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Marysville Mayor presents State of City address
MARYSVILLE — While acknowledging that 2009 was a difficult year for the local economy, Marysville Mayor Dennis Kendall said the city had accomplished many positive things and is on the track to economic recovery.
Speaking at the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce’s Business Before Hours, Jan. 29, at the Tulalip Casino’s Canoes Cabaret, the mayor gave his annual “State of the City,” address touching on a wide range of subjects.
“The economic recession has caused Marysville and other communities to bend under the weight of housing foreclosures, declining property values, high unemployment, lackluster consumer spending and other financial stresses,” Mayor Kendall said. “Yet, in spite of these pressures that closed out a sobering 2009, I am confident that a bright future awaits our city in the new year. Marysville and its citizens make up a resilient and innovative community. Throughout our history we have adapted to social and economic demands with ‘can do’ resolve, and worked together to create more opportunities. We may bend under the weight of economic uncertainty, but we never break.”
Looking back on 2009, Kendall spoke about some of the projects and initiatives the he credits as setting the pace for positive changes in 2010 including the incorporation of the Central Marysville Annexation area; continued improvements in community priorities of public safety and transportation infrastructure, and the city’s pledge to advance job growth and economic opportunity.
In regard to the Central Marysville Annexation, Kendall pointed out the city will benefit from a state sales tax law the provides a 0.1 percent state sales tax credit provided to the city for each 10,000 additional population. The mayor also spoke about getting the new residents informed about and involved in the city.
“We are setting up future community meetings. This will give us an opportunity to share some of the many opportunities available to them as the newest owners of the city. Ownership has its advantages, from gaining a direct voice in local government and more influence into how local services can better meet the needs of the community and their neighborhood,” said Kendall.
Turning to public safety, Kendall highlighted some of the city’s accomplishments.
“In tough times, our police are delivering solid results. Marysville is a safer place than it has been for many years,” Kendall said. “Crime has rolled back to 2004-05 levels, even though the city’s population increased by more than 25 percent between 2005 and 2009 - not counting the Central Marysville Annexation.”
Speaking about graffiti, he pointed out that the police had identified 27 taggers and made approximately 15 graffiti-related arrests. He pointed out that police handled 645 malicious mischief and vandalism reports in 2009 compared to 786 in 2008, a 18 percent decrease in graffiti-related activity. In 2009 Marysville also saw a 12 percent drop in auto thefts from 242 to 213 cases, and a 15 percent drop in collisions.
The news wasn’t all so positive when the Mayor turned to transportation.
“In the 2010 budget, the city’s Street Fund has been nearly depleted due to decreases in the fuel tax, declining sales tax revenue and past voter approved initiatives that impact our ability to address streets in need of improvement and alleviating traffic congestion,” Mayor Kendall said. “During the 2010 budget process I encouraged City Council members to take a look at all available funding sources — either from existing sources or future revenue streams yet to be determined — to replenish this fund. Ultimately they adopted an Admissions Tax that has been in effect for years in other cities and increased the utility tax on phone service by 1 percent to help replenish the fund.”
There was some good news in transportation, however, as the Mayor detailed two road projects completed in 2009 — the State Avenue improvement project from 136th to 152nd Street NE, and the 67th Avenue overlay project from SR 528 to Grove. A new Community Transit Park and Ride at Cedar Avenue and Grove Street was also completed in 2009.
Looking at 2010 transportation projects, Kendall spoke about the Ingraham Boulevard, Lakewood Triangle/156th Street Overcrossing and 47th Avenue NE projects.
Kendall then turned to Parks and Recreation and the Healthy Community Project, detailing some of the notable achievements in 2009 such as extending the Jennings Park and Northpointe Park Loop trails, installing drainage system at Strawberry Fields Athletic Complex and taking stewardship of the Rudy Wright Memorial Ball Field.
In conclusion, the Mayor spoke about economic development and the city’s strategy to aggressively pursue new economic development; build a strong diverse tax base; have a healthy local economy and to be a vibrant center attractive to business, employment and tourism.
“We have much to be proud of. Some tough choices lie ahead, but I can assure you that we will do whatever needs to be don to continue providing quality services to all our citizens,” Kendall said. “My vision for Marysville remains a community in which all residents work together to enjoy the rich quality of life they want and deserve. Together, as a city and as a community, we are making this happen.”
The mayor’s address will air on local access television stations starting Wednesday, Feb. 3, and run until Feb. 10 with daily showing times of noon, 4 p.m., 7 p.m. and at other occasional times on the hour. They will appear on both Marysville TV 21 of the Comcast cable system and TV 25 on the Verizon FiOS system.