Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stanwood Democrats July Meeting

 Senator Mary Margaret Haugen Addresses Residents

As frequently the case, the Stanwood Democrats Monthly Meeting  included an array of Speakers to educate us on issues vital to our town.

The featured speaker - Senator Mary Margaret Haugen (picture standing) - addressed about 20 Stanwood resident after breakfast at the Viking Restaurant.

Senator Mary Margaret Haugen addresses the Stanwood Democrats
during their month meeting at the Viking Restaurant .
Senator Haugen summarized the just completed session of the Washington State legislature.  Like other State governments our Legislature was forced to make brutal cuts to education, social services and government services.   She was relieved that State Democrats and Republicans worked together to make these painful cuts to balance the budget.  Budget cuts reduced but did not eliminate essential services.   She credited Senator Ed Murray for leading the successful Senate negotiation with the House. She was happy to find the WA new young legislators were among our nations increasingly rare moderate Republicans that support Planned Parenthood and reproductive rights.

In spite of the severe reductions in State revenues, Senator Haugen did report some good news for her District.  With the passage of SB 5639 WSU will be establishing a  branch campus  at Everett Community College making higher education more accessible to students in North Puget Sound.   She was also excited that SB 5742 to reform and fund the State ferries passed the Senate by a 34-10 vote. After a tough battle, the  legislation to improve our ferries sponsored by Senator Haugen was signed into Law by Governor Gregoire June 7th. 

Senator Haugen then led a general discussion of the upcoming redistricting of the State legislative districts.  There was some consensus that the 10th legislative district should include Camano Island,  Stanwood and more of Skagit County instead of Whidbey Island.  This would make the district more geographically compact and manageable. 

Candidates for Stanwood City Council

Since Stanwood city council elections are non-partisan, our Chairman Carol Ronken invited all 10 candidates for the 5 open positions on the council to address out meetings.  Three of the candidates attended: Larry Sather and Elizabeth Callaghan are running for position one.  Incumbent William Carlton seeks reelection to position 3.  

From Left: Candidates Elizabeth Callaghan and  William Carlton with wife Eileen at the Viking for the Stanwood Democrats breakfast & monthly meeting.

Eileen and William Carlton moved to Stanwood in 1999.  William was appointed to Stanwood City council in 2007 and was elected in 2008.  He is now seeking re-election. He has served on all standing committees.  His major interest is the finance committee.  He strongly supports Stanwoods   Economic Development plan. Carlton advocates simplifying City Codes and the  review of  zoning issues in preparation for growth that will inevitably ensue when the North Sound area pulls out of recession. 
Candidate Larry Sather addresses Stanwood residents
 at the Viking Restaurant
Candidate  Larry Sather reminded us that Stanwood has spent much on community planning for the future.  To benefit from those plans Sather  vigorously opposes issuing variances from those plans.  Sather recommended that Stanwood align with regional fire authorities but retain Stanwood fire fighters. Since Stanwood is plagued with annual flooding, Sather proposes Stanwood work with regional governments to control flooding.  Having worked with Larry on other committees,   Stanwood Democratic Chairman Carol Ronken endorsed Larry as the voice of reason on contested issues. 

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