The Mountlake Terrace City Council last week briefly discussed whether Mountlake Terrace should participate in a newly formed coalition of mayors and business leaders who said they are committed to addressing ongoing community concerns about public safety in Snohomish County.
Mayors from 15 Snohomish County cities — including Dale Kaemingk of Brier, Mike Nelson of Edmonds and Christine Frizzell of Lynnwood — are participating in the new coalition, which was announced Oct. 4.
The group — Mayors and Business Leaders for Public Safety — is a nonprofit organization. Organizers said it was created in response to increased incidents of property and violent crime across Snohomish County, and to address mental health and homelessness challenges that are primary drivers of the increase.
Speaking during the council’s Oct. 13 work/study session, Mayor Kyoko Matsumoto Wright and Acting City Manager Stephen Clifton noted that information about the coalition was sent out to the councilmembers via email. Although Mountlake Terrace was not included in the initial group announcement Oct. 4, the city can still join if there is a consensus from councilmembers to do so. Each participating city pays a fee — for Mountlake Terrace it would be $3,750 — which covers the cost of a consultant to guide the effort.
Some councilmembers wondered specifically what the fee would cover as also asked for other details about the group. Clifton said he would request additional information and forward it on to the council.
In a news release announcing the organization, Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin said the coalition will pursue a coordinated agenda that includes:
– Legislation addressing the Blake decision, which decriminalized nearly all drug possession in Washington state.
– Criminal justice policies that will allow officers to more effectively use their training, experience and judgment in the field.
– Increased funding for both law enforcement and social services.