LAKE STEVENS — A Lake Stevens City Council race pits a two-term incumbent against a relative newcomer.
Michele Hampton’s belief in term limits compelled her to run against Councilman Kim Daughtry. Hampton, 53, is a lawyer in a military family from California. She moved to Snohomish County almost two years ago.
“I think it’s really important that anyone in a position of service never gets comfortable in their seat,” she said. “Just because things have been done in a linear fashion in the past doesn’t mean that’s the best way to accomplish the goal.”
Daughtry, 63, a retired U.S. Navy officer with a remodeling business, was taken aback to learn his position, and no others, would be contested. He’s nonpartisan, endorsed by the mayor, the local firefighters union, the police guild and all six of the other council members.
“It’s one of those things where I think she picked the wrong opponent,” said Daughtry, who won his seat in 2009.
He has a long record of community service, as an organizer of Aquafest, a board member of Snohomish County Cities and a past president of the city’s Chamber of Commerce. As for recent achievements, Daughtry mentioned a state-of-the-art skatepark by Cavelero Mid High School and hundreds of hours of work he put into a community garden at Eagle Ridge Park.
Both candidates are concerned with how Lake Stevens’ infrastructure will keep pace with astronomical growth. Through annexations and new housing, the population has skyrocketed from 6,000 in 2000; to 24,000 in 2009; to 32,000 at present.
“I’m not going to say (we’ve grown) too rapidly, but what is of prime concern (to) the community is the infrastructure is not going to keep up?” Hampton said. “We have good hard-working people getting road rage to get back to their own driveways.”
She’s critical of how local government has handled building permits at a 288-condominium project at Highway 92 and Callow Road — and how that could feed into the traffic problem. Hampton said she would push for change.
“A lot of folks say their voices aren’t being heard,” she said.
Daughtry, on the other hand, has worked to reduce traffic congestion, and considers it among his top accomplishments. His efforts were instrumental, he said, in getting funding for a future overpass at the intersection of Highway 9 and Highway 204.
“The county wasn’t paying attention. The state wasn’t paying attention,” he said. “So I made it my mission to go out and make sure they know who Lake Stevens is.”
His next big goal is to seek funds to improve or replace the U.S. 2 trestle.
Three other council candidates are running unopposed: Gary Petershagen, Brett Gailey and Marcus Tageant.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.