Snohomish’s former mayor made many missteps

A recent letter to the editor asked proper credit be given to those who saved Snohomish’s Carnegie building. I understand the emotion the letter writer has seeing former mayor John Kartak’s name on a plaque at the city’s newly remodeled $4 million weddings events center; instead of the name, Melody Clemans.

But in the big picture, that pales in comparison to all the boondoggles and missteps in the last four years of the Kartak administration.

Kartak wanted to spend $24 million “to make Second Street like First Street.”

Kartak hand-picked 13 citizens, mostly from the real estate development industry, to form the “Midtown Task Force” and charged them with a recommendation to the city planning commission that they allow five-story mid-rise, multi-family buildings; just like you see now on 132nd St. SE at Mill Creek’s East Gateway. (Thankfully, the planning commission shot down that bad idea on Jan. 5; potentially saving the intense redevelopment of Snohomish Square, the trailer RV park off 14th Street, Safeway shopping square, and the Panther Shopping center.)

Kartak in early 2019 tried to intervene in the naming process for the Pilchuck Julia Landing which had overwhelming public support to honor the iconic Snohomish Indian woman; instead he wanted to change it to honor the city attorney’s brother.

But Kartak’s biggest misstep was to side with his police chief, Lt. Keith Rogers, in defending the armed, drunken, white supremacist vigilantes that took over Snohomish’s downtown streets on May 31st, 2020; permanently staining Snohomish’s reputation as a welcoming, progressive city for all.

Morgan Davis


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