New Paine Field challenge

Mukilteo Mayor Don Doran has taken matters into his own hands, saying that Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon isn’t moving fast enough to study expansion at the county airport, which Doran hopes to eventually prevent.

Doran, who opposes commercial jet service at Paine Field, has written a document he hopes to have signed by all cities surrounding the airport. It would legally formalize the county’s position of discouraging expansion of commercial service.

“There’s got to be a starting point” to the discussion, Doran said.

The county has operated under an agreement signed in 1978 that discourages commercial air service from coming to Paine Field.

A contentious debate continues, however, about what that agreement, called a mediated role determination, means for Paine Field. But one thing is clear: Under federal law, the county can’t ban commercial service at the airport.

When Reardon met with opponents of expansion in Mukilteo on May 5, he said he would consider an agreement to permanently seal the county’s position against airport expansion.

Doran presented his version of such an inter-local agreement to the Mukilteo City Council last week. If the council approves the document on Monday, Doran plans to forward it to the county and the other cities surrounding the airport.

Reardon spokesman Mark Funk said it may turn out that an inter-local agreement is appropriate after further study. “We certainly haven’t seen a copy of what the mayor’s doing,” Funk said, adding that the county will review it when it arrives.

Doran has grown impatient because Reardon at the May 5 meeting agreed to create a committee to review the 1978 agreement. Reardon said he would appoint Doran and Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson as co-chairmen of the committee.

So far, there have been no meetings, and Doran said Reardon has not officially asked him to sit on the committee. Reardon did call Stephanson.

Doran also said he’s running out of time to deal with the issue of commercial service at Paine Field because his term as mayor ends at the end of the year.

Funk said Reardon would likely meet with both mayors within the next two weeks. He said Doran would be invited to stay on as co-chairman even after he steps down as mayor. He said both mayors will have a significant role in shaping the committee.

“The mediated role has not been reviewed for 27 years,” Funk said. “This is an important issue for Snohomish County. It’s not one we should be rushing into.”

Reardon said in an earlier interview that he hopes the review panel will assess all the arguments surrounding commercial flights at Paine Field, including potential economic benefits as well as fears that expansion would destroy communities and lower home values.

County Council President Gary Nelson said the council is waiting for airport director Dave Waggoner to report on the feasibility of building a terminal for commercial jet service before the council takes a position on such service.

The report will be finished in one to two weeks, Waggoner said. He previously announced some details of the study, including that a terminal that could accommodate two 70-seat jets at once would cost $3.2 million.

The mediated role, as written in 1978, encouraged air taxi and commuter service, but strongly discouraged expanding supplemental and charter air passenger service.

Herald writer Jeff Switzer contributed to this report.

Reporter Lukas Velush: 425-339-3449 or

Talk to us

More in Local News

Cars move across Edgewater Bridge toward Everett on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, in Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edgewater Bridge redo linking Everett, Mukilteo delayed until mid-2024

The project, now with an estimated cost of $27 million, will detour West Mukilteo Boulevard foot and car traffic for a year.

Lynn Deeken, the Dean of Arts, Learning Resources & Pathways at EvCC, addresses a large gathering during the ribbon cutting ceremony of the new Cascade Learning Center on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at Everett Community College in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
New EvCC learning resource center opens to students, public

Planners of the Everett Community College building hope it will encourage students to use on-campus tutoring resources.

Everett Police Chief Dan Templeman announces his retirement after 31 years of service at the Everett City Council meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett police chief to retire at the end of October

Chief Dan Templeman announced his retirement at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. He has been chief for nine years.

Boeing employees watch the KC-46 Pegasus delivery event  from the air stairs at Boeing on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in Everett, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Boeing’s iconic Everett factory tour to resume in October

After a three-year hiatus, tours of the Boeing Company’s enormous jet assembly plant are back at Paine Field.

A memorial for a 15-year-old shot and killed last week is set up at a bus stop along Harrison Road on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Teen boy identified in fatal shooting at Everett bus stop

Bryan Tamayo-Franco, 15, was shot at a Hardeson Road bus stop earlier this month. Police arrested two suspects.

This photo provided by OceanGate Expeditions shows a submersible vessel named Titan used to visit the wreckage site of the Titanic. In a race against the clock on the high seas, an expanding international armada of ships and airplanes searched Tuesday, June 20, 2023, for the submersible that vanished in the North Atlantic while taking five people down to the wreck of the Titanic. (OceanGate Expeditions via AP)
A new movie based on OceanGate’s Titan submersible tragedy is in the works: ‘Salvaged’

MindRiot announced the film, a fictional project titled “Salvaged,” on Friday.

Mike Bredstrand, who is trying to get back his job with Lake Stevens Public Works, stands in front of the department’s building on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Lake Stevens, Washington. Bredstrand believes his firing in July was an unwarranted act of revenge by the city. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens worker was fired after getting court order against boss

The city has reportedly spent nearly $60,000 on attorney and arbitration fees related to Mike Bredstrand, who wants his job back.

Chap Grubb, founder and CEO of second-hand outdoor gear store Rerouted, stands inside his new storefront on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023, in Gold Bar, Washington. Rerouted began as an entirely online shop that connected buyers and sellers of used gear.  (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Used outdoor gear shop Rerouted finds a niche in Gold Bar

Seeking to keep good outdoor gear out of landfills, an online reselling business has put down roots in Gold Bar.

Naval Station Everett. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)
Everett man sentenced to 6 years for cyberstalking ex-wife

Christopher Crawford, 42, was found guilty of sending intimate photos of his ex-wife to adult websites and to colleagues in the Navy.

Most Read