The Beacon's August primary election guide: Q&A with Tiina Over
Last updated 7/21/2021 at 11am
A field of 12 City Council candidates are on the Aug. 3 primary ballot.
The top two candidates for Positions 1, 2, and 3 will advance to the Nov. 2 general election. Incumbent Mayor Jennifer Gregerson and former mayor and current City Councilmember Joe Marine are the only two candidates for mayor, and both will be on the general election ballot. Chris Perisho, a candidate for Position 1, told The Beacon he is withdrawing from the race.
The Beacon submitted five questions to each of the City Council candidates.
Q-1: What would be your top priorities as a Mukilteo City Councilmember and what makes you the best candidate to help achieve those goals?
A: As a current and previous Civil Service Commissioner for the City of Mukilteo, working with our fire and police departments, I take pride in the quick response of our emergency services response team. However, we have opportunities to improve those critical services by adequately funding them, along with the maintenance and replacement of critical city infrastructure. In addition, we need to commit to the much-needed senior center. These are things I believe we can do without raising taxes and by restructuring the budget. I have spent numerous years doing just that for large companies and nonprofits.
Q-2: Should the City Council have passed the Housing Action Plan? What are the potential benefits and/or pitfalls? The HAP included the following three elements – review comprehensive plan language, educate about programs to help residents stay in their homes, and expand senior housing options.
A: Building additional condominiums or apartment buildings for affordable housing may not be an option due to Mukilteo's high land values. If additional buildings are in fact built, traffic would increase on the already congested Mukilteo Speedway. My family and I chose to move to Mukilteo mainly for the top-rated schools and partially for the bedroom-like community. Apartment and condominium buildings versus single-family homes house a much larger population per square foot. It is my worry that it would add to our already growing class sizes and teachers and facilities would be directly affected.
Q-3: What role should the Rosehill Community Center play in the City and to what extent, if any, should the City be subsidizing the center?
A: The Rosehill Community Center is an asset to Mukilteo, although I feel it is not being used to its full capacity, making it undervalued. Restructuring the rates may make it more of an option for people wanting to hold events or activities. In my opinion, I don't feel the City should subsidize Rosehill.
Q-4: What should the City do with the Hawthorne Hall property (former site of Boys & Girls Club)? Should the City sell the property, use it for City-related activities (Police, Parks and Recreation), use it for City-related activities and lease to community groups?
A: Mukilteo has needed a senior center for a long time. We have both the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club as well as the Rosehill Community Center, but we continue to lack a true senior center. I believe that the Hawthorne Hall property would be best used as a senior center with the option to occasionally rent a portion of the space to people in and around our community.
Q-5: What sort of development would you like to see on the waterfront, and how should the City encourage that development? A private business owner is exploring the idea of building a parking garage with retail and office space. The Port of Everett likely will be taking ownership of the former NOAA site with unspecified plans.
A: The downtown waterfront has transformed over the last few years but is still lacking adequate parking. I envision bringing new businesses to the waterfront as well as a water feature, but with any additional buildings this would make parking become even more problematic. I believe we can tastefully build both a retail space and additional parking without impacting some of Old Town's homeowner's views. Adding a rooftop green space would be more appealing to the eyes of those whose homes sit up higher on the hill. What I don't envision is a large concrete parking garage or additional condos being built.