Supporters of losing MLT campaign see need for citizen involvement

Supporters of the Mountlake Terrace bond measure that fell short of the required 60 percent majority in the Tuesday election issued a call Wednesday for increased citizen involvement.

The percentage of “yes” votes rose to 53.41 percent Wednesday from the 53.18 percent posted Tuesday, but it was still lower than the 57 percent that a similar measure got in August’s election.

The Committee for a Mountlake Terrace Civic Center reported raising $10,151 and spending $8,035 to no money raised or spent by the opposing Citizens Against Prop. 1.

The measure would have authorized $25 million in bonds to pay for a new civic campus.

The supporting group issued this statement Wednesday morning:

While, once again, the majority of Mountlake Terrace residents supported the funding of a new City Hall, Community Center, and Police Station, we fell short of that 60 percent mark.

Even though the proposition fell short of the 60 percent needed, we believe we’re starting to see a fundamental shift in our community, a shift away from complaining about problems and towards solving problems; a shift away from sitting on the sidelines and towards participating in the process, a shift away from expecting things to be done for us and towards getting things done ourselves, a shift towards progress. It may be happening slower than we like, but it’s happening nonetheless.

Mountlake Terrace is not as divided as it may appear. During campaigning, there obviously are two sides fighting for what they believe is best for our community and there isn’t opportunity to work together. That’s behind us for now. There are certainly those who have a track record of saying ‘no’ to every solution proposed and that likely won’t change moving forward. But for the rest of us, there’s work to do.

So what’s next? Well, our city council members have some tough decisions to make and they’re not going to be easy. Remember that the city council members are our neighbors and friends and they need our help and participation. If we could have one thing stick from this campaign it would be getting people to participate. Participation does not mean waiting for a solution to be proposed and then saying ‘NO.’ Participation means being a part of the process. Go to public meetings, give your opinion, be informed.

We’d like to thank everyone who put so much hard work in to the Proposition 1 campaign: the local businesses who displayed signs and donated, the residents who tirelessly door belled, phone called, liked and shared our positive message, the city council members who listened to those of us who wanted to give it one more try, and most of all the MLT residents who voted yes.

Snohomish County elections officials were to release new returns Friday afternoon.

The measure easily exceeded the required turnout requirement of 40 percent of the number of ballots cast in the last general election.

County elections officials will continue to count votes until results are certified May 7.

Evan Smith can be reached at schsmith@frontier.com.

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