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Snohomish County City of Snohomish Council -at-Large Position 2

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

    Judith Kuleta
    (NP)

  • Elizabeth Larsen
    (NP)

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?

Address Same as above
Phone (425) 232-0748
Email Jgkuleta@gmail.com
Town where you live Snohomish
Experience (300 characters max) 8 yrs. experience as a Fire Chief; both in municipal and rural fire departments. 14 yrs. experience as an educator: director, advisor and faculty Fire Science program, Bellevue College. Over ten years experience as a nurse (LPN), primarily in the emergency room. 4 yrs. as manager private sector.
8 yrs. experience as a Fire Chief ,both municipal and rural fire departments in Alaska and Oregon. I am familiar with municipal, rural and city governance and have experience in budgeting and creation of 5 and 10 yr. plans. 14 yrs. experience as an educator at Bellevue College, as director, advisor and faculty in Fire Science programs. Over 20 yrs. experience working with advisory boards, commissions, citizen committees and training associations. 10 yrs. experience as a nurse (LPN) in Alaska working in the emergency room. 8 yrs. experience as a paramedic. Volunteer for Historic Downtown Snohomish to promote tourism and economic development; responsible for creation of annual Tweed Ride which has been successful. 14 yrs. (volunteer position) as member of National Fire Science Curriculum Committee creating model curriculum for use as Fire Science programs around the country. 4 yrs. experience as manager in the private sector. Prior volunteer positions include teaching CPR to citizens.
I intend to preserve the unique character of Snohomish, its small town atmosphere, quality of life, livability, parks and public safety are all aspects of why I love this small town and why I want to work to preserve what we love. I support smart sustained growth including affordable housing, attracting small businesses and possibly light manufacturing while continuing to promote tourism. I am in support of the current City of Snohomish Strategic Plan Summary and Initiatives. The City of Snohomish has a 2019/20 Goal, Projects and Actions (GPA) report which I am familiar with, and supportive of current and future actions. The Economic Development Plan for the City of Snohomish (Imagine Snohomish) has guiding principles to identify strengths and focus on 5 main approaches with measurable outcomes to keep Snohomish a robust city; I also support this vision for our city.
The cost of land and housing has become prohibitive to the average, and low income home buyer as the city is bound by geographic boundaries and limitations of the UGA. We are constricted by rivers, highways and mountains so we need to be particularly careful and thoughtful when planning for the anticipated growth. I would like to draw developers in with financial incentives to create small businesses and to explore the tax breaks which are available to developers who pursue building units of housing with a percentage of affordable housing. There is a lack of fiber optic network throughout the city and in order to stay competitive in attracting new businesses we need a plan to address this at some point in the near future.
I would like to partner with organizations to promote and encourage green initiatives, some of which already exist, and continue to grow said initiatives. A plastic bag ban, which I supported as a citizen, passed in 2019.Another City aspirational initiative,which I support, is that by 2030 all city vehicles will be electric as aging city vehicles will be replaced with electric. I will work with the city to preserve and add tree canopies in public spaces, and encourage the protection of tree canopies on private land. Currently the City has a plan to remodel the 2nd Street Corridor, making it more bike and pedestrian friendly and adding a much needed layer of trees to provide shade and improve our quality of life on one of our major thoroughfares. I support this plan and will do everything I can to see this come to fruition. Clean water, air and a good standard of living are very important to me and I will work to see that the citizens of Snohomish continue to enjoy these.
Upgrade of aging sewer and water infrastructure is a primary area of concern to me. We have a beautiful historic Downtown and we need to work to preserve it while also being mindful of upgrading what lies under the surface. Storm water runoff drains and sewers that are efficient and meet standards are a must across our city as are sidewalks and roads that are free from potholes and such.. Second Street, which is a major thoroughfare West to East through the City, currently has a tentative design to improve bike, pedestrian safety, add visual enhancements and ADA accessibility and I support the plan. I will collaborate with county and state on road issues working to make our roads both safe and efficient, understanding that surrounding areas outside the City of Snohomish continue to experience significant growth with subsequent increase in traffic.
We have a community resource officer who is often the first line of contact with this population. I plan to encourage partnering with other agencies within the county and City of Everett. Some partnering with agencies already exist and examples are: the new Diversion Facility in Everett, Housing Hope, Cocoon House and Everett Housing Authority. We have a community kitchen the serves people twice a week at St. John’s and additionally, there is a cold weather shelter located at Snohomish Evangelical Church in town which has operated successfully with volunteers the past two years. I plan to work with local churches and schools to identify what programs are already in place and where we need new programs that will help those that are homeless to assist them in getting the help they need. Let's maximize what programs are successful and tap into the volunteers we have already in place with programs that are both city and county wide.
This is a complicated issue that at the national level (illegal immigrants, those seeking asylum) is at crisis proportions. It will take the will of Congress, as well as state initiatives, to address this complex issue. If given the opportunity to affect this a a city level, I would pursue any educational opportunities to learn more about this issue.
In addition to what is already in place on the city website, I would also promote use of twitter and facebook to reach out and connect with our citizens who are tech savvy, and for those, like myself who prefer an old school approach I will meet face to face with local organizations and groups during their meetings. I will also encourage town hall meetings, either supported by our local commissions/organizations (ie: public safety), or generated by public interest. I would partner with entities who provide a venue for public gatherings; Sno-Isle Libraries offers an Issues that Matter series across their 23 Libraries of which Snohomish is one and I would like to encourage more opportunities like this for the public to engage in an old fashioned town hall meeting encouraging civil discourse and discussion.
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