North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Former mayor Bob Kraski passes away

 

September 20, 2017 | View PDF

Courtesy Photo

Bob Kraski

Longtime Arlington mayor and leader Bob Kraski passed away last week.

Kraski served on the Arlington City Council for nearly 10 years before being appointed as mayor in 1990.

He would go on to serve three terms as Arlington's mayor, until stepping down in 2003.

"Being in office 12 years he had a lot of accomplishments," said Barbara Tolbert, Arlington's current mayor. "And they all added to a great future for the city of Arlington."

Kraski was part of the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant, the annexation of Smokey Point into Arlington, and started a partnership between local mayors known as the North County Mayors group.

During the time of the annexation, the Smokey Point area was not as bustling as it is today.

"Even though it was just an up and down road at the time, he worked with the Marysville Mayor at the time to complete that process," said Tolbert.

She said that with the North County Mayors meetings, the region's mayors have continued being partners in helping the north Snohomish County area growing.

"As we grow we need to keep a regional approach in mind," said Tolbert.

"It's very helpful for mayors, and especially new mayors like I was once, to have that meeting to see what is going on elsewhere in the region and making those connections," she said.

The construction of the new Arlington Boys & Girls Club also happened under Kraski's terms as mayor.

"And that really provided a place for young people and families to go," said Tolbert.

Tolbert said that Kraski was a "great people person" that many city officials liked.

"I was always impressed with how well the city staff enjoyed working for him and really respected him," she said.

"That's a part of his leadership style that was truly admired," she said.

Kraski had long been involved in local Arlington politics and first started with city governance with his appointment to the Board of Adjustments in 1980.

Outside of Arlington he was also involved in regional boards, such as Community Transit, Snohomish County Tomorrow and the Snohomish County Department of Emergency Management.

Beyond politics Kraski also served as a volunteer firefighter with King County Fire District 4 (Shoreline) in the mid '60s and early '70s.

In Arlington he was a long-time member of the Arlington Rotary (then known as the North Snohomish County Rotary). In 1992 he served as president of that Rotary Club.

Kraski also served multiple terms as president of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and was an active participant in the chamber.

He owned former Arlington business Kraski's Furniture, Carpets and Interiors.

"Bob's contributions to Arlington are great. He was a friend to many and a mentor to many, including me," said Tolbert.

 

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