New mayor, new vision | Mayor's Message
In this new year of new beginnings, I reflect on the tremendous changes the past few years have brought for me and for our city.
For me, 2013 was a great one – I got engaged, moved to a new house and the voters in my hometown elected me mayor!
Last fall, I promised that I would bring new energy and ideas to the mayor’s office. In this first of a series of monthly columns, I would like to share my vision and priorities for the path ahead.
Louisa Fowler Sinclair is among the many interesting people who helped shape Mukilteo.
The first child of a settler born in Snohomish County, she was a pioneer and a business woman, helping take care of her father’s store. Louisa used to say she was the most popular girl in Mukilteo – for a time, she was the only girl in town!
Louisa led the way, defining what it meant to grow up in Mukilteo.
My life growing up here more than a hundred years later has been quite different, but I’m proud to also be a pioneer of sorts, in Mukilteo, as the first woman to lead our city as mayor!
I am excited to reach out to our schools, encouraging girls to pursue leadership roles. I have had many great role models in my life, and I want to also give back and be an example.
I was delighted to have my first grade teacher, Mrs. Rowena Miller, in attendance at my swearing-in ceremony last Saturday. She opened up opportunities for me and made me believe I could do and be anything.
Every girl in Mukilteo should have that same sense.
A new vision
I am excited to make Mukilteo a beacon of innovation, optimism and sustainability.
We have built a strong foundation: Our budget is balanced and we have a wonderful team of public servants that come to work each day motivated to make this city great.
But our world is changing, and it is up to us to lead with innovation, or just be swept along.
Our City Hall was the first LEED Gold public building in our county. Mukilteo has shown that good environmental stewardship can enhance our local economy and set a good example.
With changes coming to the waterfront, we must re-envision this amazing space as a place for our residents, not just a transportation hub for the state.
For the first time in generations, we have the opportunity to give this land back to the people, and once again make Mukilteo’s waterfront a gathering place for people from near and far.
Realizing this vision of a safe, vibrant and sustainable city will not happen overnight. I would like to outline a few steps I intend to take immediately to launch our city in this new direction.
Our city has already been a leader in sustainability, but we can’t rest on our laurels – we must focus on continuous improvement.
That is why I am forming a Green Team, with city staff from every department, to help identify innovative strategies for making our government a better steward of the environment.
Efficient delivery of services means we should always keep looking for the best ways to get the job done.
I have heard loud and clear from citizens that our current pavement strategy is not working. So, I have suspended our chip seal program, to allow time to consider alternatives, costs, and quality.
Paving our streets is one of our most basic city functions, and we should get it right.
I am also committed to using our existing tools to tackle challenges in new ways. One of these challenges is domestic violence.
Our crime reports show that, on average, more than one person a week is arrested for domestic violence in Mukilteo. That is more than twice as many arrests as we see for DUI, with little attention from the media or public.
I have asked our acting police chief to increase our city’s efforts to support victims and connect them to services that they may not even realize are available. Protecting our most vulnerable citizens is a task I take seriously.
Our waterfront will be a hub of change in the next few years, but I have plans for its near future, as well!
I expect that you'll be beachcombing at Edgewater Beach – legally – this year. I have directed our staff to take immediate steps to establish pedestrian access as soon as possible.
We will also continue to partner with the Port of Everett to open up vehicle access by next year.
Soon, we will finally own Japanese Gulch! Mukilteans should be proud stewards of this land, the hundred acre wood our families can hike, bike and play in for generations to come.
New challenges will face us: former Mayor Joe Marine expanded opportunities for volunteerism in Mukilteo, and that legacy must be the foundation for caring for the gulch.
This year, I will lead our city government to focus on sustainability: aligning our budget with our goals and priorities, respecting our environment as a resource for our children, and empowering residents, businesses and city staff.
I expect that you'll reach out to me with your ideas and concerns. I pledge to keep listening – I'll be visiting your door and I hope you'll be ready with ideas for me.
Together, let’s make Mukilteo a sustainable beacon in our region!