|At Stanwood Democrats May Meeting.|
From Left: Arlington Storm Water Utilities Director - Bill Blake,
Stanwood Democrat's Treasurer - Dave Ridgeway
Snohomish County Democratic Central Committee Chair - Richard Wright
After all the hard work and excitement of the presidential and gubernatorial elections last Fall the Stanwood Democrats would like to relax and regroup for a year but that is not to be. The Snohomish county government will have a wide open primary August 6th for two seats on the council because councilmen John Koster and Dave Gossett are term limited. Arlington's storm water utilities director -Bill Blake - is running for the District 1 seat. So he came to the Stanwood Dems monthly meeting at the Viking Restaurant this May. Blake reminded the dozen or so of us in attendance of the importance of the Snohomish County Comprehensive Plan and his years of experience working on advisory boards for those plans. The 2025 Comprehensive Plan went into effect when County Executive Aaron Reardon signed it in 2005. The Plan controls growth and development in the county including land use, building codes, transportation, park services and watershed management.
Blake advocated maintaining and expanding a broad economic base so that the county would not be solely dependent on Boeing and vulnerable to its economic cycle. He outlined several ideas for sustaining the counties traditional economic drivers - agriculture, logging and fisheries. All depend on sufficient water supplies and storm water management. Watershed management must also handle the demands of population growth in the county. Under Bill Blake's watch as Arlington's stormwater wetlands manager, the city completed a $35 million upgrade to it wastewater treatment and water reclamation facility. It won praise from the Stillaguamish Tribe's environmental program manager, Pat Stevenson i.e.: "The city's wastewater treatment plant is very sophisticated, and the stormwater wetlands is that extra effort that will help bring salmon back to the Stillaguamish."
Blake also had a creative way for "killing two birds with one stone" with his Farm to School suggestion to a joint meeting of the Arlington School Board and the City Council. The Arlington School cafeterias consume 25 thousand pounds of food per month. Local fresh produce benefits both the health of the students and the incomes of our farmers. According to the Everett Herald reporter Gale Fiege: "In its second year, the Fresh Food in Schools Project now includes 32 new farm-to-school programs statewide. Participating schools bought more than $300,000 worth of Washington-grown fruits and vegetables, an increase of about 82,000 pounds of produce from the previous school year, Larson said."
The meeting ended with an upbeat report from the Snohomish County Chair of the Democratic Central Committee - Richard Wright - about campaign financing now being in better order with the set up of a "victory fund". Office finances are in the black for the elections. Alida Booth - a Stanwood Democrat on the Central Committee - posed the challenge of finding someone to replace County Executive Aaron Reardon who is resigning his office at the end of May.