Marysville and Snohomish County candidates for the upcoming November election gathered on Sept. 27 for a candidates forum.
Candidates for sheriff, treasurer, the County Council and Marysville City Council discussed issues like the opioid epidemic and economic growth at the forum hosted by the Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce.
Incumbent Ty Trenary and current Snohomish County deputy sheriff Adam Fortney are running for county sheriff.
Fortney is currently a patrol sergeant who works the graveyard shift in the county.
His policy focus is on increasing arrests booked into the county jail.
“One of the things that has been a big topic for me has been the jail restrictions and refusals. It has been very difficult for deputy sheriffs and police officers in Snohomish County to book people who are high on drugs,” he said.
Fortney was critical of the current policing of the county.
“For the last six years we have had difficulty enforcing the law and the role of the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office under my watch would be getting back to basics. There will be no more free passes,” he said.
Trenary is the current county sheriff and former Stanwood Police Chief.
When he took over the position he said the jails needed reforming.
“We had a number of jail deaths and at that point the public outcry was that the jail needs to be safe and humane,” he said. Those deaths have also resulted in costly lawsuits for the county, he added.
He said that about 2,800 people still go through the jail each year.
“The jail is not being left vacant,” he said.
He said the opioid crisis needs new solutions.
“For 32 years a pair of handcuffs and a trip to jail was the easiest thing we can do and it worked. But it hasn’t worked for this crisis,” he said.
Democrat Brian Sullivan and Republican Rob Toyer are running for the Snohomish County Treasurer position.
Toyer is currently a Marysville City Council member but is not running for re-election to instead run for the county treasurer position.
He said he wants to get into the position to help bring transparency to the office and improve the way the treasurer functions.
“I plan on sitting down with the management team. I’ll sit down and ask them some questions,” he said.
“What can we improve on? I want to dial in on customer service and our department is advocating for the taxpayer.”
Sullivan is a former Snohomish County Council member.
He had a number of policy goals for the position as well, including bringing more transparency as well for the taxpayers.
The “Taxpayer Bill of Rights” which the state passed is something that most state residents aren’t that aware of, he said.
“We do a very poor job of getting that information out,” he said.
Sullivan also hopes to re-organize the county’s foreclosure fund, which is more than a $1 million now.
County Council District 2
District 2 of the Snohomish County Council covers Tulalip, north Everett and Mukilteo. The race is between Republican Anna Rohrbough and Democrat Megan Dunn.
Dunn is a policy advocate who said she has spent more than 20 years working on local policy issues, including recently leading the vote for Everett City Council districts.
“My focus for this campaign is livability, sustainability and affordability,” she said.
She hopes to provide outreach, prevention and rehab services to those suffering from addiction.
“Working with the tribes is part of my platform,” said Dunn, who said she has reached out and met with local tribal leaders since March.
She supports policies such as funding a permanent tribal liaison position, officially recognizing Indigenous People’s Day, putting a ballot drop box in Tulalip and promoting equity in hiring of Native people.
“I will seek out and recruit tribal members to serve on our boards and commissions,” she said.
Rohrbough is a Mukilteo City Council member and vice-chair of the council there.
To respond to the opioid crisis she hopes to bring a dual-diagnosis center to the county that treats mental illness as well as addiction issues.
“Right now treatment centers don’t treat the cause, and we need to treat the cause,” she said.
She also said that law enforcement must be part of the response to the opioid epidemic.
“We need to use our laws as disruption,” she said.
Rohrbough said she will have an ‘open-door policy’ with local tribal leaders.
“Tulalip and the other tribes are a major economic force in Snohomish County,” she said. “I will continue to reach out and find what is needed. I want to know what they need."
Marysville City Council
Kelly Richards and Jeff Seibert are running for the Marysville City Council seat that has been left open with Rob Toyer’s decision not to seek re-election.
Richards said he is an active member of the community with time on the planning commission, PTA, Rotary and Marysville Music Boosters.
He said he hopes to support the Cascade Industrial Center that is underway.
“I see that getting a lot of jobs for our local citizens. Marysville’s been a bedroom community for everywhere down south so it will be nice when we get everything running there,” he said.
For the opioid epidemic Richards said that embedded social worker program has worked well and he hopes to continue that.
“I think Marysville is in a unique opportunity because our mayor, the county and surrounding cities have done a lot with the embedded social worker program,” he said.
Seibert is a local electrician and former City Council member of 16 years. “The 16 years I served on the council was a privilege,” he said.
During that time he said he was on many committees including the public works committee for 16 years and the finance committee for 14 years and voted against new taxes.
“I have consistently voted against raising property taxes,” he said.
Seibert also said that the Cascade Industrial Center is a good next step for Marysville growth.
“Now that we’ve brought retail stores here it’s time to focus on the next step, which is the manufacturing and industrial center, which will bring living wage jobs here,” he said.