New Snohomish City Council member to focus on development

Jason Sanders

Jason Sanders

SNOHOMISH — After six rounds of voting and brief deliberation, the Snohomish City Council appointed its newest member.

Jason Sanders was selected Tuesday to fill former Councilman Zachary Wilde’s seat. Wilde resigned unexpectedly in December after he had moved outside city limits.

The council interviewed seven candidates for the job during a special meeting. Each candidate was first asked to introduce themselves, state their address and confirm they have lived within the city for at least one year.

The council voted six different times, trying to choose between Sanders, Dale Preboski and Stephen Dana. They ran out of ballot cards and had to track down more.

Sanders is a manager in business services at Puget Sound Energy, a company he has been with for 18 years. He is on the board of the Evergreen Health Monroe Foundation. He also has participated on the city’s economic-development committee for the past two years.

In speaking to the council, Sanders said he would focus on city growth and economic development. The largest driver for growth is zoning, he said. He hopes to identify areas in town where the city can bring in new businesses.

When asked about welcoming marijuana stores in town, he hesitated.

“I struggle with recreational marijuana sales,” he said. “There are things we still need to look at on the federal level.”

However, Sanders said he would listen to the needs of the community. If marijuana businesses benefit the city, “I would support that,” he said.

In addition to economic growth, Councilman Derrick Burke asked candidates about their views on residential, multi-family and high-density housing. Snohomish has an abundance of single-family homes.

All of the candidates agreed there was a need to expand housing options. Many were wary of high-density housing.

“You really need to be strategic and thoughtful” when looking at implementing high-density housing into Snohomish’s landscape, Sanders said.

Sanders has lived in Snohomish for 25 years and raised two sons. His youngest, 18, is a senior at Snohomish High School. Sanders taught 10 years of youth football and baseball, and was selected as president of the Snohomish Valley Junior Football Association.

Sanders’ appointment extends into November, when council elections are expected to be held. If he hopes to continue on with the two years left on Wilde’s term, he will have to file for the seat in May, Snohomish Mayor Karen Guzak said.

“I will do everything in my power to serve the community well,” Sanders said.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

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