Indivisible Marysville hosted four City Council candidates and the two upcoming candidates for Mayor who will be on the upcoming primary ballot.
The event was held on July 23.
The two candidates with the most votes in the Aug. 6 primary election will head to the primary election in November.
City Council Pos. 5 Candidates
The August ballot will feature a race between five City Council candidates: Todd Fahlman, Gary Kemp, Kelly Richards, Noah Rui and Jeff Seibert.
Rob Toyer, the incumbent of the seat, is not running for re-election as he is running for Snohomish County treasurer.
Kelly Richards is currently a Pinewood Elementary para-educational who has served on the Marysville Planning Commission for many years now.
“It gives me a good background on where we are and how we got here,” he said.
He said he misses the small town Marysville used to be but doesn’t think curbing the growth is a good idea.
“If you’re not growing, you’re dying,” he said.
He supports the city’s embedded social worker program.
“I like the embedded social worker program and hopefully we can continue finding funding for it,” he said.
Richards also spoke in favor the Cascade Industrial Center and attracting more high wage jobs to the city.
Gary Kemp is a union business representative and has been a Marysville resident since 1974.
Making housing more attainable for young people is important to him, he said.
“I have two grown daughters working really hard and it’s hard for them to save up money,” said Kemp. “We need new programs, re-zoning, whatever we have to do to make it happen for our kids."
He supports manufacturing apprenticeship programs.
The embedded social worker program has been a positive to the city, he said.
“Sometimes they need that police officer and social worker to come up and ask them ‘do you need help,’” said Kemp.
Todd Fahlman of Fahlman Property Group has been a resident of the city since 1998.
He hopes to manage the growth of the city as the area continues to gain people from Seattle and Everett.
“We need to add more inventory and find ways we can smartly do some good zoning so we can help reduce the prices of these homes,” he said.
Fahlman hopes that enforcement of drug laws is a priority for the city.
He also would like to see public and private investment into the Marysville Boys & Girls Club.
“We’re the second-largest city in Snohomish County and we can do better,” he said.
Noah Rui is a Chinese immigrant who works in real estate for the Snohomish PUD.
He said that the solution to the housing problems is to bring in better jobs to the community.
“If we could build people up to have more jobs and more income,” he said, “so we’re not pouring more money trying to build affordable housing.”
The embedded social worker program is a good strategy for the city, he said.
“It prevents crimes and establishes solutions, and this program can lead to a safer community,” he said.
As a father, Rui said that public safety is always important.
“Public safety is my number one priority,” he said.
Jeff Seibert is a former Marysville City Council member who is attempting to return to the council.
He was not present at the forum and did not respond to our e-mail for comments.
Incumbent Jon Nehring faces challenger Mike Patrick for the mayor seat of Marysville.
Patrick is a long-time Boeing employee who said he hopes to bring in new ideas to the city.
“I have a lot of respect for Jon but I want to do a lot of things that I don’t think are in Jon’s mindset,” he said.
One of Patrick’s biggest concerns is how the city is changing with it’s growth.
“I grew up in Lynnwood and no one ever took control of Lynnwood. It sprawled and sprawled and now it’s goal is to become an urban center with high-rises and financial centers. I don’t want to see that happen to Marysville,” Patrick said.
Patrick is supportive of studying the possibility of a local hospital.
“We’re going to have to come back to the taxpayer and bring the hard numbers and ask them ‘is this what you want?’” s said.
He also supports the social worker program and transportation improvements that are already coming to the city, he said.
Jon Nehring has been mayor of the city since 2010.
He pointed to projects he hopes to continue such as the $160 million worth of transportation projects brought into the city from the state’s Connecting Washington transportation package.
Two new interchanges will eventually be built for to help get into the city around the railroad tracks as part of that package.
The embedded social worker program is also something he hopes to continue. The first year for the program helped 79 people into treatment.
“What we need for that is more detox facilities, in-patient facilities, and finding housing is getting tough too,” he said. “We’re looking to find solutions to that."
Nehring was more skeptical of a city-led hospital effort.
“Some things are better left to the professionals that do them,” he said. “I’m not saying we’ll never need a hospital, but I think you got to look at the big picture.”