns of hers and
the city council. Holder has also been a strong supporter of parks within our
community and served on the Parks Board before sitting on the City Council.
Holder brings leadership and motivation skills with her.
“Serving as an Army Officer developed my leadership skills as I needed to be able to motivate and lead soldiers, problem solve with my peers, and present ideas to my supervisors. As an Army Officer it starts with your own personal motivation. You need to know how you are going to accomplish the things that you want or need to have happen,” Holder said. “Now that I work for the school district, I have a much better understanding of the needs of our community. I see the middle school children that don’t have sidewalks to get to school. I see the narrow roads that the buses and children need to share to get to school. I also see the need for parks in areas of our city; especially the newly annexed area and I have been working to try to secure funding for property acquisition and development of our parks. In this tight economy it has been a challenge, but I’m going to continue to advocate for more parks in our community.”
Running for Council position 7 is Will Brandt and Marcus Tageant. Both were in attendance at the forum that evening.
Brandt currently works for Puget Sound Energy and serves on the city’s Park Board. Brandt was also instrumental in annexing the Soper Hill area into the city of Lake Stevens.
Brandt believes that those living within the city need to be safe, feel connected and, that as a councilperson there needs to be face-to-face interaction and transparency. He also believes in the importance of bringing parks to the families that live here.
Brandt sees Lake Stevens as a place “people want to move to, raise a family here and retire here,” he said. “We need to create more revenue, not just by attracting more business.”
He explains that this can be accomplished if we utilize the lake, master plan and maximize Frontier Village, bringing in more business and moving forward with the plans for the civic center in downtown Lake Stevens.
Tageant has served in the U.S. Marine Corp., owns three businesses in Lake Stevens including Task Properties and is a member of the local American Legion, Kiwanis Club and is President-Elect for the Lake Stevens Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m going to focus on being an advocate for this community,” Tageant said. “It’s about making those relationships and bringing them back to Lake Stevens.”
Top priorities for Tageant is bringing family-wage jobs to the community, safety and planning for the city’s future correctly.
“I have a real passion for this community and seeing our community get better is what drives me,” he said. “I’m looking to bring a collaborative voice to the community and I feel I am very qualified.”
Tageant says he will also “be a good steward of the people’s money.”
Each of the city council candidates were asked by an audience member if they would like to see a skate park built within the community. Each of them stated that, yes; they do want to see a skate park built here.
“I do support skate parks,” Brandt said. “There is a service shortage of place for youth to go.”
“We absolutely need one,” Tageant said. “It has to be put in the right place in the community, making it useful.”
Daughtry concurred. “Absolutely I support parks,” he said. “They (youth) need a place that’s safe and we need one desperately.”
Article Update: 10/16/09
Question answered by Michiko McBride
In 2006 and 2007, the City had a series of town hall and informational meetings to weigh community opinion with regard to downtown revitalization and the relocation of City Hall off of the expensive Lakefront property the City currently occupies. Stakeholders voted, and the City promised to deliver a new multi-purpose Civic Center at the recently purchased Grade Road property, even petitioning for and receiving $800,000 from the state towards this project. Nearly three years later, lit seems little has occurred. If you are an incumbent, please explain where this project currently stands and when or if it will be completed. If you are a challenger, please outline what you would like to see done with regard to the Grade Road Civic Center project.
First and fore most I would like to apologize for not being able to attend the forum. I went to the doctor and tested positive for the flu so unfortunately I was quaranteened and could not leave the house. My deepest regards and I hope I was able to finish this in time since I am finally feeling better.
There is money that we have and even though it is not the full amount in order to fully finish and complete the project for the Civic Center, what it does offer is the opportunity to keep businesses here within our community. In turn with that it will allow family job wages and while working with the Labor Union it would allow us utilization organizational plan which would allow 10% for internships. Since a project like this there is alot of planning and and issues to be brought up with the community with such things as building ordinances, environment, public safety. Having most of the funds to build something like this for our community would offer many great opportunities for our city. Such things as having a place for our kids to go to. The single most important issue within our community is hands down our future, our children, our past, present and staying and maintaining the wonderful reputation that Lake Stevens has. I promise that if elected I will make it a priority to not only attend the meetings but to also make it out a point to continuously connect with our community to making sure the needs and concerns of our city is being met. If they aren't being met then it is my duty to make sure to find a way in order to get our community and stay together as one.