By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
MARYSVILLE — Ten-year incumbent Jeffrey Vaughan is challenged in his bid for another term on the Marysville City Council by Eli Olson, who is perhaps best known for his unsuccessful run for Congress in 2012.
Olson said he’s learned that legislation on the local level is what matters to him and he believes it’s time for a fresh face on the council. Vaughan wants to retain his council seat in order to finish work on economic development projects to benefit the city, he said.
The candidates agree on several issues, including the importance of a good roads system in Marysville for safety, and for economic vitality.
Transportation has been a priority since he first joined the council, Vaughan said. Continuing to make improvements to the city’s streets to reduce traffic and improve the longevity of roads and pedestrian walkways continues to be at the top of his to-do list, he said.
“It’s become more challenging as the years have gone on because funding for city street maintenance and street projects has become scarce,” Vaughan said. “We have to continue to develop our local economy to sustain our roads projects. A lot of work has been done toward this in north Marysville, where we hope to attract industry and jobs.”
The possibility of long coal trains traveling several times a day through Marysville to a proposed shipping facility in Bellingham is a concern the candidates share.
“There are no easy answers to the issue of coal trains,” Olson said. “I do not want hinder business, but in Marysville we have 16 railroad crossings. It’s not just about convenience, but about safety. A 10-minute wait for aid could mean a life.”
Vaughan said he supports construction of a new freeway interchange at I-5 and Highway 529, one that would connect to the new 529 bridge into the city, bypass railroad tracks and lighten the load on Fourth Street. He also would work to obtain federal help to make the new overpass at 156th Street into a full interchange, Vaughan said.
Olson said he also is wants to ensure the city’s waterfront revitalization program moves forward and is done on time and under budget.
“I am a conservative who wants to protect our environment, including the Snohomish River,” Olson said. “And I want to tackle once and for all the issue of smelly air pollution from south of our city.”
Olson said he is motivated in his bid for the council seat by his two young sons.
“It’s all about the future and making sure they have every opportunity,” Olson said. “I want to work to preserve liberty and make sure that concerns from citizens don’t fall on deaf ears at council meetings.”
Vaughan said he got into local politics because of his concerns about Marysville.
“I spent couple years going to council meetings and volunteering before I ever threw my hat in ring. Fresh ideas are welcome and so is involvement by volunteers,” Vaughan said. “My wife and I love Marysville. We raised our children here and started our business here. I would appreciate the opportunity to finish the work we have started on the council.”
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet the candidates
The job: At stake is a four-year seat on the Marysville City Council. The job pays $700 a month, with an additional $50 paid per extra meeting, with up to 10 extra meetings allowed each month.
Experience: Ten years on the City Council, serving as council president and member of public works committee. Owns a lighting products company. Volunteers to combat graffiti vandalism.
Experience: Former, unsuccessful congressional candidate. Manager for an electrical distribution company.