By The Herald Editorial Board
With a little more than a week before ballots must be returned to the Snohomish County Elections Office, a rainy Sunday offers an opportunity to dig out your ballot, grab a voters guide and consult other sources of information — such as the list below of endorsements by the editorial board — before you mark and submit your ballot.
Ballots — signed and dated on the outside — can be returned by drop box up until 8 p.m. on Election Day, or can be mailed, but must be in a post office collection box before the last pick-up time on Election Day, to be postmarked on time.
For more tips, and links to other election information, see The Herald’s Oct. 13 editorial online at tinyurl.com/2021ElexInfo.
The Herald Editorial Board has made endorsements in select races in Snohomish County. Full endorsements can be found online at www.heraldnet.com/tag/editorials/.
Advisory votes Nos. 36, 37 and 38: Unlike actual advisory votes — votes taken prior to action by a government body — the three tax “advisory” votes don’t require action by state lawmakers and serve no function. As the editorial board has advised before, these votes are little more than opinion polls. Both the ballot language and the voters guide are lacking in context or detail on how the revenue from the tax will be used. Voters see only what is generally being taxed and what the tax is estimated to raise over a 10-year period, but aren’t told where the money is going, beyond “government spending.”
Don’t waste the ink on voting yes or no.
Council Council, District 1: Nate Nehring, Republican: Among Nehring’s accomplishments is his effort to create the Regional Apprenticeship Pathways program, which seeks to guide high school students into training and jobs in construction and similar trades. Nehring also stands out for his commitment to a working relationship with the rest of the council, including its three Democrats.
County Council, District 4: Jared Mead, Democrat: Mead, who served a two year term in the state Legislature, recognizes the county’s problems with homelessness, poverty, limited mental health services, and a continuing opioid addiction crisis. Mead also has advocated for reasonable proposal for increased revenue to address those issues. Mead has worked closely with Nehring, demonstrating his commitment to bipartisan action.
County Council, District 5: Sam Low, Republican: Low has taken a leadership role on the council on transportation issues, noting past and ongoing work on the county’s major arterials to secure state funding for design work that should lead to construction funds in an upcoming transportation budget.
City of Edmonds
City Council, Position 1: Alicia Crank: On housing and other issues, Crank has expressed a need for action by the council but balanced with transparency and inclusion of community consultation and discussions. Crank has notably led some of that discourse through a virtual discussion series.
City Council, Position 2: Will Chen: Chen displays a temperament and ability to support his positions while respecting others’ views that is needed on a council that sometimes experiences division and contention among its members.
City Council, Position 3: Adrienne Fraley Monillas: Fraley Monillas has nearly 12 years of experience on the council from which she can draw and has fostered working relationships with other officials inside and outside the city.
Edmonds School Board
Director, District 2: Melissa Stepp: Stepp has followed her filing for office with research and discussions that should make her a capable member of the school board with an interest in listening and representing her community.
City of Everett
Mayor: Cassie Franklin: Among the first to take bold action at the start of the covid-19 pandemic, Franklin also has shown leadership on affordable housing and homelessness and on the city’s structural budget deficit, working to cut costs while preserving services. Franklin, in her nearly four years as mayor, has had to make unpopular — but necessary — decisions to prepare and move Everett forward. Voters should reward that vision and grit with a second term.
City Council, District 1: Paul Roberts: Roberts is able to draw on a lengthy track record of past experience and leadership on the very issues that are at the top of the city’s list to resolve in the coming term, including transportation, housing, the city budget and climate change.
City Council, District 2: Paula Rhyne: Rhyne’s ability to identify with and represent the city’s younger families and residents is needed on a council with mostly older representation.
City Council, District 3: Don Schwab: Schwab, who is retired after 30 years with the Everett Fire Department, impresses with his history with the city and community and an ability to see various angles and avoid unintended consequences for certain actions. Schwab would bring a fresh perspective but also experience to his district and the council.
City Council, District 4: Liz Vogeli: Vogeli has distinguished herself at times as the dissenting voice on the council, taking on the job of assuring that issues are fully discussed and that her concerns, particularly on affordable housing, are considered by the full council. At the same time she has demonstrated an ability to work as part of a council team.
City Council, District 5: Ben Zarlingo: Zarlingo has extensive community service on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Association and the neighborhood’s action committee, work that will serve him well in representing his district as will previous work on city-wide issues of zoning and the comprehensive plan.
Port of Everett
Commissioner, District 4: Scott Murphy: Murphy, who has served on Everett’s City Council since 2013, would bring his council experience and financial expertise to provide a higher level of transparency to the proposals and discussions that come before port commissioners.
Everett School Board
Director, Position 3: Caroline Mason: Mason has been a strong voice for the district’s development of career-oriented programs at its high schools. As well, she worked with the rest of the board and district administration to assure students were well-served in terms of technical needs, district-delivered meals and more during remote learning, work that has now shifted to a return to classrooms that can make sure students can get back up to speed.
Director, Position 4: Traci Mitchell: Mitchell, in addition to working diligently on the board during the pandemic, expanded her responsibilities to assist with the return to classrooms by volunteering with the county health district’s vaccination program. In past years, Mitchell has been active in the district’s bond and levy campaigns and has taken her duties toward students, parents and community members seriously.
City of Lynnwood
Mayor: Christine Frizzell: Frizzell, who has served on the city council since 2017, during a discussion with the editorial board prior to the primary election, Frizzell stressed the importance of engaging other regional municipal and county leaders in shared concerns, including housing and climate change. Frizzell is best-suited to continue the outgoing mayor’s success in leading a vibrant and growing city.
Lynnwood City Council, Position 1: Nick Coehlo: Coehlo, whose service to the city includes time as chairman of the city’s parks and recreation board and the South Lynnwood Neighborhood Co-Design Committee, would provide support for municipal and business development, key to supporting living wage jobs and improving Lynnwood’s overall quality of life.
Lynnwood City Council, Position 2: Patrick Decker: Decker’s knowledge, community ties, his past work with the planning and civil service commission and the council’s earlier selection of him to fill a vacancy on the council the tie and give him the endorsement.
Lynnwood City Council, Position 3: Joshua Binda: Binda’s youth should be seen by voters as an asset to the council and the city, especially when considering the educational, work and community service resume that he has developed in a relatively brief time. Binda would add to council discussions of issues and would provide needed generational and cultural diversity to the council.
City of Marysville
City Council, Position 1: Cindy Gobel: Noting incumbent council member Jeffrey Vaughn’s long service to the council and city, Gobel shows an interest in attracting more business and tourism to the city and would provide a balance of past experience and a fresh perspective on issues useful as the council confronts its issues.
City Council, Position 2: Mark James: James has worked well with the rest of the council and the mayor and helped lead a city that is using its growth to meet the city’s challenges while running a lean and efficient local government.
City Council, Position 3: Tom King: King has proved his worth on the council and has multiple ties throughout the city, including time on the city’s and the county’s parks boards, the city’s library board, and eight years as a volunteer firefighter. His insight and experience also served the city during the switch to a regional fire district. Sadly, his challenger, Kevin Gallagher, died earlier this month, though his name remains on the ballot.
Marysville School Board
Director, District 1: Ray Sheldon, Jr.: Sheldon has been attending school board meetings for seven years and frequently participates in public comment periods and has kept up with board actions and initiatives. While he has not served in elected office before, has served his tribe, community and county on numerous commissions.
Director, District 3: The editorial board made no endorsement in this race. The candidate on the ballot, Sherry Weersing, did not return requests for an interview.
Following publication of its endorsements for the Marysville School Board, the board learned the current board member, Keira Atchley, is running a write-in campaign to retain her post. Atchley was appointed to the position’s vacancy in July, but after the May deadline for filing for office. She has filed with the county as a write-in candidate.
Director, District 4: Vanessa Edwards: Edwards, during a tumultuous past year, which included a meeting at which antimask and antivaccination protesters disrupted the board’s proceedings with window pounding, shouted expletives and one individual rushing the dais as the board left the room, has worked to improve communication and trust with parents and community members.
City of Mukilteo
Mayor: Jennifer Gregerson: Gregerson has worked with her fellow mayors in Everett, Lynnwood and Edmonds to seek regional solutions to issues of housing, homelessness and drug addiction and shown purpose and determination in pushing for a housing needs assessment and the housing action plan that accepts Mukilteo’s regional responsibility to accept some of the growth that is coming to the county.
Mukilteo School Board
Director, District 2: Judy Schwab: After nearly 24 years of service on the board, Schwab’s continued enthusiasm for her work on the board in the service of district students merits a seventh term.
Director, District 4: Jayme Lee Vail: Vail has been active in the PTA and on a PTA board and as a classroom volunteer since her eldest child started school in 2012. She has worked to add to her personal knowledge of Mukilteo’s schools, consult with others in the district and approach the position from her “mom” perspective.
City of Snohomish
Mayor: Linda Redmon: Redmon, currently president of the city council, using her leadership role on the council and her efforts to learn the ropes of municipal governance, is qualified to lead the city and open up discussion that are necessary to mend rifts that have developed in the city.