Q&A: Round 2 for final Mukilteo mayoral candidates

Oct 09, 2013

Incumbent Mayor Joe Marine and Councilmember Jennifer Gregerson are vying for Mukilteo’s top job in the November election.

As before the primary, The Beacon asked the candidates to answer a questionnaire that focuses on their roles in the mayor’s office. Each of them also will offer closing comments.

Ballots are scheduled to be mailed on Oct. 17. See the first part in a City Council candidates Q&A series under the "News" tab.

Here are our three questions.

1. Does Mukilteo need a full-time mayor and a full-time city administrator? Why or why not?

2. Why shouldn't voters elect your opponent as mayor of Mukilteo?

3. Closing comments.

The following are their answers. -Ed.

Joe Marine

Full-time mayor

Yes, I believe Mukilteo deserves a full-time mayor and a full-time city administrator. The mayor and the city administrator are very different positions.

The administrator's role is to handle the day-to-day operations of the city while the mayor's role is to be a voice and represent the city in matters locally and regionally.

In my opinion, this couldn't be done effectively while running the day-to-day operations or in a part time capacity.

I chose to serve for nearly two years full time at a part-time salary to move the city forward. A salary review commission agreed the mayor's position should be full-time and the City Council voted to approve this measure.

Now the city of Mukilteo has a clear voice in the county and the region. Other cities in our region with a full-time mayor also employ a strong second in command.

Lynnwood calls the position assistant administrator, with a $107,678 salary and mayor a $95,617 salary, totaling $203,295.

Edmonds’ mayor has a $115,474 salary and its second community services economic development director a $139,606 salary, totaling $255,080.

Mukilteo’s mayor has a $70,800 salary and city administrator a $118,755 salary, totaling $189,555.

Let's keep Mukilteo moving forward!

Your opponent

As the mayor for the past eight years, I have provided leadership and results for the city and it is my goal to continue moving Mukilteo forward.

My accomplishments have included an online information and tracking system of all city wide projects.

To help citizens understand the budget process, our finance director created ‘The Budget Calculator.' Any citizen can go online, look at the budget process and create their own budget scenario.

I also helped foster the eight-week program, ‘Citizen’s Police Academy.'

In addition the multimodal waterfront improvement projects are no longer being talked about, they are well underway: The transfer of 20 waterfront acres from the Department of Defense is complete, the ferry will be moved, Sound Transit station is under construction, a parking garage is planned and working on funding, Lighthouse Park is renovated, Rosehill Community Center built and recreational programming continues to grow, Big Gulch trails were connected for pedestrian recreational access and Japanese Gulch is closer to being purchased.

During my tenure, staff and citizens have had increased access to the mayor’s office, I have attended numerous ribbon cuttings and grand openings of local businesses, and have been a champion and a voice of Mukilteo.

Closing comments

I am proud of the accomplishments achieved while serving as your mayor in one of the worst recessions in our history.

Mukilteo received a AAA rating by Standard and Poors, one of only five cities in Washington state, plus our city was ranked No. 9 by Money Magazine.

I am a big proponent for economic development by supporting aerospace manufacturing and opposing commercial passenger service at Paine Field.

I am a strong voice for Mukilteo and our region by serving in multiple leadership positions, including chairman of Community Transit and vice president of Association of Washington Cities and president of Snohomish County Cities.

My goals are to continue opposing commercial flights at Paine Field because of the importance of aerospace manufacturing.

Paine Field, generating close to $20 billion a year, is one of the highest revenue-producing airports in the world and Boeing is the largest manufacturing facility in the world.

The aerospace industry is vital to our region, and we can't take it for granted, but need to preserve and expand it.

If you like the leadership I provide and the direction I've led our city, then I ask for your vote in November to keep moving Mukilteo forward.

Jennifer Gregerson

Full-time mayor

Mukilteo needs a full-time mayor, but when the mayor’s salary was increased, we should have eliminated the full-time city administrator. It just makes sense.

We shouldn’t be spending more than $260,000 (salary plus benefits) on two executives to do the same job.

Just look at our neighbors: Everett, Lynnwood and Edmonds all have full-time mayors but do not have a full-time city administrator.

I will cut overhead and prioritize the services we need from the executive department. We should have a human resources manager – our employees deserve it.

We need professional guidance in hiring: the missteps in hiring our public works director recently have made that clear. Mukilteo needs a mayor that will bring us professional support and end these types of mistakes.

I also think that if we had made this change years ago, we may not have had to raise taxes each year. I’ve pledged to take a break from the tax increases.

Your opponent

Voters should elect me because I’m committed to Mukilteo and uniquely prepared: I’ll bring my University of Washington education in city planning, my strong relationships with our neighbors, and a new energy, vision and leadership for the city.

We should be advocating for improvements that will actually help Mukilteo: access to our entire waterfront right now, a ferry terminal that works for Mukilteo and not just ferry commuters, grants for sidewalks for our kids, and an open-minded look at efficient and effective services.

My opponent will waste time advocating for a road through Japanese Gulch (a road off of Seaway Boulevard that would go through the gulch). The city of Everett doesn’t want this highway in their city; the state of Washington doesn’t have the money or interest in it.

I’ll work on things that will make Mukilteo better right now. I will re-examine chip seal, and make sure we only apply it where it works on city streets.

We should consider other methods: every year except one, there has been only one bidder on our chip seal contract. I think there’s a better way.

Closing comments

My 10 years of experience as your councilmember has been quite an education. It’s taught me that we need a fresh perspective and new priorities in the mayor’s office.

I’m asking for your vote to be the next mayor of Mukilteo so I can bring a clear, new vision to this important role.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

• I want to strengthen our connection to our schools: The Mukilteo School District is a key part of what makes our city great.

• I want to make sure we're providing public safety services in the most efficient and effective way. I won't let my ego get in the way of finding the best solution or examining opportunities.

• I will be your voice on the issue of commercial air service at Paine Field: We need to preserve Paine Field for aerospace manufacturing and Boeing. I created our Paine Field defense fund and have voted to replenish it over the years. I want to also strengthen our support for aerospace in Mukilteo. We should expand the aerospace innovation zone to include the major employers and areas in our city, not just on the other side of the airport.

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