MUKILTEO, Washington, July 20, 2021 – City Hall sold out on Tuesday, July 19 for the second city council meeting since reopening for in-person meetings. About 26 residents and all council members attended in person except for Bob Champion, Louis Harris (who attended remotely) and Mayor Gregerson, with Sarah Kneller as Mayor Pro Tem.
The council continued to discuss the use of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act and the controversial housing action plan that was passed at the June 7 council business meeting to the displeasure of many residents. by Mukilteo.
Mukilteo Housing action plan (HAP) Language of the ballot
Following City Councilor Joe Marine’s motion to add high-density concepts to an advisory ballot, which the public will vote on in the general election, council discussed three language options to add to the ballot advisory vote.
Language options included:
- Should the city review its existing bylaws to determine if changes are needed to allow for a different range of housing densities?
- Should the city keep the current land use and zoning bylaws with respect to density?
- Do you think the city should look for more high density housing to build in Mukilteo?
The board voted 5-1 to select the language of option three for the ballot with the revision of the word “encourage” instead of “continue”. All were in favor of the wording of the Mukilteo HAP ballot, except Elizabeth Crawford who was in favor of option one.
Councilor Richard Emery said council already knew residents were against the HAP, so calling for their vote, he believes, is redundant.
“I know people don’t want development, and I understand. I’m just trying to figure out what this is going to tell us that we don’t already know, ”Emery said.
Residents unanimously expressed their contempt for the HAP during the public comment, reiterating the points they made during the meetings, drafting and eventual adoption.
“The board didn’t follow what they said they knew what the citizens wanted on this PAH and now we’re stuck with it. I think putting this on the ballot will produce a much higher level of community contribution than even what was presented to council during the vote on the HAP report, ”said Charlie Pancerewski, a resident of Mukilteo.
“You say you represent us, but why did you vote against what people wanted if you represent us? So maybe this time around you will have a few thousand people saying they don’t want high density that will make a bigger impression on you. Then when you run for office, you can take a position that the citizens you represent really want instead of saying you represent them but then vote differently. So let’s put it on the ballot and see if you vote against them anyway. “
In order for the Mukilteo HAP ballot question to be included in the general election on November 2, the following deadlines must be met:
- August 2: approval of the resolution by the Board (if this had not been decided on July 19)
- Aug 3: Council resolution submitted to Snohomish County Auditor, Town Attorney Written Explanatory Statement due to Snohomish County Auditor, For / Against Committee appointments due to Snohomish County Auditor.
Call for Pro / Con Mukilteo HAP voting declaration committee members
The local voter brochure will contain statements and rebuttals for (support) and against (against) the Mukilteo HAP ballot issue. The Pro Committee as a group will write a pro statement of up to 250 words and a 75 word rebuttal to the Con Committee statement; conversely, the Con Committee will write a 250 word statement in opposition to the ballot measure and a 75 word rebuttal to the Pro Committee statement. All must be residents of Snohomish County. The municipal council can appoint up to 3 members for each commission.
If you are interested, fill out a short request to sit on the PRO or CON committee and let us know which one you prefer. Deadline to apply: 5:00 p.m., July 30, 2021. The city council is to appoint the committee at the regular council meeting on August 2. Pro and con statements must be submitted by August 12 and rebuttals by August 17.
You can also apply in person at Mukilteo Town Hall, located at 11930 Cyrus Way, Mukilteo. The opening hours of the town hall are currently Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., closed for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, call (425) 263-8018.
American Rescue Plan Act Discussion
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act was enacted, creating the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, which together form the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLRFF) program. The town of Mukilteo received nearly $ 6 million as a result of this act.
The City aims to exercise discretion with these funds which best meet the needs of the community, as long as the use falls within one of the following four statutory categories:
- To respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts.
- Respond to workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by paying a bonus to the beneficiary’s eligible workers, or by providing grants to eligible employers who have eligible workers who have performed essential work.
- For the provision of government services, to the extent of the reduction in income of these beneficiaries due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, compared to income received in the beneficiary’s most recent full fiscal year before emergency Loss of income [RL].
- To make the necessary investments in water, sewer or broadband infrastructure.
City administrator Steve Powers led the second conversation with council on how these ARPA funds should be allocated, exploring concepts such as an integrated social worker, body cameras and IT support for the forces. order, city support such as website redesign, extended communication and IT Infrastructure.
Additional concepts include the rehiring of Rosehill staff and a local currency concept called ‘Muk Bucks’, which could only be spent within city limits at local businesses.
“My idea all the time was to take this money that we get from the federal government and give it back to the residents who paid it in the first place,” said Marine City Councilor.
Marine disagreed with allocating funds to businesses to ensure that particular establishments are not favored over others, saying residents should make those decisions, not the government.
“If you have a business that offers great food but your service is lousy, you are probably going to be fine. If you have a business with lousy food but good service, you will probably be fine. But if you have bad food and bad service, you’re probably not going to get there, and it’s not the government’s job to make sure you do that; that is the purpose of business. I don’t think it’s our job to decide which companies succeed and which don’t, ”said Marine.
One concept being discussed about how Muk Bucks might work is the mailing of a pre-loaded debit card that residents could use to purchase groceries or other products from local businesses. . Incentives for businesses to accept local currency could include tax breaks or refunds.
“A debit card is a brilliant idea for how it could work,” added City Councilor Emery, discussing how a local currency could be formatted.
Councilor and Mayor Pro Tem Sarah Kneller has been a strong advocate for IT infrastructure, noting that many companies are offering cutting edge technology that the city could benefit from.
“Hitting while the iron is hot will be really good for the city as a whole,” Kneller said.
Although a discussion took place, no decision was made on how the funds would be allocated, but the board plans to revisit this issue at a future meeting.
Projects or programs identified at this stage do not require the full amount of RAP funding.
With the current list, $ 2,078,054 remains unallocated and can be used on other projects in the future.