Council eNewsletter

NEWS  from

Councilmember John Koster 

November 20, 2012



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John Koster's eNewsletter
 John Koster

Snohomish County Council
3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S 609
Everett, Washington 98201
8th floor, Robert J. Drewel Building
Phone: 425-388-3494
E-Mail: [email protected]


Barbara Chapman, Legislative Aide


Centennial Trail Completed


With the ribbon cutting, Snohomish County celebrated the completion of the last 8 mile segment of the Centennial Trail on Saturday, November 3, 2012. The trailhead located at 32328 State Route 9 is also the site of the historic Nakashima Barn. The celebration consisted of cyclists, horse lovers, walkers and joggers, elected officials, Parks staff and Trail Coalition members. An open mike was offered and many spoke of their involvement with this project over the years. With the completion of this segment of the trail, Snohomish County now has 30 miles through the county, from Snohomish, north to the Skagit County line. Parks Director, Tom Teigen stated that more than 400,000 citizens utilize the trail annually and that it is one of the most used elements of the County Parks system. Former Trail Coalition member, John Wynne arrived from Alaska for the ribbon cutting. He was instrumental from the conception of the Centennial Trail advocating and fundraising during the state's centennial and the development of the trail beginning in 1989, and he wanted to be a part of the final completion of this project.


The trailhead was dedicated to the Nakashima family (whose granddaughter attended the celebration). The family once owned the land. The barn, built sometime around 1908 is listed on the Washington State Heritage Barn Registry. The Snohomish County Arts Commission installed several large historical photos on the exterior of the barn. The barn will serve as a trailhead stop and also as a community center for historical displays and as recreation/interpretive program space.


Snohomish County 2013 Budget


The Snohomish County Council passed the 2013 budget on Monday, November 19th by a 3-2 vote. Councilmen Koster and Somers voted no. This budget includes a 3% property tax increase in 2013 and an additional 3% in 2014. There are basically two ways for government to increase revenue, raising taxes or realizing revenue through private investment, consequent job creation and growth of the economy. The county has not increased the General Fund portion of the property tax in nine years. Most citizens are not aware of the reductions that have been made or that we have reduced our work force significantly and that nearly every Department is at the point where they can no longer make cuts without significantly impacting services. This is because our employees have been willing to work harder, do more with less, become more efficient and find ways to streamline processes and they deserve kudos for their efforts. However, the economic recovery is weak, unemployment remains at unacceptable levels and many families are barely getting by. Some are not making it at all and many still face foreclosure on their mortgages. "Even though the tax increases may seem small to some, my concern is for those who do not have a good income and those on fixed incomes, those who have made sacrifices and are still struggling" said Councilman Koster. "I just don't think now is the time to add to the financial burden of so many". Councilman Koster said that rather than raising taxes he would prefer to pay for the upgrades to the courthouse by making the case to the public and asking the voters to approve a sales tax.


Upcoming Events


As Thanksgiving is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner, our office would like to wish everyone in the district a wonderful time of reflection and sharing with our families and friends.


Please look for an upcoming Business Roundtable in January with an emphasis on how the new Legislature will handle the critical issues in the next session. For more information, contact Cindy at [email protected] or 425-397-7799


I hope you found this eNEWSLETTER to be informative and useful. You can make it even more valuable by suggesting topics and issues for future newsletters. Please contact me at 425-388-3494, or e-mail [email protected]. If you would like to share this newsletter, select the Forward email link below.

John Koster
Snohomish County Council