Some changes can/cannot be made | Letter

Oct 30, 2013

Editor, The Beacon:

Many believe, as I do, that it is long past time for a change in Mukilteo government. Unfortunately, not much can be changed for the better at the mayor level.

Joe Marine has engineered many millions of dollars in spending. For 17 years, we will feel the pain of paying the bonds and costs he has been able to engineer. Spending passed by council candidates he recruited and helped get elected to have the necessary four-vote council majority.

Yet, the city is unable to pay for needed streets, safety and other city services. I wrote a Guest View in The Beacon about a few of those expensive undertakings last week [“It’s time for change,” Opinion, page 4, Oct. 16]. Jennifer Gregerson who is now running against him initiated and/or voted for all of them.

Jennifer made the motion to demolish the former Rosehill and build the new community center, which will cost taxpayers more than $18 million over 20 years, plus about $400,000 annual loss to run the facility. She made the motion to borrow 100 percent of the cost at the depth of the recession.

She won her first council seat through the substantial efforts of her Friends of the Community Center co-members who wanted total restoration of Rosehill, costing millions less, while saving its gym and tennis courts.

She promptly turned on the Friends by supporting Joe Marine’s focus to turn our community center into a wedding reception venue nearly every weekend for a year in advance since it opened. Another significant use is by local businesses holding meetings and luncheons.

Now, as a candidate for mayor, Jennifer says she would appoint a committee to determine how Rosehill can better support the needs of Mukilteo’s residents. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Jennifer has no experience running an organization like our city. She wants to terminate our city administrator, taking on all those duties herself.

No other city our size in Snohomish County has a full-time mayor. They all realize the need for experienced professional management under a part-time mayor. I reluctantly will vote for Joe as the least undesirable choice.

But, we can make a change in Mukilteo government by electing new councilmembers to replace those who support Joe Marine’s agenda while failing to meet citizen priorities.

Mukilteo needs to stop spending what is left of its once huge cash reserves and stop imposing new and increased taxes. Joe can only do what the council approves.

Joe previously prompted his friends, including Ted Wheeler, to run for council to make sure he had council approval for all his significant proposals. The other councilmembers sit there, unable to gain support for anything they seek to do differently.

I intend to vote for an entirely new slate of councilmembers. I’ll be voting for Terry Preshaw to avoid putting another councilmember into Joe Marine’s voting block.

We need to change how our city is being run to get our budget in balance without more taxes and address residents’ priority needs.

Charlie Pancerzewski,

Mukilteo

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