You are receiving my first newsletter as a Snohomish County Councilmember. I look forward to any feedback or suggestions you may have. Please contact me anytime, with questions, concerns, or to share your priorities.
If you have time, join me tomorrow for coffee with Mayor Eslick of Sultan, we will be at Galaxy Chocolates, 501 Main St in Sultan at 9:30.

Courthouse Renovation

After joining the Council one of my top priorities was working with Executive Somers to save taxpayer dollars on the courthouse project. Earlier this week the Executive announced a proposal that will do just that.
While details of the formal proposal are still being developed, initial projections show that renovation of the existing building will save a least half of the $162 million that was budgeted for a new courthouse. The renovation will address much needed safety and functionality concerns, install seismic retrofits, and replace poorly functioning elevators.
I look forward to playing an active role in developing this project to ensure a good return on investment for taxpayers.

Public Safety 

Public safety is an essential role for any government, but it is especially critical at the local level; a priority that is made clear in the county budget. Currently, 75 percent of the general fund is allocated to Law and Justice. With population growth and an unprecedented heroin epidemic, the cost is only going up.
This August, voters will be asked to weigh in by voting on a Criminal Justice Sales tax of 0.2 percent.

The County Council voted to place this measure on the ballot along with an amendment I made that would direct resources to alternative programs that hold offenders accountable while treating the underlying causes for the offense. Such alternative programs include alternative sentencing programs, drug addiction services, and embedding social workers with law enforcement.

Early Wild Fires in Western Washington 

While it is unusual for Western Washington to experience wildland fires so early in the season, the Hotshot Fire (near Oso) and Proctor Creek Fire (near Gold Bar) serve as reminders that there is no “schedule” for emergencies or disasters. During these fires, Snohomish County agencies including the Sheriff’s Office, Department of Emergency Management (DEM), and Parks Department provided support to the firefighting efforts and affected residents. With the fire season just beginning, our DEM also wants you to know that there are resources available to help you reduce the wildfire risk to your property.
One program, Firewise, provides steps property owners can take to create a defensible space around their home, install fire resistant landscaping, and prepare for wildfire season. Another program, Fire Adapted Communities, emphasizes community partnerships and fire adapted ecology.
Being informed is a critical component of preparedness. You can learn more about wildfires and the other natural hazards in Volume 1 of our Hazard Mitigation Plan. Volume 2 of this plan contains actions the participating jurisdictions are proposing to reduce the effects of disasters on their respective communities.
Finally, the majority of wildland fires are caused by humans. With the return of sunny and warm weather, it is a great time to get outside and enjoy the beauty of Snohomish County. Please check with the Fire Marshal's Office for the status of any burn bans. Always remember to be vigilant when burning outside. Please ensure your campfires are completely extinguished and dispose of cigarettes properly.

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