Arlington is a fantastic city; it is why I spend so many hours ensuring we protect the character and charm of our town even as we face unprecedented growth. We live in one of the fastest growing regions in the country. As your Mayor, I have witnessed first-hand our collective spirit and strength. Whether it’s recovering from a fiscal crisis, a natural disaster, or a pandemic. It has been my privilege to guide our city through these challenges and continue moving forward together.
The region is growing rapidly and we are responding to the requests that are coming our way. People want to live in great communities with good educational assets. We are seeing requests for development because our land values are relatively low compared to other areas in Puget Sound and our quality of life is high. Many people view this as a place where they can afford to live, have a great quality of life, and get a great education for their kids. It is important we plan as a community for inevitable growth, protecting our small-town charm and improving our neighborhoods while welcoming new community members. I am focused on continuing to expand our gathering places like the addition of the Hometown Holiday carousel and ice-rink, improvements in our parks with added amenities such as restrooms in Jensen Park, additional gathering places with a Smokey Point Community Park, and a food truck court near the Airport.
As we attract family-wage employers to our Manufacturing Center, we can envision our students and youth being able to stay in the community they grew up in and avoid soul-crushing work commutes. We can have more diversity of housing types without threatening our single-family neighborhoods. I encourage you to work with us to plan the best possible future for our great city.
I will continue to focus on keeping our community safe. We have developed tools for our police to fight challenges created by alarming drug abuse and declining mental health. Our approach is showing great progress even with the challenges of the State Legislature’s public safety reforms. We will continue to meet these issues head-on with crime prevention tools and community policing programs. Our approach combines compassion and accountability by utilizing social workers to bring humane solutions to those who wish to escape from homelessness and drug abuse. In the last year several years, many homeless men, women and children have been housed through the combined efforts of the Embedded Social Worker and the Arlington Community Resource Center. We have partnered with the Center for Justice Social Work to have expert support for navigation of our mental health systems.
Our successful fiscal stewardship has resulted in budgets that live within our means. We have defined and continually update a 10-year financial plan. We continue reduced the city debt and are investing in our city with public safety by adding police officers and technology, as well as expanded transportation systems including trails and roads. We are performing replacement and maintenance of aging roads, police equipment, and have acquired the funding to widen 172nd with design work completed and construction to begin 2024.
My goals for the next four years include:
- Public Safety – continuing to work with regional service agencies for resources and advocate for State laws that support police officers and deter crime.
- Infrastructure Investments – building upon the funding we have successfully secured, such as the widening of SR 531 (172nd Street), to prioritize traffic congestion relief.
- Quality of Life – advancing activities which help us engage as a community and support our local businesses.
Our city has great strength and I have strong relationships within the region to ensure we are ready to face the challenges of the future. With your support, I will continue the leadership necessary to move forward together. I ask for your vote on November 7th.