MUKILTEO — Although voters here will decide a mayoral contest, council races and a local tax measure, the political fireworks have been ignited by the campaign of businessman Peter Zieve.
Zieve, 63, is challenging City Council President Bob Champion in the Position 2 race.
Zieve’s campaign signs not only include his name and the slogan “For families,” they also sport stapled-on cardboard messages.
One notes that Zieve has a wife, six children, and his company, Electroimpact Inc. has 764 employees. It has a zero for Champion, 62, in each of those categories.
Champion’s response: “Given that I have no children, and I’m not the owner of a business, I have much more time to work for the citizens of Mukilteo.”
Another Zieve sign alleges that Champion and Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, 39, are romantically involved, a charge both have denied.
A local group, Mukilteo for All, is opposing Zieve, who last year tried to prevent a mosque from being built in the city and this year settled with the state after the Attorney General’s Office alleged he discriminated against employees of his company.
In a campaign brochure, Zieve criticizes the city’s spending on lawsuits that aimed to prevent commercial airlines from operating at Paine Field. Zieve also questions construction of Peace Park to commemorate the killings of three young adults and injury to a fourth in a 2016 mass shooting.
“This park needs to be stopped,” he said in his campaign literature.
Champion said that the city needs to focus attention on trying to lessen effects as work continues on the new $134.7 million ferry terminal, scheduled to open in 2019.
“This will be a total transformation of the city’s waterfront,” he said, not only with the opening of the new terminal but also the planned new building for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center’s Mukilteo Research Station and the city’s plans for a new park.
Gregerson is seeking a second term as mayor. She is being challenged by Dan Matthews, 67, a technical consultant for Boeing in pilot instruction and training.
If re-elected, Gregerson said she wants to ensure that the city achieves its plans for waterfront redevelopment, including a promenade and room for new businesses. She also wants to see the Harbour Reach corridor project — a new road to connect Harbour Pointe Boulevard SW with Beverly Park Road — come in on time and on budget.
She said her personal goal is to find ways to continue the Mukilteo Strong community work that arose after the mass shooting. One example is an event called Middle School Madness, scheduled Dec. 8 at the Rosehill Community Center. Its goal is to provide kids “a good, safe, place to have fun,” she said.
Matthews said he thinks he can add school resource officers, at least one police officer for evening patrols, and find a home for a senior center while running on a promise of no new taxes. One of his first steps would be to have a comprehensive audit.
“We’ll drive down costs,” he said. “Employees will be efficiently used. We’ll find out what the priorities of the community are and which things we can put on the back burner.”
Mukilteo is one of the few communities of its size not to have a senior center, he said. He thinks a new center could be paid for through a collaboration between the city and others in the community.
The Position 1 city council race between Anna Rohrbough and James Yoo will determine who will replace Ted Wheeler, who opted not to seek re-election.
With the new ferry terminal, Rohrbough, 44, said she thinks the city needs a clearer vision of what it should look like in 20 years. “We need to get strategic about economic growth and stability,” she said.
Yoo, 76, said he feels the city’s biggest issue is traffic congestion on Mukilteo Speedway and ferry commuter traffic. He wants a study group including citizens, city planners, and the state Department of Transportation to focus on mitigating traffic issues.
Tony Markey and Sarah L. Kneller are seeking the Position 3 seat, now held by Randy Lord, who decided not to seek re-election.
Kneller, 31, said the city’s most pressing issues are managing its growth, mitigating traffic problems, and creating more safe pedestrian walkways.
She also would like to find more ways for the city and the school district to work cooperatively on issues such as youth suicide.
Markey, 49, said the city needs more fiscal discipline to curb unbudgeted expenses. “I can tell you many of the consultants we tend to hire are outside our budget,” he said.
Voters also will decide if they want to add one-tenth of one percent to the retail sales tax to pay for road, sidewalk, trail, and bike way improvements.
The tax would expire after 10 years. Tim Eyman, who has filed a number of statewide anti-tax initiatives, has led the opposition. The tax is projected to raise about $294,000 a year.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; firstname.lastname@example.org.