EMS, more positions on Aug. 7 ballot
Last updated 8/1/2018 at Noon
The Aug. 7 Primary is fast approaching, and voters in Mukilteo will have plenty to vote on.
In addition to the three 21st Legislative District seats up for election, registered voters in Mukilteo have the opportunity to vote on an EMS levy, if Rep. Rick Larsen and Sen. Maria Cantwell will remain on the ballot for possible returns to Washington, D.C., and whether previously appointed PUD Commissioner Sid Logan will have the opportunity to be elected for the first time.
Mukilteo has its own measure on the Aug. 7 ballot.
Proposition 1 would raise the current EMS property tax levy of up to a maximum of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value from 2019 to 2024.
Voters in Mukilteo previously approved a 50 cents per $1,000 levy rate in 2010, but due to a state initiative, the rate was reduced.
As valuations in Mukilteo have increased, the levy rate has decreased, starting at 47 cents in 2015 down to 39 cents in 2018.
The Mukilteo City Council unanimously approved putting this initiative on the ballot at their May 7 meeting.
Mukilteo Finance Director Michelle Meyer said there is a “lid lift” for the six years this levy would be in place, which would limit the levy to a 6 percent increase year to year.
If approved, this would increase property taxes by roughly $4.25 per month for the average homeowner in Mukilteo ($494,400) based on assessed values in 2018.
Mukilteo resident and former Mukilteo City Council candidate Tina Over wrote the “Argument For” statement in the Snohomish County Voters Pamphlet, and wanted to make it clear this is not a new tax.
“This levy is not a new tax, it is supporting what the voters have already asked for,” Over said. “We are asking voters to authorize a permanent property tax levy for emergency medical services within the city.”
Over voiced the need to support the city’s first responders.
“When you support this proposition, you are cementing your ongoing support to our local Fire and EMS first responders,” she said. “For our city to continue to function at the high level of service we need and have come to expect from our firefighters and EMS staff, we ask you to support this levy.”
Over said EMS and Fire deal with emergencies both large and small, and that the funding would help personnel remain properly trained with the best equipment possible.
“This funding will continue to provide the current level of service, fire safety education, community outreach and prepare for natural disasters that our city needs,” Over said.
Former Mukilteo City Councilmember Charlie Pancerzewski prepared the “Argument Against” statement.
Pancerzewski said the Mukilteo Fire Department responds to both EMS and fire calls, that there are no separate EMS employees, and that the law requires that EMS taxes only fund EMS.
“Fire Department costs are allocated between both Fire and EMS with very large annual increased allocations of cost to EMS,” Pancerzewski said. “EMS allocations are now $500,000 more annually than in 2014.”
Another issue Pancerzewski pointed out was with the city’s General Fund.
“Costs allocated to fire service are paid (for) by the General Fund. EMS allocations are paid by the EMS Fund,” Pancerzewski said. “The city overspends its General Fund ‘balanced’ Budget every year by large amounts. By allocating large additional amounts to EMS, the General Fund pays less for fire service costs, leaving more money for new pet projects.”
Pancerzewski said EMS has enough money, the city needs to stop allocating “fictitious cost increases” to EMS annually, and to stop transferring funds from EMS to the city’s General Fund.
U.S. Senator 6-year term
Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, was first elected in 2000, and serves on the Senate committees on Commerce, Science and Transportation; Energy and Natural Resources; Finance; tIndian Affairs; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Cantwell faces 28 challengers for this seat, with four other Democrats, 13 Republicans, five Independents, and one each from the Freedom Socialist, Human Rights, Libertarian, FDFR, Green, and StandUpAmerica parties.
Challengers are from all over the state, including Tim Owen of Mukilteo.
Owen, a Republican, was the Senior Class President at his high school in Wisconsin, and has worked in finance and accounting at numerous companies.
Other nearby candidates are Mike Luke, a Libertarian, and James Robert “Jimmie” Deal, a member of the Green Party. Both are from Lynnwood.
Luke has run for local office before, and assisted with various campaigns in Snohomish County since 2008. He ran for U.S. Senator in 2016 but was defeated in the Primary.
Deal has run unsuccessfully for Lynnwood City Council, Snohomish County executive, lieutenant governor, and governor.
Another local candidate is George H. Kalberer, a Democrat who lives in Everett.
Kalberer has not run for public office before, but was a campaign worker for U.S. Congressman John Culver of Iowa in 1972.
U.S. Congress - 2-year term
Since 2001, Democrat Rick Larsen has represented the 2nd Congressional District, which includes portions of Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties and all of Island and San Juan counties. Larsen currently serves on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the House Armed Services Committee.
He faces five challengers for his seat.
Brian Luke of the Libertarian Party has no prior elected experience. He has worked in the grocery business for 22 years, and said his main concerns are national debt, U.S. foreign policy, and matters of freedom. His filing address is out of Lynnwood.
Collin Richard Carlson, of Marysville, is a Democrat and was a county delegate for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic Primary. He believes Americans want universal health care, tuition-free public colleges, and investments in low-income and public housing among other topics. An anonymous source told The Beacon that Carlson was convicted of theft last summer. Court records show he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 364 days in prison, but was reduced to just 15 days. He was also fined $700. The jail time was later reduced to 120 hours of community service.
Uncle Mover, also known as “Mike-the-Mover” is a member of the Moderate GOP Party and lives in Mill Creek. Mover is a perennial candidate for office who has used his various campaigns to help promote his moving business. In his statement for the Voters Pamphlet, Mover talks about aliens, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) camps, opium, pharmaceutical drugs, and more. Mover has been convicted twice for operating an illegal moving business.
Gary Franco, an Independent, lives on Lopez Island and was previously a San Juan County delegate to the Democratic Convention in 1980 and was the Secretary of Lopez Island Grange from 1978 to 1983. Franco says he will not serve more than three terms, and hopes to discuss the national budget, the military’s budget, health care, homelessness, student loans, and creating more jobs.
Stonewall Jackson Bird of the Green Party was a Democratic Precinct Officer in Skagit County in 2004 and 2005. Bird said he will donate 40 percent of his salary if elected, and wants to create a Green New Deal to help create jobs to build sustainable energy. His filing address is out of Bellingham.
PUD Commissioner No. 1 2-year term
Sid Logan was appointed to this position in March of 2017 and is seeking election for the first time. Logan said his top priority is ensuring the PUD provides the most efficient use of taxpayer dollars. He aims to maintain stable electric and water rates.
Bruce King has run unsuccessfully for this position before. King’s three themes were keeping the PUD’s budget local, providing customers with high speed internet, and using common sense to limit needless spending.
Mary Rollins has served as the Chair of the 38th District Democrats and as a Precinct Committee Officer in Everett. Rollins is running for this position to “enhance the lives” of Snohomish County residents, and to maximize renewable energy sources.
Sam Buchanan has no prior elected experience and is a Social Services Training Specialist with the Department of Social and Health Services. Buchanan wants to advocate for clean and renewable energy sources, and to make sure the PUD is financially and environmentally responsible.
Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney 4-year term
Adam Cornell is running unopposed for the position of Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney.
Cornell, who has spent 15 years as a Snohomish County Deputy Prosecutor, prosecuted the shooter of the 2016 Mukilteo house party, which left three Kamiak grads dead, and a fourth injured.
He has been an advocate for increased gun safety laws in Washington, and testified in front of the State Legislature earlier this year.
Ballots for the Primary Election are due by Aug. 7 if turning them in to an approved drop-off location.
Mailed in ballots must be postmarked no later than Aug. 7.