In the wake of the special election on Tuesday, April 22, the city of Marysville’s Transportation Benefit District looks to be passing its proposed sales and use tax to fund transportation improvements, while the Lakewood School District is on the knife’s edge of possibly passing its proposed building bond to improve Lakewood High School, on its second time on the ballot.
As of Thursday, April 24, at 3:43 p.m., the Marysville TBD’s proposition had received 4,212 votes to approve it, or 55.02 percent of the vote, and 3,444 votes to reject it, or 44.98 percent of the vote, while the Lakewood School District’s proposition had received 1,981 votes to approve it, or 60.05 percent of the vote, and 1,318 votes to reject it,or 39.95 percent of the vote.
Marysville TBD Board Chair Jeffrey Vaughan and Lakewood School District interim Superintendent Dr. Michael Mack both expressed what they called “cautious optimism” regarding the prospects of their respective propositions, each of which they deemed vitally important for their own citizens.
“If this passes, we’ll need to get busy really quick,” Vaughan said. “We’ll be looking at a list of project priorities right away, to see which of those things we should get going on first. It’s going to be an active and exciting time, because we’ll finally be addressing a number of transportation issues that we’ve needed to address for a while now.”
Although the TBD Board had been scheduled to meet on Monday, April 21, Vaughan noted that the meeting was cancelled because it would have been able to accomplish very little, coming the night prior to Election Day.
“That meeting should be rescheduled fairly soon, though,” Vaughan said. “Definitely no later than May, and it’ll be announced well beforehand in all the usual channels, including The Marysville Globe. From that point forward, we’ll probably be meeting once every quarter, but we can meet more frequently if the need dictates it.”
Vaughan encouraged the citizens of Marysville to attend the TBD Board meetings to provide their input on which transportation improvement projects the city should tackle first.
“From a historical standpoint, transportation has been one of the most persistently mentioned issues in this city,” Vaughan said. “When I first campaigned for City Council, transportation was always one of the top three concerns of anyone who talked to me, if not the number-one priority. It’s been difficult to find the funding to fix many of these problems, but now, the TBD allows us to address transportation in ways that our citizens want and deserve.”
Mack is faced with a much closer margin in the LHS improvement bond vote results, but he cited statistical evidence for his guardedly positive outlook.
“On Tuesday night, we had 59.15 percent of the vote,” Mack said on Thursday, April 24. “By Wednesday night, that was up to 60.08 percent, which meant we were leading by literally two votes. Obviously, that’s not a lot, but we’re trending in the right direction, especially because, out of the roughly 250 votes that we expect have yet to counted, we figure that 65 percent of those will be in favor of the bond.”
Unlike the Marysville Transportation Benefit District’s proposition, the Lakewood School District’s proposed bond must meet a 60 percent supermajority in order to pass, a mark which it narrowly fell short of on the Feb. 11 ballot. Regardless of the outcome, though, Mack is already proud of Lakewood voters for their demonstrated civil concern in this election.
“If you look at the county-wide average for returned ballots by April 22, it was 27 percent, about the same as Everett,” Mack said. “For Lakewood, that rate of return was 39.6 percent. Our voters are over-performing those of the rest of the county, which is doubly satisfying, because it means that we have this much of a percentage of voters who are voting yes on this bond, within a greater percentage of voters than other cities and school districts who have voted in this election. Even if you voted no on the bond, I’m glad to see that you cared enough about your community to vote.”