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Stevens appointed to Marysville City Council

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, left, and Council member John Soriano, right, welcome newly appointed Marysville City Council member Michael Steven after he was sworn in Sept. 27 as the newest member of the City Council. - Kirk Boxleitner
Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring, left, and Council member John Soriano, right, welcome newly appointed Marysville City Council member Michael Steven after he was sworn in Sept. 27 as the newest member of the City Council.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville City Council's newest member got to work as soon as his fellow Council members selected him Sept. 27.

Michael Stevens was sworn into office by Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring after he and 11 other applicants were interviewed by the Council at that evening's regular meeting.

Each candidate was given three minutes to introduce themselves and a minute per answer to respond to one question from each Council member. Each applicant was asked the same set of questions, and was kept sequestered before their turn to answer, to avoid giving anyone an unfair advantage.

Stevens, an Associate Principal with Dykeman Architects in Everett, has been a member of the Marysville Planning Commission since May of 2008. He was nominated by Council member Carmen Rasmussen in both rounds of Council nominations. City Attorney Grant Weed explained that any nominee would need to receive at least four Council votes to be appointed to the Council. During the second round of Council voting, Stevens received five of the six votes, with Council member John Soriano voting for Stevens' fellow applicant and Planning Commission member Steve Muller. Stevens' appointment to the Council was then approved unanimously by the six Council members.

Weed explained that Stevens will serve until the general municipal election in November of 2011, at which point he will have the option to run for his office against other candidates.

Stevens presented himself as possessing a moderate perspective, "which lets you learn from any side as long as you have your listening ears on." A resident of the central Marysville area annexed by the city at the start of the year, he complimented both the city and the Marysville Police Department for the level of service they've provided him since then, especially in cleaning up graffiti.

"This Council has a heart for the city," Stevens said in his introductory statement. "You're cordial and professional with one another, which makes you effective, but you're not without your opinions. I'm also not polarizing. I don't know everything and I'm willing to ask questions."

During his question-and-answer session, Stevens deemed the city's parks essential to the health of the community, while also acknowledging that a combination of taxes and service cuts might be necessary to maintain a balanced budget. He deemed the city's continued growth a challenging but potentially rewarding opportunity to affect its future positively, as he's attempted to do with the Planning Commission.

When Council member Jeff Seibert asked him to name the best and worst things the city had done in the past year, Stevens named the annexation as the best, "although I'm biased because I wouldn't be here otherwise," he laughed. "As for the worst? Well, Touch-a-Truck was cancelled last year," he said, drawing laughter from the meeting attendees.

When Council member Jeff Vaughan asked Stevens what he'd do as mayor, Stevens laughed and asked, "Is the position open?" More seriously, he suggested organizing neighborhoods into more active and well-defined communities within Marysville.

All the Council members agreed that the qualifications of all the applicants were impressive enough to make their decision difficult. Stevens himself likewise praised his fellow candidates for their merits.

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