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Marysville Council candidates share opinions, backgrounds
MARYSVILLE — The Marysville City Council candidates are still seeking to communicate their platforms and personal qualifications with voters before the Nov. 5 general election deadline.
Position 1 incumbent: Jeff Vaughan
“I’m pleased with the progress we’ve made in creating new economic opportunities in Marysville, and with the huge strides we’ve made in improving our traffic infrastructure, establishing a more sound financial outlook for the city, and improving the safety and security of our neighborhoods,” Vaughan said.
Vaughan’s interest in city government was first piqued by what he saw as the city’s over-reliance on property taxes at the time, which he blamed for Marysville’s label as a “bedroom community,” given its emphasis on building houses and subdivisions to increase the tax base back then. Before he even ran for City Council, though, he spent two years attending Council meetings, to better understand how its members addressed the challenges facing the city.
“As a Council member, I have been true to my principles, and actively supported policies and initiatives that have successfully increased city revenues through economic development efforts, not by raising property taxes on our citizens,” Vaughan said. “You can see the results of these efforts around our city with new shopping, dining and recreational opportunities.”
Position 1 challenger: Eli Olson
As daunting as Olson has found this campaign, he’s maintained the beliefs that motivated him to become a candidate in the first place.
“When I was young, I believed in solving problems by any means necessary,” Olson said. “It wasn’t until I was 20 years old, after I’d listened to my elders, that I realized that good intentions are not always compatible with the individual’s rights, and that what may seem like the answer to a problem may do more harm than good.”
As such, Olson prizes as paramount his understanding of “the smallest minority,” the individual.
“One who is, or hopes to be, in public office must at all times protect and uphold our individual rights,” Olson said. “The only way to keep and secure a free and prosperous people, here in the city and throughout the nation, is by understanding this fundamental rule of our country.”
Position 3 incumbent: Jeff Seibert
As chair of the city’s finance committee, Seibert credited the city’s recent bond upgrade to the policies that he and his fellow City Council members established for managing funds.
“I consistently vote against raising property taxes,” Seibert said. “The fiscally responsible policies we enacted are a large part of reason the city has been able to build a reserve account of more than 18 percent during a recession.”
Seibert has served not only as Mayor Pro Tem for four years, but also on the finance committee for 10 years, the Public Works committee for 12 years and the Snohomish County Solid Waste committee for 10 years. He believes the best lesson he’s learned in those years is to always listen to his constituents.
“I don’t have any degrees, but I bring 12 years of experience and a common-sense approach of dealing with issues that come before the Council,” Seibert said. “I work as an electrician and have a ‘Let’s work together and get it done’ attitude.”
Position 3 challenger: B.J. Guillot
In the midst of other issues, Guillot took the time to clarify his stance on roundabouts.
“I’m not proposing that we destroy existing roundabouts and replace them with traditional intersections,” Guillot said. “But where we have existing intersections that are functioning well, I do not see the point in spending hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars ripping up the pavement and replacing them with roundabouts.”
Guillot asserted that discussions of whether existing traffic signals should be replaced with roundabouts are more appropriate for the Council chambers than Seibert’s support for drafting a Marysville resolution regarding Citizens United.
“That topic thrust the normally non-partisan Council into a very partisan realm,” Guillot said. “As another Council member mentioned during that meeting, the City Council should only be concerned with local issues like parks, potholes and police, not partisan national issues that serve only to distract the Council from its normal business.”
Position 7 incumbent: Kamille Norton
Norton was appointed to her seat earlier this year, and has since received the endorsements of Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring and all her fellow current Council members.
“In order for Marysville to thrive, it is imperative we improve and expand our economic footprint,” Norton said. “Our city’s continued focus must be on attracting businesses and family wage jobs to our city. To this end, I support the revitalization of our downtown area, and the promotion of the manufacturing industrial center in the Smokey Point area.”
As a mother of four school-age children, Norton sees herself as connected to the needs and experiences of everyday Marysville families, from the city’s roads and neighborhoods to its schools, businesses and parks.
“I share their values and concerns about jobs, traffic, home values, and the safety and cleanliness of our neighborhoods and streets,” Norton said.
Position 7 challenger: Scott Allen
Allen has resided in the Sunnyside neighborhood since 1966, and he’s kept an active hand in his community through the Marysville Kiwanis and Sunshine Rotary clubs, as well as the city Parks and Recreation Board, the local Masonic hall and his church.
“I don’t have to be on the City Council to support my community, but I would like to be,” said Allen, who listed his priorities as safety, security, traffic flow and the railroad. “All of these issues are related to growth and how we manage it. Marysville is busting at its seams. Living in Marysville, I’ve seen how it has grown out of its borders.”
Indeed, Allen sees all four of his aforementioned priorities as inextricably linked with one another.
“We must ensure all of Marysville’s residents stay safe through the delivery of vital services such as fire, ambulance and police protection,” Allen said. “If you live west of the railroad tracks, it will take an ambulance even longer to reach you if you are having a heart attack. Is that good planning?”