After he first joined the Snohomish County Council, Nate Nehring rode along with sheriff’s deputies in his district to look at what were considered nuisance properties.
”You get out of the car and go onto the property and you’d just have trash everywhere,” Nehring said. “You couldn’t see the yard, there was so much trash and feces on the ground with rats and other rodents going onto neighboring properties. It really was causing a nightmare for the rest of the neighborhood.”
Nehring has been in a position as a councilman to help make changes within the county to address the problem. He helped draft a new law that would target nuisance homes along with places where drug use, prostitution and other crimes were occurring.
His efforts as a councilman and also as a volunteer in the community have garnered him a nomination for the Emerging Leader award for 2018.
“He (has) put in countless hours, connected with people throughout the county in both business and residential allowing them to have a voice in government through himself,” wrote the person who nominated Nehring.
As a councilman, Nehring can point to several efforts where he believes he’s made the community better. One is his work on creating a ban on supervised heroin-injection sites. The City of Seattle, King County and King County Health District announced several months ago that it wanted to create a couple of these sites. Nehring took up the charge to prevent the idea from catching on in Snohomish County.
He convinced the council to first pass a moratorium on these sites and eventually an outright ban.
“When the County Council met to consider my ordinance, dozens of citizens testified in support of the moratorium,” Nehring wrote in his nomination form. “There was no one who testified in opposition to the moratorium.”
Outside of his work on the council, Nehring said he tutors students with special needs, volunteers at Providence hospital’s summer camp for children with disabilities and volunteers at the Marysville Community Food Bank. He also is involved with Next Gen Stanwood-Camano and the Friends of Stanwood Parks and Trails group. He said he’s also been asked to join Everett Gospel Mission’s board of directors.
In his time in government, he wrote, “it seems that the norm is to use deception in order to best position oneself for political gain. I am strongly opposed to that concept.”
He points to a recent budget at the County Council where he came out against adding any new taxes in light of higher property taxes due to the McCleary decision and Sound Transit 3. He called it nerve-wracking to call people and tell them he couldn’t support tax increases, but he felt he did it the right way by being honest and upfront.
“People don’t come to you asking to cut things, right?” Nehring said. “People come to you to ask you to fund things. It’s very challenging to tell people no when you have limited amount of resources and a lot of people fighting for a piece of the pie. It it can be very difficult to explain to someone why that’s not your position.”