With 450 ballots left, Snohomish mayor change barely failing

SNOHOMISH — A bid to change Snohomish to a strong-mayor form of government is failing by the narrowest of margins — just eight voters out of more than 4,000 cast.

That’s not even enough people for a regulation basketball game.

Proposition 2 recommended a change from the current council-manager form of government to a council-mayor form. The most current election results showed 49.90 percent supporting the measure and 50.10 percent against. It needs a simple majority to pass.

One week after the election, about 450 ballots have yet to be counted, said Garth Fell, elections and recording manager at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office. Voting results are expected to be finalized Nov. 29.

Snohomish Mayor Karen Guzak spoke out regarding her opposition to Prop. 2. The squishy lead makes her nervous.

“They say patience is a virtue. I’m trying to be as virtuous as I can under the circumstances,” she said.

During her time working with Snohomish city government, she said she has observed a well-run and successful system. She does not see the need for a change.

John Kartak, a member of the committee advocating for Prop. 2, says his primary goal has been accomplished. He wanted people in Snohomish to have a say in their local government.

“No matter how this goes, Snohomish wins. Snohomish has had their voice and that was our biggest goal,” Kartak said.

The City Council planned Tuesday evening to discuss the steps that would need to be taken if Prop. 2 passes. The council was expected to consider how to stage the special election that would be required to pick a new mayor, how to pay for it, and the legal work that goes into restructuring a local government. But none of that would happen if the measure continues to narrowly fail.

Guzak said the city will be prepared for the transition if the measure passes.

Local measures such as Prop. 2 are not subject to an automatic recount if the final tally is close. Instead, the committees supporting and opposing the measure will have the opportunity to request a recount once the votes are certified, Fell said.

The recount cost would be on the requester’s dime if the outcome does not change, Fell said. Last year’s recount of the Lynnwood City Council race cost about $2,500. Fell expects a recount of Prop. 2 would cost more because there are simply more ballots to review.

Auditor Carolyn Weikel said recounts on local measures are rare.

Both Guzak and Kartak said they are waiting for the final results before making any decisions.

Kartak is looking forward to the end of the election. Once the results are finalized, he said it is time to redirect the city’s focus to other important tasks.

“It’s going to be a time when maybe some of the hurt relationships can be healed,” Kartak said. “The next thing the city needs to focus on is the four council member positions coming up for election.”

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

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

HRT Rescue Technician Andy Toyota gives the thumbs-up to crew members in the Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue helicopter shortly before takeoff during an interagency training session held by Northwest Regional Aviation on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at the Arlington Airport in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
From around state, authorities simulate ‘terrorist attack’ in Arlington

Teams from King County, Snohomish County and elsewhere converged for a multi-faceted scenario Thursday at the Arlington Municipal Airport.

Two couples walk along Hewitt Avenue around lunchtime on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett businesses say it’s time the city had its own Chamber of Commerce

The state’s seventh-largest city hasn’t had a chamber since 2011. After 13 years, businesses are rallying for its return.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

5 Snohomish County sisters accused of $1M fraud scheme

For two years, the women used online return postage to get gift cards, then returning the physical items to a brick-and-mortar store, charges say.

FILE — Michael Whitaker, Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, testifies before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Feb. 6, 2024. Whitaker told a Senate panel, on Thursday, June 13, 2024, that changes are being made to the agency’s oversight of Boeing, including conducting more safety inspections. (Anna Rose Layden/The New York Times)
Boeing discloses new quality problem on 787 Dreamliner jets

The issue affects jets built in South Carolina that have yet to be delivered, the company said in a statement.

Alvin Cooper (Photo provided by Marysville School District)
After allegations, Marysville schools’ HR director resigns

Last week, the district’s finance director Lisa Gonzales publicly called for the school board to put Alvin Cooper on leave, citing mismanagement.

Leslie Davis, left, and Lyndsay Lamb, twin sister stars of HGTV's "Unsellable Houses" and 2004 Snohomish High School graduates, donated a private design session to the school's auction fundraiser for their 20-year reunion. (Photo provided)
Got $2,000? Bid on face time with HGTV’s ‘Unsellable Houses’ twins

The sisters are offering up themselves in a fundraiser for their Class of 2004 Snohomish High 20-year reunion.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.