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Snohomish County City of Mukilteo 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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    Joe Marine

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    Kristina O. Melnichenko

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) 343-2460
Town where you live Mukilteo
Experience (300 characters max) Mukilteo Mayor 2006–13; Community Transit Board 2009–13, Board Chair 2011–13; Sound Transit Board 2009–11; Association of WA Cities Vice President 2013; 21st Legislative District Representative 2001; Mukilteo City Council 1998–01
With the help of so many, as Mayor of Mukilteo, I moved long-dormant projects from discussion to action. Together, we built a new Rosehill Community Center and a new City Hall. We acquired 98 acres of property to preserve Japanese Gulch, secured the Tank Farm property for the ferry terminal, and renovated Lighthouse Park. We started online tracking for the city’s planning department and created the Citizen’s Police Academy. For the first time ever, Mukilteo received a AAA bond rating by Standard and Poor’s and was ranked twice by Money magazine as one of the top ten small cities in America—a ranking we'd never had before. We did all of this during one of the worst downturns in our economy, and when I left, we still had close to 40% of our operating budget in reserves.
Mukilteo is the best place to live in Puget Sound. With its strong support for community, we must continue to preserve our natural green spaces, facilitate an environment for volunteer opportunities, and promote cultural events.
Our city needs someone with proven leadership experience and results, who can put you before self-interests. Nothing gets done without trust, good and objective information, intelligent and fair discussions. Let’s continue to move MUKILTEO FORWARD!.
We partner with both the Alderwood and Mukilteo water/sewer districts to control storm water runoff and reduce its pollutants to protect the marine habitat in Puget Sound, and we continue to preserve and maintain our many natural green spaces and gulches like the 98 acres that I helped secure in Japanese Gulch.
Funding for maintenance of existing roads and pedestrian spaces. Mukilteo is one of the only communities in Snohomish County without a Park & Ride lot; considering that Mukilteo is the largest vehicular ferry run in Washington state, this must be addressed.
We continue to partner with state and local agencies and local non-profits to ensure services are available to those who find themselves without a safe place to call home. For those who are also suffering from mental illness and substance abuse, I would discuss with our law enforcement professionals the need for an embedded social worker.
Immigration is a Federal issue and not under the authority of city government.
We should reestablish quarterly Mukilteo City newsletters to all households and businesses within the city limits. We should invest into enhancing online search and archival capabilities on the city website.
Address Mukilteo, WA
Phone (425) 905-9038
Town where you live Mukilteo
Experience (300 characters max) No elected experience
My professional experience in large and small companies, data analysis skills, and business and political education have prepared me to meet the opportunities and challenges of a growing & evolving economy in Mukilteo. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the UW in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Policy Studies. I am currently a Precinct Committee Officer with the Democratic Party (Mukilteo 10), and worked heavily on the 2018 midterms to get out the vote and support numerous candidates and initiatives including Initiative 1631, work for which I received the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington’s 2018 Campaign Heroine award for that work. My family came to America from the Soviet Union and pursued & achieved the American Dream because of my mother’s belief in the democratic institutions and rules that leveled the playing field in the U.S. and made the American Dream possible- I’m proud to run representing those values.
Mukilteo has the opportunity to maximize the potential benefits of economic growth and evolution if the outdated tax code that relies too heavily on non-business taxes is updated to reflect the opportunities and challenges of our time. The 2019 Adopted Mukilteo City budget projects a 9% growth in business taxes while non-business taxes grow by 2.3%, driven by an 11.6% increase in property taxes. But the growth in business taxes has a negligible effect on the overall budget because that is only 10% of the total tax revenue. The result is revenue growth is not keeping up with the growth of expenses- and Mukilteo residents are already down a Ladder Truck for the Fire Dept. as a result. Maximizing the benefits of growth, and equitable distribution of the benefits of growth, are not guaranteed. Mukilteo deserves a City Council that is focused on equitable long-term solutions. With my education, passion for data, and political awareness I am confident I can help us go in that direction.
The passage of a City business & occupation tax would require a ballot measure after being approved by the City Council, so it has been exciting speaking with voters about this issue. In speaking with Mukilteo residents & voters, City Council members, and business owners, I hear that this City is ready for an update to its tax structure. Potential future obstacles mirroring those faced by Initiative 1631- e.g. big companies spending large amounts of money to spread misinformation- can be met with voter awareness and education. Mukilteo has the opportunity to be the place to stay, eat, and play when traveling for business through Paine Field airport, but homeowners and visitors should not cover the increased costs that are the results of business done in Mukilteo. To reap the benefits of growth while preserving the quality of Mukilteo, the City needs a tax code that charges companies the cost of doing business.
As a coastal community Mukilteo must honor and respect our coastal community and neighbors by enacting policies that actively drive the preservation and protection of our ocean and its inhabitants. At the City level with regards to the ocean, Mukilteo can regulate naval traffic and pollution and have an effective tax structure that doesn’t subsidize costs of doing business that include pollution. As a coastal community, the City of Mukilteo has the opportunity to educate the youth in our public schools on the benefits of a healthy ocean just as coastal cultures have done traditionally. I believe that values, leadership, and policy matter. If I were to represent the City I would fight to stop naval sonar testing by working with local coastal cities and NOAA to enact regional regulations prohibiting the practice. In addition to the health of our oceans, our source of energy is of the utmost importance- as a candidate I would not support the expansion of reliance on fracked natural gas.
Lack of affordable housing and high traffic areas are persistent issues for Mukilteo. While road expansion is occurring this summer of 2019 and with more planned, the question is: who pays for this expansion monetarily- and for the increase in traffic congestion and noise, in quality of life? The benefits of increased traffic flowing on the expanded roads that have replaced trees and greenery will primarily flow to businesses. While visitors and residents will enjoy less traffic congestion they will not see the monetary benefit of expansion and will be paying for 90% of it. With increased automation in aerospace and retail, the cost-benefit balance tilts further in favor of companies. Without a commitment to long-term, equitable solutions, we have the potential of continuing to apply short-term fixes to long-term issues. A big step forward in the right direction on these issues requires a proper tax code that effectively charges companies for the cost of doing business in Mukilteo.
Strong public services that provide a safety net are essential to a healthy community. The City of Mukilteo should ensure the police force is treating the homeless population with dignity. Ensuring officers have helpful services to point those in need to, establishing a positive relationship, is essential in reminding people they are part of a community. The City Council should engage local grocery stores and restaurants to coordinate left-over food to be donated daily, all local establishments to establish a registry of bathing & bathroom facilities available, and all local companies that may explore an apprenticeship/training program for local professions. The real opportunity lies in creating a program that in & of itself creates opportunity for personal and professional development of the homeless population, where those who are helped have the opportunity to become volunteers and even government employees, driving the program and outreach.
The City of Mukilteo does not enforce federal immigration policy and respects Safe Spaces, both stances with which I wholeheartedly agree. The City of Mukilteo should welcome immigrants by ensuring public schools have sound ESL programs and that government resources are accessible in as many languages as possible. By being a resource and support for the immigrant population Mukilteo has the opportunity to embody and make possible the American Dream- and doing that ensures that the smart, driven people who overwhelmingly make up the immigrant population have a reason to stay in Mukilteo and build a uniquely rich, dynamic, and prosperous community.
The current system of bi-weekly public meetings that are then available for consumption for free online seem to work well- the channels for communication are there. I believe the issues discussed should be shifted to focus on more long-term issues, and am proud to run for that reason.