By Evan Smith Herald Writer
Former Lynnwood City Councilwoman Ruth Ross faces real estate broker Douglas Lovitt in the Nov. 5 election for the council position that Councilwoman Kerry Lonnergan-Dreke is giving up.
Ross held the position before losing to Lonnergan-Dreke in 2009.
In the August primary, Ross led with 32.55 percent of the vote to 28.38 percent for Lovitt, 19.94 percent for planning commissioner Maria Ambalada and 17.58 percent for candidate Dave Mayers.
Here are statements on campaign issues from November opponents Lovitt and Ross:
Issues I can help correct:
Simply raising taxes and fees on residents and businesses after the city’s over-spending needs to stop. I have experience in financial forecasting and budgetary control to help break this cycle. I’m not afraid to challenge overly optimistic economic projections or say no to pet projects when the revenue simply is not there. As the economy improves and the sales tax revenues return, I will work hard to see that these revenues are directed more towards our neglected roads, traffic congestion, public safety, paying off debt and improving the city’s long-term financial health.
Lynnwood’s golf course is financially bleeding to death. I favor exploring the potential for a public-private partnership. A well-conceived partnership could keep the course open, save jobs, and allow the golf course to pay back the more than $1 million in loans the city made to keep it open.
Lynnwood’s vision of a City Center is much closer than most people think. Light rail will bring an estimated 20,000 more people into Lynnwood each day. The regional transportation hub will make the city center project even more attractive to developers and investors. We’ll have to deal with critical issues like parking and the traffic congestion.
Lynnwood is at a turning point with this election. Over the last four years, the makeup of the council has shifted from many long-term members to mostly newcomers. With this election, two more experienced council members are stepping down. It is always refreshing to see fresh faces and hear new ideas; however, with the potential change of leadership in the mayor’s office, it is possible to lose much of the institutional history of the city.
A recent example of this is fireworks. Most of the current council members were not in office when the city requested the survey on this issue. They also were not there to hear the results. Without experienced members on the council, the institutional history can be lost. What I bring with me is good solid City of Lynnwood experience.
Lynnwood also must get its financial house in order to avoid significant consequences. For decades, Lynnwood was the city to emulate in south county. Unfortunately, our reputation has begun to erode, and Lynnwood is no longer looked to as an example of good financial stewardship. We will have a tough journey back, but with intelligent choices and experienced leaders, Lynnwood can again set the example in Snohomish County.
Evan Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.