Those running this November for Sedro-Woolley City Council include incumbents hoping to keep their positions, challengers hoping to unseat them and a former councilman who is throwing his hat back in the ring.
The majority say managing the city’s growth is a priority. Some say improving public safety by adding police officers is their top priority or a close second to managing growth.
A levy proposal to add officers to the city’s police department will be on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Each City Council position is for a four-year term representing a section of the city.
In the fight for the council position in Ward 4 are incumbent Pola Kelley and challenger Glenn Allen.
Kelley, who was appointed to the position in March 2018, said maintaining the character of Sedro-Woolley while bringing in businesses and encouraging growth is the city’s greatest challenge.
As executive director of the Sedro-Woolley Chamber of Commerce, she said she understands those issues and can help the city navigate them. Kelley also said she’s proud of developments that have unfolded in the city recently.
Allen said he’s seen the changes taking place and knows growth is inevitable, but wants to help ensure it’s done responsibly so that the city maintains its charm.
“I think one of Sedro-Woolley’s allures is that it is a classic, Americana little town still in a lot of ways,” he said.
While multifamily housing such as that being built in parts of the city is increasingly important, Allen said there needs to be assurances that single-family homes will remain as well.
“Traditional neighborhoods are important to me, but so is providing housing for people,” he said. “So I want to make sure there is a balance.”
This isn’t Allen’s first race. He served on the City Council in the mid-1990s and as a Port of Skagit commissioner until 2010.
He decided to get back into what he sees as public service after the City Council proposed increasing pay for its members.
“When they wanted the 80% raise that kind of raised my hackles,” Allen said. “I think it’s public service.”
Kelley said during council discussions about the issue that she would like to see a pay increase, but would support a smaller increase than 80%.
Also in disagreement over the proposed pay increase for City Council are incumbent Charles “Chuck” Owen and challenger Corrin Hamburg in the race for the council seat in Ward 5.
Hamburg has said she does not support a pay increase.
Owen, who was elected to the position in 2015, wants a pay increase and said he doesn’t think it’s fair to ask voters to increase property taxes in order to add police officers to the city’s force.
In the race with no incumbent — in Ward 1 — Dave Bates and Brendan McGoffin both say ensuring public safety is a priority.
Both said they support asking voters to authorize a tax to add to the police department.