MARYSVILLE — Snohomish County Executive John Lovick’s message to the Rotary Club of Marysville on Wednesday, Oct. 30, was far more personal than political.
While Lovick answered questions about the County Courthouse and addressed pressing area concerns such as transportation, he set the tone for his remarks by recalling how Brent Castano, a Marysville Rotarian in attendance, had sent Lovick a check in support of his re-election campaign as Snohomish County Sheriff.
“People might forget what you say or do, but they will never forget how you make them feel,” Lovick said. “When I was still serving in the state Legislature, I’d come to Cedarcrest Middle School and spoken to Brent’s class. Life is about building relationships.”
While Lovick drew laughter from the crowd by noting the number of cars he’s since bought from Castano at Roy Robinson Chevrolet in Marysville, the Snohomish County Executive was serious as he reported the trend of economic growth that he’s spotted in the county, from more business and residential buildings being constructed to more money being spent at local businesses.
“Snohomish County’s jobless rate is lower than both the state and national averages,” Lovick said. “The county budget that’s been submitted is the first time that we’ve been able to add to the reserve fund in many, many years. And we’re going to see a tremendous amount of growth in the north end of the county within the next six years. We’ll be adding about 80,000 people, and I’ve been pleased to see that it’s smart growth.”
To better serve that ever-expanding population, Lovick defended the roughly $120 million Snohomish County Courthouse replacement on the grounds that, “in my 43 years of public service, that dilapidated old courthouse is the worst building I’ve ever seen,” just as he championed SKIP (Safe Kids, Improved Pathways) as a means of getting young children who have to walk to school out of the roads.
“The state Legislature is going into a special session on Nov. 21, so tell them that transportation is absolutely vital,” Lovick said.
Lovick closed his prepared remarks by calling attention to the cards he’d passed out to Rotarians earlier, bearing messages about the importance of honesty and self-respect, which he dispenses to children when he visits their schools.
“We all make mistakes, but I tell them to take responsibility for it,” Lovick said. “I also tell them never to give up, because I grew up in a tiny house in the middle of cotton fields in the South, where we didn’t even have running water.”
In spite of a few Marysville Rotarians’ calls for the County Courthouse to be relocated to their hometown, Lovick confidently predicted that it would remain in Everett, but thanked the Marysville community for its welcoming spirit.
“I’ve lived a lot of places, so believe me when I say that this is the best county in America and the world,” Lovick said. “We need to continue to market how great this county is, and all the great work that you do.”