Monroe’s mayor-elect working on priorities

MONROE — Monroe Mayor-elect Geoffrey Thomas said he is ready to roll up his sleeves and get to work when he takes office in January.

Thomas, 43, previously served six years on the Monroe city council until 2009.

First, the new mayor said, he will get to know the city staff and ensure council agendas are prepared properly. Thomas, also a senior legislative analyst for the Snohomish County Council, said he expects to keep regular office hours as mayor and will partner with community organizations to benefit the city.

One public betterment Thomas said he intends to push for is adding multi-use, synthetic turf fields to the city.

Thomas said discussions between the city and the school district about a possible partnership to add the public fields have already taken place. He said he expects to continue planning to bring sports tournaments and increased recreational opportunities to Monroe.

“I want to make certain that kids stay active,” Thomas said. “They can get off their Xboxes, get off their PlayStations and go out and play.”

Synthetic turf fields have benefits such as longer use periods during the year, easier maintenance than grass and can help people who have trouble walking on natural surfaces, he said.

Other issues the city is facing include a rezoning proposal on U.S. 2 in east Monroe, a debate over how much developers should pay in school-impact fees and whether to allow a private wakeboarding vendor on Lake Tye. The city also has to address what happens next with the enforcement cameras it brought in to issue tickets at red lights and in school zones. Voters have already said they must go when the contract expires at year’s end.

Thomas said his hopes to engage with residents, the business community and nonprofit organizations as Monroe’s mayor.

“I’m looking forward to working for the community,” he said.

Amy Nile: 425-339-3192; anile@heraldnet.com.

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