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

Council considers new position in planning and development


After discussion at the May 29 council workshop meeting, council was expected to vote on Monday, June 4, to approve an employment agreement with Jonathan Ventura as police chief, an appointment by the mayor that must be approved by council.

Also last week, Fire Chief Dave Kraski discussed with council a resolution and inter-local agreement that permits Arlington Fire Department to participate in the Snohomish County Fire Chiefs Association Fire Coordinating Group (SCFCAFCG) to train and certify wildfire firefighting.

Kraski explained that the state Department of Natural Resources has historically maintained responsibility of training certification for personnel statewide, but they are changing policies to allow for counties to oversee the programs.

In Snohomish County, the training is supervised by the Snohomish County Fire Chiefs Association. The proposed resolution and inter-local agreement authorizes participation in the program.

Council is being asked to approve a newly created position — Permit Technician II — for the Community and Economic Development Department. The position is for the advancement of an existing Permit Technician I staff member, who will be made available to assist in three areas, Planning and Land Use, Civil/Project Management and Building/Plan Review. The advancement will leave a beginning level position open for a new hire, according to Marc Hayes, director of the department.

CED has been significantly understaffed since 2013, Hayes told council at the workshop meeting last week. Its current staff of five employees are working in the busiest growth climate that Arlington has ever seen, Hayes said.

In 2007, 13 employees processed 526 permits. In 2017, CED processed 942 permits with five full-time employees and generated revenues just shy of $1.2 million.

“Permit activity through the first four months of 2018 indicates that we will surpass all previous permit intake and revenue levels,” Hayes said in documents.

The creation of this new position will allow two existing permit technicians into new roles that will allow for increased participation and responsibility, Hayes said. “The proposed new position has no impact on the current budget, and the wage represents a new July 1, 2018 figure,” he said.

No one objected to the proposal.

Councilwoman Marilyn Oertle noted that more staff are definitely needed in the busy department.

“I had a call from a constituent recently expressing the need for more help,” Oertle said.

The good news continued with the monthly financial report, presented by Sherry Penoyer in the absence of finance Director Kristin Garcia.

Retail sales tax revenue to date is $1,508,053. So far this year, the city has collected $216,302, or 16 percent, more than last year at this time.

The EMS Fund required an additional loan for the month of April. The total outstanding balance on the loan, including 2017, is $498,195.74. With the May EMS levy receipts, the intent was to repay the 2017 outstanding loan, but they were only able to pay the accrued interest to date.

“We hope to pay off the loan in the fall,” Penoyer said.

“As we begin to develop the 2019/2020 budget, we’ll be monitoring the trend closely and evaluating economic factors. Based current trends, I expect that we’ll be able to increase our 2019/2020 projections over what we budgeted for 2018,” Garcia wrote in her monthly report to council.

Coming up on June 9, the city’s annual clean up day will accept unwanted household items at the airport’s west entrance off 188th St. NE, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

City residents must show their utility billing statement for admittance to the annual Spring Cleanup. Smokey Point residents should bring their Waste Management NW billing statement for admittance.

Accepted items include refrigerators and freezers, computers, monitors, keyboards and televisions, printers and copiers, microwaves, furniture and debris and recyclable metals, as well as four tires per household (must be removed from wheels).


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