Ballots are on the way to households across the state for the 2011 primary election. Locally, the final two candidates for the Arlington mayoral race and one of four Marysville School Board seats will be determined by the primary outcome.
Last year's primary election saw a turnout of just over 38 percent statewide. The only local issue on that ballot was a Marysville School District supplemental levy, which failed to gain voter approval.
We invited candidates for Arlington's mayor job and the District 3 Director position on the school board to submit brief statements and personal information for our readers' information. (Note: only one school board candidate responded to our request.) The candidates' unedited responses are below. Every effort has been made to separate editorial statements from candidates' opinions and viewpoints.
If you're not yet registered to vote, the only option still available is to register in person, through August 8, at the Snohomish County Auditor's Office, 3000 Rockefeller Ave. in Everett.
Arlington Mayoral Candidates (in alphabetical order)
"I'm seeking the office of mayor because I feel this position will take a strong leader that has excellent knowledge of every city department. In this time of economic downturn, it will take a strong person that is not afraid to make important decisions as well as necessary cuts, to keep taxes and rates as low as possible. 10 years on the City Council and Mayor Pro-Tem, has been a great benefit providing the knowledge of the operations of the city. Serving on numerous committees and sitting on many staff search interviews has given me valuable experience of what to look for in hiring good employees. As a business owner for 32 years, I know how important it is to protect businesses from over-regulation and rising fees, for they are the lifeblood of our community bringing in the revenue that keeps our city operating. My passion for this town is to see it grow in a vibrant way and make it the best city on the map. With family members living in the Arlington area for over 100 years, I want to preserve it for our future generations. I'm also a strong believer in transparency as well as fiscal responsibility." Website: stevebakerformayor.com
"Our future depends on our financial security. All other issues are in some fashion tied to our financial security. Creating incentives for business and job growth are a priority. As a business owner, I know how difficult it can be to survive. My focus is on strengthening the local economy by encouraging local shopping, improving the downtown parking and ensuring the City's fiscal health, and fostering partnerships to ensure basic services and the art and cultural programs that make our community so great."
"I have been fighting to pass the in memorial by the city of Arlington FDR's 'Glass-Steagall Act,' to show the higher echelons of government, that as a city we do not support the bailouts and the type of measures in which force osterity cuts to the states and municipalities. We need jobs, stability and prosperity, not more cuts! I am the only candidate in this race running for mayor, in which is dealing with the real issues in which are facing us a city and as a nation. Not one of them have the understanding of economics that I do. I have my own alternative news website to discuss economic and political issues, NoSpinNewsSource.com
"Arlington, WA is a great place to live. The overall quality of life is exceptional, from raising a family in a safe, clean environment to a having a serene place to retire and enjoy life. This beautiful family-oriented city is where my wife and I were born and raised, and where we have chosen to raise our three daughters. I am a graduate of the University of Washington and I am a proud union member, employed in the computer science and information services field. I am an active member of our community--I proudly serve as a volunteer member on the City of Arlington Park and Recreation Commission and enjoy coaching youth sports. As mayor, my main areas of focus will be public safety, balancing the city's budget, keeping our parks beautiful, supporting our public school system, and keeping our streets safe. I believe the outgoing mayor has positioned Arlington in the enviable position of being able to thrive during these difficult times. Arlington has a strong community spirit and I will expand on the improvements and continued maintenance of our great city as your next mayor."
"I love living in Arlington! It is a wonderful town as both a business owner and local customer. I believe that we are at a moment in time when we can choose to grow responsibly in a manner that will ensure the continued economic growth and historic charm of Arlington. I believe we are able to make decisions that will guarantee a strong, sustainable community that is complimentary to our Northwest values of family and environment. I look forward to working with the city staff and council to attract more technology and research businesses to Arlington. Let's bring the higher paying positions here to our town for our families. Let's promote the wonderful 'Gateway to Adventure' that we have here in our valley and area." Website: www.deboranelson2011.com
"Arlington is a special place with future opportunities. My goals as mayor focus on key components to a vibrant, healthy Arlington:
1. Economic development that supports business and stimulates job growth
2. Ensuring the safety of our communities
3. Preserving and promoting aspects that make Arlington so livable
4. Delivering responsive government to benefit our citizens.
As a successful business woman, I want to carry on the momentum of the current administration so that Arlington residents continue to move forward together. My leadership, vision and skills to build strong teams and lasting partnerships are evident in the growth and success of the Arlington Fly-In under my management. I offer the experience, knowledge, skill and energy required to continue the professional administration of Arlington with the vision and commitment to lead us forward in both good and lean times." Website: www.barbtolbert.com
Marysville School District Director Position #3 Candidates
Darci L. Becker (no response)
Michael Hansen (no response)
"The Marysville School District, like all other districts, is experiencing unprecedented budget cuts. We need to have a solid strategy for approaching these cuts as they continue in the coming years, as well as build relationships and partner with parents in the community to replace our aging school buildings. Excellent municipal buildings create a sense of pride of ownership by those who live here, and promote the identity of a community that supports its kids. I worked in the Marysville school system from 1985-2009. I know the business from the inside, have worked with a variety of leaders, was successful in helping transform a struggling school to one that was valued, and can help our community move its educational system forward."
Rod Rieger (no response)