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Snohomish County City of Lynnwood Council Position 7

The 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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  • Candidate picture

    Shannon Sessions

  • Candidate picture

    Shirley Sutton

Biographical Information

What experiences have you had that qualify you for this position?

How would you describe your vision for your city?

What are the obstacles in the path of achieving your vision?

What do you think is your city/town’s role in dealing with issues surrounding the environment?

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

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

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

How would you propose the council communicate with the citizens of your city or town?

Phone (425) 478-6524
Town where you live City of Lynnwood, WA
Experience (300 characters max) I am running for re-election to another 4-year term because more than ever Lynnwood needs councilmembers who have strong leadership skills, high integrity and common sense. Lynnwood needs leaders who are truly invested in the wellbeing of our fast growing, robust, diverse and vibrant community.
I’ve proved to be a discerning, authentic leader with common sense. I’m invested in the wellbeing for all in Lynnwood’s fast growing, vibrant and diverse community. Appointed by my peers as the Council’s Vice President in 2018; led engagement with youth, elders and businesses; and helped make us a Veteran-Friendly City. Professional: US Air Force Veteran, firefighter, Enterprise newspaper editor, Police Public Information Officer, small business owner, Exec. Dir. of NPO Support 7 serving victims of trauma at times of crisis. Community Stakeholder: Meadowdale HS graduate, UW Bachelor’s Degree Communications/Journalism and resident of Lynnwood for more than three decades, my husband and I of 26 years raised five children in the Edmonds School District. Servant’s Heart: Longtime Lynnwood Rotarian. Countless years volunteering with schools, children/adults with disabilities and our church. Lifetime Member of VFW Post 1040 and an advocate for Lynnwood’s Hero’s Café and NW Veteran’s museum.
I want Lynnwood to be a regional model and create and nurture a love of community. Grow our downtown core to be vibrant, safe, robust and sustainable, a place where we want to engage and share with our friends and family while still protecting our established neighborhoods and being fiscally responsible.
To avoid obstacles, such as our ongoing traffic issues, we need to continue to do all we can to prepare our streets, infrastructure and our residents for these upcoming changes. We have been planning ahead with our city’s strategic plan for years. Building regional and state relationships to help with grant funding and other shared resources. Removing obstacles in our downtown core so that we are more inviting, and ready for thriving larger, community-minded industries with family-wage jobs to build their businesses and bring creative, sustainable innovations to our city where their employees can work, live and play all in Lynnwood.
Everyone has a stake and is responsible for improving our environment, not just the city government. As leaders we also need to use common sense and weigh carefully what is financially responsible when making these decisions. It’s in the city of Lynnwood’s best interest to make it as easy as possible for our residents and businesses to make wise choices when it comes to decreasing their own individual “foot print.” Also, it’s important to educate our youth on this since they are our future. Lynnwood has already been doing this for years. Just a few examples, tree voucher program, recycling benefits, storm water education, “Clean and Green” neighborhood events, spring and fall cleanup events, rain garden initiative, green event policies, ordinances and more.
We are unique in that we are at the crossroads of two of our largest freeways I-5 and I-405. We also are planning for the positives and negatives of being one of the only cities with Light Link rail arriving, and “ending” for the foreseeable future, in our city. We already have a lot of traffic and this isn’t going to decrease, we need to be able to manage this better and smoother as we are required to grow. Part of our strategic plan takes these imperative traffic needs and other infrastructure below ground level into consideration. Along with adding new streets, the city has been planning for a lot of this for the past 20 years, but it’s a fluid process and making sure we are growing wisely, not just quickly is critical.
The homeless issue & opioid epidemic, along with other addictions, are a heartbreaking, complicated topic not just for Lynnwood, but for the county and the state as well. The last thing I want is Lynnwood to start to look and behave anything like Seattle. I am an advocate for the “Compassion With Boundaries” philosophy. This is where we lead with COMPASSION by walking alongside individuals who are homeless and struggling; removing barriers and connecting them with specific needed resources so they can help themselves. BUT if they still refuse the help, we should provide BOUNDARIES required to make the city safe for all residents- that means enforcing laws we already have, not tolerating continued pan-handling, illegal drug use, camping, indecent exposure, nuisance, theft & other crimes. This isn’t just police responsibility, but also other city departments and YOU, our community members. We need our general public to be aware and educated so YOU can be part of the solution as well.
I don’t feel it’s the responsibility of city government to enact regulations and/or policies on immigration laws, nor do we have the authority to do so. With that said, all members of our community deserve to feel safe and secure in their homes and in their community. We, as Lynnwood leaders, have said we are committed to being a welcoming and inclusive city that is safe for all those that live, work, play, go to school and do business in our community. In Lynnwood, our diversity is honored and celebrated. As we have communicated before to the public, Lynnwood is committed to being pro-equity in city practices and governance through our actions, processes and decisions. We will continue to serve and protect all members of our community, and we will not tolerate acts of hate, discrimination, harassment or bias.
Getting more resident feedback is a key challenge for councils/boards everywhere. We have to keep trying creative ways to engage. I am known for being transparent & approachable & have always been pro-actively involved in our public events & other meaningful & inclusive outreach. In my first term on Council, I coordinated the first “Conversations With The Council” town-hall-style meeting. In addition, our city’s communications dept. does a great job giving residents ways to be engaged and give feedback to the City Council, Mayor and staff. We have vast opportunities of intentional communications: Printed newsletters, electronic newsletters, website, social media (variety of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube profiles) We also have printed posters, utility bill stuffers and more. The one thing we don’t have that I have been a major advocate for is a digital reader board outside city hall that would consistently and persistently communicate current events to our residents.
Phone (425) 742-9398
Town where you live Lynnwood, WA
Employed in corporate management for 20 years in settling personal injury claims, negotiated labor relations grievances, worked as a passenger representative, developed homeless programs to serve youth and their families, directed alternative school for incarcerated youth, Parent trainer for parents on youth substance abuse, conducted diversion programs for gang involved youth.

Trained Dispute Resolution Mediator for small claims court cases Directed educational programs for 10 years in K-12 and 13 years in post-secondary institutions. Served in multiple volunteer positions for the City of Lynnwood since 2001.
I share a City of Lynnwood vision of being a welcoming city for all resident. I see an exceptional, vibrant, diverse, inclusive city with the most modern array of housing, clean and safe parks. Families and residents enjoying the downtown corridor and expanded services that are now part of the Lynnwood Convention Center.

Tourists traveling to Lynnwood to seek, this modern, exciting location and become part of the environment, if only for a day.
The city is rapidly changing before our eyes, so we must prioritize the needs that our residents desire.
To be environmental conscious, to reduce our carbon footprint. Exchanging our fossil fuel vehicles for hybrids. Locating charging stations for electrical cars. Support policies that ensure the construction of solar, leed based buildings.
Now beginning to upgrade the wastewater and sewer facilities and other infrastructure maintenance.
Cities must unite in order to effectively reduce this expanding need and support agencies that provide direct services to this clientele. Our city is expending money, staff time in patrolling areas that are not visible to the general populations, cleaning up homeless encampments, removing needles from parks and personal items left behind. There is also a Social Worker that who accompanies police officers to sites where our non-shelter individuals may be and connect with them to assist with their needs.
Cautiously. I served on the first city immigrant taskforce to connect with individuals on how to build a relationship between police department and our immigrant populations. Our police department had an ICE agent office in their department and this caused uproar within the city and also with many individuals in the community. Town hall meetings were held, community fears increased and the city had to make some corrections in order to diffuse the situation.
This is a huge issue that is discussed between council members and staff. We have held off site meetings to accommodate residents, but few attend. We need to hear the voices of our residents and encourage residents to attend the council meetings to voice their concern.

Currently, we distribute information to the public via emails developed by our public relations staff, through issues of Parks and Recreation magazines; publish a City newsletter and more. This is an issue that we will continue to address.