Everett Mayor: More Police, No Homeless Students, Better Silver Lake And Fiscal Fix

January 17, 2020

Everett Government

Photo credit: City of Everett

Yesterday at her State of the City 2020 address Everett, Washington Mayor Cassie Franklin outlined her vision for the city and announced four initiatives for the coming year. Here’s a summary taken from her remarks.

Our vision for Everett is one of strength, security and equity, and if we work together as a community, we will realize that vision. As we are working towards this goal, I have four exciting initiatives that I intend to pursue, and hope I will have your full support in bringing them to fruition.

First, we must ensure we continue to have a robust, well-trained police force to keep our communities safe. I’m proud of our outstanding Police Department and everything they have accomplished to reduce crime across the city. But we know that more needs to be done so that our residents feel safe everywhere, all the time.
With a growing population, it’s important that our Police Force grows in tandem. Therefore, I intend to add 24 officers by 2022. This will add patrol officers where we need them most, reduce response times and ensure our residents are not only safe, but also feel safe. This is our number one goal and priority. With the community’s help, I know we can accomplish this goal.

Second, we must eliminate student homelessness in the city of Everett.
Last school year, roughly 1200 Everett school children were living without safe, stable housing. Kids cannot succeed without a roof over their head. If you’re hungry, if you haven’t slept, if you don’t know where you’re going to end up the next day, how can you possibly stay focused, or even pass a test at school? I believe this is a problem we can solve. I am calling on experts in the field to form a task force to develop recommendations so that together we can execute a plan to solve student homelessness in our city. I’m proud to announce Joe Alonzo, CEO of Cocoon House and Dr. Joyce Stewart, former deputy superintendent of Everett Public Schools, will co-lead this effort. I can’t think of two better people to champion this cause, and know they will bring unmatched expertise, perspective and determination to solving this challenge. The task force will also include representatives from nonprofits, faith-based organizations, both Everett and Mukilteo school districts, and other community leaders, as well as students experiencing homelessness and their families. From my experience on the Community Streets Initiative, I know that working together, we can tackle big problems. There is no community more collaborative, or innovative, than Everett.

Third, we live in an incredibly beautiful city, but not all of our neighborhoods enjoy the same beautiful outdoor amenities.

Historically much of the City’s investments have been in North Everett, which tends to have better walking and biking routes, as well as access to water and riverfronts. South Everett, in the meantime, has one of the most beautiful, but underutilized lakes in the region: Silver Lake. Decades ago, City teams envisioned creating a cohesive and connected recreational trail around the lake. Those plans were revisited and tabled over and over again for years due to the high price tag of the project. A few months ago I was fortunate to be one of seven mayors selected to participate in the Mayor’s Institute of Urban Design, where I received guidance from experts around the country on how to move forward with this project. I learned that we can make this happen, affordably, for our residents in South Everett, for our visitors and our region as a whole. Therefore, I have directed staff to revisit previous City plans to improve recreational opportunities and pathways around the lake, so people of all abilities can safely enjoy it. I look forward to reporting on our progress on this in the months to come.

Finally, to address our future sustainability, I am calling together a stakeholder committee to explore our fiscal options and to advise City leadership on ways we can address the City’s revenue challenges this year, and far into the future.

Balancing a budget year over year, while facing a growing deficit, is not only unsustainable, it’s bad business. Our City and residents deserve the investments I’ve talked about today, and much more. We cannot achieve a high quality of life if we continue to whittle away at services and programs to balance our bottom line. We need lasting changes that put us on a more sustainable financial path. We will launch this work immediately and it will be of utmost importance in ensuring we can accomplish our combined vision and the vision that the young people shared this morning.

You can click here to read the entire address or watch the video at this link.


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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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