Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Lee Dart lives in central Everett and was born and raised here. A long time Everett radio news reporter and served as the manager of the 2010 Census office based in Everett responsible for more than 2000 field employees and 150 office staff. Since 2011 I've been the publisher of MyEverettNews.com.
One of the largest issues is our water and wastewater system. There is a large portion of the city where the pipes installed in the 1950s and 60s are failing. There needs to be a more robust inspection plan moving forward. The city is addressing issues with the north end sewer system and replacing combined sewer overflows. The addition of a $20 car tab fee has added to funds used for street overlay and repaving but there are still too many potholes and ruts taking a toll on vehicles in Everett.
We are taking a multi faceted approach which I think is correct. We have to quickly evaluate which programs are actually working and which should be dropped. Low barrier housing is a good idea but it needs to be built in every city in Snohomish County and not just in Everett. The same with drug and mental health treatment facilities. Also we can’t forget to help people who are one paycheck away from living on the the street. People who are working hard and playing by the rules also need support.
I’ve begun to hear from senior citizens who tell me with the rising property values come rising property taxes that their fixed incomes can’t keep up with. Also rents are rising faster than for many living in the senior housing developments recently built in Everett. We need to make sure that there are exemptions in place to keep seniors from being priced out of their own homes. We need to address the cost of housing for seniors as well as those trying to raise their first families in Everett.
Everett has done a good job of dealing with immigration issues. It has been long standing policy in the police department not to inquire about immigration status in dealing with people. The bigger issue is communicating with our immigrant population that Everett is a welcoming and accepting city. More outreach needs to be done to accomplish that and make people feel safe.
Public safety is the major issue. People tell me they do not feel safe in Everett. For years we’ve had a shortage of police officers and the Fire Department upper management is in turmoil with a temporary chief and low morale. The ongoing budget deficit is also a major problem. Everett needs to set priorities for how the money is being spent and we need to review our management structure to see if we can eliminate some layers of middle managers and consultants to save money.
The issue most urgent is public safety. If people feel unsafe in their city then all other challenges become harder to address. Restoring communication between the fire department administration and Mayor's office is crucial. Also properly funding the police and fire departments and addressing the shortage of police officers over the long term is crucial. People tell me they don't feel safe in Everett. That is the highest challenge to overcome right now. If people feel safe, they prosper.
To work with the new mayor may be a challenge. We have a strong mayor-weak council set up in Everett. I’d like to see more communication with the Mayor and the public away from city council chambers and instead in workshops and neighborhood town halls across the city. I’d also like a monthly meeting with the mayor to discuss ways in which a council person can help with generating more cooperation between the city’s workforce and administration.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Over 40 years in public and private sectors: Chief of Staff to Congressman Norm Dicks, advisor to Governor Booth Gardner, planning and public works director, assistant city manager, consultant in public policy, land use, transportation and environmental issues.
Our primary issues are developing and maintaining essential infrastructure for transportation, water, waste water treatment and surface water, and other services to meet the City's future population and employment needs. Additionally, climate change will increase our need to address infrastructure. I serve on the Sound Transit Board, PSRC Transportation Policy Board and Clean Air Board. My career includes many years advocating for transportation and water infrastructure.
Maintain and expand our focus (and seek additional funds) for: housing, homelessness, mental health and drug and opioid treatment, public safety, staffing and training for our first responders, and integrating our courts and legal systems to divert individuals toward treatment vs. jails. Also, working with others in the County and region to integrate law enforcement, criminal justice and human service initiatives. Provide economic opportunities and training for homelessness individuals.
Everett has invested in a first class Sr. Center and we are committed to maintaining this facility. Also, providing a safe and attractive place, welcoming to all, with opportunities, activities and entertainment will provide opportunities for Sr. Citizens. We are working on housing programs for seniors to help them stay in their homes. As health care becomes an increasing issue, we will work with our health care providers to address the needs of all our citizens - including seniors.
Everett has adopted policies to be a "welcoming city" which means we are reaching out to diverse communities and our police will not enforce federal immigration laws as a part of routine business. We are examining "sanctuary city" status, and our actions assure our police will effectively operate as a sanctuary city.
1. Maintaining a strong economy - continuing to build on our manufacturing job base, with aerospace, defense and technology as core economic sectors; 2. Managing growth, In 2018, the City will begin updating our Shoreline Master Plan regulating the City’s shorelines and Port; 3. Responding to an emerging housing crisis in Everett and Puget Sound; 4. Protecting our environment - our air and water resources - and responding to climate change; 5. Creating a safe community
Maintaining a strong economy, including a healthy housing market, is the most urgent. Everett hosts the largest manufacturing base in Washington State. Without a healthy economy and housing sector, the tax base does not exist to address all the services we provide including health, human service, police, fire, and public works.
I will work cooperatively and collaboratively with the Mayor and my council colleagues to address issues. My career was as a planning director, public works director, asst. city manager and consultant. I have over 40 years experience working on public policy issues as well as 18 years as an elected official. I understand and respect the roles and responsibilities of mayors and city councils. Additionally, my training includes mediation and dispute resolution.