Previewing 2019 in Mukilteo, part 2
Last updated 1/9/2019 at Noon
In the last two issues, we’ve recapped some of the biggest stories The Beacon published in 2018.
Some stories included funding swaps, focuses on gun violence, salary bargaining for Mukilteo teachers, and allegations of alleged misspending by Mayor Jennifer Gregerson.
After reflecting on a very busy 2018, there is a lot to look forward to in 2019.
We started last week with some stories and situations to look for and follow throughout 2019 one of which happened this Monday so let’s take a peek at a few more.
Peace Park opening
With the arrival of $400,000 in state funds, the scope of the Peace Park project increased.
The idea for a Peace Park started in the wake of the July 2016 shooting where three Kamiak grads were shot and killed, and a fourth was injured.
Originally slated to be a small “pocket park,” the budget for the project was roughly $40,000. That budget later increased to over $80,000, before increasing with the arrival of the $400,000 state grant.
The park will be at Byer’s Park in Old Town, with a view of the Puget Sound, and is designed to be a quiet place of reflection for those who have lost loved ones.
The city has received donations, both monetary and in the form of services, from many citizens and local companies.
The project will likely be completed this summer, close to, or on, the third anniversary of the July 30, 2016, shooting.
Ferry terminal progress
The new ferry terminal isn’t expected to be completed until fall 2020, but there are still many aspects of the project that will be decided in 2019.
There was plenty of discussion among members of the Mukilteo City Council and representatives for Washington State Ferries over security fencing in the new terminal, which would prevent access to the waterfront for those waiting in the waiting lanes.
Additionally, some councilmembers and Old Town citizens have expressed a need for a gate at First Street and the Mount Baker Crossing, which would prevent terminal traffic from entering Old Town neighborhoods. No decisions have been made regarding security fencing or a gate.
There has also been discussion of a new parking lot on Tulalip Tribes land for those traveling to and from Whidbey Island.
Recently, representatives from the Port of South Whidbey gave a presentation to the Mukilteo City Council about their partnership with the Tulalip Tribes and their desire to get that parking lot built.
The Port of South Whidbey said it wants to work with Mukilteo on a traffic study before pursuing the lot further.
Mayor Gregerson is running for another office in 2019, as she hopes to succeed former Mukilteo Mayor Brian Sullivan as Snohomish County Councilmember for District 2. That election is in November.
Sullivan has served as Snohomish County Councilmember since 2008 and is out of term limits.
Gregerson is currently in her second year of her second term as mayor of Mukilteo after winning her bid for reelection in November 2017 over challenger Dan Matthews.
Prior to becoming the first female mayor in the history of Mukilteo, Gregerson was a Mukilteo City Councilmember from 2004 until she was elected mayor in 2013 over incumbent Joe Marine.
If Gregerson wins her election, she will give up her remaining two years as mayor. If that’s the case, a special election to elect a new mayor to serve for the remainder of her term would take place in February 2020.
Additionally, four Mukilteo City Council seats are up for election.
The seats held by councilmembers Whelpley, Steve Schmalz, Christine Cook and Richard Emery will be on the ballot in November.