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Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Lynnwood's financial health a priority for candidates

LYNNWOOD -- The front-runners for Lynnwood City Council Position 3 want the city to be more frugal.
Douglas Lovitt, 51, and Ruth Ross, 53, both named city finances as their top priority if elected Nov. 5.
"Naturally, the first thing we need to do is get our financial house back in order," said Ross, who served on the council from 2002 to 2010.
The city has "blown money on miscellaneous expenses" and taken on too much debt while raising taxes, Lovitt said.
"My main focus is going to be a little more conservative toward spending," he said.
Lovitt's experience in real estate and business budgeting would make him an asset on the council, he said.
"I want to be able to use the skills and tools I have from the years and years that I've been in town and been in business to help people get some things accomplished," he said.
Lynnwood needs to be ready for light rail's potential impacts on traffic and parking, Lovitt said. He also wants to address allegations that the city is a difficult place to build and develop.
"I want to see businesses attracted to this place rather than repelled," he said.
Ross wants Lynnwood to improve roads and traffic conditions as the city continues to grow.
"We need to make it easier to get around," she said.
Ross also wants the city to become less dependent on sales tax revenue. The council may need more access and control over the city money, she said. Lynnwood could reinvent itself like Mountlake Terrace has done, Ross said.
Ross' experience would give her the advantage of institutional memory because she's familiar with city government and its history, she said.
When Ross was on the council, she pushed for the amphitheater improvements at Lynndale Park, an important project that's still under way, she said.
Shirley Sutton, who lost her bid for a council seat in the primary, is running a write-in campaign for the position.
Sutton, 67, said she owed it to her supporters to keep trying. As a black woman, she said she wants to see more minorities on the council.
"Our leadership needs to reflect our community," she said.
Lynnwood also needs to do a better job serving the elderly and disabled, she said. She wants to see city leaders treat each other with more respect.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449, rking@heraldnet.com.
At stake is a four-year term on the Lynnwood City Council, which generally pays $1,650 per month or $19,800 per year.

Douglas Lovitt
Age: 51
Experience: Branch manager and managing broker for Century 21 North Homes in Lynnwood. Website: www.douglaslovitt.com

Ruth Ross
Age: 53
Experience: Eight years on the Lynnwood City Council, 2002-2010. Former code compliance officer for Lynnwood and in Mohave County, Ariz.
Website: www.ruthross.net

Shirley Sutton (write-in candidate)
Age: 67
Experience: Chairwoman of the city of Lynnwood Diversity Commission and service on several other city advisory boards. Served eight years on the state's Homelessness Advisory Board.
Website: www.voteshirleysutton.com
Story tags » LynnwoodPoliticsLocal elections

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