Everett City Council May Go On Offensive Over Light Rail Worries

February 27, 2021

Everett Government

At last Wednesday’s Everett City Council meeting Councilmember Scott Murphy expressed great concern over what he called broken promises from Sound Transit regarding Light Rail to Everett. Murphy cited a Motion passed back in 1994 under Sound Transit 2 that declared Light Rail to Everett was a priority. He provided this copy of the motion.

This is from 1994. Click to enlarge.

After the meeting Murphy sent the following email to the Mayor and City Councilmembers.

Mayor Franklin and Council colleagues:
Here is the other document I referenced in my comments today.

This resolution clearly indicated that the extension of Light rail to Everett would be the number 1 priority in ST 2, which of course did not happen. The promises have been broken time and again by Sound Transit and I would like to see us follow up proactively on this.

I know from my perspective, I don’t want to wake up in 15 years when light rail is supposed to be here only to find out it never happened or got extended by another 5 or ten years….as elected public officials, I believe we need to get a lot more educated on this topic and really take a proactive approach to managing this situation.

I don’t want to see the people of Everett get short-changed by Sound Transit after paying into the program for decades!

Best regards,

Scott Murphy
Everett City Council

During the meeting Murphy said he was concerned over the City of Seattle looking to raise funds for Sound Transit Light Rail projects in their city that could cause cause significant delay in getting Light Rail to Everett. He cited a recent Seattle Times article discussing financial options. Murphy proposed three steps.

  • Schedule a detailed update briefing from Sound Transit. We need to understand the budget gap and what it means for Everett and completing the spine.
  • Work on a “offense” strategy with our Delegation in Washington DC….this might help us if we can get some “Everett related” earmarks or strings attached to future federal funding.
  • Consult an attorney on what our legal rights may be vis-a-vis the 1994 Sound Transit Board resolution which clearly stated that “extension of light rail to Everett shall be a first priority in Phase II (which of course didn’t happen).

After Murphy’s comments multiple councilmembers including Vogeli, Bader, Stonecipher, Roberts and Tuohy agreed that more information was needed. Council President Stonecipher said she would work on getting a briefing set up.

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