Lynnwood’s city council can make significant improvements in its performance after this election. With three seats up for grabs, voters have excellent choices in the race for each of the council positions.
The best choices are to keep Lisa Utter and to add Martin Nelson and Ruth Ross.
In her first term, Utter proved herself able to maintain good judgment and a quiet, intelligent presence on an often-bickering council that needs more of her approach. She has learned a great deal while focusing her attention on issues involving the environment, neighborhoods, streets and parks. In the race for position 1, she faces an impressive opponent, Dave Lewis, who brings a lifetime of experience and an excellent understanding of the city. But there’s no good case to be made for replacing Utter.
In the race for position 2, Nelson brings an extensive background in dispute resolution for the construction industry, where he has built a career with a wide variety of experiences. The ability to work through difficult issues as a mediator could be of immense value on a council that has seen its share of conflicts. His opponent, Stephanie Wright, also would likely help bring calm to the council, but the first-time candidate seems certain to have other political opportunities.
In running for position 3, Ross, a city employee, is seeking to make a switch to the council. Her dedication to a fairer, more objective approach to discussion of issues should combine well with her background as a resident and employee. Her well-matched challenger is Craig Spicer, founder of the Meadowdale Neighborhood Association. Spicer’s campaign has focused on encouraging more neighborhood involvement and neighborhood associations and paying closer attention to their concerns, including traffic issues.