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Gregerson outlines goals, reviews successes at State of the City address

 

March 20, 2019

Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson addresses her goals for 2019 in her annual State of the City address Monday, March 18, at Mukilteo City Hall.

A call for volunteers, a reflection of the past, and a glance at the future were all on display at what may have been Mukilteo Mayor Jennifer Gregerson’s final State of the City address Monday, March 18.

Late last year, Gregerson, the first female mayor of Mukilteo, who took office in 2014, announced her bid for Snohomish County Council Position 2. If successful, Gregerson would vacate the remaining two years of her second term.

Gregerson’s address was her sixth as mayor, and many community leaders were in attendance to hear her speak.

Among those were Mukilteo City Councilmembers Scott Whelpley and Richard Emery, Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary, Mukilteo School District Superintendent Marci Larsen, Islamic Center of Mukilteo president and Mukilteo City Council candidate Riaz Khan.

Trenary, who is endorsing Gregerson’s bid for Snohomish County Council, introduced her to the attendees, calling it and “honor and privilege” to do so.

Gregerson first spoke of Mukilteo founder Jacob Fowler, who in a journal entry from November 1860 described the hard times he was facing while trying to establish a trading post and hotel.

“‘It is lonesome up hear and very quiet. Trade is very dull, but I live in hopes of it being better one of these days,’” Gregerson read from the entry. “Things did, and have improved over time, and in fact, our city became the first county seat and home of county government.”

The city, obviously, has changed greatly since Fowler and company settled here. The town of now more than 21,000 has also undergone plenty of change since Gregerson took office in 2014.

“Over the last five years as your mayor, I’ve worked hard to strengthen what makes our city special, but also tackle the big challenges that face our little town,” she said. “Today I want to remind ourselves of some of those accomplishments we’ve achieved together, and then share my vision for how we can keep our city strong.”

A few highlights Gregerson shared were the city’s new franchise garbage agreement, the establishment of a Rosehill Community Board, and the waterfront trail, which opened in May 2014 but will be closed starting next week due to construction of the new ferry terminal.

Starting in September, all of Mukilteo will be serviced by Waste Management, which Gregerson says will help the city stay clean while preserving public health.

The Rosehill Community Board was established in 2015, and Gregerson said she was glad that it gives residents more of a voice in how the city uses the facility.

Japanese Gulch

The funding, or lack thereof, for the Japanese Gulch Daylighting project, has been well documented in multiple editions of The Beacon since early last year. The partial funding for the project, which would help restore the gulch’s creek to help salmon thrive, was removed last year in favor of a Peace Park in Mukilteo and the Sno-Isle Mariner Library’s community campus project.

Gregerson says she is working with the state to get funding for the project so it can be completed in the next few years.

“Our community has invested in preserving that forest and those trails. Our next step is to ensure the creek is as healthy as it once was,” Gregerson said. “Returning the creek to its historic flow is a key step in improving the environment at the water’s edge.”

Another top priority for Gregerson was public safety.

She spoke of how proud she was to partner with the Mukilteo School District in providing a school resource officer at Kamiak High School, and wants to continue, and potentially grow, that partnership to provide better resources for Mukilteo students.

Seniors

Gregerson acknowledged the frequent use of the Rosehill Community Center by the Mukilteo senior community, a community she said has grown and is interested in growing even further.

Gregerson hopes to conduct a senior needs assessment in 2019 with the support of the City Council to evaluate senior services in the city going forward, including a potential dedicated senior center.

Volunteerism

When Gregerson gave her first State of the City address, she aimed to bring more awareness to victims of domestic violence. The city has implemented more resources to help those victims, along with victims of other crimes.

Gregerson used her recent address one area that makes Mukilteo a unique small town: volunteering.

“Our Mukilteo spirit of volunteerism is a hallmark of what makes this a wonderful city,” she said. “Our residents come together to make the Lighthouse Festival a success … volunteers help support Kiwanis and Rotary organizations, they preserve and open the lighthouse every summer through the (Mukilteo) Historical Society, and there are more volunteers that make this community a great place to live.”

Gregerson spoke of the Mukilteo Farmers Market, which is taking a hiatus in 2019 due to a lack of volunteers, and called on the community to reach out to volunteer so it can return next year.

“I am certain that we will all miss the easy access to fresh food, purchased directly from the farmers who grow it, and the festive atmosphere of a visit to the waterfront.”

What is the state of Mukilteo?

“As I closed my first term and begin the second year of this new one, I can say with confidence that our state of the city is strong,” Gregerson said. “We’re faced with great challenges, but even bigger opportunities. We’ve got our beautiful waterfront redevelopment, the Harbour Reach Corridor Project coming closer and closer to reality, and with all those projects we’re literally building a new future for our community.”

Author Bio

Brandon Gustafson, Editor, Mukilteo Beacon

Brandon Gustafson was named editor of the Mukilteo Beacon in October, 2017. Born and raised in Mukilteo, Brandon attended Mukilteo Elementary, Olympic View Middle School, and Kamiak High School, graduating in 2013. After high school, Brandon attended Shoreline Community College, earning his associate's degree while playing for the school's baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism.

Email: mukilteoeditor@yourbeacon.net
Phone: 425-347-5634
Twitter: @MukBeaconBPG

 

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