Navy base has proven a good fit for county

Naval Station Everett brings millions of dollars of payroll to Snohomish County, but it has a lot of other benefits that add to the fabric of this community.

Just ask Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, a former U.S. Coast Guard sailor, law officer and legislator.

The base and its centerpiece USS Nimitz aircraft carrier bring diversity to this area. Folks from all sorts of backgrounds and races are in the military services, and thus in our community.

It’s part of the reason why there’s a fondness for the Navy.

“That love affair has been here for a long time. That love affair is going to continue with this office of county executive,” Lovick said. “We love these guys. We love the military. We want them. Frankly, we need them in this community.”

Lovick said the Navy and the county share common goals.

“Good healthy communities, good safe schools, roads not being clogged with traffic and jobs with benefits,” he said. “The Navy is interested in the same things.”

Unlike the other major naval stations that have large naval housing complexes behind guarded gates, a lot of the Naval Station Everett families live in the community.

“We see these people in the grocery store, we see them in church. We see them on the soccer fields. They are our friends and our neighbors, so it’s just a great homecoming,” Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson said of the arrival of the carrier USS Nimitz and its contingent of 3,000 crew.

Stephanson said the community has adopted the sailors. “Naval Station Everett and the sailors have been integrated into this community in such a seamless way, in all aspects a very positive way,” Stephanson said. “They just fit very well.”

Lake Stevens, Marysville and Arlington have concentrations of naval housing for families, and others are spread throughout the county.

The naval station “doesn’t have a sense of separateness about it that you might have in larger cities around the country,” U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett, said. “Here the Navy personnel are a part of our community. Their kids are playing football, baseball, basketball. The kids are involved in the schools, the drama clubs. The parents are involved as well.”

The Navy has found a home here, “and Snohomish County has made a place for the Navy, as well,” Larsen said. “Again, I think that sets us apart from other naval homeports around the country.”

There’s a sense, spread by word of mouth, of many sailors choosing, if they can, to be assigned to ships at Naval Station Everett or to the base.

“Naval Station Everett is the sailor’s choice because it is the most modern naval base that we have,” Larsen added. “It’s located in Snohomish County with a high standard of living,” but one that’s less pricey than San Diego or Hawaii.

And it’s a place where Navy families want to stay.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

FILE - This Tuesday, May 30, 2017 file photo, former Washington Gov. John Spellman, second from left, leaves a memorial service in Renton, Wash. Spellman, the last Republican governor elected in Washington, has died at age 91. Spellman’s son, Seattle attorney David Spellman, confirmed his death Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)
John Spellman was last GOP governor of Washingon

He had spent recent weeks “being very disappointed with the Cougs and the Huskies,” his son said.

Most Read