Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson is the easy choice for another four-year term.
EVERETT Mayor Ray Stephanson’s steady leadership during uncertain times earns him another four-year term. He is an easy endorsement for re-election.
The city of Everett will watch a stormy 2009 pass into history having avoided the severe financial turbulence that hit most cities. Stephanson worked with the Everett City Council to maintain municipal services and avoid upheavals in the city work force. For years, the mayor and council have set aside healthy reserves on top of a rainy-day fund.
Stephanson is always looking ahead, but not getting out ahead of the city’s financial capacities. Lean sales-tax revenues and slim rations from state-shared resources could make 2010 an even tougher year. All the more reason to be able to call on Stephanson’s experience.
Over the years, the mayor has rethought and stepped back from ideas and proposals that were not good value. He took a pass on a streetcar line that would have connected the riverfront, business district and waterfront. Stephanson refused to spend $250,000 on an expensive marketing campaign. The same fiscal prudence led the mayor and City Council to abandon growth through annexation.
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To keep Everett moving ahead, Stephanson has built good working relationships with the city’s major public and private employers. He is patiently waiting for an economic rebound to allow work to proceed on riverfront development.
Stephanson has been a good steward of public resources, while keeping an eye on the future.
The mayor’s opponent has a lot of creative ideas for jobs he is not running for. For the office of mayor, well, not so much. Jim Johnson, a mortgage loan broker and retired real-estate agent, is full of plans for better schools, the Port of Everett and economic development.
Johnson even acknowledges Stephanson has done a fine job running City Hall. The challenger only offers a vague complaint about what the mayor has not done.
Everett has attracted a growing population of more than 100,000 — people looking for a solid community to put down roots and raise families. Mayor Ray Stephanson is helping build that sturdy civic foundation. He is strongly endorsed for another term.