Building a better city: Mayor’s vision for sustainability | Mayor's Message

By Jennifer Gregerson | Aug 13, 2014

Sustainability has become a new buzzword in both the public and private sector. Here at City Hall, we are working to create a practical vision of sustainability that helps us build a better city for all of our residents.

The simplest definition of sustainability focuses on how we use resources and how we plan ahead.

In today’s modern world, our society is using more resources than ever before, and we aren’t planning for the future. From global oil supplies to a ballooning national debt, leaders are making decisions that are penny wise but pound foolish.

While the city of Mukilteo cannot reverse global trends by ourselves, we can take practical steps to be better stewards of our resources.

For my administration, our philosophy of practical sustainability revolves around three core principles: better budgeting, thoughtful planning and setting a good example.

Better budgeting

One of the most important resources the city manages is the taxpayer dollars we are entrusted to spend.

Ensuring that we budget prudently and deliver essential services, like public safety and parks, in a cost-efficient manner should be our highest priority.

This fall, I will present my first budget as mayor, and ensuring the financial sustainability of our city will be my top priority.

I have recently hired a new finance director, and his first big task will be to help revamp our budgeting process to focus on key indicators of fiscal health and accountability.

Thoughtful planning

For those who know me well, it will come as no surprise that I am committed to better urban planning in Mukilteo.

I received my master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Washington, and positioning Mukilteo as a leader in how we plan for the future is a priority for me.

We know our region is growing, and our community is changing. We will have to prepare for an aging population and more residents, all at the same time.

The cornerstone of this work is our upcoming Comprehensive Plan update, which will guide our city in the years to come.

I hope that you will take part in the public outreach about our Comprehensive Plan, as this is our community’s shared vision for the future.

Leading by example

Mukilteo’s most recognizable feature is our historic lighthouse, which has literally been lighting the way for over a century.

Inspired by this metaphor, I want our city to be an example of how other organizations can become more sustainable in what we do every day.

I am proud to report that the city’s new Green Team has already met several times to consider ways that we can reduce waste and inefficiencies in our own operations.

From buying more fuel-efficient fleet vehicles to eliminating harsh chemicals in our cleaning products, we are leaving no stone unturned as we look for creative ways to set a good example.

Taking practical steps to become a more sustainable community is not just the responsibility of City Hall – we all have a role to play. If we all work together, we can leave future generations a city that is better than the one we found.

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