CoffeeKlatch0519

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring talks with residents online during his most recent May 11 coffee klatch.

The Marysville mayor holds regular discussions with residents and continued with an online meeting on May 11

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring talked with local residents during a May 11 coffee klatch to answer questions from citizens.

The city usually holds a meeting every few months to provide a casual question and answer with local officials.

With the stay-at-home order going on the city had to hold an online meeting this time. 

COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order were big topics of the day as many had questions about the city's response and what the future holds for Marysville.

The city currently has rental protections in line with the state.

"The Governor has given a statewide order that provides eviction protection, which covers Marysville and every other city," said Nehring.

"There's a few additional things we're doing, which may not directly address with rent but can help people stay in their homes," he said.

Nehring pointed to suspending shutoffs and late fees for utility payments and directing Community Development Block Grant funds to organizations that plan to support tenants-in-need.

To support small businesses Nehring recently sent a letter to the governor, along with nine other mayors.

The letter explained their concern with the current phased plan. 

"In Marysville, we're almost entirely made up of small and medium sized businesses, and these people are suffering greatly. There are people who have put their life savings into these businesses," said Nehring.

"If there were some restrictions many of these businesses could open safer than these large entities [that are already open]," said Nehring.

Many small businesses are concerned about how much longer the stay-at-home order will go on. 

"When they get hit with another four weeks, it may be just too much, a lot of them are telling us," said Nehring.

The city does not have the power to make less restrictive rules than the governor.

"I've had our city attorney look carefully at this and I know other mayors have as well," said Nehring.

"It's been very carefully stated by attorneys that a mayor can enact more restrictive measures, but not less restrictive measures," he said.

Which means that other in-person activities, such as worship services, will return once the governor decides to lift the restriction.

"All of us are eager to get back to in-person worship services and it is hard sometimes to understand why the restrictions are the way they are. I understand that and sympathize with it," said Nehring.

Marysville officials have been keeping on an eye on various criminal activity as well.

Nehring said that there was been a significant decrease in crime overall.

"Part of that could be that people are at home. It's harder to break into a garage with people at home," he said.

Although some crimes have seen an increase, such as a slight uptick in assaults.

"Part of that could sadly be domestic violence assaults," said Nehring.

Vandalism from graffiti has also seen an increase during the stay-at-home order.

"The graffiti did spike and we are aware of that. We've got the crews back full staffed and the public works and police department are working in tandem to find the graffiti and eradicate it," said Police Chief Jeff Goldman.

Officers, such as school resource officers who no longer have school to attend, are frequently going out to problem hotspots.

Marysville officials encourage individuals to call 911 or the Marysville police non-emergency number, 425-407-3999, if they see graffiti.

"We really citizens help locating and identifying it so that we can get rid of it in a 24-hour period," said Kevin Nielsen, public works director for the city of Marysville.

"If we get rid of it expeditiously it won't happen as much," he said.

Police are also aware that there is an increase in speeding.

"Like any other jurisdiction we're seeing a bit of an uptick," said Goldman. "I don't know the numbers but we are aware of it."

The department is sending officers and speed sign trailers out to hotspots.

"We can't have someone out there all the time, but we are aware," said Goldman.

More information about future coffee klatches is available at marysvillewa.gov.

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