Voters in Marysville should keep a statistic in mind when they vote this year: Marysville was ranked 45th in the nation for one-year growth among cities of more than 50,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of 2014, its population was estimated at just over 65,000, census figures showed. Since then, that growth has continued, with an estimated count of more than 67,500.
And the city’s leadership is having to address the issues that come with that growth: attracting jobs that pay well and support the tax base, addressing traffic needs and providing public safety, parks and other public services to its residents.
Marysville City Council, Position 2: Four city council positions are up for election this year, but only Position 2 attracted three candidates, putting the race on the Aug. 1 primary ballot. The two candidates with the most votes will advance to the Nov. 7 general election.
Donna Wright, a real estate agent, having served on the Marysville council for 26 years, is seeking re-election. She is challenged by Jason Call, a high school math teacher in the Edmonds School District, and Mark James, who runs an online advertising magazine.
All three candidates are serious and thoughtful about the challenges and opportunities facing the city and differ only on specific response to those challenges.
All three recognize the need for the city to work closely in coming years with the state Department of Transportation as work begins on a new I-5 interchange at Highway 529 that will relieve pressure on Fourth Street and its railroad crossing.
And each is supportive of development of the joint project with Arlington to develop and promote a manufacturing industrial center. James said he’s eager to pursue marketing of the manufacturing center on a state and national basis to find new employers. Call, likewise, emphasized the need for sustainable family-wage jobs.
On social concerns, such as homelessness and opioid addiction, Call wants to see a partnership with north county cities on a treatment facility, while Wright and James favor current public safety efforts. Additionally, James said he would support a program similar to Everett’s that partners social workers with police to help connect those in need with services. Wright wants to see the city build a new jail, which would likely require a tax request to voters.
James wants to encourage retail development that would attract visitors and their sales tax revenue, such as restaurants, shops, wineries, brew pubs and distilleries. Wright sees a place for that type of development along the city’s Ebey Slough waterfront.
Wright’s years of experience can’t be discounted as they provide institutional knowledge for the council. Her suggestions for the waterfront show that she continues to have a vision for what can be done in Marysville. However, while her time with the city warrants respect and appreciation, voters may be better served by a new perspective on the council.
Call, with past experience on the board of the Marysville Education Association, is knowledgeable on city issues, but has a skill set that is best suited for a school board. Call told the editorial board, in fact, that his original intention was to run for school board but declined because he lives in the Lake Stevens School District and supports those currently on its board.
James, a U.S. Army veteran, has connections with local businesses through his own business and with the community through his work with Marysville’s Sunrise Rotary and as a volunteer with a cold-weather shelter and a Red Cross citizen emergency response team.
A Marysville resident since 1990, James demonstrates he understands the issues facing Marysville and an ability and demeanor to work collaboratively with others on the council, city staff and others in the county.
The Herald endorses Mark James for Position 2 of the Marysville City Council.
Marysville School Board, District 4: Following a review of candidate statements and profiles, the editorial board is recommending two candidates that voters should advance to the general election.
Current board member Bruce Larson, a retired Boeing employee, is serving his first four-year term on the board. He is challenged by Vanessa Edwards, a school secretary; and Clarence Shaw, a medical assistant. A Herald candidate profile, published July 17, reviews their positions on district issues.
Larson shows he has devoted time to his position on the board and is supportive of the district’s efforts to improve academic achievement and equity. Edwards, a U.S. Navy veteran, offers the perspective and familiarity with Marysville schools as a parent who has spent time as a volunteer and as a PTA officer. Shaw, a U.S. Army Reserve veteran who ran unsuccessfully for Marysville City Council in 2015, offers past experience on the city council and school board in Monrovia, California.
The editorial board recommends that voters support Larson or Edwards in the primary.