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Former Monroe councilman running for mayor|
MONROE — Geoffrey Thomas, a former City Council member, announced he’s running for mayor.
Mayor Robert Zimmerman hasn’t publicly announced whether or not he will run for re-election. Thomas and Zimmerman served on the council together in the early 2000s under Mayor Donnetta Walser.
Thomas said last week that he considers himself to be “civic-minded” and wants to be heavily involved with the community should he be elected to head the city.
He is a legislative analyst for Snohomish County.
“I am running to promote inclusiveness in Monroe’s government and decision-making,” Thomas said. “I feel our community is best served when there is open participation by people with different opinions and experiences in policy development and implementation.”
Thomas said he wants the job because he wants to see more diverse opinions involved in the city’s process, especially during the city’s 10-year comprehensive plan update, which is a document that guides long-term growth policies.
“I would like to work with the council and other interested parties to promote policies and infrastructure investments that encourage family-wage jobs, more revenue into our region, and higher quality of life,” Thomas said in a written statement. “These investments and partnerships support our police and fire services, schools, parks, transportation system, and other services.”
Thomas is helping the Foothills neighborhood vocalize its opposition to a proposed rezone that would affect the traffic and population density in their neighborhood.
“There have been issues there in the processing in the application of the developer,” Thomas said, referring to the rezone proposal. “If we follow our procedures and include the consensus (of the people), then there would be a greater buy-in from the public.”
The city-initiated Roosevelt Road rezone of a 71-acre area near the Foothills neighborhood off U.S. 2 would allow developers to build a higher number of single family homes per acre, increasing the limit from 2 to 5 housing units per acre to 5 to 7 housing units per acre. The rezone is unpopular with the area’s residents, and the Foothills Homeowners Association has been active in protesting the rezone because of traffic and public safety concerns.
Residents near the area also worry that construction during development would bring large trucks through their neighborhood, which only has one local access point, endangering children.
“I want to make certain that the proposals that go forward are consensus-based,” Thomas said.
“Even for those folks in the minority, I want to represent the consensus approach,” Thomas said. “If there is a divergence of opinion, I think it’s reasonable to work with the staff to try to make certain that alternate proposals are brought forward. Decisions should be made in the open to amend proposals.”
He commended the current administration’s efforts for boosting business in Monroe.
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