Mukilteo needs change to prosper | Letter

Oct 23, 2013

Editor, The Beacon:

After watching the candidate forums, I’m convinced Mukilteo will not prosper for our residents unless voters chose to make a change.

In the mayor’s race between incumbent Joe Marine vs. Councilmember Jennifer Gregerson, only Jennifer has what it takes to get us to a financially sustainable city that also values the safety and quality of life that brought most of us here in the first place.

Joe walked into the job as Mukilteo mayor eight years ago, having no opponent, and more than doubled his salary and created an environment at City Hall where, in his words, “you’re basically in sales” (May/June 2012 issue of CityVision Magazine).

Jennifer, on the other hand, is smart and will bring a collaborative working environment to City Hall.

In my experience as a councilmember, you can disagree with Jennifer and still come to a consensus. If you don’t agree with Joe, and he can’t “sell” you to his way of thinking, it rarely ends well.

Jennifer came across much better in the mayoral debate and had solutions and accurate answers. Joe’s answers were inaccurate and misleading, especially those related to annexation.

In the race for the council position I’m vacating between Terry Preshaw and Ted Wheeler, I support Terry for my position on the council. I’ve known Terry for many years and know her to be smart, educated (an attorney), and a community volunteer and advocate.

After watching Terry’s performance at the two candidate forums, it became clear to me Terry has a better understanding of city issues than most of the sitting councilmembers.

She’ll ask the questions that need to be asked and is more than capable of working with the council to achieve consensus in the decision-making process.

The remaining two council positions up this year have challenger Fred Taylor running for incumbent Randy Lord’s position and challenger Bob Champion running for incumbent Richard Emory’s position.

I like both Randy and Richard, but a strong factor in my decision not to run for a third term is because there were indications the mayor has been successful in selling his opinion to them and that they didn’t bother to get the other side of the story.

I regret not getting to know both challengers Fred and Bob’s political positions better by now, but after attending both candidates forums, I’m convinced Mukilteo needs a council that does its job independent of the one-sided influence of the administration. Both these gentlemen can do it.

I really like Fred’s vision that we need to re-evaluate our vision. Mukilteo has changed and the visions of yesterday are no longer relevant to the challenges we face today.

Fred also states that he is “incorruptible,” and I believe it. I think he will bring a level of experience and expertise to the council that we are missing.

Similarly, I believe Bob has the skills and experience necessary to make Mukilteo a better place.

Bob has a practical and realistic view of the challenges before us, and I was especially impressed with his explanation and emphasis of the importance of keeping aerospace jobs in our region.

Kevin Stoltz,

Mukilteo City Councilmember

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