Homelessness, Drug Abuse, and Public Safety
One of the biggest challenges we face is the heroin/opioid epidemic. I have met with several stakeholders, including law enforcement, medical professionals, school districts, the health district, churches, and community organizations on what the best strategies are to combat the heroin/opioid epidemic. Together, we must focus on (1) preventative efforts to reduce the amount of people entering the downward spiral of addiction, (2) connect those who are addicted with treatment options so that they can begin to reintegrate into society, and (3) work to give our law enforcement the tools needed to reduce property crime rates in our community. Below are some of the steps I have taken on these issues:
- Led the charge to ban heroin injection sites from Snohomish County – this proposal passed unanimously on a 5-0 vote with both Republican and Democrat support
- Worked with the cities of Arlington and Marysville along with the Sheriff’s Office to include a law enforcement-embedded social worker program in the county’s 2018 proposed budget – this program will team up police officers with social workers to work together to reduce homelessness, drug abuse, and property crimes in our community
- Worked with local churches and the Everett Gospel Mission on a MESH program which allows faith-based communities to take responsibility for caring for homeless individuals who have graduated from the Gospel Mission’s program and are working to reintegrate into society
- Drafted legislation in coordination with the Drug & Gang Task Force which will give our law enforcement more tools in cleaning up nuisance properties and removing squatters
- Worked with local school districts on youth drug abuse prevention efforts
Jobs and Economic Development
There are many exciting opportunities for Snohomish County in the area of jobs and economic development. I am a strong supporter of commercial air service at Paine Field. Not only will this spur economic development in the region, it will also provide a much-needed alternative to fighting the traffic down to Sea-Tac in order to fly within the U.S.
A fantastic opportunity for economic development in North Snohomish County is the Arlington-Marysville Manufacturing Industrial Center (MIC). In my capacity as Vice Chair of Snohomish County Tomorrow, I have been working with the City of Arlington and the City of Marysville to support a regional designation for the MIC. This regional designation is expected to be voted on in the coming weeks. The next step will be to work with the cities of Arlington and Marysville along with the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County to market the MIC to attract manufacturing businesses and create good-paying jobs. This effort is projected to create 20,000+ local, family-wage jobs over the next couple of decades.
The Budget and Fiscal Responsibility
I strongly believe that taxpayer dollars must be treated with the same care and responsibility as one would treat their own finances. I believe that county government must live within its means and that we should work to stretch each and every tax dollar in order to maximize efficiency. I will continue to advocate for a fiscally responsible budget which eliminates wasteful spending and avoids property tax increases.
Looking for efficiency in government is a critical component of fiscal responsibility and saving taxpayer dollars. I am proud to have voted in favor of the county courthouse renovation proposal as opposed to building an expensive new courthouse. This decision passed on a 3-2 vote and will save approximately $150+ million in taxpayer dollars.
Property Rights and Reducing Regulations
Overbearing regulations handed down from our Washington State Supreme Court have done a great deal of damage to property rights statewide and in Snohomish County. As your County Councilman, I have worked to fight against the excessive regulatory burden at the county level which negatively affects homeowners, farmers, and local businesses. It is unacceptable for government to be a barrier in building a home or operating a small business. I have worked and will continue to work with our state legislators to advocate for lessening the regulatory burden which exists and defending property rights for all constituents. I am honored to have received an “Outstanding” rating from the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights.
Traffic Congestion Relief
As we see an influx of growth into our region, it is essential that we prioritize traffic congestion relief. North Snohomish County was the beneficiary of some influential transportation funding from the state’s Connecting WA package that will bring significant projects to key areas. Some examples of projects which have already been funded at the state level include: I5/Highway 529 Interchange, 88th Street Interchange, 116th Street Interchange, 156th Street Interchange, and Highway 531. It will be important for city, county, and state officials to work closely to ensure that these projects are completed on time and within budget.
I would love to hear your priorities for Snohomish County. Please feel free to contact me at any time by phone at (425) 512-2120 or by email at email@example.com.