Snohomish City Council, Position 6
Dean Randall vs. Eli Kunzmann
SNOHOMISH - The candidates for Snohomish City Council Position 6, a four-year term, are Dean Randall (incumbent) and Eli Kunzmann. The candidates answered a Tribune questionnaire last week. Their responses were edited for style, clarity and brevity.
This is the only contested race for council.
What are the top issues affecting Snohomish that you want to take on? How will you go about addressing them?
Randall: The first issue is to make utility rates more affordable for Snohomish ratepayers. The wastewater treatment plant in Snohomish is performing much better now due to the installation of new equipment called integrated media. The city should be able to continue to use it instead of building the wastewater pipeline to Everett, which would cost more. Another top issue is managing transportation needs within the city. This would be accomplished by completing the transportation projects currently planned in the city and working to obtain transportation grant funding for future projects. This would lower the cost of the projects for Snohomish citizens. The final issue is preserving and protecting the historic district by improving the city’s design standards.
Kunzmann: Water bills, government transparency, reasonable regulation regarding private property, criminal activity within city limits, affordable access to the new aquatic center, reasonable funding of senior center, maintenance and parking in downtown HBD, wise use of TBD Funding, maintenance of infrastructure, ‘Welcome to Snohomish’ signs at every entrance. What can one council member really do? I can voice my opinion within City Council meetings to advance an agenda that expects government to be responsive and accountable to their community. I can promote the use of modern technology and business sense to increase efficiency within city processes. I will negotiate for the best possible financial outcome at all times for the average home owner and business owner here in Snohomish. If I can light the way within council, I believe that we can re-define as a community what we really stand for and what we will not fall for. I will always focus on solving our community’s problems with our community’s solutions.
How do you distinguish yourself from your opponent?
Randall: I have a BA degree in political science from the University of Washington and an MBA degree from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. I have served almost 12 years on the Snohomish City Council and have extensive business experience working for GTE and Verizon for 27 years before retiring.
Kunzmann: I will ask hard questions and relentlessly defend common sense solutions. I will always think of probable outcomes from the point of view of a person who is working 60 hours a week in addition to being a spouse, a parent and struggling to lift up their family under their own power. To me, this opportunity is about having a seat at the table where real problems get addressed and a spot where I can speak for the people who have their heads down working.
How are you going to maintain open lines of communication between yourself and the residents of Snohomish to make sure that you get the best understanding of what residents want and need?
Randall: Citizens are always welcome to call or e-mail me with any questions, comments or concerns they might have. When citizens send e-mails, I always read them to try to better understand what their concerns are.
Kunzmann: At my website, www.relyoneli.us, I can be reached directly and I will call interested citizens back when I have a spare minute. I would very much like to speak for the silent majority and I have a profound amount of respect for the hard work and perseverance that has brought you to reside here in Snohomish. I believe that with your story I can change the narrative of this town. Please contact me if you love Snohomish and have something to share.
What are your thoughts on changes in housing/density trends and needs in Snohomish and how would you like to see historic downtown be impacted by development?
Randall: The two recent proposals (The proposed apodment building and the one bedroom apartment complex in the historic business district) were not compatible with the other structures currently in existence. I did not support these projects because I believe that we need to maintain or improve the city’s current design standards in the historic district and nearby residential neighborhoods to ensure that future developments are compatible.
Kunzmann: I am all for increased single family dwellings within the city of Snohomish. I would like to see many more families come here to Snohomish to enjoy our superior quality of life. An increase in ratepayers will also help us to shoulder the burden of our aging infrastructure maintenance. The HBD is the most attractive and charming part of our town. If we are going to set a tone for future development it will start here. Before any changes to the HBD, we can start by maintaining First Street and the HBD as well as the parking lot at Fred Meyer. Clean, fresh crack sealing and striping. Fully ADA accessible sidewalks, signage adequate to display our many diverse businesses, and more parking down past the Iron Works will all set the tone of future investment. These are all basic maintenance items that are well within the ability of city street crews and will let future investors know that we are serious about the success of our downtown and we won’t be trashing it up with stack and pack development.
Do you think the City Council is sufficiently communicating with residents to make sure they have the opportunity to air their grievances/opinions/comments/suggestions on city governance?
Randall: Citizens are always welcome to address the city council at the beginning of every council meeting during the citizen comment section on any topic they choose. They are also welcome to call or e-mail me with any questions, comments or concerns they might have. In addition, citizens will soon be able to use a newly redesigned city website that will be much more user friendly. This will allow them to be better informed about the City Council’s activities.
Kunzmann: I think that the City Council has done lots of communicating but they haven’t quite gotten the message. We like Snohomish small and charming now and into the future. We want transparency, accountability, and solutions that are addressed to fit Snohomish. We want an inside man that represents us.
Provide basic background about yourself.
Randall: Dean Randall, 60, retired from Verizon Northwest after 27 years of service. I also volunteered for the United Way of Snohomish County and Christmas House of Everett. I have lived in Snohomish for 30 years. I have been married to my wife, Rosemary, for 32 years. We have three grown children and one grandson.
Kunzmann: Eli Kunzmann, 35, small business owner, seven-year Snohomish resident, husband and father.
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