Top (L-R): Ty Trenary, Adam Fortney, Scott Bader and Joseph Erikson. Bottom (L-R): Liz Vogeli, Marian LaFountaine, Megan Dunn and Anna Rohrbough.

Top (L-R): Ty Trenary, Adam Fortney, Scott Bader and Joseph Erikson. Bottom (L-R): Liz Vogeli, Marian LaFountaine, Megan Dunn and Anna Rohrbough.

Candidates debate housing affordability and opioids response

These issues have continued to dominate the conversation during election seasons.

EVERETT — Local candidates sparred over solutions to housing affordability and opioid addiction — issues that have dominated recent election seasons — at a forum hosted by the Housing Consortium of Everett and Snohomish County on Thursday.

Since he began leading the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office in 2013, Ty Trenary, who is running for re-election, has worked to find ways to divert people from jail and the streets, into long-term recovery for addiction and mental illness, he said.

“The old days of a pair of handcuffs and a trip to jail, which I used quite frankly all the time, have proven not to work,” Trenary said.

“We see recidivism rates at an all-time high.”

Ty Trenary (left) and Adam Fortney

Ty Trenary (left) and Adam Fortney

Housing is a critical piece of making an impact on homelessness, Trenary said, and to get more supportive housing units in the county, regulations need to be relaxed to make it easier to build them.

His challenger, sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Fortney, said he would take a different approach, one that would step up enforcement.

Fortney has worked in the sheriff’s office for more than 20 years and before his campaign started he was the longtime union president for the Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

Bringing people to the jail and “disrupting the cycle” could encourage individuals suffering from substance abuse to make a change, he said.

“Hopefully they detox a little … and we have those services available,” Fortney said.

Scott Bader (left) and Joseph Erikson

Scott Bader (left) and Joseph Erikson

Everett councilmember Scott Bader, who has been serving since 2012, is facing public school teacher Joseph Erikson.

To increase housing affordability, Bader sees solutions in continuing to push for more condo liability reform to increase multifamily housing. He also supports passing a countywide housing levy.

He said he would consider adding more resources for people experiencing homelessness, but emphasized the need to gain public buy-in for those type of projects before moving forward.

“Community support is vital,” he said.

Erikson, who was at his day job, sent a surrogate, Douglas Evans. Evans said the candidate believes supportive housing must be allowed to be built. Erikson favors a Housing Hope and Everett School District project for homeless families with kids in the district.

The project, which had both critics and supporters, was halted when the Everett City Council placed a moratorium on supportive housing in single-family areas earlier this year.

Evans, who is a volunteer with Erikson’s campaign, also said repurposing city-owned golf courses could also aide in housing affordability.

“There are a lot of developable acres not being utilized,” Evans said.

Liz Vogeli (left) and Marian LaFountaine

Liz Vogeli (left) and Marian LaFountaine

Councilmember Liz Vogeli, who is running for re-election, said she supports regional cooperation to tackle housing affordability pointing to a task force the county formed this year.

She plans to draw on her experience of homelessness in her youth and struggles she faced as a single mom.

Her challenger, small-business owner Marian LaFountaine, said she has worked with and served homeless people. To address housing affordability, she said she would first take the time to learn about the issue.

“I would find out what is being done now, and try to get information on the whole nature of what is going on,” LaFountaine said.

Everett Councilmembers Brenda Stonecipher and Judy Tuohy are up for re-election this year, but neither is facing a challenger.

County Council candidates Megan Dunn and Anna Rohrbough also spoke at the housing forum.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @lizzgior.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Vehicles start to back ups at I-5's exit 192 as rush hour begins. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)
Survey: Snohomish is state’s sixth-healthiest county

While the county has low birth rates among teens, drivers here have some of the longest commute times.

Firefighters work to put out a blaze at a house in the Meadowdale area of Edmonds early Saturday morning.  (South County Fire)
Man, woman seriously injured in Meadowdale house fire

They were taken to Harborview Medical Center. Three other adults and a dog escaped with no injuries.

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman looks up at a video monitor in a hallway as he arrives for a session of Thurston County Superior Court, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, in Olympia, Wash. Eyman, who ran initiative campaigns across Washington for decades, will no longer be allowed to have any financial control over political committees, under a ruling from Superior Court Judge James Dixon Wednesday that blasted Eyman for using donor's contributions to line his own pocket. Eyman was also told to pay more than $2.5 million in penalties. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ouch: Judge orders Tim Eyman to pay state’s $2.9M legal tab

In February, a judge found that the serial initiative promoter repeatedly violated campaign finance laws.

Simeon Berkley declines to make a statement during his sentencing hearing Friday afternoon at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett on March 16, 2021. Berkley was sentenced to 22-years in prison for the second-degree murder of Steven Whitmarsh in 2019.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Everett road-rage shooter gets 22 years for ‘execution’

Simeon Berkley, 75, was convicted of second-degree murder for the death of Steven Whitemarsh.

Exterior of the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2020 in Marysville, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tulalip Tribes reach deal with state on sports betting

If all goes to plan, the tribes could get federal approval for sports books at two casinos by the fall.

Mill Creek has new drug law — it could be obsolete in days

The city council re-criminalized drug possession, while state lawmakers debate their own legislation.

County nixes new shelter plan, expands cold-weather refuge

A shelter at the United Church of Christ on Rockefeller Avenue will remain open year-round.

As eligibility expands, 4,700 flock to local vaccine clinics

It might be difficult to secure a dose right away in Snohomish County, but keep trying, officials say.

Brian Baird, a former congressman who lives in Edmonds, hopes to create a National Museum and Center for Service in Washington, D.C. (contributed photo)
‘The time is right’ to honor helpers, says former congressman

Brian Baird, of Edmonds, is working to establish a National Museum and Center for Service in D.C.

Most Read