Editorial: Rasmussen, Scarboro for Monroe City Council

Endorsement: Jeff Rassmussen and Kirk Scarboro have used their first terms to the city’s benefit.

By The Herald Editorial Board

Tuesday, the editorial board began its endorsements for the city of Monroe’s mayor and council, recommending the reelection of Mayor Geoffrey Thomas and the election of challenger R. Todd Fredrickson to Position 1 of the council.

Continuing with our recommendations for Positions 3 and 7:

Position 3: Incumbent Jeff Rasmussen, who won election to his first term in 2013, is challenged by Jacob Walker, running in his first city election.

Walker, 20, is part of a youth movement in county politics. A Monroe High School graduate, he has completed a year at Bellevue Community College and his associate’s degree at Cascadia Community College with plans to continue his studies after taking the fall quarter off.

Walker’s youth shouldn’t be confused with inexperience. He has literally done his homework on the city’s economic development, completing his high school senior project on the city’s downtown redevelopment work. Walker followed the mayor and worked with city staff to document that effort, which he says has resulted in a revitalized downtown with fewer vacancies and greater small business opportunities.

Walker is well-informed on city issues, particularly regarding development, transportation, parks and social issues. Walker is especially supportive of the city’s work to send a part-time social worker with police patrols to connect homeless people and those with addictions to needed services, believing the program has improved the situation in Monroe.

Rasmussen, in his first term, has proved himself equally devoted to Monroe, particularly on youth issues, which he has made a focus of his career and council work.

Rasmussen, formerly a local bank executive, gave up that job three years ago to serve as director of the Monroe Boys & Girls Club. His experience in the community includes time on the city’s parks board, as Chamber of Commerce president, work with Monroe Rotary and Housing Hope, which has built about 60 units of affordable and supportive housing in the city. He also is the city’s representative on the Snohomish Health District board.

Rasmussen says he wants to continue the city’s work on economic development and is encouraged by Monroe’s new city administrator. He also supports the process the city is using to discuss redevelopment of the Cadman gravel pit as a park, as well as improvements at Lake Tye.

His financial career experience is of particular use on the council.

On transportation issues, Rasmussen said, the city can continue to lobby the state for improvements to the state highways, specifically for Highway 522’s bottleneck. But the city has work it wants to complete, he said, to extend 191st Street SE, improve the intersection at Blueberry Lane and N. Kelsey Street and consider a new east-west connector.

Rasmussen has been a leader on the Monroe city council and has earned the voters’ support for a second term. If Walker is not successful in this bid, Monroe officials should not hesitate to put his talents to work for the city in some fashion.

Position 7: Incumbent Kirk Scarboro, who won his first election to the council in 2015, is challenged by Kevin McDowell. Formerly an at-large position with a two-year term, the seat’s term is now for four years.

McDowell has worked for Microsoft for 17 tears. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Snohomish County YMCA’s Monroe branch, which speaks to his desire to serve his community.

McDowell showed himself to be well informed on Monroe issues, in particular economic development, parks and affordable housing.

Scarboro is retired from the U.S. Navy following a 28-year career that included service during the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars. He has lived in Monroe for 23 years, 17 of which he was employed by the school district, including time as a bus driver and as its transporation director.

Scarboro has shown himself as an advocate for city parks, including Lake Tye and the skateboard park and wants to hear the public’s ideas for use of the Cadman property. His school district work has provided him first-hand knowledge of the condition of city streets and the city’s traffic issues, which he has used to lobby for state funds for Highway 522.

Scarboro is supportive of the city’s new administrator and of the city’s recent efforts to promote economic development. On issues of homelessness and addiction, Scarboro said he has seen successful outcomes for homeless veterans in other communities in recent years and believes that those tactics and programs can be used to address the larger problem.

In his two years on the council, Scarboro has shown he merits election to a full four-year term.

Register to vote

New voters can register in person at the Snohomish County Elections Office until Oct. 30. For more information on registering, call 425-388-3444 or go to tinyurl.com/SnoCoVoteReg.

The county’s voter guide will be mailed Oct. 18. Ballots will follow Oct. 19.

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