Tough fiscal approach is key

With a series of budget cuts that were caused by questionable planning as well as the recession, Lynnwood’s City Council faces more than its share of challenges.

Most of the poor planning, we believe, is fairly laid at the feet of an administration that was overly optimistic, less than forthcoming with financial information, or both. Those who win this year’s four council races will likely have to grapple with more budget challenges, but mustn’t lose sight of the city’s still-considerable potential as a vital economic center for south Snohomish County.

Our endorsements:

Position 4: We endorse the capable Loren Simmonds’ bid for a fourth term. Simmonds is a thoughtful, even-tempered leader who understands that changing economic conditions are forcing the city to shift to a “new normal.” He emphasizes the need for partnerships going forward, using government as a catalyst to bring a variety of people, ideas and resources together for the common good. He also argues for using neighborhood councils as venues for fostering new ideas from the ground up.

His challenger, Michael Moore, offers little other than vague references to city government living within its means.

Position 5: Given the city’s difficult financial position, Ed dos Remedios’ considerable background in finance is something the council can’t afford to lose right now. Since being appointed for a second time last year, this time to replace Stephanie Wright, dos Remedios has chaired the council’s Budget Task Group, and is acutely familiar with the city’s fiscal challenges. Despite that, he remains optimistic about Lynnwood’s long-term potential. The tools he acquired working as a chief financial officer in the private sector will be invaluable assets as the council navigates through the city’s budget challenges.

His opponent, 34-year-old Benjamin Goodwin, is an impressive first-time candidate who has clearly done his homework on city issues. A recent political science graduate from the University of Washington, Goodwin works in the Costco buying department. He has plenty to offer in the way of intelligence and passion, but would face a steep learning curve. If he doesn’t win, we encourage him to seek other ways of gaining community leadership skills, then trying again for public office.

Position 6: In a close call, our nod goes to the challenger, Sid Roberts, over the incumbent, Ted Hikel, who is seeking a fourth consecutive term and also served two terms in the 1970s.

Roberts would bring positive people skills to a council that has seen more than its share of rancor through the years, and a solid business background as a real-estate broker. He has worked hard to get up to speed on city issues since applying for the council position that went to dos Remedios last year, and would bring a conservative fiscal philosophy that’s clearly needed.

Hikel has served ably, both on the council and on numberous civic and regional boards. If he wins, he’ll no doubt make positive contributions. We see Roberts as a bright, positive addition with a fresh approach that would be welcome.

Position 7: The incumbent, Jim Smith, was a voice of caution before the city’s budget outlook started its dive, and his warnings have largely been vindicated. He was against constructing a new rec center, for example, calling instead for a less expensive, affordable remodel. We strongly endorse him.

His challenger is Van AuBuchon, an information technologies contractor and longtime city resident. He says Smith is driven too much by a personal political agenda. It’s true that Smith has been at or near the center of some sharp battles over the years, but he’s also a savvy council member who asks tough questions — a net plus, in our view.

Van AuBuchon is a thoughtful candidate with useful skills, but he hasn’t made a compelling case for replacing the proven Smith.

Talk to us

More in Opinion

Migrants trying to reach the United States, set up a camp in Lajas Blancas, Darien province, Panama, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)
Fact check: No, migrants aren’t getting $2,200 a month from U.S.

A viral tweet by Rep. Lauren Boebert is a zombie claim that started in 2006 in Canada.

Patricia Gambis, right, talks with her 4-year-old twin children, Emma, left, and Etienne in their home, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in Maplewood, N.J. Gambis' husband, an FBI agent, has been working without pay during the partial United States government shutdown, which has forced the couple to take financial decisions including laying off their babysitter. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Editorial: Shutdown hits kids, families at difficult moment

The shutdown risks food aid for low-income families as child poverty doubled last year and child care aid ends.

Editorial cartoons for Thursday, Sept. 28

A sketchy look at the news of the day.… Continue reading

Randall Tharp’s month recovery coins after battling a fentanyl addiction.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Fentanyl crisis should force rethinking of approach

A continuum of care, that includes treatment in jails, is imperative, says a journalist and author.

Sen. June Robinson, D-Everett, left, and Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, right, embrace after a special session to figure out how much to punish drug possession on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, in Olympia, Wash. Without action, Washington's drug possession law will expire July 1, leaving no penalty in state law and leaving cities free to adopt a hodgepodge of local ordinances.  (Karen Ducey/The Seattle Times via AP)
Editorial: Robinson smart choice to head Senate budget panel

A 10-year legislative veteran, the Everett senator displays a mastery of legislation and negotiation.

Covid response skeptics mastered critical thinking

A recent Herald editorial reflects what is off with our mainstream mindset… Continue reading

Arlington Mayor Tolbert knows value of city’s youths

As a recent Arlington High School graduate (Class of 2020) and a… Continue reading

Comment: End of pandemic child-care aid will expose huge problem

Putting even more of the costs of child care on parents will mean many employees will opt out of jobs.

Comment: No act of God, disasters a collision of human failures

The climate changes caused by greenhouse gases are compounded by poor decisions and inaction.

Most Read