Letters in the Tribune from 2023 and 2022

Letters published in the Dec. 27, 2023 Tribune:

Sign the initiative              to unrestrain police

        To the Editor:
Please make every effort to support law enforcement and sign the initiative to get a public vote toward restoration of pre-2021 pursuit rules.

Taken a good look around Everett / Snohomish County lately? Remember during Covid, how many local municipal eminences demanded that law enforcement severely curtail or outright halt proactive policing? Another in a long line of redirects away from inconvenient truth, the artificial limitations imposed on pursuits further emboldened the hoodlum contingent. Meaning, those who already demonstrate a predisposition to thumb their nose at the law. It made everyone less safe under the banner of “public safety.” That’s a beauty. Responsibility for so much as a scratch of collateral damage during and subsequent to a pursuit rests only and squarely on the fleeing driver. Not on the cops giving chase. We are now seeing unsurprisingly disastrous effects from the selective bestowal of cover upon all manner of dissolute behavior and gross unrestraint in civic comportment. We cannot continue to kneecap the cops or disarm law abiding citizens.  

Paul Keller
Inmate, Stafford Creek Corrections Center
        Formerly of  Snohomish


Letters published in the Dec. 20 Tribune:

        Giving too        much away

To the Editor:
Regarding the Tribune article “Affordable housing incentives get go ahead at Planning Commission” (Dec. 13 edition):
The Planning Commission recommended to the council regulatory, density, and financial incentives to entice developers to come to Snohomish to build more multi-family apartment units, claiming that “free market capitalism” doesn’t work anymore. Well, what the commission recommended is nothing more than “crony capitalism” or favoritism to insider developers.
For example, under proposed financial incentives, developers will escape traffic and parks impact fees, and water/sewer hookup and meter costs. Someone has to pay for the new roads, parks, and utilities expansion. It is the current residents who will have to pay for these impact improvements.
Last year, only because of public opinion, the council rejected a similar multi-family financial incentive — the MFTE property tax exemption in the Midtown District.
Council should do the same at the next January meeting and reject the developer financial incentives in the proposed Ordinance SMC 14.210.240.


Morgan Davis


hild tax credit one ladder out of poverty

To the Editor:
With the holidays food and toy drives become familiar sights.  The overflowing boxes are evidence of local caring for those with less.  Meanwhile Everett will soon have a new pallet shelter for mom’s with kids and pregnant women (“VOAWW to create shelter for moms,” Dec. 6 Tribune).  Recently a study by Dr. Mark Robert Rank, of Washington University, shows 59% of Americans will experience poverty for at least some of their lives.  Congress needs to take action to end this crisis.  Ladders out of poverty, like the expanded Child Tax Credit which was proven to work needs to be renewed.  Other equity initiatives like a renter tax credit need to be passed along with quality health care for everyone.   Now is the perfect time to thank Reps. Larsen and DelBene, along with Senators Cantwell and Murray for all of their efforts to end the devastating effects of poverty, and encourage them to keep up this critical work until there is no need for shelters, food banks, and emergency room care for people without insurance.  This can help create happy holidays for all.


Willie Dickerson


Letters published in the Dec. 13 Tribune:

Politics at play

To the Editor:
In response to the story about Snohomish restaurants and code violations (Dec. 6 Tribune):

It’s not surprising to see the city going after and punishing “some” businesses now after the forced lockdowns and allowing for outside dining. What has changed?

The city attacking right-minded businesses. How progressive and predictable.

John Lorenz
Bradenton, Florida
Formerly of Snohomish

Medicare pay cuts not good for doctors

To the Editor:
I am thankful for Medicare, which I regard as a wonderful (if sometimes overwhelming) program that helps folks keep access to quality health care as we age.

That’s why I was alarmed to see that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is planning to slash Medicare payments to physicians by 3.36% next year. I know that CMS has been cutting payments to physicians for years. Isn’t Congress planning on doing something about it?

Senator Maria Cantwell and the rest of Washington’s federal delegation needs to step in and prevent these cuts from happening. More cuts will mean fewer doctors, and fewer doctors means people like me will have a harder time getting the care we need.

Other providers receive payment updates, why don’t physicians?

The people of Washington State don’t have time to wait. Congress needs to step up and avert this impending crisis.

Sandy Walton

No letters published in the Nov. 15, 22 or 29 or Dec. 6 Tribunes, send us one!

Letters published in the Nov. 8 Tribune:


New effort can          rectify issues

To the Editor:
Thanks to the Tribune for noting the Poverty 101 workshop that was offered Nov. 4 (Tribune Briefs).
Recently released census data shows that child poverty has more than doubled since the expanded Child Tax Credit expired. Rep. Suzan DelBene has introduced the American Family Act to renew it, so it once again reaches families in dire need. Studies show families used their monthly tax credit to buy food, pay bills, and pay rent. The way the tax credit is currently structured, the people most in need don’t qualify, while families making over $100,000 can qualify for the full credit. The American Family Act would rectify this and other tax fairness issues, once again cutting poverty significantly.
     Not sure you understand?  Attend the next poverty workshop in January. Want to do more? Let Congresswoman DelBene know (1-202-224-3121) you appreciate her efforts and encourage her to continue to work to pass this ladder out of poverty.  40% of Americans at or near the poverty level will greatly appreciate it. 


Willie Dickerson


Letters published in the Nov. 1 Tribune:


Baty, Adams are best candidates in hairy election

To the Editor:
When the politics of polarization infect a school district, it is the students who suffer. The community cannot afford to have school board members who seek to impose their narrow religious and political beliefs on an ever-more diverse student population. We need school board members who understand that one size does not fit all, that the classroom should be a window to the world, not shut off from it. With that in mind, there is no question that the two best candidates for the Snohomish School board are Sarah Adams and Tabitha Baty.


Malcolm Bates

Larkin is who students need

To the Editor:
As a former High School Mathematics teacher, I know first hand that we need Sherri Larkin for Snohomish School Board.
Our students are struggling. According to OSPI, 51% of Snohomish School District students failed to meet State standards in Mathematics. By 11th grade, the trending failure rate spiked to a dismal 64.5%. Is this perhaps because academic excellence is not the foremost objective of the current School Board?
This is where Sherri Larkin steps in. Academic excellence is Sherri’s chief priority. Her goal is for students to be proficient in all subjects. At the heart of her message is this: when students have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of academics, more doors of opportunity will be open to them.
To accomplish this, we need students, teachers, parents, and the School Board to team up together. For teachers, this means more support in the classroom. Rather than burdening teachers with useless bureaucracy, Sherri wants to enable teachers to focus on teaching the fundamentals of their courses.
Lastly, Sherri wants to partner with parents. Studies across the board show that parental involvement is crucial in student’s academic success, which in my experience is true. We desperately need MORE parent engagement in our schools, not less. Sherri seeks to team up with families to help build strong, intelligent, and motivated students who will make an impact in their own homes and communities after graduation.
     I support Sherri Larkin for Snohomish School District Board member, and I hope you do, too.


Brittney Farrell

Adams, Baty most qualified candidates

        To the Editor:
Snohomish School District (SSD) board candidates Sarah Adams and Tabitha Baty are student-centered, visionary, community-involved professionals. Each has proven leadership history. (Sarah as a sitting school board member and Tabitha as a community organizational leader and communications facilitator.) Each values transparent stewardship of public funds and open conversations on difficult – even controversial – topics. Both candidates list student learning for EACH student as their top responsibility. Each knows hiring and retaining professional staff is key to student achievement. And each understands the roles families play in each child’s learning.
Before Sarah Adams was appointed to the school board in 2022, she served on the Citizens’ Facility Advisory Committee (CFAC), volunteered in classrooms and was on the Cathcart Parent Organization board. SSD’s financial solvency during her tenure is proven by its being one of the county’s few districts not laying off staff because of budget shortfalls. She was instrumental in supporting citizens designing the district’s new strategic plan and establishing a student advisory board to ensure student voices are heard at the highest level. Sarah’s children now attend SSD schools.
     Tabitha Baty is a customer service professional with decades of experience resolving conflict, finding solutions, enhancing efficiencies and fostering conversations. Having had students attend public schools, she is familiar with the power of quality education and believes continuous improvement and regular evaluation of district progress – such as is outlined in the new strategic plan – will ensure SSD students have educational opportunities today to prepare them for their futures.


Mary Waggoner

Larkin’s focus can get us back on track

        To the Editor:
Sherri Larkin has my endorsement for Snohomish School Board. I have known the Larkin family for 8 years and I’m very impressed with how they have raised their children. In everything they do, they give 110%.
As an elected School Board Director I believe the vision that Sherri has will get the Snohomish School District back on track. Currently we are failing our kids. In 2022, third graders across our state scored at only 50% competency in math. Seventh graders scored at 36% and 10th graders scored at 28%. If you are happy with those results, then keep doing the same things.
I’m appalled at how Sherri’s opponents are tying her to far right groups that she has never been a part of, but it seems that this has become the new norm. Don’t fall for these fear mongering tactics.
         Vote for Sherri Larkin.  


Randy Hayden  

Baty, Adams are for public ed

To the Editor:
Our Snohomish Schools are the heart of our community. They provided the foundation for my passion for the sciences, instilled in me the importance of education, and left me with cherished memories.
The Snohomish School Board plays a pivotal role in shaping district policies, curriculum, direction, and overall experience for students in our Snohomish public education system.
On your ballots are two key races that will impact the School Board for the next four years. Tabitha Baty and Rob Serviss are running for Director of District 2, and Sarah Adams and Sherri Larkin are running for Director of District 4.
Baty and Adams are the advocates for public education that our School Board needs. Both are dedicated to the well-being of all children and bring valuable experience working across divides.
Adams, with her background as a mental health provider, brings a vital perspective to address the mental health challenges our schools face, and she has proven her commitment to all kids since her appointment last year. Baty has served on the Snohomish for Equity Board and is a certified 3Practice Circle leader, a methodology designed to cross divides. Both are endorsed by the Snohomish Education Association which represents district teachers, and both fully engaged in the public education system with their own children.
         With Baty and Adams, there are no hidden agendas; they are genuinely concerned about the welfare of all kids. 


Sara Fagerlie

Cindy Gobel is proactive for voters

To the Editor:
We’ve seen firsthand the power of an informed electorate. Cindy Gobel is a game-changer. Her deep knowledge of the elections department is impressive, but what really sets her apart is her proactive approach to leadership and her commitment to voter education and outreach.
Cindy doesn’t just wait for voters to come to her; she reaches out, educates, and makes voting accessible to everyone. If you want an Auditor who will not just sit back but actively work to enhance voter engagement, Cindy is the one.
         With her in the office, we’re not just casting a vote but investing in the future of informed democracy in Snohomish County.


Paula Rhyne

Fortney has succeeded in ways you didn’t know

To the Editor:
Sheriff Adam Fortney has support from nine police unions in Snohomish County, showcasing his strong leadership and dedication to enhancing public safety. Throughout his tenure, Sheriff Fortney has consistently demonstrated integrity, compassion, and a steadfast commitment to serving all residents.
Notably, he has made significant strides in bridging the gap between law enforcement and communities of color. Collaborating with organizations like America’s Promise Project and establishing a diverse Sheriff’s community advisory board, he actively promotes understanding and inclusivity. Sheriff Fortney has also spearheaded a groundbreaking law enforcement program for at-risk youth, personally devoting his time to teach the program after hours.
Communication and transparency have been paramount under his leadership. Through innovative video messages to the community and monthly meetings with business owners at Patty’s Egg Nest, he ensures accessibility and responsiveness to residents’ concerns.
Addressing longstanding issues on Highway 99 and Airport Road, Sheriff Fortney organized graffiti and trail cleanups, as well as patrol operations targeting crime in these areas. He personally participated in activities like painting over gang graffiti and cleaning up walking trails on Saturdays, fostering a sense of safety for families.
Additionally, he implemented the first crime data dashboard, providing real-time access to current crime data in the county, empowering residents to actively contribute to neighborhood safety.
         Sheriff Fortney’s vision aligns with the aspirations of individuals seeking secure communities for their children. Re-elect Sheriff Adam Fortney to support his unwavering commitment to our community’s safety.


Benjamin Wise
Lake Stevens

Research candidates’gun violence policies

To the Editor:
565 mass shootings.
         The sheer number of mass shootings in our country is and should be a call to action as citizens of our besieged nation.  We must begin with our vote for Sheriff this November. We have a clear choice between an incumbent willing only to enforce those laws he personally approves of and a challenger dedicated to enforcing the laws and regulations we have, as a voting population, directed her to respect. At the very least, our upcoming choice must recognize the victims of those 565 mass shootings this year. Look at the record and statements of both candidates regarding gun violence.  Then make your choice in the interest of us all.


Peter Messinger

Fortney can’t keep his finances straight

          To the Editor:
The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) is responsible for interpreting and enforcing the campaign finance and disclosure laws in our state. The PDC investigates and publishes all enforcement cases online for public review at https://www.pdc.wa.gov. It should also be noted they offer help and support to campaigns.
Sheriff Fortney, despite this being his second time running for office, is still having trouble following these laws and has trouble reporting his funds. He is currently on his THIRD campaign treasurer this campaign!
Sheriff Fortney has PDC sustained violations as he received a “reminder” to not use his public office to assist with his election campaign, and received a “written warning” concerning the failure to disclose contributions and expenditures within timelines.
Alleged current PDC violations being investigated include transactions he has already received a warning about. He continues to use the public office to assist with the election as well as an alleged violation of timely expense reporting regarding campaign signs. It is also alleged he didn’t return contributions received over the contribution limit, as well as changing the contributors’ personal information – which makes it look like a different person altogether made the contribution.
              These are examples of how Sheriff Fortney acts as if he is above the law. Also, if he can’t handle the finances of his campaign, how do we expect him to handle the Sheriff’s Office’s finances of over $100 million?


Karen Guzak



Letters published in the Oct. 25 Tribune:

Larkin should be applauded

To the Editor:
Over 90% of American children in K-12 attend public schools. Most people want the best education possible for their own children and the same for others.
We lament the precipitous drop in standardized test scores and that 60,000 students have left Washington public schools since Covid.
Homeschooled students typically score 15-25% above public school students on standardized tests. Home-educated students score in the 77th percentile on the Iowa Test, and above average on the ACT and SAT exams—72 points higher on the SAT.
In business, we applaud success stories. Yet in education, we seem to penalize those who seek innovative options and to deny opportunities to lift up others.
Sherri Larkin homeschooled three of her five children. Two were admitted to U.S. military academies, which is no small feat. She partnered with the public school in her home education and sent two of her children to a classical Christian school.
Is this a crime that disqualifies her from serving her community and sharing what she’s learned? Is it wrong for a tax-payer to bring successful ideas to a school board?
I think not.
Sherri is not a member of Moms for Liberty.
It is sad that some who favor a public school monopoly are so afraid of innovation that they wish to denigrate someone brave enough to pose questions and seek better answers.
         I support Sherri Larkin for Snohomish School Board and applaud her courage.


Debbie Metsker

Baty well-suited to join school board

To the Editor:
I am writing to support Tabitha Baty for Snohomish School District Director District 2. Tabitha is a dedicated, passionate supporter of public education; her life experience and professional skills are well suited to the task of helping to lead Snohomish schools.
Tabitha grew up and raised her children in Snohomish. Three generations of her family attended Snohomish schools. When Tabitha realized her biracial children had a less positive experience than she had in local schools, Tabitha devoted herself to improving her community by helping to lead a group dedicated to fostering discussion of, building knowledge about, and reducing racism in Snohomish. This experience will enable her to be a courageous, clear-eyed district leader sensitive to the needs of youth.
Tabitha’s professional experience as a project/customer service manager in the aerospace industry provides her with experience in systems management, setting goals, achieving positive outcomes, budgeting, and working successfully with a variety of people. These skills will serve her well as a school board member, whose duties include helping to set the school district mission and goals, review and adopt district policies, and oversee the district budget.
Tabitha has a passion for communication with diverse audiences. She is trained in facilitating dialogue that emphasizes listening to and curiosity about different points of view. With these skills she will be able to hear and understand the views of stakeholders throughout the district.
         Tabitha will work to create opportunities for all students to experience a welcoming, nurturing and educationally stimulating school environment.


Lisa Stettler

Larkin questions policies on behalf of children

          To the Editor:
Why I am supporting Sherri Larkin for School Board District 4:
She is a strong candidate with excellent experience as an educator, raising 5 children including 2 Glacier Peak graduates and 2 Annapolis graduates. With her extensive knowledge Sherri knows what works well in educating children in all age groups.
Sherri supports providing the classroom help that teachers need.
Sarah Adams voted along with the board, which illustrates her lack of experience/vigilance in by not including parents/public in policy decisions that affect our children.
Here is an example:
On August 23, 2023, the board approved a revised policy from the September 15, 1992, policy on library information and technology. Specifically, the new policy excludes public comment on reconsideration of library materials. Everything is decided through committees. The former policy (top of page 3) states, “Request for reconsideration shall be open to public comment”. Nowhere in the new policy does it allow for public comment.
The school board is basically telling parents/public we don’t want your input.
She’s is articulate and asks hard questions concerning policies, while standing up for parent/public right to provide input regarding board policies.
As a board member Sherri will value input from educators and parents in determining policies that best serve our kids.
         It is important that we elect school board members who recognize every voice matters concerning our children’s education. Sherri Larkin is the best choice in that regard.


John Gabriel


Johnson is          eminently qualified

To the Editor:
As I was driving on the Lowell-Snohomish River Road this week I saw a Fortney for Sheriff political sign with an add-on that said, “Endorsed by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association.” It is my understanding that Adam Fortney’s opponent for Snohomish County Sheriff was not included for consideration for that endorsement.
         What we need is someone who puts honesty and integrity above authoritarian tricks. Susanna Johnson will improve and strengthen public trust and public safety. She is eminently qualified and will work to reinstate the Sheriff’s Office accreditation. Susanna Johnson is an excellent choice for Snohomish County Sheriff.


Julie Davis


Fortney’s police union endorsements are from b.s. ballot

        To the Editor:
Everyone most likely has seen the Fortney For Sheriff signs with all the local police union endorsements. What is notable is that only 9 of the 15 county police agencies endorsed. Why not the other 6? Only 4 of 9 interviewed Susanna Johnson.
What voters should know is how the endorsements are obtained. I speak from experience as a retired deputy of 26 years and 8 years as the president of the Deputy Sheriff Association (DSA). Police unions are like a fraternal group in that they tend to stick together. After the DSA made their endorsement the other police unions followed suit and in a couple cases did so before the DSA endorsed.
So how then did Mr. Fortney secure the DSA endorsement? The DSA bylaws were so ambiguous they were interpreted to say that the incumbent automatically gets the endorsement unless he/she does something so outrageous to warrant taking it away.
In past years when I was president, both candidates names would have been placed on a secret ballot and sent to each DSA member for their vote. This was not done this time. Johnson’s name was never on the ballot for the members to choose.
         To those who think because a candidate has all these police union endorsements they deserve your vote, take the time to look at their experience, education, vision and decide based upon your own without basing it on what some police unions have said. 


Ken Crowder


Letters published in the Oct. 18 Tribune:


Fellow judges say:          Retain Judge          Moriarty

          To the Editor:
This November, you will have the opportunity to vote to retain Judge Patrick Moriarty, Snohomish County Superior Court, Pos. 17. Judge Moriarty is endorsed by every sitting judge in the Superior, District and Municipal Courts in Snohomish County. We urge you to cast your vote to keep this hard-working, experienced, smart and fair judge on our bench.
Judge Moriarty has years of judicial experience, as both a Superior Court Judge and Superior Court Commissioner. His judicial experience follows years of experience as an attorney where he practiced in all areas of the law that routinely come before the court — criminal defense, prosecution, family, juvenile, civil, and dependency. The work we do as judges is complex, varied, and exceedingly consequential — both to the individuals who come before us as well as the community. It is clear to us that Judge Moriarty’s decades of experience both inform and enhance his ability to meet the unique demands of our work.
         Judge Moriarty is the epitome of a knowledgeable, experienced, thoughtful and conscientious judge — the kind of judge we need to keep on our Superior Court bench. The extent and breadth of the community endorsements speak volumes about how seriously he takes his responsibility to treat everyone who appears before him fairly and impartially. Over 200 lawyers who practice in our court endorsed him for election. We cannot afford to lose this important, hard-working meter of our court. Vote to retain Judge Moriarty in November.


Signed jointly from
         Judge Anna Farris, Judge Bruce Weiss, Judge George Appel, Judge Joseph Wilson, Judge Marybeth Dingledy, Judge Richard Okrent, Judge Cindy Larsen, Judge Jennifer Langbehn, Judge Paul Thompson, Judge Edirin Okoloko, Judge Karen Moore and Judge Jon Scott


Sarah Adams is needed for kids

          To the Editor:
Some weeks ago I had an opportunity to speak with Sarah Adams about her experiences on the Snohomish School Board, having been appointed to her current position to fill a vacancy and now running to be elected to that position. Having raised five children who attended public school in Snohomish, I have had significant opportunity to appreciate the value of student well-being as a critical part of successful teaching and learning. I was pleased to learn that Sarah strongly shares my values in this regard.
         Now, perhaps more than ever before, our public schools need leadership that is up to the challenge of educating our children in these difficult times for emotional health. That is why I will vote for Sarah Adams. Our schools need experienced professionals urgently motivated to ensure our schools are resourced and focused on the well-being of our Snohomish students and staff. Strong emotionally stability is a necessary foundation for successful learning and growing throughout our lives and it must start in school.


Mike Edwards

Put weight behind Sarah Adams

          To the Editor:
I want to thank all the voters who supported me in the school board primary and ask that you now cast your vote for the incumbent, Sarah Adams. Sarah believes in and supports public education and public schools. Her opponent, Sherri Larkin, does not. I hope that voters will question the motives and agenda of a candidate running for our school board who wants a say on our public schools but did not fully utilize our public school system.
I also want to share that I was flattered by the letter published in the Tribune dated July 26 that detailed at length the activities of the Snohomish Education Association during contract negotiations 22 years ago when I was president. It concluded by giving me the superpower of single-handedly “bullying the Snohomish School District.” I was simply doing my job, addressing teacher concerns and contractual rights.
Evidently, the person who penned that piece is a member of the King County chapter of the Moms for Liberty. I encourage voters to research this national organization whose Snohomish chapter members support Larkin. Records show that, to date, approximately two-thirds of her sizable campaign coffers have come from sources outside our school community.
         I ask that you please consider these matters in comparison to Sarah Adams’s experience, commitment to public education, and local support when you cast your ballot for School Director Position 4.


Monica Weber

Editor's note: See coverage of Snohomish School Board races in the Tribune.



New incentive idea a stealth tax on all

        To the Editor:
Regarding the Sept. 27 Tribune article revealing County Public Works finally has secured a signed Purchase and Sale Agreement with a developer for its former public works yard between Bonneville Avenue and Avenue D in the city of Snohomish’s Midtown District:
A year ago, the Snohomish City Council wisely rejected property tax breaks (MFTE) for developers in the Midtown District. (Only council members Guzak, Kuleta, and Neals voted to approve the developer tax breaks.)
Now, new developer tax breaks called “incentives” are being recommended again by the Planning Commission under the guise of “affordable housing” based on HUD guidelines. (HUD defines an individual earning less than $100,000/year as low-income and eligible for the small percentage (10%) of so-called “affordable housing” units the developer sets aside to get all the incentives.)
Developer financial incentives include permit fee reductions, park impact fees, traffic impact fees, and water/sewer hookup fees.
Guess who has to make up this loss of revenue from all these developer incentives? Every current city property owner and renter. In other words, like the MFTE, this is just another stealth tax on all city residents in order to entice and enrich developers.
         The City Council is expected to vote on this dubious Planning Commission wealth transfer proposal by the end of November.


Morgan Davis


Letters published in the Oct. 11 Tribune:


Watch out for Moms for Liberty influence

        To the Editor:
“Moms for Liberty” (MFL) is a political action group established in Florida in 2021. MFL are now in 45 states, including Washington, and yes, Snohomish County.
MFL are far-right, anti-LGBTQ, white supremacist. Leadership is known, membership is not. MFL have banned books in schools, degraded curricula, divided communities and harassed teaching professionals. They are admired and supported by the Proud Boys. Look for the glowing endorsement of MFL by Enrique Tarrio, Proud Boy ex-leader and convicted seditionist.
MFL members most commonly run for membership on school boards. In Florida, they campaign openly and they win. In Snohomish, expect MFL stealth campaigns.
Please take a hard look at these school board races. Read up on Moms for Liberty. 

Please vote! 


Jan Lengenfelder

** - Editor's note:
This letter has been altered to remove an inaccurate statement about a candidate's personal life.


In for Sarah Adams

          To the Editor:
Sarah Adams has my vote for Snohomish School Board.
Selected by the board from among many applicants a year ago to fill out a term, Sarah is willing to continue to serve on our behalf and for that I am grateful! In her first year on the job, she has shown herself to be a quick learner, thoughtful, hard-working, knowledgeable, and a team player.
Sarah is very concerned that our tax dollars are spent responsibly toward the goal of every student thriving. Sarah does her homework — she learns the facts, holds student and staff well-being as the highest priority and considers all points of view before she forms her own opinion. Sarah and her husband are parents of two young students who attend Cathcart Elementary. Believing that parent and community involvement makes stronger schools and communities, she has lived her commitment through many volunteer roles: Citizens’ Facility Advisory Committee, Cathcart Parent Organization (Co-President) and volunteer parenting group facilitator for the Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS). A key contributor to the Snohomish School District Strategic Planning Committee, she has spent many hours visiting all schools in the District to see first-hand what is going well and what needs attention. Her presence is highly valued by members of the Snohomish Education Foundation Board where she serves as the School Board’s liaison.
     Sarah really cares about the success of students and staff.  I urge you to join me in voting for Sarah Adams for Snohomish School Board this November!


Candace McKenna

Johnson has the chops

          To the Editor:
It was an honor to work with the then Snohomish County Sheriff Operations Bureau Chief, Susanna Johnson, who oversaw Sheriff technology initiatives.
As a Senior Analyst in the Department of Information Technology, I program and project managed, coordinated, and tracked technology projects for the Snohomish County Sheriff for about 6 years of my over 24 years of service for Snohomish County. During a 38-month period of that time, I oversaw the completion of over 102 Sheriff projects. Project highlights included: a county wide 911 dispatch system that uses digital mapping and GPS on vehicles to improve first responder response times, new ruggedized laptops providing safety, communication and performance, the first Snohomish County Sheriff Corrections electronic medical records system to help save lives in medical assessment and treatment of inmates, an automotive computer system to track safety conditions for Sheriff vehicles and reduce crashes.
Operations Bureau Chief Johnson exhibited excellence in public safety and service leadership. She provided vision for improvements, was competent, led by example, fostered strengths of her staff supporting her teams, listened to, welcomed expert advice, and provided predictable integrity. If Chief Johnson gave her word, she would follow through and she was well known for her commitment to staff and the people of Snohomish County.
     If elected Snohomish County Sheriff, Susanna Johnson will bring critical progress and integrity for the people of our county. Please VOTE for Susanna Johnson for Snohomish County Sheriff!


Leon Zainwel


Letters published in the Oct. 4 Tribune:


Demi Chatters is the right choice

To the Editor:
The people of Everett have a long-standing reputation as being hard-working, gritty, and no-nonsense. That’s why I love living here. That’s why I fit in. That’s why I love my neighbors. And that’s also exactly why people should be concerned about the recent Herald article exposing the alarming amount of special interest money that has poured in to support a candidate running for City Council Position #6. This candidate’s appalling acceptance of contributions from special interests raises serious concerns about potential conflicts of interest and true motivations behind their candidacy. Everett voters deserve a councilmember that is committed to the betterment of our community, not beholden to special interests.
Demi Chatters is the hard-working, gritty, and no-nonsense candidate that deserves your vote for Everett City Council. Her tenure as Chair of the City of Everett’s Planning Commission has clearly showcased her dedication to ensuring that the city’s growth thoughtfully addresses housing affordability, public safety, and livability of every neighborhood in the city. Her opponent’s questionable campaign donations from special interest housing developers, and past votes on council, do not exhibit this same commitment.
s Everett voters, we deserve to know that our elected officials have your interests at heart, and Demi Chatters has consistently demonstrated this commitment. Demi represents a fresh start for Everett. Let’s choose a candidate who prioritizes working families, public safety, and accountability.
     Vote Demi Chatters for Everett City Council.


Paula Rhyne


Letters published in the Sept. 27 Tribune:

Sarah Adams puts children first

To the Editor:
As you consider who to vote for in the November election, I wish to encourage you to vote for Sarah Adams who is running for the Snohomish School Board. She was appointed to the board one year ago to fill a vacant seat and has been a fast learner and a real asset to the board and our district. She is now running for a full term.

She has educated herself, by visiting every school and having conversations with staff. She has worked effectively and collaboratively as a board member. Sarah has the qualifications needed to be on the Board. She is a great listener, she has connections to the community, her service for the last year on the Board and her approach to education makes her the perfect candidate. Sarah has worked hard to provide students with an excellent education while maintaining fiscal responsibility and ties with parents and the community. She is the only candidate for this position who has children in the school system as well as the only current board member with children in our schools.

Sarah and her husband made a conscious decision to move to Snohomish to raise their children. She is committed to the district.

We need her voice.

Sonia Siegel Vexler

Letters published in the Sept. 20 Tribune:

Re-upping READ Act in budget talks preserves schools  

To the Editor:
As students go back to school, we can be grateful we live in a country that makes public education available and free. Around the world, a billion children are not as fortunate, especially after the disruptions of COVID, causing schools to close. Girls have particularly fallen behind along with an increase in child marriages and early pregnancies. Fortunately, the READ Reauthorization Act (House: HR 681, Senate S 41) would address this by having USAID (our development agency) update its education strategy to focus on ensuring marginalized students, especially girls and those with disabilities, receive a quality education.  While including robust monitoring, the bill asks for no new money. Congress is busy working to agree on a budget, but needs to pass this bill by the end of the month as well, to renew America’s strategy to help the world’s vulnerable children. Won’t you take a minute to ask your representative and senators (phone 202-224-3121) to make sure it passes in time?

Willie Dickerson


Letters published in the Sept. 13 Tribune:

The FAIR Act will create cost reforms

To the Editor:
One of the most pressing issues facing seniors here in Washington is the rising cost of health care. Prices have increased at twice the rate of inflation in the last few years and show no signs of slowing. Our seniors are struggling to afford the care they need – and this has to change.

There’s a clear culprit here: large, corporate hospital systems. Under Medicare’s current billing structure, these hospitals can overcharge patients for care received at recently acquired doctor offices where seniors previously received care at a lower, affordable rate.

These unexpected and pricey, out-of-pocket costs are challenging for seniors to afford, especially those who rely on a fixed income. That’s why it’s crucial that Representative Suzan DelBene and the rest of Washington’s congressional delegation support legislation like the Facilitating Accountability in Reimbursements Act, or FAIR Act. It would help protect our seniors by leveling out the price for care regardless of the location where it is received.

The FAIR Act could lead to site-neutral payment reform and hundreds of billions of dollars in cost savings for taxpayers and Medicare’s budget. It’s time for Congress to act and improve access to affordable care. Washington’s seniors are counting on it.

Sandy Walton

Letters published in the Sept. 6 Tribune:


Billboard for school doesn’t need to use divisive message

        To the Editor:
I recently contacted a high school friend after 40 years, knowing our political views were likely opposite. After a tough discussion, we decided to be friends first and not discuss politics. It feels amazing.
A few days later I was coming back toward town from Harvey Field and saw a billboard rented by a local church. That sign has a statement in large red letters that creates political division within our community. I don’t know if it’s deliberate or not, but in a town, in a society, where we need to live in the same spaces cooperatively, I find the red words disturbing. Especially when it’s promoted by a church.
     Advertise your school, but please don’t add words that insult your neighbors. 


Suzanne Davis


Letters published in the Aug. 30 Tribune:

Fortney is doing his job the right way

To the Editor:
The Sheriff’s Office is responsible for the enforcement of laws within the confines of the state constitution and the Constitution of the United States.

The sheriff, elected by we the people, is the only head of a law enforcement agency in Snohomish County that is directly accountable to the residents and is a bulwark against authoritarian politicians who sanction: defunding the police; opioids and other drugs flooding into our counties; assaults, robberies, homicides, shootings, burglaries and auto thefts; allowing criminals to walk with no bail; pursuit laws that hamstring law enforcement in their pursuit of known criminals; abduction and chemical mutilation of children by the state without the parent’s explicit knowledge or approval.

For me, there is but one choice for Snohomish County Sheriff and that’s Adam Fortney! A solidifying factor in my decision is the number of police guilds and associations that have endorsed Adam Fortney. Collectively, they are far better-informed than we are. You can find them here: https://www.reelectadamforsheriff.com/endorsements.

But it’s not just about fighting crime. In 2021, Sheriff Fortney implemented a program for youth in Snohomish County, ‘Sheriff’s LEAD The Way Program’ (https://snohomishcountywa.gov/5815/NEW-Lead-The-Way-Program), with the objective of providing youth, who may well be heading down the wrong path, classes ‘…rooted in life skills, decision making, accountability, and leadership’ — a skill-set sorely lacking in many kids today.

It’s your vote: “Do Your Own Research. Make Up Your Own Mind. Think For Yourself.”- Sharyl Attkisson.

Rob Munro

Letters published in the Aug. 23 Tribune:


          Reichert provides balanced approach

To the editor:
This Teamster is supporting Dave Reichert for Governor.  His resume and documented history of common sense and good judgment is the leadership we need in Olympia. From public safety to the economy, it’s time for a balanced approach to governing our state. 


Todd Fredrickson


Letters published in the Aug. 16 Tribune:


Earth is undergoing change, to interrupt process is foolish

To the editor:
Less than 10,000 years ago, Noah was instructed to build an ark. Upon completion, “all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened.” Genesis 6:13. What could have caused the event? A large asteroid striking the earth, penetrating the earth’s crust, and releasing molten lava into the earth’s aquifers may be an explanation. The superheated aquifers could have responded like a great pressure cooker, sending water from the earth into the atmosphere. Within forty days, the entire earth was covered with water and possibly also ice. This may have been the beginning of the ice age.
The earth began a period of transformation. With the depleted aquifers, the earth may have imploded, fracturing the earth’s crust. The great flood was the greatest catastrophic event the earth has ever experienced. As the earth regained its shape, tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic activity could have been universal with water rushing everywhere and causing an incomprehensible amount of erosion. When Noah left the ark, the climate had changed.
Today, the last glaciers are melting and the ice age is coming to an end. Greenhouse gases are increasing as a result of rising temperatures.
Current attempts to slow climate change will cost trillions of dollars, drastically reduce food production and cause untold misery, starvation, and deaths of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. Riots and civil unrest will follow.
     When we hear and read scientific reports of an earth that is billions of years old, we tend to disregard the book of Genesis as just a story. It is a very costly error.


Dan Bartelheimer



No letters published in the Aug. 9 Tribune.

Letters published in the Aug. 2 Tribune:


Does the Historical Society still exist?

        To the editor:
As the immediate past president of the Snohomish Historical Society, I too am wondering if the historical society still exists, as expressed in an email I received from Lori Bowman-Hoyt this past month. “My husband’s mother and family were from Snohomish — arriving about 1887,” the message begins.
“My sister and I were just in Snohomish on July 10th and I wanted her to see the Blackman House but it was not open. I am wondering if the historical society still exists or if there is not much activity with it. I see that they have a Facebook presence but it didn’t give much info on what they are up to.” Skipping to her final sentence, “... it is sad that there is not a museum in Snohomish. We have a few things we’d like to donate if that ever happens. ;)”
My response to Lori is that I don’t know what’s going on with the organization …  All I know for sure is that the volunteer who followed me was elected president 14 years ago, though the bylaws passed in 2008 limit the president’s term to three years. My intent in writing is to call upon the current leadership of the society for a response to the question on the table — “does the society still exist?”


Warner Blake

Fighting shortages

        To the editor:
Great to see local efforts being made to ease the housing shortage in Snohomish.  (“Snohomish considers strategies for more housing,” July 26 Tribune)
       Nationally, Senator Cantwell and Rep. DelBene have introduced legislation to increase affordable housing unit built across the nation over the next 20 years.  Additionally, a renter tax credit, would help low-income renters, capping their rent at 30% of their income, helping them stay housed.  Let’s encourage our local and national leaders to pass these and other initiatives to alleviate this crisis that causes increasing evictions and homelessness.  


Willie Dickerson

Not the right leader

        To the editor:
Assaults are up three years in a row and homicides have nearly tripled, according to Sheriff Adam Fortney’s own Crime Data Dashboard. For a candidate who promised tough on crime, these numbers should make us rethink re-electing him. If you wisely require additional evidence, Adam has given us many reasons to move on. Here are just a few:
1. Adam doesn’t have a single endorsement from ANY previous Snohomish County Sheriff. They’re all supporting Susanna Johnson.
2. Right after being elected, Adam reinstated his friends the previous sheriff fired.
3. He refused to fire a self-proclaimed racist and misogynistic deputy until the community forced his hand.
4. He put his personal beliefs above the law, and the public’s safety, when he refused to support the statewide COVID recovery efforts.
5. He lost WASPC accreditation due to not meeting their required standard, causing the department’s insurance to skyrocket, wasting taxpayer dollars.
6. He encouraged his deputies to disregard the new pursuit law, which was created to keep the public, and law-enforcement professionals, safe. Newsweek reports that 27% of the people who die during car chases are innocent bystanders, and NIOSH reports that 21% of officer deaths are from crashes.
     When you look at his record, it’s clear that Mr. Fortney is neither interested in holding his deputies accountable, nor in enforcing the laws his position necessitates. At a time where police accountability is a serious issue, Adam is clearly not the right leader.


Michael Hertzog



Letters to the editor published in the July 26 Tribune:


        FD4 would still get funding if levy fails

To the Editor:
Regarding your very informative July 12 article on FD4’s  Prop 1 fire levy, proposing an annual 6% tax hike, I would like to add a few more facts for voters to consider:
1. If Prop 1 is rejected, by state law, FD4’s annual budget for fire and EMS services will still increase annually and not “fallen” as some proponents have claimed.
2. The definition of the noun “levy” from the County Assessor’s Office is “The
total dollar amount requested by a taxing district to be collected through a property tax”.
3. FD4’s two levies for fire and EMS services amounted to $4.63 million in 2011, $7.33 million in 2017, and $12.27 million in 2023.(Source: Assessor’s Annual Reports.)
4. EMS calls amount to 90% and fire calls amount to 10% of the call volume.
5. FD4 reports emergency call volumes increased 34% since 2017, while FD4’s 2023 budget increased 60% since 2017 and 265% since 2011.
6. Prop 1 applies only to the fire levy and fire calls haven’t increased 265% since 2011 and FD4’s district population certainly hasn’t increased 60% since 2017.
7. FD4 Chief Waller reported to the Snohomish City Council that even if Prop 1 is rejected, FD4 would still build a new fire station on Pine Avenue. Its commissioners have already signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement.
Voters should reject Prop 1 and send a message to FD4 officials that they can’t keep tripling their annual budget every 12 years or so.  Who else gets that kind of guaranteed increase?


Morgan Davis

Is another fire        station necessary?

        To the Editor:
The Snohomish Fire District is again on the march. They want more money, but really don’t need it. They are simply “gaming” the tax levy process.
Part of your tax increase would be used to build a new fire station. Is there a need for a fourth ? We have three fire stations in Snohomish: 1) Station 43. Avenue D, 2) Station 42. 171st Ave. SE. 3) Station 41. Maple Avenue. Don’t forget the RLB Training Center on South Machias Road. This fourth station/head quarters would be built on Pine Avenue.
Ask yourself: Is having two fire stations that close to each other a bit over-kill? A fire district would never allow two stations to be that close to one another. That situation doesn’t give better fire protection from District #4. Spread out. Why is there a need for a new headquarters? Why is there a need for a fourth station?
       All things considered, reject Fire District 4, Proposition No. 1.


Bruce A. Ferguson


Editor’s note: Fire District 4 has stated the Maple Avenue station would be functionallly replaced by the Pine Avenue station as the area’s station to dispatch to fires.

Moriarty is the right choice

        To the Editor:
One candidate for Superior Court position 17 has the requisite experience: Judge Patrick Moriarty. Neither of his opponents has had the legal or judicial experience to prepare them for the job. Judge Moriarty’s breadth of experience before becoming a Superior Court Commissioner in 2018, and his well-earned reputation for thoughtful, fair decision-making make him the clear choice to continue his work as superior court judge. I speak from my own experience as an attorney who has appeared before Judge Moriarty dozens of times. I have not always achieved the results I sought, but I always have known that Judge Moriarty has understood the issues.
Judge Moriarty is a good listener: I recall one occasion when he was prepared to rule against my client because he was unfamiliar with the particular legal issue. I asked for additional time to present briefing on the matter. After reviewing the additional material, he made the proper decision under the law. This is not a story about an attorney getting the result he wanted (although I did); it is a story that illustrates the character of Judge Moriarty. Judge Moriarty did not make a decision in haste. That is what we need in a judge: someone who is willing to listen carefully and empathetically, and then make thoughtful decisions based upon the facts and applicable law.
Judge Moriarty has proven himself worthy of the position he holds as Superior Court Judge, and he is the clear choice to continue in position 17.

Deane W. Minor

Weber had dispute with district

      To the Editor:
I’m writing in response to Allison Ungren’s July 19 Tribune article on the three school board candidates.
Monica Weber was the president of the Snohomish Education Association — the teachers union — in 2001 when the S.E.A. and the Snohomish School District negotiated a new contract. According to the September 26, 2001 Everett Herald story titled Snohomish schools avert strike, “With the threat of a teachers’ strike looming in the Snohomish School District, the district and its teachers Wednesday came to a tentative contract agreement.”
The ugly threat of an illegal strike by the teachers was stoked by various economic and bargaining tactics by teachers. Writes Herald reporter Leslie Moriarty, “For the past three weeks, teachers have accelerated their protests over the lack of a contract. In the first week they wore buttons reading ‘Working without a contract.’ Two weeks ago, they did not partake in any activities such as open houses and staff meetings that weren’t related to actual instruction.”
This latter tactic, known as a work slowdown, is illegal in many collective bargaining situations.
There is no evidence that Ms. Weber formally authorized any of the pressure tactics employed by the union’s rank and file in 2001, but because it occurred under her leadership, when Snohomish voters make out their ballots for the August 1 primary election, they should be aware that Monica Weber has a history of bullying the Snohomish School District. 


Janine Burkhardt


        Writer: Fortney too        political for the job

To the Editor:
Well, if you had any doubts about which side of the political spectrum Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney represents you can put those doubts to rest. On July 22nd Fortney hosted the extreme right-wing Arizona Sheriff Mark Lamb at a $250-dollar-a-plate fundraising extravaganza up in Arlington. Lamb, who supports Fortney, is a darling of right-wing extremists. An election-denying, MAGA Trumpist, Lamb is often pictured in the background in photos of the ex-president. He considers himself to be a “constitutional sheriff,” a growing group of rogue sheriffs who think that the U.S. Constitution confers on local sheriffs the role of ultimate “deciders” in their jurisdictions. True, that anyone in law enforcement takes an oath to defend our founding document, but I haven’t found any references to sheriffs. The constitutional sheriffs believe that they have the right to ignore laws that they don’t agree with just as Fortney has done when it comes to enforcing gun laws, COVID measures and other laws that he personally doesn’t like. This “constitutional sheriff’s” group has even flirted with the idea that they have a responsibility to have a say with regard to election results when candidates they support don’t win the vote.
     We need balanced professional law enforcement in Snohomish County, not partisan hacks trying to push their own political agenda. The citizens of Snohomish County deserve law enforcement that is non-partisan and administers the law without bias or allegiance to any particular political party or doctrine. Clearly, that is not Adam Fortney.


Howard Lazzarini


Letters to the editor published in the July 19 Tribune:

Middle housing push misguided

          To the Editor:
The Snohomish City Administration (Council & Mayor) is now evaluating implementing a process that will allow more “middle” housing in the town. It is yet another attempt to cram more people into this community.
Aside from the new legislation falling out of Olympia that mandates some additional emphasis on more density, there is no reason to make major changes to the zoning in Snohomish. If zoning was not changed at all; no midtown high-rises, no North Snohomish apartment complexes, no town home clusters, the city would still meet the required future population capacity requirements set by the state. We don’t need to be able to build more densely. Building on available lots, using current zoning, will do just fine. Now, the City Administration will respond by saying that we need more affordable housing. That simply is not going to happen. The cost of building is not getting any cheaper, currently pushing $300 per square foot. Even a small house or small multiplexes are not “affordable” for those who have lower incomes.
The idea that packing people into an area is a solution to expensive housing is, well, just dumb.
       Snohomish is an expensive place to live. Its value is driven by buyer desire and demand. The market will continue to set the prices. No amount of maneuvering by the city will change that, and yes, that means some people will not be able to afford to live here. That is a reality in every community in the country.


Brian Mills

Moriarty is the experienced choice

To the Editor:
I write to encourage Snohomish County voters to Retain Judge Moriarty.
I am one of Judge Moriarty’s current benchmates, and practiced law with him for 13 years so I have seen his commitment to this County firsthand. Judge Moriarty was an excellent role model, requiring associates and staff to treat everyone with respect, and hold ourselves to the highest moral and ethical standards, and he demonstrates those attributes every day.
As an attorney, he practiced on both sides of the criminal justice system, and worked with substance addicted youth facing prosecution for decades. He knows the fear and pain that crime brings to families and communities and he understands the fear of interacting with law enforcement and the court. He has represented families going through divorce and separation, and clients who have been victims of sexual assaults or other injuries. Judge Moriarty’s broad experience made him an excellent attorney for 30 years and a stellar judicial officer for 22 years, first as a Judge Pro Tem, then as a Court Commissioner and now as a Superior Court Judge.
The decisions that Judges make have huge, sweeping impacts. The need to have qualified, experienced Judges who have consistently demonstrated an understanding of the law, a commitment to justice, and a strong sense of integrity cannot be overstated. We deserve Judges who have demonstrated the quality of their work and the depth of their commitment to the law and to Snohomish County. Judge Moriarty is the only candidate that meets these criteria.

        Judge Jennifer Langbehn



There were no letters to the editor published in the July 12 Tribune.

Letters to the editor published in the July 5 Tribune:

City is actively asking for city      planning guidance

      To the Editor:
The City of Snohomish is in the middle of its 2024 Comprehensive Plan, gathering input from its residents. In fact, everywhere in Snohomish County this process is taking place as you can see by visiting the Snohomish County, WA site. While I know nothing of other cities’ outreach efforts, I do know Snohomish is making an extensive effort to elicit feedback from Snohomish city and Snohomish city adjacent residents on how Snohomish should accommodate the growth we all know is coming over the next 20 years.
The target for Snohomish is relatively modest at 2,500 additional residents. That said, the City of Snohomish would like your input on where additional housing for 2,500 additional residents will be sited, what it will look like and what kind of additional auxiliary and support services should be planned? These planning inputs are all part of a focus on keeping Snohomish the best it can be for both residents and visitors.
Please provide your input by doing an internet search for “City of Snohomish Comprehensive Plan.” You will find a “button” on this page enabling you to complete the questionnaire.
On this page, you will also find much more information regarding the 2024 Comprehensive Plan and our collective future.  


Jan Lengenfelder


Speeding in town is all too frequent

        To the Editor:
I grew up in the town of Snohomish in the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. As a teenager driving in the middle ‘50s and early ‘60s, my peers and I didn’t dare speed or you had to deal with a very tough Chief of Police Boyd and his deputies. We had very fast cars in the ‘60s but we didn’t dare speed in town. We never knew where Snohomish PD would be waiting.
I moved from Snohomish in the mid-1960s, and moved back to my hometown 18 months ago and I’m shocked how extremely high speeding seems to be accepted. We live in town in a neighborhood where the speed limit is 25 mph. The average speed by our house exceeds 35 mph up to 60 mph plus. We have witnessed teenagers playing chicken on Fourth Street running through the Avenue D stop sign in access of 50 mph.
At night speeding becomes worse we have our bedroom window open hearing cars doing donuts then burning rubber racing down the street. Recently we were driving home middle of the afternoon north on Avenue A a motorcycle came by us well over 80 mph right through the stop sign in front of us.
     We have addressed this speeding problem with the Snohomish PD who have installed flashing speed signage on our street. Even so, the drivers don’t appear to be taking their speeding seriously yet.


Warren White


Letters to the editor published in the June 28 Tribune:


Despite levy rate falling, FD4 tax amounts rose with rising home values

      To the Editor:
Regarding the August 1st ballot issue by Fire District 4 seeking a “levy lid lift”:
Normally, local taxing districts’ budgets are subjected to an annual 1% budget increase cap (lid) without voter approval. FD4 voters in 2017 generously approved raising that 1% lid to a 6% lid. The fire levy amount steadily grew each year from $5.684 million in 2017 to $9.443 million in 2023, almost doubling.
Now, FD4 wants voters to approve another permanent annual 6% increase. What would that mean to a typical Snohomish homeowner or renter? Here’s the impact according to Linda Redmon, Sam Low and John Lovick as they reported in the Voters Pamphlet due to be mailed out July 12th: For a dwelling unit valued at $500,000 in 2023, a property tax hike of $180 in 2024 and with 6% annual compounding the tax hike increases to $241 in the year 2028. For a home valued at $1 million, the tax hike is $360 in the year 2024 and $482 in the year 2028.
Inexplicably, Redmon, Low, and Lovick wrote in the Voters Pamphlet that the FD4 fire levy had fallen from 2017 to 2023. Voters, don’t be bamboozled by that deception. The fire levy amount almost doubled in that period. (Source: Snohomish County Assessor’s Office link:
Additionally, there is “discussion” about FD4 merging with a neighboring fire district — ostensibly to reduce operational expenses and costs in overhead, facilities and equipment.
       FD4’s proposed levy lid lift should be rejected by the voters on August 1st and if the merger talks fail, the lid lift request can be resubmitted next year.


Morgan Davis


Important to renew fire levy to handle  service call loads

To the Editor:
The upcoming August vote merits a resounding yes. Fire District 4 runs extremely lean. The district is underfunded and cannot meet its own call load. It’s not even close.
Merely adequate staffing toward meeting 90% of its own calls with its own resources 90% of the time, within 10 minutes (preferably under 5), would look something like this:
• Station 40: Significant remodel adding sufficient crew quarters. Aid 40 / Engine 40 cross-staffed 24/7 by 3 firefighters.
• Station 41 (current location): E-41 staffed 24/7 (3). Medic-41 staffed 24/7 (2) - When the new Station 41 opens, Ladder 41 should be staffed 24/7. The area is years overdue for a full-time, dedicated (not cross-staffed) truck company.
• Station 42 (current location): B-42 staffed 24/7 (3), M-42 staffed 24/7 (2)
• Station 42 (current location): Aid 42 staffed 24/7 (2), Brush 43 cross-staffed by E-43. E-43 staffed 24/7. Tender 42 cross-staffed by A-43.
Untimely aid may as well be no aid. ALS / suppression responses nudging 20 minutes are intolerable for cardiac, stroke, trauma, containment, etc.
District 4 is like Everett in that timely mutual aid is simply not geographically feasible, and therefore impractical, for large parts of their respective jurisdictions. As a result, there’s little to be gained by marrying with neighboring fire agencies under a RFA.
District 4’s current priority must be adequate, stable funding for capital projects, apparatus procurement and staffing to meet its own jurisdictional alarm volume.
     Please vote yes!


Paul Keller
Inmate, Stafford Creek Corrections Center


Letters to the editor published in the June 21 Tribune:


      Why it’s needed

      To the Editor:
Snohomish County Fire District 4 firefighters want to thank the Board of Fire Commissioners for placing a fire levy lid lift on the August Primary Election ballot.

The lid lift would fund eight firefighters over six years to provide both a fire engine and medic unit in service at the same time. (Currently, we can staff just one or the other.)

Secondly, our fire stations require upgrades and/or replacement. The lid lift would build a fire station on Pine Avenue and replace one other as funding allows. These projects will improve emergency response times and firefighter health and safety.

The lid lift would allow these improvements to be made with cash as opposed to voter-approved debt. This means our taxpayers save money by not having interest payments.

There is discussion about a possible merger with a neighboring agency. Mergers are voter-approved, take time and, as such, are not guaranteed. We must be able to fund operations and capital needs independent of that proposal. Financial independence through the lid lift allows us to carefully evaluate all options and seek the best one for the community.  

IAFF Local 2694
(Fire District 4 fire union)


        Action is needed, Child Tax Credit can help

To the Editor:
Sad to see homelessness in our county increasing, a situation reflected across the country. (June 7 Tribune article)  Not surprising to see these increases, with inflation, cuts to the safety net, and the inability of the housing voucher program to reach more than 25% of those who qualify. Action on all levels of government is needed. On the national level, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell and Rep. Suzan DelBene have introduced legislation to increase affordable housing across the country. A renter tax credit would be an important initiative to keep families housed, reaching them like the now expired expanded Child Tax Credit did. This tax credit cut child poverty by 46% and helped families pay rent and buy food. Fortunately, the American Family Act has been introduced by Rep. DelBene that would renew the Child Tax Credit. Each of us can participate in passing these equity initiatives by calling those who represent us, 202-224-3121, thanking them for their efforts and asking them to renew their efforts to pass these ladders out of poverty and ensure a brighter future for all Americans.


Willie Dickerson


Letters to the editor published in the June 14 Tribune:


Some streets need sidewalks ASAP

To the Editor:
I have a complaint that the city of Snohomish really needs more sidewalks on streets such as Terrace Avenue and 83rd. I was walking down Terrace Avenue the other day and it was almost fatal for me when a car came zooming past at a speed that was unnecessary coming from the left because there is a giant hill with too many blind spots. This car came too close to hitting me at those high speeds. If you don’t happen to put in these necessary sidewalks the next person walking down one of those streets might be not as lucky as I was.


Ethan Le Pere



        Rules interfering with food production

        To the Editor:
The American farmer has produced abundantly, not only for our country, but for the entire world. Fertile soils, favorable weather and climate, good infrastructure, available technological resources, and an adequate water supply have all contributed to the success.
The future may not be so bright. Water for agriculture is being curtailed. Rules and regulations restrict the utilization of the land for the sake of endangered species, buffers, and urban sprawl. These same rules and regulations also make it prohibitive to construct smaller processing facilities. The regulations encourage consolidation to the degree that it could be detrimental. The removal of hydroelectric dams eliminates electricity production, water available for irrigation, and the ability to transport agricultural commodities by barge.
The implementation of governmental restrictions to control climate change/global warming may have the greatest impact. Some countries are already reporting steep drops in production. Others portray double-digit reductions within the next ten years especially in livestock production.
Of the world’s population of 8 billion, 4% do not have enough to eat. Any reduction in production will exasperate the hunger. A small drop in food production will cause prices to increase significantly and may lead to riots and social disorder.
     Pursuing policies that could cause the possible starvation of hundreds of millions of people is not acceptable. There are no guarantees that these proposed changes will reduce global warming. This does not need to be the way to save the world from climate change.   Producing an adequate food supply is imperative. 


Dan Bartelheimer
        President, Snohomish County Farm Bureau





No letters to the editor published in the May 24, 31 or June 7 Tribunes, send us one

Letters to the editor published in the May 17 Tribune:

Who will clear            fire-risk leftover tree            debris on roadsides?

        To the Editor:
We are now in wildfire season. Temperatures are rising to historic levels and it is very dry all around us.
Throughout the winter months in Snohomish County someone or some entity has cut down hundreds if not thousands of trees and brush along our primary roads, secondary roads and primary highways. All of it has been just left to dry into tinder dry fuel for wildfires. It has not only created a dangerous situation it is ugly and unsightly.
I have reached out to our Snohomish County Road Maintenance office and WSDOT informing them of the wildfire potential of this dangerous debris that has been allowed to rot and become an eyesore throughout Snohomish County.
So, far no one has answered my question regarding who is responsible for this hazardous mess that is a blight and fuel for wildfires along our Snohomish County byways.
Who would do such a thing? Why hasn’t this dangerous mess been cleaned up?
When this fuel, carelessly and callously left behind, throughout Snohomish County for the coming wildfire season, causes destruction of property and maybe even deaths who is going to be held responsible for the legal consequences?
Who at Snohomish County government or WSDOT is responsible for the cleanup?
When will they get this much needed cleanup done?
       That this has been allowed to happen is a total disregard for public health and safety!


David Clay



Letters to the editor published in the May 10  Tribune:

Teacher pay raises are to blame

To the Editor:
Several school districts are singing the blues, “cash-strapped” and layoffs. What’s the reason? Perhaps the teacher’s union greed, known as the McCleary Decision. Remember the union striking for higher pay? As the result of this decision, a teacher will be given a six figure income, after 11 plus years. The Everett teachers are near the top of the pay scale. 80% of some school budgets, are spent on salaries. No wonder these budgets are in the red. Cuts have to be made. Sorry kids. Another cause and effect, would be the “fat” all districts have. But don’t worry about the kids too long. In two years these districts will still be in the red, but with a new levy on the way. Then we can have the 4th grade band once again.


Bruce A. Ferguson


No letters to the editor published in the May 3  Tribune, send us one

Letters to the editor published in the April 26  Tribune:

Tax fairness        gives equity

To the Editor:
Mariam Ahmed makes a great case for us to support the wealth tax proposal currently being considered in our state legislature, HB 1473/SB 5486 (April 12 Tribune letters).
Tax fairness is an excellent way to put America on the road to equity, ending homelessness, hunger, and poor health care of those experiencing poverty, along with the 40% of Americans that are one $400 emergency away from poverty. On the national level the power of the tax system was shown by the expanded Child Tax Credit: cutting child poverty by 46% and helping families pay rent, buy food, and pay bills. Sadly, it wasn’t renewed, but it is not too late. Another initiative on the national level is a renter tax credit to help working families pay only 30% of their income for rent, not the 50-90% millions pay today. We can raise our voices to our state and national representatives to redouble their efforts to use tax fairness to bring hope by passing ladders out of poverty like these.


Willie Dickerson


No letters to the editor published in the April 19  Tribune, send us one

Letters to the editor published in the April 12  Tribune:

Letter in support

To the Editor:
As a community organizer, I saw people working tirelessly every day and still unable to afford necessities. Fellow college students would work two full-time jobs while going to school, with no help from the state. The cost of living is continuing to outpace wages with many unable to survive much less live a fulfilling life.
Communities have an opportunity to fund the resources we need by making the wealthiest in Washington pay what they owe. HB 1473/SB 5486 would create a wealth tax that would fund affordable housing, as well as education, disability services, and tax credits for working people.
The lowest-paid Washingtonian already pays six times more of our incomes in taxes than a billionaire. Why are the majority of Washingtonians who are working class and struggling paying for essential public services more than the private-jet level wealthy?
For the ultra-millionaires and billionaires, this small tax would be just a drop of water from an ocean.
For the majority of Washingtonians who are working people, finally having the funding for housing and basic needs would mean we could quit that second job, smile more, or just be able to breathe with more liberty. We want more than the bare minimum with our careers, health, education, family, livelihood. How could we say “no” to achieving that for everyone who lives in our state?
If you want communities to have safe, stable, and affordable homes, contact your representatives to support a wealth tax in Washington (HB 1473/SB 5486).


Mariam Ahmed
YWCA Public Policy & Advocacy Coordinator




No letters to the editor submitted for the March 29 or April 5 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the March 22  Tribune:


Roadway needs many safety fixes

To the Editor:
Riverview Road is unsafe, especially the two miles west of Snohomish. Traffic and speed exceed what is safe on a curvy, hilly road; trucks are common. Drivers pull into oncoming lanes crossing double yellow lines to pass cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians who often walk along the edge of the road, even when the driver’s ability to see oncoming traffic is obscured by hills and curves. I witnessed a large pick-up pull into the oncoming lane crossing double yellow lines to pass a bicyclist as the truck approached a hill, which made it impossible to see oncoming traffic. A motorcyclist came over the top of the hill, barely escaping a head-on collision before the truck driver saw the motorcyclist and pulled back into the appropriate lane.
Adding a bike lane to Riverview is the best solution. Changes that could reduce danger include signs reminding drivers that it is illegal to cross double yellow lines to pass and to alert cars that bicyclists are on the road.  Reduce the speed limit. Intermittently issue traffic tickets to correct careless driving.  There is one hill that especially obscures the driver’s ability to see oncoming traffic.  Place a flashing yellow light on either side of this spot to warn drivers who exceed the speed limit.  Excavate the roadway to reduce the height of the hill. This road will add to traffic deaths unless an unsafe road is redesigned to accommodate the traffic using the road and our traffic laws are enforced.


Desmond Skubi


Letters to the editor published in the March 15         Tribune:

Terrible loss of a gentleman

        To the Editor:
Jeremy Anderson, the 45-year-old man shot through an apartment wall Thursday morning March 2, 2023, was a very close friend of my biological father Edward Sewell. Jeremy Anderson was one of the gentlemen who helped me and my grandparents clean out my father’s house in Mukilteo after his death in 2020.
Hearing that such a good person was senselessly killed by a coward who couldn’t handle being told to quiet down is just an example how bad crime is getting and it’s got to stop because this is ridiculous.


Elijah Edens


Editor’s note: The incident was at an apartment complex in south Everett. Police believe the man shot bullets into the neighboring apartment while his neighbor was asleep while the man thought he heard voices.

Lawmakers, thanks

To the Editor:
Mary Martin’s letter of appreciation for the Tribune is timely (Feb. 22 letters). The Tribune continues to let us know the local news. This gives those who represent us a chance to see what matters to We The People.
     We can thank our members of Congress like Rep. DelBene for her efforts to renew the expanded Child Tax Credit, Rep. Larsen for his work to secure the infrastructure package that includes local funding, and both Senators Murray and Cantwell for their work for families in the areas of housing, childcare and global health that protects us locally. At the same time, we can ask them to redouble their efforts to renew the expanded Child Tax Credit that reached 90% of families and cut child poverty in half.  A renters’ tax credit similarly could reach millions of families that pay 50% and more of their income for rent, which can help end the increasing problem of homelessness. 


Willie Dickerson



Letters to the editor published in the March 8 Tribune:


        Demand for services has outpaced funds

        To the Editor:

Through no fault of the district’s leadership, the incremental upward creep of “acceptable” first-due response times to 10 minutes over the years is 100% unacceptable. Response times are indicator No. 1 of the sufficient and efficacy of any department’s staffing model (read: adequacy of stable funding).
Untimely aid may as well be no aid. Timeliness (how long) and efficacy (equipment and personnel) of response are crucial in emergency scenarios including cardiac / stroke / severe trauma / containment, etc.
It is my suggestion that District 4 include two new “90th percentile” benchmark goals in the updated Strategic Plan.
• First, a response time goal of 5 minutes for first arriving ALS and suppression units.
• Second, sufficient 24/7 station staffing to allow District 4 to handle its own jurisdictional alarms with its own jurisdictional resources 90% of the time.
There is great value in the district’s response time minutiae. The SOC / Risk Assessment studies should be mandatory reading for any taxpayers who carp about levy costs. The reality is, demand for services has outpaced funded district resources for some time. District 4 must be more robustly funded to meet its own responsibilities, independent of merger chatter.
The fact is, District 4 runs lean, is a great neighbor to other departments and has a long distinguished track record of wise stewardship when viewed through the demands-for-service lens.
     Consider, please: If District 4 joined SRFR right now, what measurable, tangible economies of scale would actually result? What savings would free up resources sufficient to fund additional response units?


Paul Keller
inmate, Coyote Ridge Corrections Center
        Connell, Wash. 



Letters to the edtor published in the March 1 Tribune:

Use these stumps        for art installations

1885 photo  


To the Editor:
Our Snohomish ancestors knew what to do with stumps — dance on them! Of course the stumps on First Street are too small for dancing but big enough to hold art.
Perhaps the Historic Downtown Snohomish Association could issue a call for artists’ proposals that meet specific criteria concerning safety, size and looking good in the rain.
With an exhibition of the proposals, funding would be sought to produce the selected proposals.
In this past year, the Association has shown real moxie in getting things done, and I have every confidence that our First Street Stumps can play a joyful part in our historic traditions.


Warner Blake


Support bill to put more oversight on hospital mergers

        To the Editor:
Affordable and accessible access to healthcare is a basic right, but hospital mergers threaten to raise prices and limit the number of patients that the clinic can care for. Senate Bill 5241, or the Keep Our Care Act, if passed in the Washington State legislature, will provide oversight to these mergers and acquisitions.
The two largest nonprofit health systems in Washington have a combined $32 million in reserve to account for any costs of providing this oversight and ensuring care for Washington residents in the long run. Additionally, oversight programs like this have been proven effective in other states, such as Massachusetts and Oregon. I urge you to email or call your senator and ask them to vote in support of this important bill. 


Matteah Davis


Editor’s note: Senate Bill 5241 was sent to the Ways & Means Committee. Its deadline to stay alive in this year’s legislative session is March 9.


Makes a smear upon mayor’s legacy

To the Editor:
Bill Clinton was one of the few politicians who was able to balance the federal budget, and had the lowest federal income tax burdens in the previous 30 years before his terms, in addition to a number of other successful accomplishments. But all that was permanently tarnished when his character was put into question regarding his repeated affairs.
The same thing happened locally with a County Executive. And now this thing with the Everett Mayor (“Mayor’s romantic life put under audit by council,” Feb. 22 Tribune). Sure, it’s still being looked into. Either way, it doesn’t really matter what happened, because giving the impression of violating ethics or one’s character is the same thing as actually doing it.
Elected officials seem to be immune to that level of common sense. 


Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson


Letters to the edtor published in the Feb. 22 Tribune:

Bus service increase being overinflated by basing figures from pandemic dip

To the Editor:
In response to a Feb. 12, 2023 Everett Herald article regarding Community Transit’s future service plans:

There is one quote in the article that stuck with me: “the proposed system would have 35 routes, totaling 480,000 annual service hours, almost 32% more than what’s offered today.”

First of all, “today” refers to the level of service to come in March, when the agency will cut another 21,000 hours (for a total of 63,000 cut since March ‘22).

From that new low baseline (363,000 hours), the service will be then restored to early 2020 levels by 2026 (480,000 hours).

This would be a much more appropriate way to present the actual service level of the agency and its growth over time. An ever-shifting baseline is misleading.

The bigger picture is that, as of March ‘23, the annual service level (363,000 hours) will be below that of 2016 (375,000 hours), which was the baseline for growth when the voters approved Proposition 1. Consider population, density, and job growth in the last seven years, and then you can judge for yourself how adequate that level of service is today, or how reliable the agency’s promises of service are to long-range plans that jurisdictions and the county use.

Yes, an increase of 32% would sound great, but the reality is that in 2024, the agency will not even offer the same level of service it had in early 2020. The scheduled pre-pandemic level of service in early 2020 was 475,000 annual service hours. The “2024 and beyond” plan reaches that level of service in 2026.  

Sabina Araya
        Lake Stevens



Keep up good work

        To the Editor:
I have enjoyed your newspaper for many years. You have such interesting and timely details that I don’t find anywhere else.
     Please keep up with the good work you all are doing for so many years. You are a much needed source of news for many people in this area and are deeply appreciated.


Mary Martin


Letters to the edtor published in the Feb. 15 Tribune:


        Proposed tax rebate bill for some costs others more

To the Editor:
The intent of House Bill 1556 is laudable but it is a bureaucratic boondoggle, creating an army of 482 state Department of Revenue full-time employees to administer at a cost of $1.325 billion.
Rep. April Berg’s bill is based on the idea of rebating only the state portion of the total taxing districts charges and then only on the first $250,000 of the taxable assessed valuation.
For example, I live within the Snohomish School District and I just looked today at my 2023 property tax statement. The overall tax rate is 8.89 while the state portion is 2.23 or about 25% of the total. The total rebate would amount to 2.23 times $250,000 AV/$1,000, or $558 to every homeowner and an equivalent amount to every legal renter.
Left out in the cold are the homeless and those living in shelters, cars, RVs, etc. who would be ineligible for the proposed rebate that wouldn’t even take effect until the year 2028.
A more humane and efficient system would be for the state to simply mail out quickly annual rebate checks to every Washington man, woman, and child, just like the State of Alaska has been doing for the last 40 years from their oil fund. That was the same principle the Trump Administration used when the IRS mailed out Economic Stimulus checks to every citizen over 18 and which were a godsend during the COVID crisis.
HB 1556 is a bad approach and should die in committee and be replaced by a direct rebate to every Washington resident, with no bureaucratic red strings attached.


Morgan Davis


No letters to the editor submitted for the Jan. 25, Feb. 1 or Feb. 8 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the Jan. 18 Tribune:


Continuing to look to act on equity

To the Editor:
Once again we honor Dr. King and the principles of love, peace, equity, and justice he embodied.  (“Opportunities to recognize, honor The Rev. Martin Luther Luther King Jr. this year,” Jan. 11 Tribune) The celebrations and days of service bring us together.
But beyond this week of honoring Dr. King, the urgency remains.
       Fortunately, groups like RESULTS (results.org) are strong in Snohomish County and give us an opportunity to take ongoing actions, working with Congress to pass equity legislation.  Both Reps. Larsen and DelBene support Dr. King’s principles and are working hard to put America on the road to equity.  Legislation like renewing the expanded Child Tax Credit, dealing with the housing crisis, and more are possible when we work together.  So, let’s celebrate the work of Dr. King on his birthday, and then take actions all year to guide Congress to make his dream a reality.


Willie Dickerson


No letters to the editor in the Jan. 11 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the Jan. 4 Tribune:


Flooding is not        climate change

        To the Editor:
The coastal flooding Dec. 27 in the Snohomish River estuary was attributed to a high tide and a low barometric pressure. The Ebey Island dikes and also the Sunnyside dike had up to twelve inches of overtopping on Tuesday. The predicted high tide was lower than the day prior. The Snohomish River flow was higher but below flood stage. It was the low pressure that pushes the water over the dikes. Up to 12 inches of overtopping was experienced at several locations on Ebey Island and on the Sunnyside dikes east of Ebey Slough. It was caused by a natural phenomenon, not climate change.

        Dan Bartelheimer


Use facts and        demographics to        better control crime

To the Editor:
Conspicuous by its egregious absence in the consultant’s Everett PD report to elected officials (“Everett Police should expand force to fill gaps,” Nov. 16 Tribune) is the dire need for more enforcement units to be on patrol. It is ludicrous to hear people say they’re “intimidated” by school resource officers or cruisers out and about. My suggestion inside whenever I hear such nonsense is, well, stop doing all the things that necessitate an increase law enforcement presence.
Here’s good news: Not all prisoners in Washington align with the PC madness. Society’s shift away from objective truth into subjectivism is stunning. Truth is transgressive in the minds of those promulgating regulatory social engineering via identity politics and within hierarchical structures and agencies constrained by woke ideologies. Demonization eliminates dialogue. Legacy media routinely gives the impression “everyone” has bought in. The woke mob wants to deter anyone who sees things as they are from speaking up. So they roll out rhetoric and trigger-word labels to intimidate, demanding that everyone capitulate. Never mind nothing they stand for is corroborated by reality.
Problems within the criminal justice system and imprisonment apparatus are very real.
     To be very clear, there are cases like mine where crisis becomes criminal, or mental health issues are at play. But, most crime is committed by lifelong, unrepentant, career recidivists readily identifiable by demographic, method, manner and habit. What society needs is factual information and distinctions about criminal behavior. Which invariably riles the progressive crowd. We don’t have a “gun problem,” we have a hoodlum problem.


Paul Keller
inmate, Coyote Ridge Corrections Center
        Connell, Wash.




No letters to the editor in the Dec. 7, Dec. 14, Dec. 21 or Dec. 28 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the Nov. 30 Tribune:


        Expand it for those less fortunate

To the Editor:
During the holidays, the community often turns to helping those less fortunate, collecting toys and food. This year, the best way to help struggling families is by asking Congress to renew the expanded Child Tax Credit. Snohomish County Reps. DelBene and Larsen, along with both Senators Murray and Cantwell are supporting this initiative.
The so-called “Lame Duck” session which is going on right now till the Christmas break is the perfect time to pass this legislation, before the House changes leadership. Take a few minutes to call, write, or visit your members of Congress and let them know this initiative that cut child poverty in half must to be renewed. Last time the Child Tax Credit reached 90% of families, helping them pay rent and utilities, along with buying food and other necessities. Our efforts can renew this critical ladder out of poverty, bringing hope to millions.


Willie Dickerson


No letters to the editor submitted for the Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 16 or Nov. 23 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the Oct. 26 Tribune:


Vote for real people who actually care about community

To the Editor:
I’ve been seeing a lot of people play up a variety of non-issues for the political games we engage in every other November and it’s almost maddening to see what hills people are ready to stake a fight on.
There are people out there who would vote for a single candidate despite the fact they want to defund schools and kick veterans to the curb because their candidate wants to fight “wokeness” and “cancel culture.”
Wanna know synonyms for “wokeness” and “cancel culture?”  It’s called being a nice person and being held accountable for your actions.          I’m done hemming and hawing over non-issues.  Start voting for people who actually care about making our communities better, instead of saying whatever they can get away with for points.


Benjamin Wolf



        Send Sam Low to Olympia

To the Editor:
We are fortunate to have such a fine candidate Sam Low for the 39th District state representative.  Low is dedicated, humble, and hard working.  Low strives to work with others, find common ground, while always remembering to represent his constituents.  Low will take his no-nonsense work ethic and common sense with him to Olympia to represent you.


Dan Bartelheimer

Jason Cummings is the trusted choice

        To the Editor:
The Snohomish County Prosecutor is one of the most important leadership positions in our county, and it is important we elect someone we can trust.
The men and women of the Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff’s Association have chosen to endorse Jason for Elected Prosecutor. There is a reason why Jason has our support and the support of other regional law enforcement associations and prosecutors. We see every day how crime impacts our community. We believe he will prioritize public safety while balancing a compassionate approach and accountability. We are also confident in his strong legal background and experience. He has dedicated much of his career along with us to public service for the residents of Snohomish County.
            Due to his experience and current position, Jason should easily transition to the new role of Elected Prosecutor. We believe he will support law enforcement as well as the diverse needs of our community. We believe Jason Cummings is the correct path forward for public safety in Snohomish County.


Jonathan Krajcar
President of the Snohomish County Deputy Sheriff Association

Outdoor storyboards

        To the Editor:
The outdoor storyboards along the Centennial Trail outside of the Snohomish        library are as lovely as a wind farm.  


Megan Usui


        DelBene needs to be kept in Congress

        To the Editor
Great to see our U.S. Representative Suzan DelBene getting endorsed by the Everett Herald.
     No wonder, as the leader for the expanded Child Tax Credit she helped 90% of families pay rent, buy food, and pay bills across Snohomish County, Washington State and the nation.  This tax credit lifted 40% of children out of poverty.  No wonder she is leading the effort to renew this critical tax credit.  At the same time, she continues to be an advocate for business, farmers, and the expansion of broad band.  We are lucky to be able to send this family advocate back to Congress, our votes matter!


Willie Dickerson


        Recovering requires active management

To the Editor:
October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month.
Substance use has increased significantly since the start of the pandemic and the Fentanyl epidemic. The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics reports that there were an “estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during the 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before.”
Northpoint Washington is a substance use treatment facility located in Edmonds that is addressing this issue head-on. The road to recovery extends outside of the treatment facility and many need resources to maintain their sobriety.
     Recovery from drugs and alcohol is an ongoing effort for those actively in recovery and for the friends and family around them. Community in the form of social networks is another way that those in recovery can seek out support.  


Haley Randolph
Corporate communications for Northpoint
        Boise, Idaho


Letters to the editor published in the Oct. 19 Tribune:


Don’t elect single-issue candidates

        To the Editor:
Imagine the Golden Gate Bridge without guard rails — mass chaos — with the most aggressive drivers shoving their way through. That’s where we’re headed. You’ll vote soon. Insist on voting for those offering reasonable solutions that create more order, enabling us to live freely yet safely. No single source is considered trustworthy anymore, so use your own eyes and common sense and vote wisely. Ignore hype where facts are irrelevant and what’s simply ‘sensible’ is somehow being hijacked. At stake? Alarming rising levels of: crime; inflation; fentanyl; youth suicides/depression; border issues; pre-3rd grade poly-gender initiatives; biological competition conflicts; China dependence; Russian nukes; wholesale pronoun inventions that address less than 8% of our population at the confusion/readership/education cost of 92%; etc. Be wary of political games attempting to deflect attention away from these very real issues. Resist the emotional coercion from loud voices empty of reasonableness, trying to force new non-sensible ‘woke rules’ down throats.
     Resist the seduction of high-risk single-issue voting — like the concerns regarding abortion laws — now in the hands of states.  It’s not that they are not a serious issue, they are.  They’re just not the only issue. One-issue voting this time around is dangerous.  Select who makes sense on the most issues – who demonstrates reasonable thinking with ideas that have a chance of better aligning us to enable survival as a healthier nation. Constantly evolving our understanding of others is right, but non-sensible demands that also condemn challenge are wrong. 


Mary J. Harwood


Character matters, those who lack it need not apply

        To the Editor:
I seldom vote for someone based on party affiliation. Character matters to me.
     While I agree with the premise that career politicians sour after their first decade, and should move along so fresh ideas can be presented, the conservatives have offered no reasonable options to replace them. Candidates that claim the last presidential election was rigged, or think it's OK to force a 10-year-old rape victim to grow the rapist’s seed to childbirth, should seek help from a mental health professional, not run for office.


Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson



No letters to the editor published in the Sept. 28 or Oct. 5 or Oct. 12 Tribunes

Letters to the editor published in the Sept. 21 Tribune:

Restaurant gives seniors yummy food

        To the Editor:
I’m a member of the Snohomish Senior Center. I want to publicly thank the best Mexican Restaurant in Snohomish, El Paraiso.
Each month the restaurant donates lunch meals to members of the center. The meals, as always, are delicious. It is very generous of the restaurant to support the center. I speak for many members as I share a huge thank you for your kindness, caring, and generosity.
I would like to encourage members and community folks to show support by saying thanks; and the best way to show thankfulness is by supporting El Paraiso.


Carol Sack


Letters to the editor published in the Sept. 14 Tribune:

City’s idea to add housing will pinch existing residents

        To the Editor:
According to Snohomish City’s Website, this is the justification for the MFTE:
“• The Bottom Line about a future Midtown MFTE: Rapid growth in the city and county has made housing rapidly unaffordable for young adults and families. The objective of adopting a MFTE is to provide affordable housing options for future generations to ensure the city remains vibrant, resilient, and retains the community’s reputation for providing a wonderful quality of life. It is also to provide an incentive to developers to build multi-family units in the Midtown District, which would increase the multi-family housing stock and add to the housing options available in the city, while stimulating development in the Midtown District.”
As I read this, I can’t see any reason that I should be paying any developer’s property taxes. Several houses have sold in our neighborhood over the past five years, and every one was purchased by a young family.
These are the infrastructure impacts of five-story dwellings:
a. Fire Department will need aerial vehicle(s), new fire station(s), and more firefighters, requiring tax increases.
b. Impact to schools — More crowding. More teachers. More tax increases.
c. Police. More police needed.
d. Sewer system. Increased demand. More costs.
e. Traffic. Increased congestion. Crowded stores.
f. As unbelievable as this sounds, the City Council can’t tell us how much our taxes will increase. In other words, an open-ended tax!!
       g.  No reason to believe 5 story buildings will stimulate development.  On the other hand, what will be torn down and how many good paying jobs lost?


Kenn Kullberg


        Developer tax break for sake of adding growth is unwanted

        To the Editor:
Numbers don’t lie. Our tax burden will increase because of a tax break to the developer of the 9.4-acre county shop site. This developer doesn’t need a tax credit. They will buy and build what they want, tax credit or not. They do not need a tax break.
At the same time, your standard of living and buying power will erode. Why would anyone allow that to happen? To provide housing is the role of Snohomish City Hall? If you can’t afford to live here, move and your life will be better. Do we really want more people living in Snohomish ?
The city council, planning director, building permit department and mayor will give the “green light,”
imposing a future tax burden on our people.
My point is simple: We will pay the price, should a tax credit be granted.
       Snohomish is beginning to lose its charm and culture and identity. Hello five stories high.


Bruce A. Ferguson


Letters to the editor published in the Sept. 7 Tribune:

Possibilities can’t            be ignored


        To the Editor:
Regarding recent Tribune articles on MFTE Midtown District impacts:
In County Assessor’s scenario #2, she estimated what the impact would be for one year if 1,485 dwelling units (du’s) were built in the 102-acre Midtown District. She calculated $344 for a city residence valued at $468,700 (or $688 for a residence valued at $937,400). A rural Snohomish residence would see an impact of $230 and $460, respectively.
But here’s the rub:
The city planning director and Councilwoman Karen Guzak refuse to accept the Assessor’s scenario #2. The planning director says “it is impossible to estimate” while Guzak calls the Assessor’s estimate “pure fantasy.”
Here are the facts:
Midtown has a minimum of 16 du’s/acre and a maximum of 165 du’s/acre, per International Building Code.
Mill Creek’s recent 60-acre East Gateway special zone on 132nd St. SE is a good comparable to Snohomish’s recent Midtown District rezone. There are two completed developments involving 5-story midrises: The “Vintage” at 220 du’s on 1.66 acres and “The Farm” at 355 du’s on 2.7 acres or an average of 132 du’s/acre.
Taking just the 9.4 acre county shop site and the 10-acre Snohomish Square plaza could yield a likely 2,560 du’s, not even counting the capacity in the remaining 82 acres.
Mill Creek does not have an MFTE tax exemption, nor should the small town of Snohomish.
       Snohomish and other small towns don’t have a large tax base like Everett, which has Boeing to spread the MFTE tax burden.


Morgan Davis

Beyond tax break, look wider

        To the Editor:
The Snohomish City Council’s discussion of how to best attract more affordable housing in our town is an excellent question. The affordable housing crisis is rampant in our country, including members of the military who are facing challenge to find housing they can afford.
     Time to try something new?  Beyond just developer tax breaks, how about looking to Hosing Hope, Habitat for Humanity, or even Nobel Peace Prize winner, Muhammad Yunus’ social business model?  Nationally our Representatives DelBene and Larsen along with Senators Cantwell and Murray have been championing tax fairness via the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC), lifting millions out of poverty and helping families pay rent and buy food.  Sadly, this ladder out of poverty wasn’t renewed, yet.  We can thank them for their work, ask they double their efforts to renew the CTC and why not a renters’ tax credit modeled on the same principles as the CTC?  Meanwhile, locally, call on the City Council members to think outside the box to create more affordable housing locally.


Willie Dickerson



No letters to the editor published in the Aug. 31 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the Aug. 24 Tribune:

Emergency Center story important for spreading word

        To the Editor:
Thank you so much for your coverage by Adam Worcester of the Echo Lake Community Emergency Operations Center open house (“Echo Lake residents bolster their emergency services,” Aug. 17 Tribune) in conjunction with our Block Party & Artisan Market on Sunday, Aug. 14. It is a well-written article that emphasizes our need to build trust with neighbors in a rural Snohomish County community, where there have been limited opportunities to connect with one another. His coverage was important as we help spread the word among residents in our small community.

Thank you for this article!  

Rena Connell


        Thank you        volunteers

        To the Editor:
We would like to express our appreciation for the Aquafest Committee and all they do to host Lake Stevens’ largest community event.
The festival attracts 20,000 to 30,000 people to our city, and this year was particularly special because it was Aquafest’s 60th anniversary and their first festival back since the pandemic began.
We are also grateful for the community’s support of this time-honored summer celebration. It just shows how great a place Lake Stevens is to live, work, and play.
     Thank you again for all your support — and see you again next year!


Mayor Brett Gailey and City Council President Steve Ewing
        Lake Stevens



No letters to the editor published in the Aug. 17 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the Aug. 10 Tribune:

Aug. 16 meeting to yield critical info

        To the Editor:
Real estate property owners within the city of Snohomish, school district #201, and Fire District 4 should be aware of a very important August 16th Snohomish City Council meeting.
The council has been asked by city staff and Snohomish County to pass a tax exemption ordinance for the city’s new Midtown District to encourage developers to build 5-story multi-family condo or apartment buildings. If passed, individual taxpayers will see a yearly increase of hundreds to thousands of dollars.
City staff as well as councilwoman Karen Guzak claimed the exemption would amount to only a few dollars a year. (See minutes to the July 5th council meeting.)
Thankfully, 5 council members tabled the city staff request until Snohomish County Assessor Linda Hjelle makes a presentation on the MFTE exemption during the August 16th meeting.
Ms. Hjelle, an elected official who answers to the voters, not Snohomish County, will give an unbiased estimate and examples of the real impact from the MFTE in the 102-acre Midtown District.
She will use an average residential value of $468,700 in her example to calculate the tax increases, so every homeowner can calculate their own personal increase. For example, a home valued at $937,400 would see a tax increase double that of the $468,700 home in her example.
Yes, this is a strange case where the city council can pass a tax increase upon residents living outside the city in Snohomish School District #201 and Fire District 4.  Call it “taxation without representation.”


Morgan Davis


More mountain        bike trails please

        To the Editor:
I like hiking and biking in Lord Hill Park. I think they should put in more single track trails with jumps for bikes.

        Maximilian Mroczkowski
Snohomish, age 10

Mountain bike jumps are fun

        To the Editor:
I would like to write to you about Lord Hill Park.
I live three-fourths of a mile away and enjoy hiking on the trails and riding my bike over the jumps. I heard that the city was going to add trails and redesign intersections.  If it is possible, I would like to ask for more jumps and horse trails.


Aleksander Mroczkowski
        Snohomish, age 12


Letters to the editor published in the Aug. 3 Tribune:

Council did not            renounce personal attack in store’s sign

To the Editor:
The Snohomish council and the sitting mayor passed a resolution against hate of any form some time back. Yet this council remains absolutely silent “Remember when the left said silence is acceptance” when ex-mayor John Kartak was smeared with a hateful vulgar language filled banner size window display at a downtown Snohomish business just a few weeks ago that went locally viral on social media.
Shame on this council and this mayor for not condemning and renouncing such hate toward a Snohomish citizen. That hate-filled vitriol sign stated, “we stand with the mayor and council.”
Does this mayor and council stand with the business?
       It is a free country, this is America, people have the right to be offended as well, to offend.  The hypocrites sitting in those elected seats stay silent, why?  I would have expected more from the junior members of this council to speak out. Yes, John is my friend and he can defend himself, I am just pointing out the hypocrisy sitting in those elected seats.  Some may call it evil, I call it politics, maybe they are one in the same.


John Lorenz
Formerly of Snohomish
        Bradenton, Florida



        Fossil fuels can’t be completely nixed

To the Editor:
I hear people saying we need to get rid of fossil fuels (oil, coal natural gas).
I don’t think people realize what they are suggesting!!
For example, oil gives us gas, diesel, jet fuel and 6,000 other products we use every day such as plastics, two-thirds of our clothes (synthetics), asphalt for roads, roofing, pipe, toiletries, medicines, paint, tires, etc. Oil has truly made our lives better and healthier.
If we get rid of gas-powered cars and go to electric, we still need to charge them (80% of all electricity coming from fossil fuels).
So, when we have rid ourselves of fossil fuels and gone to solar and wind, what do you do if it is night (no solar) and the wind isn’t blowing or only gently?? Where do you get power? Batteries? For whole cities?
Also, without fossil fuels we then don’t have diesel for trucks, trains, boats, construction equipment, etc.
Show me how getting rid of fossil fuels and maybe lowering CO2 when CO2 is only .04% of the earth’s atmosphere and humans only produce 3.8% of this... and this will somehow save civilization?! Then I will show how eliminating fossil fuels will send us back a hundred years in time. There is a good reason why we moved beyond undependable solar and wind to fossil fuels as our primary energy source.
     Our next energy move is nuclear.  We have it, but new innovations make it cleaner, safer and more efficient than ever with no CO2 !


Ron Tunnell


No letters to the editor published in the July 27 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the July 20 Tribune:


U.S. HOUSE RACE  -        1st Congressional District
Cavaleri’s integrity and goals merit vote

To the Editor:
In the past two or three months I have had the opportunity to hear Mill Creek City Councilman Vincent Cavaleri speak about his life, his professional work and experiences, and hopes for the future of our community, our state, and our country. He has taken the oath of office to defend and protect our Constitution several times and for him it is a way of life.
Vincent Cavaleri is a man of courage, conviction, and integrity who works to serve others and not to line his own pockets or advance for power or prestige. He is a candidate who as a representative of our community, who if elected to the U. S. House of Representatives will be working for the good of all whom he represents. Articulate and respectful, he focuses on the needs of real people in his District and State.
As a Sheriff’s deputy he serves all in many capacities. Not only do I respect Vincent Cavaleri, but also I have come to trust him as a man of his word who will do as he promises with candor and conviction.
   I encourage others to go hear him speak, investigate his track record as public servant, and vote him into Congress on August 2nd – just a few weeks away.


Nancy Johnson



Letters to the editor published in the July 13 Tribune:


      Repurpose gazebo site into pocket park

      To the Editor:

The Tribune’s article on the gazebo (June 29 edition) has called me to finish this letter I’ve started several times. I can understand why my proposal to spend the year writing goodbye messages all over the “venerable” Gazebo and safely burn it on the Winter Solstice, trees, and all, and start over with a blank site overlooking the river was not warmly received.
What struck me as new with this ongoing story is council members’ concern for the trees. As president of the Snohomish Historical Society in 2008, I met with the then-city planner for his opinion about the historicalness of the Gazebo and its surroundings — even the trees were not worth saving as I remember the conversation.
The idea was to build a replica of the Ferguson Cottage, which was then developed, including drawings (snohomishstories.org/heritage-pocket-park/), for the proposal submitted in January 2021. Thanks to city staff member Brennan Collins who copied my drawings for the Park & Recreation Board members; otherwise, not a boo!
So it’s offered here for discussion, where ink is still pressed into paper, beginning with a question: when will a “Avenue A Heritage Pocket-Park” join the class with the Carnegie Library Building restoration?


Warner Blake

Proposed incentive has dual benefits

        To the Editor:
I write in support of Snohomish providing a tax deferment for developers undertaking residential and commercial projects in the Midtown District.
First, one critic stated the City of Snohomish property tax payers are going to pay unfair and exorbitant increases in their taxes because developers are being given a tax deferment. Taxes don’t work this way. The county, not the city, assesses taxes based on fair market value of the property. A fraction of these taxes are then returned to the city. Snohomish residents have probably paid more in taxes because of our limited housing supply and higher resulting property values. Further, the growth of the county budget due to growth in the region outweighs the impact of decisions made in the city of Snohomish.
Second, Snohomish’s resident population over the age of 65 is twice the rate of Monroe or Lake Stevens, and approximately 30% higher than Everett or Marysville. We seem to have aged into a regional Sun City, without the sun. That is not to say senior Snohomish residents should leave; it is to say there is serious affordable housing scarcity for younger folks and families wanting to move to Snohomish.
     Finally, about 5 years ago, former City Administrator Steve Schuller told us Snohomish would be well served by expanding affordable housing within the city limits.  Steve said much of the city budget is fixed.  Spreading city costs over more residences would relieve the city’s dependence on sales taxes.  


Jan Lengenfelder



Letters to the editor published in the July 6 Tribune:

Who benefits from possible tax exemption

To the Editor:
The only person that will benefit from a tax exemption, will be Skotdal, who will buy the Midtown 9 acres. The City Council, is willing to “give - up” tax revenue, in exchange for Skotdal suppling housing in Snohomish. Who do you think will make up for the lost revenue? You and me. Does the City really owe people a place to live? Do the people living in town, want denser housing? No. Do we want to become another Lake Stevens? How about another Marysville?
This tax break could last 12 years. During that same time, our people will be subject to 3 school levies. Property tax increase during that same 12 years. And of course inflation comes into your lives. Even if Skotdal does not get this tax “hall pass”, he will go ahead and build a 5 story square box any how. So why give him a break? When was the last time you were taxed exempt?

Bruce A. Ferguson



Letters to the editor published in the June 29 Tribune:

Article missed whole possible tax impact

To the Editor:
Regarding the Midtown tax exemption coming up for approval by Snohomish city council on July 5th:
The council created the 102-acre Midtown District in April to allow 5-story apartments. As if these weren’t sufficient incentives for developers, the planning director wants to accelerate the new construction of apartments by offering developers another incentive — an exemption of property taxes — amounting to an average $3,000 yearly for each unit they construct, according to estimates from the Assessor.
The June 22nd Tribune article mentioned the minimum number of dwelling units per acre is 16. Missing, though, is the maximum number of units per acre, which is 165 per a statement made to Snohomish City Council by the Everett Planning Director. So theoretically, if all 102 acres become fully developed into 5-story multi-family apartments and at 2.5 persons per apartment, that equals a population of 42,075 in Midtown. Developer savings total $50.49 million per year and for twelve years, a total of $605.88 million would be added to their profits, costing the average taxpayer over the 12 year period over $203,179 that they otherwise wouldn’t have to pay if there were no exemption.
Yes, this is an extreme example.
However, the county-owned 9-acre site and Skotdal’s Snohomish Square are likely to be quickly developed to the maximum number of units in the next few years.
       From Assessor estimates with maximum development at the county site, it would cost the average household an extra $2,148 per year that they wouldn’t have to pay if there were no MFTE.


Morgan Davis



        Exemption would put big tax burden on today’s residents

        To the Editor:
Property owners of the city of Snohomish are in for a huge property tax hike if the Snohomish City Council goes ahead and authorizes amending Snohomish Municipal Code 350 (SMC 3.50) to include the Multi-Family-Tax-Exemption (MFTE) for developers in the currently County owned nine acre Midtown District at Avenue D and 13th Street. With the unlimited zoning density being considered for the site there could be a maximum of 165 dwelling units per acre in 5-story, wood-framed buildings when fully developed.
Conceivably then, the County’s nine acres could have 1,485 (165 x 9) dwelling units.
Without the Multi-Family-Tax-Exemption, the owners of the developed 9 acres would have to pay $4.455 million (1,485 units times $3,000/unit) per year to the various local taxing districts including Snohomish School District #201.
With the MFTE, the owner/developers could save $4.455 million per year in property taxes.
Non-exempt property taxpayers, in total, could have to pay an extra $4.45 million per year for 8 or 12 years. With 3,000 property tax accounts in the city, the average extra annual tax burden per property owner amounts to a whopping $1,485.
This proposed MFTE program in Midtown is a “Stealth Tax” on the average city homeowner.
Please, Speak Out Snohomish, at the July 5, 2022 Zoom Snohomish City Council meeting.
     Urge your Snohomish City Council members and Mayor to reverse their decision and vote to reject the proposed ordinance amending, SMC 3.50.


David Clay



Letters to the editor published in the June 22 Tribune:

Defining freedom

        To the Editor:
Regarding Hailey Keller’s letter (June 1 Tribune) suggesting a government health mandates are an infringement on her religious freedoms: Not so.
One has the freedom to chose between doing the right thing for the greater good of the community, or refuse and live with the consequences. The choice was hers. Surely the outcome was God’s will.


Todd        Olmsted-Fredrickson


No letters to the editor published in the June 15 Tribune

Letters to the editor published in the June 8 Tribune:


Migrants could solve ag labor shortage

To the Editor:
Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants are entering the United States each month crossing the southern border.   They could conceivably help alleviate the agricultural labor shortage but they haven’t.  In order to enter the job force, they need to have a social security card, a green card, or other papers.  It may take years before they are provided with the necessary documents that will enable them to seek employment or start a business.  They may have entered the land of opportunity but for now, the opportunity is not available to them. 


Dan Bartelheimer

Gun violence should be our wake-up call

        To the Editor:

Listening to some of the comments from our Congressman as they debate gun violence, I am compelled to respond. Yes, it has always been young men usually between the ages of 18-23 for decades, which sociologists and criminologists continually remind us of. I am in the mental health field, this is not a mental health issue. It is our culture. It is about excluded, unfocused, uncared for individuals with needs that aren’t being met.
If it isn’t clear now that we need Comprehensive Health care for all – to include preventive care, diagnosis and treatment, with no lifetime caps; mental health and substance abuse treatment of all kinds, etc. it never will be. People in pain – of all types – are having to beg for assistance.
The gun issue should also be a no brainer. Ban assault weapons. We are an appalling embarrassment to each other and the rest of the world. Stop with all the exceptionalism crap and start providing for Americans. Stop with the crap about “access” to this or that – which is code for you must be able to pay for it. Average Americans spend a fortune on military spending and a multitude of state and local taxes – not that far from what other industrialized nations spend if you total it all up. Stop starving your own people. Keep US safe from assault weapons. Provide for a basic level of human need.
     Providing comprehensive health care (not access) but health care - would move us in the direction of racial parity, and less of the “Somebodies and Nobodies” model we continue to reinforce.


Christine        Wakefield Nichols



Letters to the editor published in the June 1 Tribune:

Freedoms are still being impeded

To the Editor:
Abortion controversies rise, the war rages in Ukraine, and inflation hits Americans hard, have we forgotten about COVID?
COVID policies and mandates continue to shape the world as we know it. Yet, many of those policies are damaging communities, destroying lives, and violating human rights. For example, vaccine mandates. According to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, there shall be no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion. As an American, this is not just about mandates, this is about freedom.
Currently in Washington state, hundreds of government workers are unemployed because COVID vaccine mandates have not allowed accommodation for their sincerely held religious beliefs. The government has forced them to receive a vaccine or lose their jobs. These people include firefighters, policemen, and transportation workers, all people who strive to serve and protect the community around them every day. Without them, where would we be? As their sincerely held religious beliefs are being challenged, they are standing up, for Freedom: freedom of religion, freedom of choice, and freedom to work. I’m urging the people, don’t let a virus dictate your freedoms and your rights. Stand up for your firefighters and your police, because they stand up for you, each and every day.


Hailey Keller

Consolidate and pursue 9-acre land

        To the Editor:
The city council created a new Public Works Director position and has approved a feasibility study of city facilities.
I hope the new director takes a fresh and objective look at all city facilities with the idea of consolidation and selling-off redundant properties.
Here are some examples:
Move the city shop from First Street to the city-owned acreage on Three Lakes Road next to NEPA Pallet. This idea was proposed by Councilwoman Guzak earlier this year. The First Street shop site in 2016 was slated in the Parks Master Plan to become a neighborhood park for residents living west of Avenue D.
The city should simply purchase the county-owned 9 acres between Bonneville Avenue and Avenue D and partner with the county and nonprofits to develop a portion of the 9 acres for low-income housing. The remaining acreage could become a central campus for city offices, including the police department and possibly returning the Sheriff’s Office East Precinct back to Snohomish.
The city should get out of the landlord business and sell its S.V. Greso building and former Visitor’s Center at First and D, and a portion of its 10 acres (including the single-family rental home) at 2001 Ludwig Rd., and its building at 3rd and Maple.
     Selling-off the city’s rental and surplus properties to the private sector not only brings in a large, immediate infusion of cash, but creates a permanent revenue stream of sales tax proceeds and lessens the burden on homeowners and renters with lower property taxes.


Morgan Davis


Letters to the editor published in the May 25 Tribune:

Our voice for democracy

 To the Editor:
As election season begins at all levels with filing, it is a great time to ask candidates questions that matter to you and America’s future. (“Candidate Filling Week is this week,” May 18 Tribune).
Climate change, health care, the housing crisis, child care, and tax fairness are all issues of equity.  Rep. DelBene has been a champion of these issues.  Local candidates are influential as well in passing initiatives that address these problems.  So find out what candidates think, give them your opinions, and follow up with voting, and holding them accountable after the elections.  Our voices strengthen our democracy and can help move America to fulfill its promise for everyone.


Willie Dickerson


No letters to the editor in the May 18 Tribune.


Letters to the editor published in the May 11 Tribune:

Your votes led to these policies

        To the Editor:
In response to the letter asking to cease Property Tax Exemptions (April 27 Tribune): Elections have consequences, and those consequences are now seated in the City Council and a mayor who is ineffective.

You get what you vote for.  

John Lorenz
Bradenton, Florida
Recently of Snohomish



No letters to the editor in the May 4 Tribune.

Letters to the editor published in the April 27 Tribune:


Cease giving them to developers

To the Editor:
Red Alert to property taxpayers within the boundaries of Snohomish School District 201.
A few years ago, the Snohomish City Council exempted property taxes on the new construction of multi-family dwelling units in the Pilchuck District.
Now the new council is looking at expanding the SMC 3.50 exemptions to the newly created Midtown District to incentivize developers to build more multi-family units. Additionally, the council discussed changing the building height limits in the Midtown District; currently, the limits are 4 and 5 stories, without any affordable housing incentives.
Property taxes are budget-based, meaning the taxing districts (schools, fire, library, city, etc.) get their budgeted amount of revenue no matter what — whether or not the number of individual taxpayers’ valuations go up or down. So the more taxes exempted, the more which non-exempt taxpayers have to pay so the taxing districts can get their budgeted amount of revenue.
It is blatantly unfair for all of us Snohomish area property taxpayers to subsidize for-profit developers by covering their share of property taxes. Rich developers are always looking for more “freebies” and a “free lunch” from the government.
Snohomish is not a blighted city needing tax exemptions for revitalization.
Everyone in the city should play by the same rules on a level playing field.
The Snohomish City Council should put an end to corporate welfare by eliminating SMC 3.50 and certainly not expand it to the Midtown District.


Morgan Davis



Letters to the editor published in the April 20 Tribune:


Try the mean streets

To the Editor:
Regarding the Upset Lord Hill Park Mountain Bikers:
       Bring your bicycles to Everett and the Interurban Trail. Meet death by automobile. I used to get hit by a car every 600 miles. Try the bike lanes west of Everett on Mukilteo Boulevard. You’ll burn up your brakes in 40 days. No mud but a few broken bottles and uncontrolled dogs. If you are a real freak you could get arrested by the police. You could get mooned by teenagers in a hotrod or have to ride around a bum laying on the trail. I’m not a daily rider. Two junior high girls beat me up a hill — they were jogging.


Guy F. Boehner

Appreciation that DelBene has ear to global health needs

        To the Editor:
Meeting with Rep. Suzan DelBene recently on Zoom reminded me of the power citizens have to speak to those who govern us.
Congresswoman DelBene and I have been meeting since she was elected 10 years ago, working together on issues of hunger, poverty, housing, global health, and the oppression that surrounds these issues. This time we were talking about the new pandemic and the ones that still kill at least
       2 million people a year:  AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  I am grateful the President pledged $2 billion a year for the next three years to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, with the Congresswoman’s full support.  With any disease only a plane flight away, the Global Fund’s work with middle and low income countries strengthens their health care systems, which in turn protects us locally.  We also spoke of her work to renew the Child Tax Credit and creating more affordable housing.  A champion of the Child Tax Credit, she was instrumental in it being included in the early COVID relief package.  This tax fairness initiative lifted 3.7 million children out of poverty and helps families to afford both food and rent.  Her efforts to renew this ladder out of poverty continue, and even include lobbying in the Senate to make sure families once again have this relief.  So thanks for listening and all of your hard work to benefit families, Congresswoman, your efforts and willingness to listen to constituents are appreciated.


Willie Dickerson


Letters to the editor published in the April 13 Tribune:

Vote “Yes” to move for annexation

 To the Editor:
On behalf of the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Local 1828, I am writing to express our strong support for the City of Mill Creek’s Proposition Number 1, aka annexation into South Snohomish County Fire & Rescue RFA on the April 26, 2022 Special Election ballot.
The union, city and fire authority have worked together in a remarkably collaborative and transparent fashion to secure the highest quality and lowest-cost option for long-term fire and EMS services to Mill Creek citizens while ensuring no loss of jobs to the current provider.
Local 1828 is proud of the relationships we share with our communities and partners throughout Snohomish County. Through the recent pandemic, our members have served around the clock with compassion and drive to ensure the emergency needs of our citizens were not only met but exceeded.
We look forward to serving the citizens of Mill Creek and urge residents to vote “YES” on the upcoming ballot.

Tim Hoover
President, IAFF Local 1828
South County Union Fire Fighters


No letters to the editor published in the March 23, March 30 or April 6 Tribunes 

Letters to the editor published in the March 16 Tribune:

Writer: Appointment is without integrity

          To the Editor:
The explanation of Mayor Linda Redmon on the dismissal of City Administrator Steve Schuller (March 9 Tribune story) is a slap in the face to integrity, honesty and the taxpaying citizens of Snohomish. The appointment is payback, plain and simple. Her pick Heather Thomas is not qualified as she has never held a city executive position of this type and will be doing the bidding of this council. What a sham this council is. The first thing they’ve done is based on deception and lies to fire Steve Schuller and put in place, in my opinion, an unqualified person.  Good luck Snohomish.      

John Lorenz


Losing Mill Creek contract money will not harm service

To the Editor:
Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue (SRFR) serves 180,655 residents in the cities of Lake Stevens, Monroe, and unincorporated southeast Snohomish County. It also provides emergency services to the city of Mill Creek on a contract basis through 2022.
SRFR’s contract with Mill Creek will expire at the end of the year. The contract was not renewed because our agency felt strongly that our residents do not subsidize fire and EMS service for the City.
Loss of the Mill Creek contract will not impact the quality or level of emergency services you receive. SRFR is financially sound and can weather the revenue loss.
In fact, we’re hiring firefighters and paramedics to respond to higher call volumes, adding two deputy fire marshals and a medical services officer, improving firefighter training programs, and completing fire station projects district wide.
We have an excellent working relationship with South County Fire, which is the agency that will serve city residents. SRFR and South County Fire already respond to emergency calls together as part of a cooperative agreement that the closest unit responds.
SRFR is an exceptional organization providing the highest level of care for residents. Our cardiac save rate is twice the national average. In addition to fire and EMS, we’re in local schools teaching fire and life safety, offer safety classes for seniors and children, as well as teach CPR, First Aid, and fire extinguisher use.
This is possible because of your personal and financial support — and we are grateful. Please reach out if we can ever be of service.


Kevin O’Brien
Fire Chief of Snohomish Regional Fire & Rescue
        Headquarters in Monroe



Letters to the editor published in the March 9 Tribune:

Act will erode city’s small-town feel

        To the Editor:
Brian Mills’ letter (Feb. 23 Tribune) was “spot-on.”
The Snohomish City Council is allowing our city, and our culture, to disappear. With their approval, we will have a tortuous square box, 5 stories high.
But of course, most members now on the council have no vested interest in our town (except for one). They are new to Snohomish (except for one). This council will continue their “hypocrisy.” If this type and size of construction were to take place in their neighborhood, they would vote no. They do not understand, ALL of Snohomish is our neighborhood.
Anything said to voice our opinion, will be as pointless as teaching a horse to play tennis. Who we are is what we leave behind.


Bruce A. Ferguson


        Denser development restores affordability as city grows

To the Editor:
Thank you to Snohomish Mayor Redmon and City Council for their acceptance of a citizens’ committee planning product which details design guidance for the vacant parcel on Avenue D. Once developed, this Snohomish project will provide additional housing and retail space in a district now dominated by aging strip malls, banks, gas stations, and fast food providers.
Some bemoan the change this development will bring to Snohomish. Let’s talk about that.
When I was looking for a home in 1984, Snohomish’s population was 5500. Snohomish was larger than Monroe, Lake Stevens, or Marysville.
Snohomish homes were generally small, slightly decrepit, but cute, and very affordable. The five historic churches were a plus. I was pleased the Fire Department was a half block away. I bought, I moved, I discovered the cows in the valley mooed early, the sawmill worked late, the (volunteer) Fire Department siren sounded at all hours, church bells rang loudly and predictably.
       Nearly 40 years later, cows and sawmill are gone, churches silent, the SFD moved. Snohomish is now 10,000 residents. Two bedroom one bath fixer homes sell for $500K.  But I can still walk the circumference of the core city.  Neighbors still smile and chat.  By contrast, look at Monroe (pop 21,000), Lake Stevens (37,000), and Marysville (72,000).  Snohomish’s growth has been modest and well managed, but over decades the stock of affordable homes has evaporated, and business opportunities have tightened.  The proposed development will provide much needed opportunities for new neighbors. Let’s welcome that change.


Jan Lengenfelder



No question why

        To the Editor:
It’s no surprise this year’s attempt to extend a school levy failed in Monroe. 8 years of kicking the can down the road regarding a toxic building cost them millions of dollars. Claiming it’s all good because insurance will cover the cost only amplifies what really happened.
And then there is the air of indifference with multiple acts of violence and racism at our schools. A problem that continued because the solution did not include people that have the cultural experience to help define what it looks and feels like and who then offer solutions
The school board then threatened to defund programs for special needs students if the levy didn’t pass. You ask me, the special needs students should be on top of your list to fund, not the last thought.
       No wonder the levy failed. Try again after you get your house in order.


Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson



        Social media claims aim to dunk mayor 

To the Editor:
Snohomish’s former mayor John Kartak has taken to social media and the press making ill-timed accusations to disrupt Linda Redmon’s newly established city administration. A friend once said to me; “When you hear something untrue, respond. If you let it go, it is as if it is true.” I am taking her advice.
In this situation, the truth is simple. January 1, 2022 the City of Snohomish became a government in transition. As it was in transition on January 1, 2017. The truth is former mayor Kartak, as one of his first decisions, decided not to retain City Manager Larry Bauman. The truth also is that the newly elected mayor Linda Redmon has chosen not to retain Steve Schuller as City Administrator. This is a typical occurrence when elected administrations change hands under the strong mayor format. Another truth is that elections do have consequences. The City of Snohomish elected to revert to a “Strong Mayor” format. This allows the “Strong Mayor” independent control of city hiring and firing. Prior to that, hiring of the City Manager would have been done by the Council.
       A democratically elected government is always in transition.  I encourage residents to dial into the City Council’s bimonthly public meetings or download the recordings for listening at any time. Do not expect to get unbiased truth from Facebook.


Carol Meagher


Russia did not        release POWs fairly

To the Editor:
What’s your name? “Putin Tain! Ask me again and I’ll tell you the same.” An old rhyme for a new Russian menace.
The Romans never got north of France. The French (Napoleon) and Adolf Hitler (Germany) attacked Russia. They were turned back by the far north winter more than anything.
In World War II, the USSR didn’t release prisoners of war. When a war ends, P.O.W.s get to go home. Russia kept captured German soldiers years more. They claimed they were war criminals. The Soviets captured 70,000 Nazi 6th Army troops at Stalingrad. Only 5,000 made it back to Germany years after the war.
Biden is sending Americans there.


Guy F. Boehner

Thank you for funding health        initiatives 

To the Editor:
As the pandemic seemingly winds down and we look forward to masks coming off, I would like to thank Reps. Larsen and DelBene for their work to end this pandemic and prevent the same kind of off guard experience in the future.  Their work includes supporting local health districts, governments, and relief for all in the form of legislation passed by Congress, including the Child Tax Credit that benefitted 90% of American families.  They both voted to extend this ladder out of poverty by passing the recent Build Back Better Act, which sadly stalled in the Senate.  And for the future?  Both signed a letter to President Biden calling for a bold pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.  The Global Fund has a proven track record:  working with middle and low income countries to save 44 million lives in the last 20 years.  During the pandemic, the Global Fund has been on the front line with these same countries.  In all of this work, the Global Fund is strengthening local health care systems that are critical to battling pandemics, old and new.  Without continued efforts of partner countries and the Global Fund, variants will continue to come back, threatening us locally.  No wonder President Biden will host the replenishment conference for the Global Fund later this year in America.  So thanks for all the hard work, Reps. Larsen and DelBene, know you will continue to your much appreciated efforts to create a better and safer state, country, and world.


Willie Dickerson



Letters to the editor published in the March 2 Tribune:


Don't give them out

 To the Editor:

Snohomish city government is awash with money. It hands over money left and right to its managers and for dubious projects, freely giving favors and tax breaks to private developers, but neglects its neediest residents.

For example, recent promotions of the City Clerk and Economic Development Manager have cost taxpayers over $40,000 just for the year 2022.

The council on Feb. 1st gave for-profit developers what they wanted — allowing 5-story multi-family high-rises in the historic, mid-20th Century heart of the city by creating the Midtown zone.

Next on the council’s agenda: giving property tax exemptions to developers in the newly created Midtown zone. As if raising the city’s building height limit from 3-stories to 5-stories wasn’t enough incentive for developers, it is considering property tax exemptions for developers like Craig Skotdal who is on record for wanting the exemption so he can redevelop his Snohomish Square property (which now includes the one-story Haggen’s grocery store) into market-rate, 5-story, multi-family apartments or condos.

Giving property tax breaks to low-income but property-rich seniors is one thing. But allowing huge property tax exemptions for high-income/high-net worth developers at the expense of all of us non-exempt taxpayers is simply un-American. Why should hard-working homeowners and renters subsidize for-profit developers with corporate welfare?

The city council should scrap the tax breaks scheme for developers because “trickle down” economics has been proven to be a failure.  

Morgan Davis



        Letters to the editor published in the February 23 Tribune:


        Wrong move to        approve tall heights for Avenue D stretch

 To the Editor:

The Snohomish City Council has driven another nail into the coffin of small town values. And it exposes their hypocrisy, and their agenda.
Many, if not all, of the current council members espouse on the importance of preserving the historic shape and feel of our community, but then turn right around and approve the construction of five-story high density “affordable” housing.
Ask council members why they moved to Snohomish and you get answers like “I love the single family neighborhoods” and “It’s so warm and close and friendly.” I wonder how long that concept will last? Apparently the council feels that it is our duty as a community to single handedly fix the housing shortage issue that plagues our county, region and state. But wait, experts recently presented the council with information and data that shows that the steps being taken, in many communities, are not working. And that simply building more apartments does not solve the problem. Yet, that is what Snohomish is going to do.
This latest action is just one of many that will change the face and flavor of Snohomish forever.
The next nail is set, and the hammer is already raised, with the proposal for the elimination of all single family zoning, which will no doubt pass with the same unanimous vote as the last measure.
It’s sad to know that our town will no longer be our small home town.

Brian Mills



Letters to the editor published in the February 16 Tribune:


        Result will benefit greater community 

        To the Editor:

A little transparency regarding the Midtown Project. Former Mayor Kartak picked citizens to form the Midtown Task Force and charged them with a recommendation to the city planning commission that they allow five-story mid-rise, multi-family buildings. The first meeting was in July 2020. People have had two years to voice their opinions.
The appearance of the buildings was arrived at after much community input. The standards for appearance are strict and were created to offset impacts of height, specifically trying to avoid the types of development that people fear. My understanding is that the current development would be somewhat similar to the building Josh’s Taps and Caps is in, yet it would sit much lower, due to the land grade difference. It is positioned near public transportation, consolidates retail, adds homes and is going in an already heavily commercial area. Win!
The benefits I see are “more affordable” housing, businesses that provide jobs and taxes (both which support the city tax base to make street improvements). Eliminating or limiting businesses that do not provide jobs and pay low taxes is just good economics. It was approved unanimously.
People want the sidewalks and street and the city needs the tax revenue to make these happen. You can’t get blood out of a turnip.
I invite the community to consider the facts and not get caught up in a “Us against them” mentality which won’t serve anyone and won’t help to house our next generation.


Marilene Richardson



Letters to the editor published in the February 9 Tribune:


Disunity felt        during pandemic

To the Editor:
I am writing this letter because I am really finding it difficult living in this new reality of COVID with the mask and vaccine mandates and requirements. I feel that the government has no business making any decisions regarding medical decisions for individuals like the mandates I’ve seen for the last almost two years because every single individual has their own medical needs. But in the last almost 2 years that we’ve been dealing with the lockdowns, masking, and vaccine mandates, I’ve seen a complete breakdown in society as a whole. I’ve seen people turn against people they once befriended and its definitely caused more of a divide among people and the statistics in mental health, drug/alcohol addiction, etc.
It’s like we’re supposed to be getting better with bridging the divide and equality but in the last two years we’ve been getting worse.


Elijah Edens



        Letters to the editor published in the February 2 Tribune:

Feedback shows            opposition to bikes

        To the Editor:
The January 5th Tribune article about Lord Hill Regional Park reported that 700 people took a survey on how the park should be used, one tool the park planners use to determine the future of this park.
What wasn’t mentioned is that parks staff also received 107 emails. Ninety of those respondents supported to restore Lord Hill Regional Park to slow and safe with protections for the environment and wildlife. In May 2020, a petition of 1,000 signatures in opposition to high-speed mountain biking in the park was sent to Executive Somers, in response to mountain bikers building high-speed downhill trails, increasing bikers’ speeds. Some bikers do not adjust their speed on shared trails and harass other users. Many reports are documented concerning these encounters.
Because many of the survey questions were vague, some respondents may not have understood the impact that high-speed bike trails will have on safety in the park or may not be aware that the proposed Accessible Trail would bring all users through the equestrian lot where they would intersect with equestrians trying to enter the park. This proposed trail would include off-leash dogs running around the proposed fence to charge horses in the equestrian lot or on the trail.
       There have been three public meetings since 2017 on the future of Lord Hill Regional Park. There has been and continues to be strong support at those meetings for restoring the park to a place that is slow and safe for all users.


Kristin Kelly


Renewing levies gives schools needed funding to educate

To the Editor:
On February 8th, across Snohomish County, we will be deciding whether to renew our school levies. The voters’ pamphlets and ballots have arrived. There have been many articles and Letters to the Editor in multiple papers talking about the pros and cons of this issue.
One of the main arguments against the renewal is that the state already pays enough for our children’s education. In fact, it does not. Unless you think that sports or other after school activities are unimportant; or what about class size or enough nurses; not to mention technology, building maintenance or safety. And I am sure I missed something. All of these are funded by the levies and are critical necessities to ensure a quality, well rounded education for all students.
In Snohomish, there will not even be a tax increase to make this happen.
          We have it in our power as members of communities, small and large, to ensure that all of the children get the best education possible.  In fact it is our responsibility to do so for the well being of our society.  Please vote yes for our kids! 


Barbara Rohe


Levies uphold        quality education

To the Editor:
On Feb. 8, Snohomish residents can support the excellent educational opportunities of their children by voting for the renewal of two levies. The Educational Programs and Operations levy provides needed critical staff in the schools: psychologists, nurses, custodians and security personnel. The Technology, Safety and Facility Improvement levy provides the support for continued advances in technology and additional safety and maintenance of the school buildings.
These are not new taxes, but a continuation of revenue that provides an enriched educational program for our most valuable resources, our children. This comes at NO additional cost to the taxpayers of our district.
As former teachers at Snohomish High School for many years, we can attest to the benefit of this financial support for the students of Snohomish School District. The money from these two levies makes up the 12% gap between what the state pays and what it actually costs to maintain safe and effective student learning as well as fund after school programs (including athletics, performing arts, clubs and other activities) that contribute to the well-being of our students. Our own children’s education in Snohomish was positively impacted by the strong support evidenced by voters who maintained these levies in the past.
We know that many people move to this area because of the excellent reputation of our schools, and we want this to continue. Even residents who do not have students in school benefit from a school system with a rich and varied program.
Please join us in voting YES for these two levies.

William and Patricia Bond


Levy letters which came later than deadline:

Vote no - it does not support  core education

To the Editor:
Should these two "renewed" levies pass, your money will be spent not on the "basic needs" of students. If passed, students will be taught rug making, tap and ballet dancing and home canning. Students do not need their curriculum expanded again. They need the fundamentals of development, not some class teaching card tricks. Cut the fat.
Renewing these two levies, is an unnecessary burden on the taxpayers. Let's return to the core subjects. These "cores" will produce better educated people.
By voting no, this school district will tighten its belt. And that can be done in any district. If passed, you can go to First Street, and watch tap dancers.

Bruce A. Ferguson

Expenses are exceeding inflation, and wasn't McCleary supposed to solve K-12 funding?

To the Editor:
Why February — it is the lowest voter turnout month of the year and the greatest chance to pass these levies!
We have repeatedly heard the arguments of why we need more money for schools.
"Schools are under funded." Not so. Current state school budget shows $17.5 billion(!) for the school year 2021-2022 — the highest ever with less students in public schools. That's about $16,000 / student — again, the highest ever! About 83% of public school spending goes to employee pay and benefits. Since 2015 to 2021 school employee salary and benefits have risen 29% while inflation is up only 18%.
Average teacher salary in Washington state is currently about $90,000/year with about $30,000 in additional benefits. Snohomish's median salary and benefits is currently $143,806 — up 21% in the last three years!
"But students are struggling and we need this to bring students up to standards." If more money increased student learning then the recent amounts and increases should be making learning soar it isn't.
Statewide 70% of students are unable to pass the math standards test — 53% failed English.
If both pass, it will be $38 million average or a total of $152 million for the four years (2023-2026). If you read the proposition the funding goes to daily operating expenses.
The McCleary decision was a means for the state to more heavily fund K-12 education. McCleary funded normal operating expenses so levies would not be increased for normal school operating expenses. All schools would be well-funded regardless of income levels.
I'm voting no on both levies — how about you?


Ron Tunnell


Letters to the editor published in the January 26 Tribune:


Uphold keeping        Ave. D height limits

To the Editor:
The Snohomish City Council on Feb. 1st is scheduled to accept or reject its own Planning Commission’s recent recommendation to keep the building height limit at 35 feet or 3-stories in the city’s mid-20th Century historic Midtown area between 6th Street and 15th Street.
The Planning Commission on Jan. 5th endorsed the 35 feet height limit in order to preserve Snohomish’s small town feel and character and to protect its quality of life--free from high-rise buildings creating a canyon effect­ — just like you now see on 132nd St. SE near the City of Mill Creek’s East Gateway (colloquially known as the Buffalo Corner).
However, former Mayor John Kartak’s hand-picked ad hoc “Midtown Task Force” recommended a 55 feet, 5-story height limit with property tax exemptions for developers — that would certainly increase the burden on all of us non-exempt property taxpayers.
Just think about it: The developers want to bring into the city hundreds of families with children, but they don’t want to contribute to the cost of educating those children­ — ­they want us non-exempt property taxpayers to foot the bill instead.
How unfair!
The city council should reject the Task Force’s recommendations and accept the Planning Commission’s recommendation of the 35 feet building height limit and reject the so-called “developer incentives.”


Morgan Davis



Levies give services students need

        To the Editor:
As a retired educator living on a fixed income, I am very careful about keeping track of where my tax dollars go and, I am voting YES on the upcoming Snohomish School District replacement levies.
While the state is required to fund basic public education, unfortunately, it is not enough, and the reality of what these levy dollars fund is integral to the success, safety and well-being of our students and staff.
For example, the state funds 0.2 counselor for the entire district; levy dollars pay for another 10.1, which puts a desperately needed counselor in every building. Imagine having to tell a student needing help that they have to wait to see someone because it isn’t the counselor’s day in the building? Our students have had a very stressful time through this pandemic, but isn’t it our job, our responsibility to take care of our children?
Nurses are another good example of the disparity between the state funding and what the levy dollars purchase. The state funds 1.4 nurses for the entire district; the levy funds an additional 12.3, which, in these times of Covid, are essential.
     My hope is that when your ballot arrives you don’t hesitate, you vote yes. Our kids need us to send a message that we support them, and want the best for them.


Terry Lippincott

Levy money keeps up quality schools

        To the Editor:
What a great way to thank our teachers and school staffs for the good job facing the pandemic challenges:  pass the February levy.
Of course, education benefits every member of the community, helping each of us get where we are today, and insure a bright future. We are grateful this current levy does NOT increase our taxes.
     A quality education is the key to equity all over the world.  The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated and shined a light on these inequities in our country and around the world.  A good education is the first step toward dealing with these current challenges.  And in our democracy, voting is the way we promote positive steps toward change.  So join me in voting to pass this critical school levy to continue our quality schools in preparing our students to meet and create a better future.


Willie Dickerson

        Continuing levies retains staff

        To the Editor:
Ballots are out for our February 8th special election. While we as a community continue to navigate the ongoing changes not just locally but nationally, it is important that we remember key partners in our community. The Snohomish School District is tasked with the education and safety of our children for the bulk of the year. Though there may be differences in opinions on specific ways that education happens, I believe that everyone in our community supports paying for the staff necessary to support our children and their futures.
On the ballot will be two levies that we as a community previously approved of and voted for that need to be renewed. These levies cover the 16% gap in what Washington state pays for and what is actually required to run our district. These two levies fill the funding gap to support our students’ learning and pay for 56 jobs within our school district. As an example to what that looks like, the state pays for 1.4 nurses for a district our size. Being a parent, I appreciate that the district funds an additional 10.9 nurses. This allows other staff to do their job while the nurse, who is trained in healthcare, can do theirs.
       This levy is no new taxes but continued funds necessary for student success.  With the passage of this renewal levy, Snohomish School District will continue to make a real difference in our community.  I want to support quality education.  Strong schools’ equal strong communities.  Vote “YES”


Tabitha Baty


Letters to the editor published in the January 19 Tribune:


Support the levies

To the Editor:
Snohomish School District is seeking to renew two expiring levies, which were previously approved by voters, on February 8, 2022. This is not a new tax. The state does not adequately support basic needs. School levies make-up the difference between what Washington state pays for and what it actually costs to educate students in safe and secure schools. These two levies fill the 12% funding gap to support our students’ learning.
Voting YES on these two levies will keep in place needed revenue to support current school operations, provide financial stability for the school district at zero additional costs to the taxpayer.
These two levies are critical to our school district. The Educational Programs and Operations levy provides our schools with psychologists, nurses, custodians, and security. This levy also helps students to connect with athletics, performing arts, clubs, and other activities that help build stronger mental and academic success. The state does not pay for these activities.
Our Technology, Safety and Facility Improvement levy provides for a continuance of equitable technology access across the district, improve safety and helps maintains our aging building.
All of us, even those without children in district schools, benefit from a strong school system. We benefit when our community’s youth are well educated. We benefit when our school district is viewed as excellent and people want to live here.
I ask that you to join me in voting YES for these two levies on February 8th.
To find out more information go to Yes Snohomish  Vote YES for Students


Sonia Siegel Vexler


Letters to the editor published in the January 12 Tribune:


Bigoted father          does not represent          true Monroe

To the Editor:
The recent flare up of racist acts at Monroe HS does not reflect the core values of our schools or community. It’s an example of bad parenting. We aren’t born with that trait. It’s learned through example. I hope the father and daughter have learned their lesson. He deserves his trip through the justice system. 


R. Todd Olmsted-Fredrickson

Right the problem with new plaque

To the Editor:
In response to Candace Jarrett’s letter, “Carnegie Building Taking Credit where it is not due” (Jan. 5 Tribune):
I would not only like to echo Ms. Jarrett’s message, I would like to make the offer to personally pay for a replacement plaque to identify those individuals who worked for years, tirelessly, to make this happen. Melody Clemans, Cheryl and Danny Reynolds, Candace Jarrett, Renee Deierling are a few names . . . the list is long and distinguished, but the point is, the plaque should honor the hard work of those
     who made this wonderful building updated and available to our community. It is a beautiful piece of history that has been saved for future generations to enjoy. Their work is diminished by having the names of opposition members identified instead. To whom shall I make out the check?


Elizabeth Durand



Letters to the editor published in the January 5 Tribune:


        Taking credit where it is not due

To the Editor:
In his campaign for mayor, John Kartak took nearly complete credit for saving Snohomish’s oldest public building while never mentioning a single talented, hard-working city employee. Kartak could have admitted that he, Larry Countryman, Steve Dana, Bill Betten and others were completely wrong for fighting against the restoration of the Carnegie. They exaggerated costs and constantly promoted their belief that saving the money-sucking condemned annex eyesore trumped having a Veterans Memorial Park.
It is simply untrue that it was Kartak’s vision and leadership that brought back our architectural treasure. Thankfully, he ended his opposition, but any involvement was at the very end of a community undertaking that was successful only because of decades of tireless efforts by others.
Melody Clemans, chair of the Snohomish Carnegie Foundation and a person who always acknowledges the work of others, is the real visionary here and yet her name is not on the dedication plaque in the Carnegie. Ironically, the men who tried to kill the transformation of a neglected building and grounds have their names prominently displayed.  One has even written that the restored building is useless and the Veterans Park should be a parking lot. It is a mystery why they allowed themselves to be honored for a project they so often attacked and ridiculed.


Candace Jarrett


Requesting two          boxes be reoriented 

To the Editor:
We contacted the Postmaster of Snohomish to ask them to return the drive-up mailboxes in the City of Snohomish back to how they formerly were orientated.
Recently the orientation of the drop slot of the U.S. mail drop box in the Snohomish Square shopping plaza and the one at Snohomish City Hall has been changed so that now a person wanting to deposit mail in the drop box can no longer deposit mail from the driver’s side of their vehicle.
This defeats the purpose of having a drive-up mail slot.
This re-orientation of the drive-up mail slot is now very inconvenient to U.S. Mail drive-up customers and not user friendly at all.
In order to use the drive-up mailbox now a driver has to now get out of their vehicle and walk around to the mailbox opening.
This forces U.S. Mail customers to use the lane that serves Key Bank ATM customers, park and get out of their vehicle in order to deposit their mail in the mail slot.
This current drop box orientation now inconveniences and impedes traffic that is in the lane to use the Key Bank ATM drive up.
Or, if a U.S. Mail customer wants to drive up on the other side where the mail slot used to be they have to get out of their vehicle and walk around to the where the mail slot is now.
     Postmaster, please relocate this drop box mailbox back to the orientation that it was in.


David Clay