The health of our economy depends on the success of our local businesses. It is vital that we give our businesses the support and resources they need to thrive. That is how we will keep and grow local jobs and a tax base that will support the services our town needs. Tax revenue from our businesses support our local infrastructure, schools, and emergency services, among other important efforts, and local jobs are important to our area's families.
While it is critical that we encourage a thriving economy, we must manage our growth thoughtfully or we risk losing the distinctive character that makes our town so special. Keeping our families in our town, maintaining walkability, and preserving our town history are essential if we are to avoid becoming “Anytown, USA”. We need smart, proactive city planning to ensure that our community can continue to take pride in its history and celebrate its traditions.
Snohomish has always been home to hard-working families with strong values and a deep sense of community. We help our neighbors, take care of our children, and look after our elders. Snohomish has been a great place to live and raise a family for generations.
Snohomish is growing. While this is exciting to see, and great for our economy, we must ensure that our city remains affordable for the working families and seniors who call Snohomish home. The City Council must employ smart city planning and forward-thinking decisions to keep utilities and housing affordable.
Snohomish, like the rest of the region, is dealing with an increase in homelessness, opioid addiction and theft. As a small town we only have so much in resources we can devote to these problems. Our region, however, has many organizations and other levels of government that are involved in addressing these growing problems. Our city needs to work closely with them in order to combine forces and maximize the results of our communal efforts.
One great part of living in Snohomish is being able to walk to our local parks, the Farmer's Market, and the Historic Downtown district. Recent increases in traffic highlight the need to preserve walkability in our town so our community members can safely walk for exercise and as a means to get to work and to all the wonderful things our town offers. We need to make sure opportunities for physical activity and connection to community are available to our kids and families so they are healthy for years to come.
Much of our economy is based upon the characteristics of our town that are special. We enjoy unique community events such as Kla Ha Ya Days and the Easter Parade and they draw many visitors and tourism dollars to our town. We should continue promote these traditions, as they are part of our community identity. Creation of similar events brings the opportunity of starting new traditions. Our town thrives on the sense of community and the influx of business these types of events bring, and such events encourage connections between the city and the region at large.
Our city should actively promote tourism, as it is such a big part of our town's identity and economy. We have not devoted resources to such promotion in the past and doing so would benefit the entire community. There are some fiscally responsible options available to the city to support tourism, and I would like to see these options explored further.
There has been a lot of concern about transparency and accountability in our city government. Some good steps have been taken to act on these concerns, but there is still more to be done. Our city council meetings are not the best format for conversations with our elected leaders because there is no chance for dialogue. I believe our citizens would like to have a more informal and interactive method for speaking with our council, and I would like to offer issue-based town halls. In addition, I will be available for "Council Coffee" for small group conversations.
As your council member, I will act on your concerns based on your votes, when that information is available. In other instances, I will base my decisions upon what I know of your concerns and your opinions, and will act in your best interests. I will always put your interests and the interests of our city first.