Everett Mayor To County – Don’t Blame Us

Ray Stephanson and John Lovick

It looks like a rocky relationship for the county’s top two leaders.

Today Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson issued the following response to a letter written by Snohomish County Executive John Lovick regarding the project to build a replacement courthouse in downtown Everett…

“I have had an opportunity to read County Executive Lovick’s surprising Sept. 1 letter regarding the County’s courthouse project, and I am disappointed by his characterization of the City’s role in the project. Locating the County courthouse in downtown Everett is important to the City.

As I have stated before, the County in 2014 discussed with the City a courthouse project that included a significant off-street parking element. However, in late 2014, that element was abruptly removed from the County project, prompting the City Council to pass an emergency ordinance to protect parking in the downtown core. The City has always been ready to work with the County on the parking issue, and, as Executive Lovick’s letter points out, our staffs have spent considerable time working toward a solution.

On Aug. 27, 2015, I proposed a revised agreement to Executive Lovick that I believe would have resolved the courthouse parking situation and met the terms of the City’s parking ordinance. The proposal received a positive initial response from County staff, and the City Council scheduled time at tonight’s meeting (Sept. 2) to consider the agreement and receive additional input from County staff. Indeed, the Executive’s letter even refers to my proposal as a “full circle” proposal. Because of this, I do not understand why, with a solution in sight after eight months of work, he now recommends pulling the plug.

It is common knowledge that the County’s $160 million courthouse project has been plagued with issues since its inception. However, those are County issues, not City issues. If County leadership decides that this particular project should not go forward, that is a County decision. It is unfair and inaccurate for the County to use the City as an excuse.

As I reiterated in my Aug. 27 letter to the Executive, the City remains prepared to work with the County regarding a courthouse project, whenever the County decides that it is ready to proceed.”

Clink the link below to read Executive Lovick’s letter from yesterday…

Lovick Sept. 1st courthouse letter.

It will be interesting to see what the Everett City Council has to say at their meeting at 6:30 this evening.

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