By Bill Sheets Herald Writer
LYNNWOOD — A former city councilwoman, a current planning commissioner and two newcomers are running for the open Position 3 seat on the Lynnwood City Council.
The spot is being left open by Kerri Lonergan-Dreke, who served one term and did not file for re-election.
The candidates are: Maria Ambalada; Ruth Ross; Douglas Lovitt; and Dave Mayers.
Ross served eight years on the council from 2002-2010. She lost her seat to Lonergan-Dreke.
“I’m always looking for an opportunity to provide public service,” said Ross. “I think it’s kind of important to bring some experience.”
She wants to make sure the city’s roads and other facilities are maintained.
“It’s usually one of the first things that gets pulled out if there’s not enough to go around,” she said.
Toward that end, Ross would like to see the city experiment with ways to raise revenue other than property taxes and the economy-dependent sales tax.
For instance, some cities have begun development projects with city hall as the anchor tenant to get things started, she said.
This would be a possibility with Lynnwood’s slow-starting City Center plan, in which a new downtown area would be created.
“It’s easy to cut budgets, we do it every year, but we need to look at the big picture,” she said.
Ambalada has served on the city’s planning commission for six years. She’d like to strengthen the city by bringing people together and preserving affordable housing.
“We are disconnected in Lynnwood. I want to run because I know the issues, I’m a regular attendee of the council, I’m on the planning commission, I know where the city’s going.”
The city can cultivate home ownership through standards for new construction, hiring more city residents in city government and encouraging businesses to hire city residents as well, she said.
“The city has to create some jobs by attracting investors,” Ambalada said.
She’d also like to create a free mini-bus program to help low-income residents and senior citizens get around. The city could seek donations of used vans and recruit retired volunteers to drive them, Ambalada said.
She’d also review the red-light camera program, possibly to limit use of the cameras to school zones, she said.
Lovitt, a real-estate executive, said his experience can help the city develop.
With the economy improving and light rail scheduled to come to town in 10 years, “I see things coming down the pike here,” Lovitt said. This could help the City Center development get off the ground, he added.
“I want to be involved in that,” Lovitt said.
His other priority is to improve city government by bringing more civility to the process.
“Everyone’s kind of got their own small political agendas. I’m coming into this fresh without a preconceived notion of what I want to happen. I want to help people the best I can.”
Mayers, like Ross, wants to bring more cash to Lynnwood by encouraging large companies to set up shop in the city, and even recruiting theme parks or other destinations.
“I don’t think Lynnwood has any attractions, I don’t think it has any identification,” he said. “It’s got the Alderwood mall and that’s about it.”
Possibilities include an amphitheater for live music and movies, and even a large hotel with a casino, Mayers said.
“I think that’s in the foreseeable future. I think it’s going to happen.”
Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today: Lynnwood City Council Position No. 3
Monday: Mill Creek City Council Position No. 1
Tuesday: Mill Creek City Council Position No. 2
Previous stories: Snohomish County Council; Index, Snohomish fire district levies; Arlington City Council Position No. 7; Mukilteo mayor; Monroe Proposition No. 1; Arlington Transportation Benefit District Proposition No. 1; Lakewood School Board District 1 director; Camano Island Library Propositions No. 1 and 2; Lynnwood City Council Position No. 1; Lynnwood mayor; Lynnwood City Council Position No. 2.
What’s the job
At stake is a four-year term on the Lynnwood City Counci, which pays $1,650 per month or $19,800 per year.
Age: Did not reply
Experience: Six years on city Planning Commission.
Experience: Eight years on the Lynnwood City Council, 2002-2010. Former code compliance officer for Lynnwood and in Mohave County, Arizona.
Experience: Branch manager and managing broker for Century 21 North Homes in Lynnwood.
Experience: Quality specialist for Boeing in Everett.