MLTnews reviews 2019: January-February

As we enter a new decade, MLTnews looks back at the highlights of 2019.

Part 1, January-February


Doug McCardle

Councilmember Doug McCardle was elected the new mayor pro tem during the Jan. 3 Mountlake Terrace City Council meeting. The election was necessary because former Mayor Pro Tem Kyoko Matsumoto Wright assumed the job of mayor following the December 2018 death of Mayor Jerry Smith.

The city council with volunteers who worked on the Terrace Creek Park swing set.

At its Jan. 5 meeting, the Mountlake Terrace City Council approved regulations for small cell wireless facilities in the city. The council also recognized all those who participated in the effort to provide a candy cane-themed swing set for Terrace Creek Park.


The Edmonds School District announced Jan. 12 that Michael Jones was fired as head coach of the Mountlake Terrace Hawks girls basketball programNo explanation for his dismissal was given. Jones had been named to head the basketball program prior to the start of team tryouts on Nov. 12 and coached six varsity games. Without any public announcement, the school district replaced Jones with Daun Brown following the Dec. 18 varsity game against Marysville-Getchell. Brown led his first practice with the program on Dec. 20.

One large sinkhole resulted where the water main break occurred on the north side of the street and a second sinkhole was created on the south side of the street with the water main exposed. The roadway between the two sinkholes is unstable. (Photo courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)

Crews were dispatched to repair an old cast iron water main that broke Jan. 16  in Mountlake Terrace on the King/Snohomish County line (205th Street Northeast/244th Street Southwest) at 43rd Place West. The water travelled under the asphalt, undermining the road and resulting in two sinkholes.

A citizen asks project consultant Curtis LaPierre about one of the design boards.

The second public meeting to consider the Mountlake Terrace Gateway Plaza design concepts got underway Jan. 16 as consultants and city officials huddled with more than a dozen interested citizens to work on refinements to the plans first presented in December.

Sound Transit’s Blake Kempkes, right, speaks to the Mountlake Terrace City Council Jan. 17. (Photo courtesy City of Mountlake Terrace)

As Lynnwood Link light rail construction gets underway, officials from Sound Transit appeared at the Mountlake Terrace City Council’s Jan. 17 work/study session to update the council and citizens what to expect. A major impact: The agency must remove more than 4,000 trees to accommodate the 8.5-mile light rail extension.

Mountlake Terrace City Hall was standing-room only Jan. 19 as Congressman Rick Larsen met with his 2nd Congressional District constituents to discuss the effects of the federal government shutdown. The congressman said one of the reasons he was meeting with his constituents was to explain what the partial government shutdown — which has been in effect since Dec. 22 — meant for federal employees and what he has been doing to help end it.

Mountlake Terrace Business Association President Justin Elsner, left, presents Dustin Dekoekkoek with the Citizen of the Year award.

The Mountlake Terrace Business Association honored two local businesses and an outstanding citizen during its first annual meeting and awards dinner Jan. 23. Incoming President Justin Elsner of Elsner Law Firm recognized Mountlake Terrace Community Foundation President Dustin Dekoekkoek as 2018 Citizen of the Year. Diamond Knot Brewpub was honored as the Large Business of the Year while MLTnews was named the Small Business of the Year.

A crowd of more than 100 interested citizens filled the Mountlake Terrace Community Senior Center Jan. 24 for the first chance to hear from city officials and project staff about the impending arrival of light rail in the community.A major project that will bring years of construction activity and related challenges including traffic delays, parking realignment, tree removal and new plantings, it promises to bring big changes along the I-5 corridor and surrounding neighborhoods.

City Clerk Virginia Olsen remembers the late Mayor Jerry Smith during the Jan. 25 memorial service. (Photo by David Carlos)

Several hundred people gathered Jan. 25 for a memorial service to honor the life of Mountlake Terrace Mayor Jerry Smith, who died suddenly in his sleep Dec. 14, 2018. Officiated by Seattle Police Department Chaplain Charlie Scoma, the event included a  presentation of colors by both SPD and Mountlake Terrace police officers, plus an SPD bagpipe performance of Amazing Grace — all in recognition of Smith’s service as a Seattle police officer from 1968 to 1986. “He served SPD with honor and distinction,” Scoma said. “He was very well loved and respected and did his job well.”

Candidates with a wide range of life experiences and professional backgrounds — some long-time residents and others newcomers — have filed for appointment to the Position 2 Mountlake Terrace City Council seat left vacant by the death of long-time Mayor Jerry Smith in December. A total of 12 candidates initially applied, but one has since withdrawn. The Mountlake Terrace City Council will hold a special meeting Feb. 9 to interview all of the candidates and appoint a replacement.

Mountlake Terrace volunteers serving on city boards, commissions and a special task force were honored at a dinner for their work.

The City of Mountlake Terrace officials held an appreciation dinner Jan. 30 at Ballinger Clubhouse for volunteers serving on city boards, commissions and a special task force. Volunteers were treated to a home-cooked meal by Public Works Director Eric LaFrance, who served dinner with other members of the city’s leadership team. The city invited volunteers who have served over the past year on the Economic Vitality and Town Center Task Force, Arts Advisory Commission, Civil Service Commission, Planning Commission, Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission (RPAC) and Neighborhood Parks Improvement Subcommittee (NPIS).


A car is towed on snowy streets following the snowfall in Mountlake Terrace in early February.

Cold and icy weather conditions after a Feb. 4 snowfall caused the closure of Edmonds School District schools and Edmonds Community College the cancellation of high school athletic contests and delays in trash pickup. City of Mountlake Terrace public works crews continued to plow streets and spread sand to help commuters travel safely. Snow and ice continued into the following week, causing more delays and closures of schools and libraries.

Steve Woodard

The Mountlake Terrace City Council Feb. 9 appointed Steve Woodard to fill the Position 2 seat left vacant following the death of long-time Councilmember and Mayor Jerry Smith. A 15-year resident, Woodard is a student services dean of students at Edmonds Community College. He served on the Mountlake Terrace Library Board from 2014-16, and currently is on the city’s Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission as well as on the board for the Teachers of Color Foundation.

Efforts by Mountlake Terrace police to solve a string of robberies highlighted the police department’s annual year-end report to the Mountlake Terrace City Council during its Feb. 19 business meeting. Three juvenile suspects are currently awaiting trial for committing four robberies between Jan. 2-4, said Mountlake Terrace Police Detective Sgt. Pat Lowe, who praised the efforts of his fellow officers.

Diana White

Diana White announced Feb. 22 she does not intend to seek re-election to her seat on the Edmonds School District Board of Directors when her current term expires in November. White has served as School Board Director representing District 5 since 2011, and is currently serving as Board President.

Albertsons’ Mountlake Terrace store at 212th Street Southwest and 44th Avenue West will be rebranded under the Safeway banner and will include a Starbucks. According to NextMLT, Permits submitted to the City of Mountlake Terrace indicate that the store will undergo a remodel and signs will be installed for Safeway, Starbucks and a pharmacy. Permits also indicate the store will be adding a Safeway Drive Up & Go station to pick up online orders

The City of Mountlake Terrace announced Feb. 25 that Pete Caw has been promoted to serve as Mountlake Terrace Police Chief. Caw has been serving as interim  chief since the resignation last October of Greg Wilson. Caw has 43 years of law enforcement experience, including 32 years with the City of Mountlake Terrace. He joined the Mountlake Terrace Police Department in 1987 and served as a police officer, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, assistant chief and deputy chief before being appointed interim chief.



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