Incumbent Stanwood City Council member Judy Williams is facing Tim Schmitt in the race for the Position 7 seat in the Nov. 2 election.
Williams, 59, who has served on the council for more than three years, said she has strongly supported improvements to Stanwood parks and trails.
“It’s so important that we keep going on the improvement of our parks and trails,” said Williams, who also serves as a North County Regional Fire Authority board commissioner. “Great parks and trails not only give families something to do, but they make Stanwood an attractive destination for visitors.”
Other park projects in development have Williams feeling positive about Stanwood’s future.
“As a member of the council, I’ve strongly supported improving our existing parks, like Church Creek, and moving forward on others like the walk/bike path by Highway 532,” she said. “These parks and trails not only will make Stanwood a destination influencer for visitors, but they make it a great place for all our citizens.”
Williams, who has lived in Stanwood for 23 years, is an account executive with a local title company and said she finds being on the council meaningful.
“My time serving the City Council has been educational, encouraging, frustrating and inspiring — but not all at once,” she said. “I value the opportunity to continue representing the hard-working people who call Stanwood home.”
Schmitt, 55, said if elected, he would address how the council communicates with the public.
“I think that it is critical that the council listen to its citizens,” he said. “I have sent emails to the council with my concerns on certain issues that have not received a response. Citizens deserve to have their questions about city business answered in a timely manner.”
Schmitt, who owns a small acrylics manufacturing business and has an MBA from Seattle University, said his business-related communications skills would be an asset to the council.
“In my own business, I often do diagnostics to see what is working well and what is not — this is always helpful,” said Schmitt, who has lived in Stanwood for five years and has volunteered in various local organizations including the public schools, fire department and food bank. “As a member of the City Council, I would encourage discussions to look at what we are doing right and wrong.”
Schmitt, who helps moderate a Facebook page dedicated to local issues, believes social media could be used more effectively for communication by the council.
“We would definitely have improved citizen engagement with greater use of social media,” he said. “I think that if more people were made aware of the council’s activities through platforms like Facebook, we would have much better attendance at City Council meetings.”
Candidate responses to Stanwood Camano News questionnaire:
Name, age, hometown: Judy Williams, 59; born in Oak Harbor, WA
Occupation: Account Executive
Education: High School and Real Estate Principles Certification North Seattle CC
Elected offices held: Stanwood City Council Pos. #7, North County Regional Fire Authority Commissioner.
Elected offices sought: Stanwood City Council Pos. #7 Re-Election Community involvement: Long term involvement with the Schools, most specifically Band Booster President with the Stanwood High School for 6 years
Why are you running for office? Community Service has always been a big part of my life. I truly believe that if you give it out in slices, it will come back to you in loaves.
What is a major issue facing local residents and how would you address that issue? I am most passionate about our Parks and Trails. My strongest belief is that families are not only the backbone of Stanwood, but are also our future. They do so by supporting our businesses and restaurants, by going to our schools, using our parks and trails. All in all, families provide the biggest support and growth for our community.
Why should voters choose you? I am a solid candidate that will listen to all sides before making a decision. I am not politically driven, I am however, community service driven. These last 3 + years that I have served the City of Stanwood have been educational, encouraging, frustrating and inspiring. (not all at once) There is still so much left to accomplish. I value the opportunity to continue representing the hard-working people who call Stanwood home.
Name, age, hometown: Tim Schmitt, 55 years old, Marysville
Occupation: Small business owner
Education: Undergrad, Computer Science, Western Washington University MBA, Seattle University
Elected offices held: I haven’t had the honor of serving my fellow citizens yet.
Elected offices sought: Stanwood City Council #7
Community involvement: I’ve been an active volunteer in our area for decades. In the past, I’ve been a volunteer fireman and after-school tutor. More recently, I’ve served with the Stanwood/Camano food bank and Salary commission. Then, over the last four years, I’ve been perhaps the most active citizen in Stanwood politics. I’ve attended nearly every council and committee meeting. I have testified to our council about a hundred times now. Finally, I am the founder of Facebook group Stanwood Involved (as Nathaniel H.) dedicated to Stanwood politics.
Why are you running for office? Since I’ve attended nearly every city meeting for the last four years, I’m intimately familiar with our city’s issues. Some months ago, I was attending a committee meeting. It was clear while attending that a council member hadn’t studied the agenda issues, while I had. This council member was making decisions that affected every Stanwood citizen, ad-hoc. It was at that meeting the light bulb went on - I knew the issues better, and could make more informed decisions. At that meeting, I decide to run.
What is a major issue facing local residents and how would you address that issue? Foremost, our council is not listening. By their willfully deaf ear, they wasted $57K on a public works project, turned our quaint downtown into an industrial zone, maximized property taxes, removed citizen comments, and approved a planning commissioner under suspicious circumstances. Our Stanwood council has harmed Stanwood, simply because they’re not listening (the majority of which don’t even bother to return emails). The elusively obvious is we need to listen to our citizens’ concerns, and then actually follow-up with meaningful action. This I will faithfully do.
Why should voters choose you? Undoubtedly, council members will brag and recycle platitudes, but examining the details in the underbelly, our leaders have profoundly let down the esteemed citizens of Stanwood. As Stanwood evolves from an agricultural to suburban community, it faces major challenges. Our current council has demonstrated they can’t even manage Stanwood in its current state (such as when they let the berm project go from a $752K budget, to over $1M), let alone future challenges. It’s time for a new approach. I will be a tireless advocate to transition our city into its next phase while retaining the open fields and unique charm of our beloved Stanwood