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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Skagit CITY OF MOUNT VERNON Council Ward 1 Position 2

Term: 4 yrSalary: $7,200The City Council is the legislative body for the City. The Council adopts local laws (ordinances) to secure the safety and assist the well-being of the city residents, the city's physical environment and amenities, and the city economy. The Council is responsible for approving financial expenditures and adopting the city budget as well as establishing policies and regulations in order to guide the city's future. The elected mayor serves as chief administrative officer for the city.
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    Iris Cari­as (NP) Migrant Program Educator, Mount Vernon School District

  • Ken Quam (NP) owner Ken's Radiator Inc.

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Biographical Information

What are the issues surrounding your city/town's infrastucture?

How do you think your city/town could best respond to homelessness?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your city/town should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

What are other major issues facing your city or town?

Of those listed above, which one is the most urgent?

What methods will you use to work with the mayor (if you have an elected mayor) or the city manager or administrator(if you have an chief administrator hired by the council)?

Phone (360) 333-7836
Email voteiriscarias@gmail.com
Town where you live Mt Vernon WA
Experience (300 characters max) I have called Mt Vernon my home for 23 years. My work has included Family Liaison, Community Action; ESL Evening Adult Education, SVC; Nursing Assistant, Sunrise Services; Board Member Skagit County Child and Family Consortium, and Skagit Immigrant Rights Council. I'm a 1st time candidate.
We need more recycling stations. Some roads are in bad shape, like S. 6th and E. Section. Some railroad crossings are too bumpy. I hope we will be able to make water less expensive next summer. I am very happy about the downtown flood wall. With much of downtown removed from the river’s flood plain, development and renovation will be able to continue rapidly. Our new downtown fire station will also lower business insurance costs, as a fire engine will be closer. I would love to see Mt Vernon turning toward a more pedestrian/bicycle rider friendly city. We still have some farmland in Mt Vernon that should be protected.
Programs like Community Action, Friendship House and Phoenix Recovery need more support and we need more shelters. I believe City Council working together can find solutions. And, we must follow the action plan in the Skagit Council of Governments Housing Action Plan: Strategy 1 - Facilitate development of market rate and subsidized affordable housing Strategy 2 - Build local organizational capacity to develop subsidized affordable housing Strategy 3 - Address funding needs to support subsidized affordable rental housing development and operation Strategy 4 - Support housing rehabilitation and preservation Strategy 5 – Continue to support affordable homeownership development
As a former home care provider, I learned how senior citizens are sometimes isolated and lonely. We can work on providing transportation to our excellent Senior Center. This could be rides from volunteers, even during workdays. Further, it is cheaper for seniors to stay in their homes and get home care - both assisted living and nursing homes in Mt Vernon are more expensive than the national average. Finally, Meals on Wheels is great and must be preserved.
First, nationally we need comprehensive immigration reform and to preserve the DACA program. Young people, the "Dreamers" as they are called, were brought here many years ago and do not deserve to be kicked out! In regard to undocumented workers, I believe our county is well served by their hard work. Of course, any person who breaks the law must be held accountable. As a Latina I can tell you we have a good relationship with our Chief of Police. And, I hope, as a City Council member I will be a very strong advocate for *all* the people of Mt Vernon.
We need more jobs in downtown Mt Vernon. Having just passed the one year anniversary of the Cascade Mall shooting, my heart goes out to the families of those lost. And we are reminded of the need for more mental health resources. Finally, we need affordable housing.
The big issue in Mount Vernon is affordable housing. More housing will bring more employees, and more economic growth. The city council must facilitate housing development, for instance we can find funding to support the ability of non-profits to develop housing projects. If the housing is near transit and stores, like Riverside Drive and College Way this will be excellent.
One of my best strengths is communication. I will listen to her ideas. Whenever I can I will support her projects - she has been doing a great job. And I will study the information packet given to City Council members before every meeting so I can provide useful contributions to discussion, help the whole team brainstorm new ideas, and be a voice for creative consensus.
Phone (360) 421-5211
Email stopleak@aol.com
Town where you live Mount Vernon
Experience (300 characters max) current city councilman Ward 1 Mount Vernon, mayor's representative community action, mayor's representative Skagit Transit, public works committee chairman 2 years
buildable land availability and affordable housing
We are already in the process of obtaining housing for them. We revisited our city's comprehensive improvement plan and made improvements regarding this and many other problems.
The council is supportive of the senior center and meals on wheels. We are also conscious of them when any tax increases are proposed.
I think we are doing the best job we can.
public safety, drugs, homelessness
All are a priority
As a current council member I feel we have good communication between all parties.

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