Lynnwood mayoral candidates see potential

LYNNWOOD — People running for office in Lynnwood describe the city as a place of unfilled potential, a retail and transportation hub with great neighborhoods, but also traffic woes and a lack of identity.

Lynnwood’s growing fast, and four people want to lead the city as mayor for the next four years.

The candidates are incumbent Mayor Don Gough, current councilmen Loren Simmonds and Mark Smith, and Nicola Smith, a dean at Edmonds Community College. About 100 people attended a candidates forum earlier this month at the college.

Gough’s been running a quiet, stay-the-course campaign. The city worked out its vision a few years back, and he’s committed to following through, he said.

“The citizens want a balanced city,” he said Monday. “Balanced is you provide services in all areas.”

He declined to name specific priorities, saying he lets the City Council and the public guide his decisions as mayor. He says he’s helped Lynnwood regain financial stability and that he made difficult budget cuts when times got hard. He also mentioned the progress on plans for new shops and apartments at the old Lynnwood High School site.

He’s also drawn criticism for his leadership style, which critics call abrasive.

“I am who I am. I am very straightforward,” he said. “People want to get the vision done.”

Simmonds has been on the council 14 years, including six as president. He says the city needs a change at the top. He’d also like to work on traffic problems and start a neighborhood councils program. He’s been a longtime advocate of the city’s use of traffic-enforcement cameras.

Simmonds wants to heal and rebuild Lynnwood’s “bruised” psyche, he said.

“I am confident that I have the motivation, people skills and management experience to make it happen, and I will start by making use of a first-class transition team,” he said.

Mark Smith has been on the council eight years. He wants to improve communication at City Hall and rework the city’s long-term financial goals, he said.

Lynnwood needs a mayor who can recognize its opportunities, he said. He’d also want to set up a coalition to examine how to bring new businesses to Lynnwood.

“I’m really getting a good sense of what people are concerned about, what they’re interested in, what their hopes are for the city,” he said.

Nicola Smith has worked at the community college 26 years. Her current title is dean of student life and development.

The city needs a clearer vision, and she has experience as an administrator, she said. She’s active with the business community, and she worries about Lynnwood seeming unwelcoming.

At the college, she has worked on many large projects and programs, including an athletic field and child-care center, and has “navigated the nuances of dealing with diverse and competing interests,” she said.

She described the current politics at City Hall as unhealthy and unfortunate.

The primary election is Aug. 6. The two candidates who receive the most votes will advance to the Nov. 5 general election.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

What’s the job?

At stake is a four-year term as Lynnwood’s mayor. This person oversees policy making for the city. The annual salary is about $97,428.

The candidates

Don Gough

Age: 62

Occupation: Mayor, attorney

Website: None provided

Loren Simmonds

Age: 70

Occupation: Development consultant for nonprofits

Website: None

Mark Smith

Age: 51

Occupation: Nonprofit executive management

Website: www.markforlynnwood.org

Nicola Smith

Age: 54

Occupation: Dean, Edmonds Community College

Website: www.nicolaformayor.com

What’s next

Today: Lynnwood mayor; Lynnwood City Council Position No. 2

Saturday: 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.

More in Local News

A customer walks away after buying a hot dog from a vendor on 33rd St and Smith Street near the Everett Station on Friday. The Everett Station District Alliance pictures the area east of Broadway and south of Hewitt Avenue as a future neighborhood and transit hub that could absorb expected population growth. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
How can Everett Station become a vibrant part of city?

A neighborhood alliance focused on long-term revitalization will update the public Tuesday.

Man arrested after police find van full of drugs, cash and guns

An officer on patrol noticed a vehicle by itself in the middle of a WinCo parking lot at 2 a.m.

After work to address issues, Lynnwood gets clean audit

The city has benefited from increased revenues from sales tax.

Bolshevik replaces BS in Eyman’s voters pamphlet statement

The initiative promoter also lost a bid to include a hyperlink to online coverage of the battle.

Man with shotgun confronts man on toilet about missing phone

Police say the victim was doing his business when the suspect barged in and threatened him.

Detectives seek suspect in woman’s homicide

Alisha Michelle Canales-McGuire was shot to death Wednesday at a home south of Paine Field.

Car crashes near Everett after State Patrol pursuit

The driver and a second person in the car suffered injuries.

Smith Island habitat restoration cost to rise $1.2 million

The project is intended to increase survival rates for juvenile chinook salmon.

Jim Mathis, the Vietnam veteran whose Marysville garden was recently featured in The Herald, died Wednesday. Mathis, who suffered from PTSD and cancer, found solace in his beautiful garden. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Vietnam veteran Jim Mathis found peace in his garden

The Marysville man who served two tours died Wednesday after suffering from cancer and PTSD.

Most Read