Clearview residents talk issues with elected officialsState Rep. Brandy Donaghy, County Councilman Jared Mead and state Rep. April Berg talk issues during a community meeting Aug. 24 in front of a

CLEARVIEW — Around 100 Clearview residents descended upon View Church on Highway 9 to discuss transportation, growth and public safety issues with a panel of county and state elected officials.
Thursday’s Q-and-A session brought 44th District state Reps April Berg and Brandy Donaghy, Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers and Sheriff Adam Fortney to answer questions during the two-hour, town-hall-style meeting.
“We want to be a place where folks can talk to the government,” said Kevin Sarbora, president of the Clearview Community Association which organizes the annual event. In addition, officials from the state Department of Transportation and representatives from U.S. Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell were also present.
Residents asked about improving bus service along Highway 9 and transportation issues in the area, expanding the Snohomish River Bridge and the lack of sidewalks in the area.
Donaghy, who is the vice chair of the House Transportation committee, said she is in a good position to make sure transportation issues in the area get done. “My goal is to make sure we have more than we what we need,” Donaghy said.
In terms of improving bus service, Somers noted the Clearview area is outside Community Transit’s boundaries.
Another audience member asked about the need of widening state Route 9 by Snohomish to four lanes including a second bridge over the Snohomish River.
Hung Huynh, an engineering manager for the state Department of Transportation, said there is funding for the additional bridge over the Snohomish River. The project is undergoing review, should be advertised in 2024, with construction to take place in 2025.
Growth came up during the back-and-forth between residents and elected officials.
A resident was concerned about the changes in the Urban Growth Area and if there are enough schools.
Somers said the adoption of a new comprehensive plan will take place in 2024.
“No decision has been made on where that (Urban Growth Area) line will go,” Somers said.
Mead said the plan hasn’t been decided yet and a conversation will take place in the coming year.
He said south Snohomish County is the fastest growing area in the state and the county is one of the fastest growing in the nation.
“We feel those growing pains and it’s happening in the south part of the county, which is right here,” Mead said.
Sheriff Fortney talked about the Fentanyl crisis and violent crime along with working with other agencies to start a violent crime unit.
Somers pointed out the county has purchased two former hotels, one being the former Days Inn in Everett and the other near Lynnwood, which will add 120 beds to get people off the streets. The properties were in building remediation after meth contamination was found.
Berg said considering the McCleary decision and the current lawsuit the Wahkiakum School District has against the state about funding capital projects, a discussion needs to take place about mitigation fees, which she described as “woefully low.”
“We need to do a lot of soul searching about how we fund school construction,” Berg said.
Sarbora, of the Clearview association, said he hopes to hold six to eight community meetings a year along with a candidate forum before the 2024 election.
“First of all, getting this many people out in public is fantastic,” Somers said after the meeting, adding it was an energized group talking about the issues.