By Herald staff and The Arlington Times
ARLINGTON — Two incumbents on the Arlington City Council are facing challengers Nov. 7, and one of them knows there is potential for confusion about his bid for another four-year term.
City Councilman Chris Raezer, who has served since 2006, has no photo or other information in the local voter pamphlet. He’s been traveling a lot lately because of a family medical issue and was out of state during the deadline to provide the information, he said.
“I knew about it earlier but it slipped my mind before leaving on my trip. That’s a self-inflicted injury I regret,” he said.
Raezer is challenged by Josh Roundy, an accountant who is making his first run for elected office.
Meanwhile, incumbent Jesica Stickles is challenged by Craig Christianson. Both are well known in north Snohomish County business circles.
Stickles owns Stickles Press and is president of the Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce. She said the city has counted many achievements since she joined the council four years ago. She wants to retain her seat to continue that work.
“I’m very proud of how far the city has come in the last four years,” she said.
She cited efforts related to public safety, securing funding for 172nd Street widening, completion of three dozen road maintenance projects, opening of the Arlington Community Resource Center, the Arlington Awaits marketing campaign and other initiatives.
Christianson is a retired Seattle firefighter and owner of Arlington Distributing Co. He ran for mayor in 2015. He said the time is right for him to take a more active role in his hometown’s decision-making.
“As a lifetime resident, I want to be involved in the direction that our city is headed,” he said.
The two agree on many key issues, but Christianson said he believes Stickles’ post with the chamber creates a conflict of interest.
“My business is here. My life is here,” he said. “I’m not promoting Marysville-Tulalip. I’m promoting Arlington.”
Stickles sees no conflict, saying her chamber job is focused on retaining businesses and keeping them thriving and healthy in Marysville and Tulalip. In Arlington, “I focus on policy, governance and new development, so there are slightly different roles there,” she said.
Roundy, 34, said growth is the main reason he’s running.
The City Council has pushed away some developers, he said.
“I won’t stand in the way of growth. We’ll be left behind,” he said, giving Costco as an example.
Roundy said he has the financial expertise for the council. He knows the city can’t fund every issue; it needs to prioritize.
Raezer, 55, said his schedule in recent months hasn’t kept him from his council duties.
“In addition to normal council business, I am one of the three council members meeting with Marysville and Fire District 12 discussing the possibility of forming a Regional Fire Authority … That has been ongoing for almost a year,” he said.
He’s also the council’s representative to the Arlington airport commission.
Raezer has been endorsed by the Arlington Police Officers Association.
“I appreciate their confidence in me for four more years and I hope the citizens will vote for me to continue serving them,” he said.
Roundy said he has doubts about the regional fire authority.
“The issues of utmost importance to me are public safety, infrastructure, fiscal sustainability and transparency, and most importantly, economic development and the future planning (and) development of our city,” he said. “These are all big issues that take experienced leaders, time to implement, good policy-making, and a council willing to work together.”