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We must stop treating Puget Sound like a sewer if we are going to restore the fish, shellfish, wildlife and other natural resources it supports. That’s why we are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stand strong in the face of challenges to water quality improvements.

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In each annual budget, the Snohomish County Council allocates money to be spent on local parks and community projects throughout the county. These projects are mostly funded by REET (Real Estate Excise Tax) and various grants. In the 2019 budget, $2.7 million was allocated for projects in Di…

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With Daylight Saving Time and spring just around the corner, we’re excited to step up our activity levels and embrace all the health and wellness activities the Marysville Tulalip community has to offer. Here’s just a sample. 

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Treaty tribes in western Washington are concerned that Gov. Jay Inslee’s two-year $54 billion budget now before the state Legislature will not adequately fund culvert replacement. We are thankful, however, that the governor’s proposal fixes a $2.5 million shortfall that threatens the region’…

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With the recent federal government shutdown and partisan gridlock taking priority over doing the people’s work, Snohomish County elected officials continue to work together on a productive and bipartisan basis. In this month’s column, I will highlight some of the good work being achieved in …

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As the days steadily warm in February, the New Year has us refreshed and ready to get to work on new projects. The City of Marysville, the Tulalip Tribes, and the Marysville School District are all working hard on many economic development projects to help improve our neighborhoods, schools,…

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In 2000, the community of Arlington passed a school bond. Literally hundreds of community and staff participated in the planning for the facilities needs of the district. Choices had to be made because we couldn’t afford to do it all at once.

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The February and November 2018 school bond proposals received majority approval by Arlington School District voters, but did not reach the 60% supermajority approval required. To increase the chance of passage the school board removed improvements to athletic facilities, the transportation c…

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A recent Washington Supreme Court ruling has strengthened a state law aimed at protecting the waters, shorelines and streambanks essential to salmon recovery. The ruling also reflects the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the culvert case that the state has a duty to protect habitat so that salmo…

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Forget about learning? I know that sounds like strange advice coming from a teacher, but think about this: Have you ever tried looking at a faint star in the night sky? If so, you know that gazing directly at it will cause it to disappear. It is only by looking a little off to the side that …

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On February 12 we will ask you, the voters, to approve a bond for school construction and safety improvements.  The planned projects will require our community to invest in a bond totaling $96 million.   As your elected representatives we do not take this action lightly.  It’s a balancing ac…

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Snohomish County, along with the other 38 counties in Washington State, provides local and regional services to its residents. Many decisions about the County are made locally by the County Council and other elected officials. However, other decisions are forced down to the County from the s…

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Happy New Year, Marysville Tulalip community! We appreciate serving residents, families, visitors and businesses year-round. Let’s reflect on highlights of last year’s accomplishments and look ahead to 2019.

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The strength of the late Billy Frank Jr.’s vision and leadership is once again being called upon to help recover salmon in western Washington.

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On Monday, Nov. 19, the Snohomish County Council adopted the 2019 budget. The budget reflects North County values of fiscal responsibility and prioritizing public safety. 

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As we approach the holiday season, shorter days, the school break, and begin to prepare for a new year, it is a good time to pause and reflect. At the Marysville School District, we begin thinking about first-semester student grades and attendance, but academics are not the only thing that i…

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In last month’s column, I provided a breakdown of the total property taxes collected by the County Treasurer and how those dollars are allocated by various taxing authorities (school districts, local governments, etc.) In that article, I shared that of the $1.4 billion collected in total, th…

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I’ve known Judge Kristen Olbrechts for 27 years and trust her skill, knowledge, and legal acumen in the courtroom as an attorney and as a judge.

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I am writing to endorse Jennifer Rancourt for Judge of Cascade District Court. This judicial position serves citizens of north Snohomish County, including the cities of Marysville, Stanwood, and Arlington. I have been a Judge for the past 14 years, and I know both candidates. Jennifer Rancou…

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I watched the U.S. Senate candidates debate on Channel 5 which was handled excellently as each candidate was allowed only a short time frame to respond to the questions.

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I’m voting Democrat and Republican. The bitter partisanship in D.C. this year has shown me how much I don't want that to become a reality in Olympia, or more importantly Snohomish County.

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Property tax dollars are used to fund much of local government operations at various levels. The process through which property taxes are levied and collected is complex. In this month’s column, I will share some important information about how property taxes are collected, how the amounts a…

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October is always a fun month with friends and family getting ready for fall activities, youth sports, and of course — Halloween! October is a month where we focus greatly on our physical and mental wellness, which is a priority in our Marysville and Tulalip communities year-round. Our commu…

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In an unfortunate reversal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has decided to reconsider our state’s new water quality standards – the most protective in the nation – based on an industry trade group petition that argues the rules will increase their cost of doing business.

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Recent market studies have shown that the construction industry will grow faster in Snohomish County than neighboring counties in the Puget Sound region. Workforce Snohomish reports that we are poised to see a growth of 25% in the construction industry in Snohomish County over the next ten y…

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The start of a new school year means new beginnings — new beginnings, not just for our local students, but for the entire Marysville-Tulalip community. As businesses, organizations and individuals, we are all responsible for our community’s success and our children’s ability to thrive.

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Federal legislation allowing lethal removal of more sea lions in the lower Columbia River is a good step toward reining in out-of-control populations that are hurting salmon and orca recovery efforts throughout the region.

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Water — how much we have and how clean it should be — is on the minds of many these days as the drought rolls on in western Washington and state government remains stalled on updating decades-old water quality standards.

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One of the most prominent points of discussion in local government is population growth. Snohomish County is currently among the fastest growing counties in the entire nation. With an existing population of approximately 800,000 people, we are the third most populous county in Washington Sta…

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Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson didn’t have to take the culvert case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Instead of continuing the state’s shameful history of denying tribal treaty-reserved fishing rights, he could have chosen a path of cooperation that has shown remarkable resul…

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The federal government plays a huge role in local communities and sometimes their actions can go unnoticed or are not widely covered. One such example is the effort to reintroduce grizzly bears into the North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE). This effort has been underway for years and there are man…

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Twenty-five years ago, my wife and I left Atlanta, Georgia, to drive across the country with a book called The 100 Best Small Towns in America as our guide. If you measured the success of our trip by how fast we were able to make it to the west coast, then by all accounts it was a dismal fai…

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Every spring and summer, many tribes throughout the region celebrate the return of the salmon and the beginning of salmon fishing season.

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News last month about Seattle’s new head tax ignited a fiery debate about what our business climate looks like in the Puget Sound area. Rather than imposing additional burdens on business, we are focusing on incentives to attract businesses to North Snohomish County. The Arlington-Marysville…

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What criteria do we use to determine how well our schools are doing? More often than not, we wind up looking at things such as grades, graduation rates, and test scores. This kind of data is relatively easy to measure and widely accepted as relevant to the mission of our schools. It is also …

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It is hard to believe that it is Festival Season already, but we are hard at work preparing for our Festival along with appearances at many out-of-town parades.

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“The spirit of cooperation must guide us. It is how we will be able to bring back the salmon.”

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In honor of Military Appreciation Month, I am dedicating my May column to the great partnership between Snohomish County and our military.