By Sharon Salyer Herald Writer
Lake Stevens voters can choose between two military veterans in the race for the Position 7 seat.
Incumbent Marcus Tageant faces off against challenger Michael Boe.
Boe, 64, who works as a shift sergeant at the Monroe Correctional Complex, said the city’s west side is underrepresented and that more parks need to be added to the area.
“There are no parks on the west side of Highway 9,” he said. “They’re just kids; they just want to play.”
Boe said he would like more youth recreational opportunities added in the city to augment the current Boys &Girls Club in downtown Lake Stevens. He said he would like to see one opened south toward U.S. 2 and another on the city’s west side.
Tageant, 41, who owns three businesses in Lake Stevens, said that the local Rotary Club is working with city staff on improving youth recreational opportunities. This includes reconsideration of a skateboard park at the county’s Cavalero Hill 3-acre off-leash dog park.
Talks are underway with the county on converting it to a skateboard park, he said.
Tageant said a decision on the skateboard park is still several months off. “I’m in Kiwanis and I think a lot of community groups are willing to say, ‘What can we donate?’” he said.
Boe said he thinks that the city’s police department, which typically has three officers on duty per shift, is understaffed. He said the city needs to find a way to hire more police officers and provide them more training.
Tageant said that public safety is a hot-button issue in the city, following the June shooting death of Molly Conley, a 15-year-old student from Seattle, as well as bank robberies in the city.
Tageant, who serves on the council’s budget committee, said he is proposing hiring two additional police officers and he said he is confident that they will be hired.
Both candidates said that traffic continues to be one of the city’s biggest issues, particularly in the area of Frontier Village and the intersection of highways 9 and 204.
The state Department of Transportation is looking at the ways to increase the number of cars moving north and south on Highway 9, Tageant said.
Both Tageant and Boe said that the improvements would need funding from Olympia. Tageant said he has traveled to Olympia for the past four years urging funding for improvements along the entire Highway 9 corridor.
Boe said he has made the trip to Olympia to push for issues relating to the work of his fellow Monroe correctional officers. The traffic issue is “probably something we’ll have to go to Olympia and pound on the pulpit and say it needs to be addressed,” he said.
Boe said he would like to see the city improve its communication with residents and become more transparent. “The information is out there, we just need to make it available,” he said, whether it’s issues from Olympia or more local issues that are rippling through the community.
Tageant said that his experience of being a business owner in Lake Stevens and former president of the Chamber of Commerce has allowed him to see the difficulties that business people sometimes face.
“I’ve been a really good ear for the community but especially the business community,” he said.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the candidates
The job: At stake is a four-year term on the Lake Stevens City Council, which is responsible for approving local ordinances and city policies. Council members are paid $300 a month for their twice-a-month meetings. They also are paid $50 per meeting for attending up to four community meetings a month.
Experience: Twenty-five years in the Air Force. Now is a shift sergeant at the Monroe Correctional Complex, where he has worked for the past 13 years.
Experience: Four years on the Lake Stevens City Council. Served in the Marine Corps during the Gulf War. President and chief executive of three Lake Stevens companies: Task Properties, Impact Property Management and Key Maintenance and Construction.