SULTAN — Bracing for projected growth, alleviating traffic and fostering a tight-knit community are priorities for Sultan City Council candidates. There are four positions up for election in November.
City Council Position 2
Former City Councilmember Marianne Naslund and current Councilmember Stephanie Aldrich are vying for Position 2 on the Sultan City Council.
Both candidates prioritize completing infrastructure improvements in anticipation for the city’s growth and finding creative solutions to ease traffic.
Naslund brings a background of working with City Hall and the school district.
Naslund served on City Council from 2014 to 2017, was the Sultan Public School Employees Union chapter president from 2015 to 2018 and the Sultan High School Parents Association president in 2010 and 2013.
Throughout her tenure, Naslund said she prioritized “anything that gets family and friends out of the house connecting and networking with other members of the community.”
She began organizing the Sultan Shindig street fair in 1997 and still does so today.
If elected, Naslund said she wants to prioritize finding ways for locals to get around town without using U.S. 2.
“I really really really, can’t stress enough, I want to find an alternate route from Sultan Basin Road to downtown Sultan so you don’t have to get on Highway 2,” she said.
Naslund also wants to draw more businesses to Sultan so residents don’t have to leave town for as many shopping needs.
Aldrich also said she would prioritize responsible growth, “Where the city continues to have growth, but isn’t out of control,” she said.
That includes making sure water and sewer infrastructure is up to the task, she said.
Aldrich was appointed to city council in 2018.
If re-elected, she plans to prioritize sidewalk improvements and getting a more permanent embedded social worker in place to team up with police.
Aldrich said she wants Sultan to remain a tight-knit community despite growth.
City Council Position 4
Sultan native Calei Vaughn is facing off against former Councilmember Kenneth Marshall for Position 4 on the Sultan City Council.
Vaughn said planning for growth is a priority, while Marshall would like to see downtown Sultan revitalized.
Vaughn said her 10 years of experience in executive leadership, including as the director of Snohomish County’s Carnegie Resource Center through contractor Pioneer Human Services, will allow her to find common ground among people during decision making.
“One of the issues I’m most passionate about is social justice and equity as opposed to equality,” she said. “How can we kind of leverage what we have to set everyone up to a position where they can contribute and feel like their voices are heard?”
Vaughn said she thinks Sultan’s infrastructure will buckle under rapid growth. She hopes to strategize infrastructure improvements and market Sultan to businesses so residents don’t have to leave to shop.
Marshall served a partial term on the City Council from 2012 to 2014. If elected, he said he wants to look at how to make Sultan “more user-friendly.”
That could mean bettering U.S. 2 or bringing more business to town so residents drive less.
“Those are real items that need to be addressed,” he said. “Everybody in the valley is frustrated with it.”
Marshall said he’d also like to focus on making downtown Sultan more attractive to small businesses.
“There’s a lot of small-business owners that are looking to start a brick and mortar,” he said. “We have to give everyone driving on the highway a reason to stop.”
City Council Position 5
Joe Neigel is running for City Council Position 5 unopposed. The prevention services manager for the Monroe School District has held the position since 2010. In his submitted campaign statement, Neigel said he prioritizes living within the city’s financial means, working to lower crime rates and investing in infrastructure.
“The City of Sultan has something rare compared to most cities around our State: a highly functional, respectful and responsive elected government – all working for your best interests, instead of our own,” Neigel said.
City Council Position 7
Jeffrey Beeler is running unopposed for City Council Position 7. He has held the position since 2009. In his submitted campaign statement, Beeler said he hopes to leverage tax dollars to improve the city’s roadways. He also hopes to lobby the state for better management of U.S. 2.
“As a small-business owner, I understand what it means to live within a budget and plan for the future, which is something I will continue to do for our community by managing our tax dollars efficiently and effectively,” Beeler said.