By Rikki King Herald Writer
LYNNWOOD — Mayor Don Gough says the city of Lynnwood is on the right track. His opponent, Nicola Smith, says the city government lacks energy, enthusiasm and responsiveness.
Both candidates are asking voters for the chance to lead as mayor for the next four years.
In interviews, Gough and Smith each stressed the importance of Lynnwood’s future as a regional transportation hub, including the eventual arrival of light rail.
Smith, a dean at Edmonds Community College, led Gough in the primary election in August by 89 votes, just under a 2 percentage point difference.
Gough, 62, has been mayor for eight years. He says he is committed to following up on the city’s vision. As mayor, Gough said he has increased health programs and wrestled the budget into better shape.
“That’s the difference between me and some other local officials,” he said. “I’m here to lead people to help them do their thing. My duty is to make it happen.”
Recent state audits have found repeated problems in how Lynnwood keeps track of its money. Gough said city staff are addressing the findings.
“We’ve been working on it like crazy,” he said.
Smith, 54, said Lynnwood needs a city center and to bring back community celebrations and festivals. She wants to revise the city’s policies for development and ensure there’s enough affordable housing and safe roads. Lynnwood has been too dependent on retail and needs to attract more businesses that pay living wages, she said.
Smith said it is “inexcusable” that the city’s handling of its finances continues to fall below auditor’s expectations.
“I really think that Lynnwood needs to regain its place in Snohomish County, get back to the table and strengthen our position within the county and be a partner in plans for regional growth and prosperity,” she said.
The general election is Nov. 5.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Occupation: Mayor, attorney
Experience: 10 years on City Council, eight years as mayor.
Occupation: Dean, Edmonds Community College Experience: 26 years in professional leadership and management.