2 terms is enough

By Kevin Stoltz, Mukilteo City Councilmember | May 08, 2013

This year Mukilteo voters will be deciding who they want to represent them as mayor and three city council positions.

Next week is filing week when the incumbents and anyone else wishing to run officially apply for the position. I don’t plan on being one of them.

After two terms (eight years) on the Mukilteo City Council, I’m “retiring.” It takes four votes to make decisions on the council and frankly, the level of apathy and ambivalence on the council combined with a willingness to accept without question the recommendations of the mayor and/or his staff has convinced me the separation of powers between the mayor’s office and the council is severely out of balance.

Out of the gate, there are two councilmembers who will pretty much go along with anything that comes from the mayor and if there’s any doubt, will definitely vote against two other councilmembers, myself being one of them. They’re not up for re-election for another two years.

Council members Steve Schmalz and Jennifer Gregerson are running for mayor, so clearly they’re not happy with the influence the mayor currently enjoys over the council. With me, that makes three.

That leaves two potential “swing” votes on the council. Recently, those two votes have made me realize I’m spinning my wheels on this council and, although I have accomplished a great deal, I have higher expectations for Mukilteo than what I expect we’re going to see in the short term.

And now, for the stranger-than-fiction story this month.

After losing a $1 million federal grant for a pedestrian overpass to improve public safety, the mayor is working hard to get a $1 million state grant for the same purpose. Noticeably absent from his efforts are support of a Mukilteo park-and-ride just off of SR-525 at Bernie Weber Drive.

At a recent joint Mukilteo City Council and Port of Everett meeting the mayor made a point of the effort he’s going through to acquire the state grant for the pedestrian bridge, but there was no mention of money for a park and ride.

Even though, as it turns out, Sound Transit has the budget now to lease space for additional parking where none currently exists. (Hint: park-and-ride).

At a recent Mukilteo Chamber of Commerce meeting the mayor again made a big deal about the pedestrian overpass but failed to mention the park-and-ride.

Why would the mayor deliberately omit a Mukilteo park-and-ride from his public presentations? Guess who teamed up with the county and wrote the park-and-ride grant application after working with Mukilteo officials seemed to be going nowhere? Me.

Please join Councilmember Steve Schmalz and myself for our monthly Council Chat this Thursday, May 9, from 7:30pm-8:30 p.m. in the Rosehill Room at the Rosehill Community Center. Bring your questions, comments, compliments and criticisms.

You can also contact me at kstoltz@ci.mukilteo.wa.us or the entire council and mayor at elected@ci.mukilteo.wa.us.

The preceding feature is published the second Wednesday of each month for The Beacon and is the opinion of Kevin Stoltz and may or may not represent the views of the Mukilteo City Council.

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