Opinion

Looking back at 2012 and ahead to 2013 | GUEST OPINION

I want to extend my best wishes to the citizens and families in Marysville for a healthy, happy and prosperous New Year.

A day doesn’t go by that I’m not proud to serve you and excited about the positive changes we are making for Marysville’s future.

In recent years, Marysville has successfully navigated its way through some challenging financial times. Guided by a disciplined, operating philosophy, we have stayed a course that is advancing our city from fiscal solvency towards fiscal good health, which means we are easing toward our goal of re-building funding again for some core government services we put on hold due to the recovering economy, and we are moving forward with strategic investments necessary to lay the groundwork for a prosperous future.

Before I share a glimpse at a remarkable year of accomplishments in 2012 and what’s ahead in the new y ear, I want to take a moment to thank and recognize the City Council. Their enthusiasm, capability, public accountability and cohesiveness are second to none. I consider them among the best our city has ever had.

I also want to thank our talented and committed staff led by Chief Administrative Officer Gloria Hirashima, and our hard-working City employees. Each and every day, they demonstrate integrity, teamwork, innovation and accountability in their goal to meet the needs of our community by providing quality services, with a continuing focus on excellence.

In whatever way you experience Marysville — live, work, play — your city government’s mission is to provide quality, innovative and efficient services that promote economic growth, thriving neighborhoods, healthful living, and financial sustainability for you and your family, and for businesses.

Achievements in 2012

We had many noteworthy achievements in 2012 that used resources and taxpayer funds responsibly. So let’s review our progress:

  • Overall crime in 2012 fell nearly 16 percent compared to the year prior, due to police redeployment and targeted, pro-active response in rooting out specific criminal activity in Marysville.
  • Established a Stay Out of Drugs Area (SODA) district downtown to deter drug-related criminal activity, imposing stiffer penalties on repeat offenders.
  • Strengthened existing laws against lewd conduct in public places.
  • Mobilized a highly successful Burglary Strike Team that made more than 100 arrests and recovered $116,000 in personal property during an initial six-week period.
  • Opened the Lakewood Triangle Access/156th Street I-5 Overcrossing.
  • In partnership with the state Department of Transportation, completed widening and intersection improvements at SR 9/SR 92 break in access.
  • Opened 51st Avenue three-lane connector extending the road from 84th to 88th Street to create a continuous six-mile north-south route.
  • Initiated skimming projects as a cost-effective alternative to complete road overlays. At locations such as 47th Avenue and Grove Street, for example, road life will extend for five years.
  • For walking and bicycling safety, Public Works crews added shoulder improvements along 67th and Sunnyside Boulevard.
  • Attained $1.7 million in safety, transportation grants.
  • Clean Sweep Week and code enforcement activities downtown that included painting over graffiti, garbage pickup and removal of unsightly neighborhood junk, road re-striping, pressure-washing sidewalks and aesthetic improvements.
  • Completed purchasing the Sunnyside area water system under a Water Transfer Agreement with the Snohomish County PUD, with water utility construction and improvements scheduled for this year.
  • Kiwanis Pond improvements in Jennings Memorial Park.
  • Cleared transient camps at 116th Street for neighborhood and public safety.
  • Online permitting for residential building permits.
  • Awarded $217,914 in Community Development Block Grants for public services that benefit primarily low- and moderate-income individuals.
  • Welcomed jobs-creating new businesses and commercial activity including the Marysville Armed Forces Reserve Center, Everett Clinic and Smokey Point, Mor Furniture and Blazing Onion.
  • Diversity Advisory Committee carried out first year of work plan activities.
  • Arts Coalition conducted an art walk and other activities to foster a vibrant and growing arts community.
  • First-ever Pride of Marysville Awards presented to a homeowner and two businesses.

Building on our progress in 2013

We can be proud of the work we undertook over the past year to build on Marysville’s successes and to address some of the challenges in our community. Looking ahead in the New Year, we have many opportunities to build on that progress.

  • The city will embark on a downtown revitalization public engagement process as the city seeks to create a downtown and waterfront area that is a more vibrant, attractive and pedestrian-friendly place with its own identity.
  • Park trails construction — The second phase of Bayview Trail across the eastside Marysville foothills and trail construction tied to the Qwuloolt Estuary Restoration Project.
  • The state anticipates fully opening the SR 529 Bridge Project this winter, with completion in spring.
  • Pavement preservation funding will extend pavement life for some well-travelled roads in need of repair.
  • Walkway improvements will fill gaps in shoulders and sidewalks in some neighborhoods, near schools, or used by school children, pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Code enforcement neighborhood cleanups – Playing off the success of Clean Sweep Week, the csity plans to conduct up to three similar neighborhood cleanups at locations around Marysville.
  • I have established a Youth Council starting this month to create an essential link between Marysville teens, the community and city government.
  • New Business/Commercial Activity — Walmart will open its newest store at SR 9 and SR 528, and O’Brien Auto Group will be opening a Honda dealership.

The city will also shepherd two bills through the 2013 legislative session in Olympia  — public safety legislation to address zoning issues related to sex offender housing, and a measure designed to give incentives to attract manufacturing jobs to already zoned and planned Manufacturing and Industrial Centers such as the Smokey Point/Arlington area.

To Marysville citizens, I look forward to meeting and working with you to do great things in our community in the new year for which we can all be proud.

Mayor Jon Nehring can be reached at mayor@marysvillewa.gov or 360-363-8091.

 

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