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This week in history - from The Marysville Globe archives
10 years ago 1998
When county residents are asked what their most pressing concern is they answer traffic. With that in mind and with other data suggesting the county sheriffs office is far understaffed, the Snohomish County Council voted unanimously to increase the number of deputies by 15. Sheriff Rick Bart has long contended that he doesnt have enough people to adequately provide service for residents in unincorporated parts of the county. Last year he requested more than 30 new deputies, adding they would only be a stop-gap and the real need was much greater. He will have to do with half that amount. The 15 new deputies are hired under a federal grant program. The county wont have to pay full salaries for four years. The COPS grant pays for 75 percent of deputies salaries the first year, 50 percent the second and 25 percent the third. In the fourth year, the county will pay the deputies entire salaries the county is responsible for cars, uniforms and all other expenses from the beginning. Ten of the new deputies are already in the police academy in Everett and will become members of the regular patrol. The other five will be assigned specifically to traffic control and accidents. Bart said he will reassign a sergeant and will add staff support. The 15 deputies brought an enthusiastic response from Bart, but is far from fulfilling what he thinks his department needs. I am very pleased. Its a good start and we will continue to work to increase the staffing, Bart said. The work will be convincing the current County Council to pay for more deputies. The Council changed considerably after last years election. Three of the five members are newcomers to the Council, including Rick Larsen who represents north county. Larsen is not insensitive to the need for more deputies, he just wants to know specifically what that need is, he said. It is important to find some objective [for a] level of response, looking for consensus on how and where improvements are needed. In the past Barts office relied on the size of his department relative to the population size of the county. By that measure the department is woefully understaffed. Even with the new deputies, there is less than one deputy per 1,000 people in the county. Most cities in the county, including Marysville, have more than two officers per 1,000. Arguing for more staff using those statistics hasnt helped Bart make his case so far. He is now justifying the need by showing how long it takes his department to respond in emergencies. Currently it takes officers an average of more than 10 minutes throughout the county. Response times are better in the south at about seven minutes and worse in the east where they average more than 14 minutes. Depending on what level of service is agreed upon, Bart said a computer predicts the sheriffs office needs anywhere from 35 to 130 new deputies. Barts goals are not restricted to shortening the emergency response times. He would like to have his deputies doing more. They need time to do prevention, get in the neighborhoods and make their presence felt, he said. That is difficult at this point, when one deputy is responsible for large parts of the county. One of the smaller areas covered by one officer on the west side of I-5 extends from Ebey Slough to 180th Street NE. Nevertheless Bart is happy that the County Council is willing to take up the issue. I feel good that the new Council is willing to look at the problem and address it. That was a political decision on their part and its risky, he said. The deputies will take on work that is new for the sheriffs office. As of last September, the department is responsible for accident investigations something that was in the hands of the state patrol. The new deputies bring the total staff number to 196.
The name may be the same, but some of the players, property and politics of the two-year-old proposed Smokey Point annexation into Arlington have changed. Finding out what difference those changes make now is the question one that evidently will be decided by the state Boundary Review Board. Last week, Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Gerald Knight told the state BRB to take another look at the annexation in light of an agreement between the cities of Arlington and Marysville and approved by Snohomish County. That settlement drastically changed the annexation area, removing many of the original petitioners from the area proposed to become part of Arlington. A group of citizens who appealed the BRBs approval of the annexation because they were included by the BRB against their wishes, asked the court to dismiss the annexation altogether. The court decided not to do that, however. The ball is now in the BRBs court, but its unclear even to those board members just what will happen next. This has never happened before, said a BRB spokeswoman. The BRB has authority to change annexation proposal boundaries under certain conditions, such as to straighten a boundary line. Thats what happened when it approved the annexation in 1996 adding residential neighborhoods including Totem Park and Pony Estates that had not been included in the proposed annexation area. But never before has the BRB been asked to change lines based on outside agreements made after the original proposal was heard. Were not sure what they will do, said Arlington City Attorney Steve Peiffle. They could schedule public hearings or decide not to and just add to the record before making a new decision. When the court sent it back to them, they didnt direct the BRB to do anything in particular, just to re-examine the case in light of the settlement agreement, he said.
25 years ago 1983
Voters from Trafton to Darrington will once again vote on the issue of extending public transit up Highway 530. The election will be held April 5 and will coincide with the Darrington school levy election in those precincts within that school district. The seven precincts which will vote on extending the bus service to Darrington are Trafton, Oso, Hazel, Fortson, Sauk and Darrington 1 and 2. Approval of the election issue will impose a 3/10th of 1 percent sales tax to fund the extension of the bus service. The additional sales tax will only be imposed in those precincts voting on the transportation issue. A similar election was held Nov. 2, 1982, but the transportation issue failed to pass because of total of 14 precincts were included in the proposal. Those voters living away from Highway 530 (including Bryant, Boulder, Jim Creek, Norden, Outlook, Robe and Cadet) failed to approve the issue, while all but one of the seven precincts voting April 5 approved the measure. Ruth Kahia of Oso, who was instrumental in bringing the bus issue to a vote last year, said following the election in November that the choice of precincts included in that election was a mistake made by the Snohomish County Public Transportation Benefit Area Corporation. She noted that it did not surprise her that voters who wouldnt have benefited from the bus service rejected the measure. Kahia is once again promoting the redesigned election on the bus service extension and said she hopes the directly affected communities will continue their support of the bus service extension.
50 years ago 1958
A fire alarm Friday night at 8 oclock called the firemen to the corner of Alcazar and Fourth where a house was merrily blazing and lighting up the surrounding area and attracting a large crowd. The fire was in a house formerly the home of Mrs. Violet Almli, that had been partially destroyed by fire last year. It was vacant and was set afire as a cleanup project, Chief Perrigo and Asst. Chief Meier being aware of the plan and using it for a practice turnout for the firemen. Chief Perrigo said that while it is not planned to have this sort of thing as a regular practice, it did serve to impress the members of the fire department with the importance of reporting to headquarters instead of going directly to the fire. The glare in the sky indicated the location of the fire and several firemen went directly to the fire, while the equipment was left at headquarters. It soon put in its appearance, however, and the fire was kept well under control.