KRISTIN KELLY
SNOHOMISH COUNTY COUNCIL DISTRICT 5 (D)
Snohomish County is the fastest growing county in Washington and the second fastest in the country. I will protect and restore our environment while accommodating the 200,000 people expected to move to Snohomish County in the next 20 years. In my time working in Snohomish County, people will tell you that I work collaboratively with stakeholders including the Tribes, environmental organizations, developers, and our elected leaders.
 
Government Access and Accountability
I have served twice on the Snohomish County Charter Review Commission and successfully brought changes to our County’s Charter to a vote of the people, ensuring more access and accountability of our County Council. In 2006 I championed having public comment time every time the County Council meets, previously, public comment was only held at 9:00 am once a week. Now, time is allotted for every voice to be heard each time the council meets.
 
In 2016, I championed and voters agreed that the council should have night evening meetings at least once a year in each of the council districts, so more people are able to have their voice heard. Until then, the council only met weekdays between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.  While I wanted more night meetings, the majority on the Commission voted for one night a year. 
 
The council can vote to have more evening meetings in your neighborhood, and if elected, I will push to have that happen. I have championed night hearings for budget meeting, and updates or amendments to the County’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan. While I wanted more night hearings for more regulatory changes, the majority of the council only wanted it for budgets and comprehensive plan amendments. We sent this to the voters and they agreed. If elected, I will push for even more night hearings on regulatory changes so that you can have your voice heard.

Environment
I currently serve on the Executive Committee of the Sustainable Lands Strategy working toward net gains in both salmon and wildlife habitat restoration while promoting farming along the Skykomish/Snohomish and Stillaguamish River basins and estuaries. If elected, I will ensure the SLS remains funded and we build upon this consensus based work. When we work together, we build solutions for everyone in Snohomish County.
 
This year starts the process for the Shoreline Master Program Update, and 2023 will be the next Comprehensive Plan Update. I will continue to protect critical areas, shoreline, forests, and farm land. What I can do in four years will put Snohomish County on track for environmental and land use protections while developing accommodations for the projected population gains.  Water quality is another very important issue and I will work to protect our water table and access to clean drinking water. Additionally, the Tree Canopy Ordinance needs to be revisited as it does not properly incentivize saving significant trees in our developing areas.
  
Lord Hill Regional Park
Currently, Snohomish County Parks and Recreation have embarked on a Master Plan for Lord Hill Regional Park that would allow for many mountain biking trails on trails historically used for horse riders and hikers. This park is not the right location for a mountain bike skill center. There already exists, and plans are underway for more mountain biking trails across our county. Lord Hill Park needs to be preserved as a passive park with its abundance of sensitive areas, bird and wildlife habitat. This is a park, a known respite for people who want to be quiet in nature. I will work to ensure Lord Hill Park does not transform into a mountain biking skills center.

Singletary Timber Sale
This timber sale which has been allowed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will impact the beauty and wildlife habitat that is important to our communities of Sultan and Gold Bar and the long-term economy. Snohomish County reconveyed 25 acres of the Singletary Timber Sale as a small buffer around trails to Wallace Falls State Park, but it has shown to not be adequate enough. Currently there are two court actions taking place that could preserve the entire Singletary Timber Sale from going forward. As I have done previously, I will work with all interested parties to protect our resources and fund our schools and junior taxing districts. Our state’s reliance on timber harvest to fund our schools and junior taxing districts needs to change, but before that can happen we still must fund our services while protecting our resources. 

Economy
Farming is part of the fabric of our county and one of our most important industries. I will work to make sure farming remains a cornerstone of our community for a long, long time. We need a workable Transfer of Development Rights Program that helps to preserve farmland. I will ensure we have a safe local food supply by protecting the farmland we have left, and returning undeveloped land into farming.
 
Snohomish County is growing quickly and we need an economy that works for everyone.  We need to support our small businesses while ensuring Boeing and large producers remain successful too. I understand the challenges of small business owners, and for working men and women. I will work to ensure small businesses and our working Boeing community thrive in our county.

Housing
As our county grows, we need to ensure safe and affordable housing for everyone. People should not be spending more than 30 percent of their income on a mortgage or rental for a place to live. By developing near transit, near schools, churches and places that people can get to by walking, riding a bike, or using the bus we can preserve forest and farm land while providing affordable and market rate housing. I believe new development needs to be safe and aesthetically pleasing so that people who live in them will have a sense of pride and ownership, even if they rent.

Community
If elected, I will meet with community groups throughout the district about your concerns, ideas and innovative solutions to making our county the best place to live, work and play. We need to ensure people and children in every corner of our district have access to healthy food choices. We can do this by bringing our local farm products into our schools and into our local communities, so families are able to access local eat healthy food in their neighborhoods. Most of all, we need to make sure there are plenty of places that people can walk, bike, run and do other important physical activities near their homes.
  
Public Health
There is a drug and alcohol addiction crisis in many of our communities. We need to treat all addiction as a public health issue I want to work with others who are already working to solve these important problems to get people the services they need.
 
The Snohomish County Health Department has seen dramatic decreases in funding and it is affecting the ability of the Health District to respond to the communities’ needs. I want to address this issue in the county’s budget.

Transportation and Traffic
Traffic is a huge problem in our area – I know it is for you, as it is for me. Our traffic issues stem from developing rural land without updating infrastructure, bad planning, and many overlaying jurisdictions of laws and regulations surrounding transportation. We shouldn’t have to continue to sit in congestion and I have the solutions to fix this problem.
 
In Snohomish County, our road system for developments were planned as cul-de-sacs, instead of a grid system. Therefore, cars get funneled onto very few arterials, adding to the problem. There is constant pressure to keep expanding out further and further into our rural lands without improving our roadways. Our roads are at capacity. We need to be sure our roads are set up to handle increased traffic if subdivisions continue to be built in rural areas.
 
If a development adds more traffic to a county arterial that decreases the level of service (LOS) on a road, lower than has been established by the county, then a developer pays the county for improvements. The county has six years to improve the road, but we shouldn’t have to wait six years in traffic. I’ll make sure funds that collected are used to improve roads as fast as possible and keep us moving on the road.
 
Here are a few long-term solutions the County government has allowed, which I will work to change:
 
Impact Fees - The county reduced the impact fees which go toward fixing roads. Developers say “affordable housing” cannot be built if they have to pay large fees for roads and parks because costs would be passed to the homebuyer, making the home too expensive. The fact is homes are priced at what the market will bear. You know this to be true because when the housing industry took a deep dive in 2008, home prices dropped substantially, and now with the economy back on track these same homes are worth thousands more. I want to ensure impact fees are adjusted correctly to develop our roads and infrastructure accounting for increased use and congestion.
 
The Growth Management Act when adopted, required planning for new development to have infrastructure and probable funding identified as part of the Comprehensive Plan. Snohomish County over the years has ignored the funding aspect. The probable funding element was almost completely bypassed when the council adopted the 2005 update to the Comprehensive Plan. Most folks don’t get involved with these updates and yearly amendments because it is very technical and requires a lot of time and effort. Therefore, uninformed decisions by our County Council become law when no one its watching their work. We need leadership that will not adopt ordinances without a known way of paying for the impacts they create.
 
During the 2015 Comprehensive Plan Update, the County Council changed the LOS on our rural roads from LOS C to that of urban LOS (E) when those rural roads had enough traffic to mimic urban roads. This was something I strongly disagreed with, but it was passed into law. This has allowed more traffic onto our rural roads without having to fix them to allow for more development. This is wrong and needs to change.
 
The traffic nightmares on our US and State Highways require huge investments of federal and state dollars. I will advocate for our state funding the completion of the SR522 bottleneck and other improvements to relieve traffic issues at Paradise Lake Road. I will also advocate for state funding to replace the westbound SR2 trestle from Lake Stevens to Everett, and for finishing the widening of Highway 2 across the Snohomish River.