New Mayor Geoffrey Thomas takes over this month
MONROE - Incoming Mayor Geoffrey Thomas is ready to get to work.
“I spent a significant amount of time going door-to-door and introducing myself and asked (residents) about what their interests and concerns were in Monroe,” Thomas said about what will influence his upcoming term as mayor. “I spent a lot of time listening and not talking about myself.”
Thomas was officially sworn into office on Dec. 23 and attended his first City Council meeting as mayor on Jan. 7. The ceremonial swearing-in was at the start of the Jan. 7 council meeting.
Over the past several weeks, Thomas has been busy getting to know members of the community.
He’s reached out to the president of Everett Community College, members of the Monroe Chamber of Commerce and state senators.
“I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work,” Thomas said.
Thomas spoke with the Tribune over the holidays to talk about how he wants the next four years to pan out.
“Over the next four years, I’ll be making certain that at the city level, the mayor and council will be active in different regional commissions and boards all the way up to the state level. It’s important that Monroe has that cohesiveness in Olympia. Those are some of the building blocks that I’m beginning to lay down right now.”
Transportation will be a challenging issue Thomas hopes to tackle. He was already looking forward to working with the $3.2 million state grant to finish Tjerne Place, recently issued by the state Transportation Improvement Board.
The key issue he hopes to focus on, however, will be revitalizing Monroe’s existing downtown.
“I heard that doorbelling,” Thomas said. “People are looking for things to do downtown, and I feel we need to revitalize our downtown.”
Thomas said Monroe has been growing “sort of on the edges of town with residential development and it’s time to encourage higher density residential development to come to downtown.”
“Townhomes, condominiums, three stories or so, I’m not thinking skyscrapers, but in order to promote wider use of the downtown area, having more residential development downtown will help promote that.”
He foresees growth and development presenting a positive challenge for the city.
“I expect Monroe to see an increase in development, and I want to make sure the city is equipped to receive applications for development and I want to encourage high quality development to come to Monroe.”
Thomas said he has been working with city administrator Gene Brazel and Police Chief Tim Quenzer to acquaint himself with city guidelines.
He said he plans on working over the weekend and will probably be in City Hall on a Saturday or a Sunday for a few hours.
Thomas is a legislative analyst with Snohomish County and has been married for 21 years. He has two teenage sons. He beat Councilman Ed Davis in November.
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