Murphy vs. Minchew: the City Council’s only contested race
EVERETT - The candidates for the general election met last week at a forum which attracted more than 90 residents.
The Everett School Board has two contested races, with Ted Wenta challenging Rodman Reynolds for Ed Petersen’s seat, and incumbent Carol Andrews defending her seat against Kim Guymon. Last week, the Tribune covered those races.
Mayor Ray Stephanson and Councilmen Paul Roberts and Jeff Moore have no challengers, same for Port of Everett commissioner Glen Bachman.
The only contested Everett City Council race is between Councilman Scott Murphy and challenger Jackie Minchew.
Murphy, a small business executive with a history of community volunteering, is trying to turn his January council appointment into a four-year term.
Minchew, a school teacher and grassroots civic leader, supports fostering local businesses and creative ideas to change the status quo.
The council candidates were asked about adding diversity to the council, improving downtown along Hewitt and whether or not they’d focus on helping the effort to land the Boeing 777X.
An idea of creating voting districts also was discussed. Everett’s council seats are all at-large, and in the past people criticized that a majority of council members live in the upscale Northwest Neighborhood.
Neither Minchew nor Murphy live in that neighborhood, but Minchew has rallied for council districts since 2005 to promote citywide representation.
Minchew, who lives in Lowell, said the issue is not just a north-south split but also socioeconomic. He said people he met on Casino Road and south Evergreen Way are disenfranchised to the point that they associate themselves more with Lynnwood than Everett.
Murphy said he hasn’t seen the issue come up while doorbelling. He also has attended numerous neighborhood meetings across the city.
The candidates have a starkly different view on supporting Boeing.
“I do believe it’s up to the City Council and mayor to be looking out for our largest employer,” Murphy said, noting that where the 777X is sited creates an important hinge point for the city’s economic future. Boeing is still deciding between Everett and South Carolina to build the 777X.
Minchew said he would let other leaders such as Stephanson, Gov. Jay Inslee and state legislators focus on Boeing while the council focuses on local businesses.
Murphy’s plan to attract other businesses is by supporting good regional transportation networks, regional air service at Paine Field and supporting Washington State University’s arrival to Everett Community College.
Minchew would focus on strengthening the local businesses already here, especially to prevent Everett from being too reliant on Boeing jobs.
The harshest words of the night came when Minchew used Murphy’s corporate job to jab the incumbent as an uncreative businessman.
“The voters of Everett have a choice between a neighborhood leader or a corporate executive,” Minchew said, “A studious and creative person who can think outside the box or a CPA who can balance the books but can’t think beyond the tenets of his profession.”
Murphy countered the attack, noting he works for a local small business.
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