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Local, county candidates face off in Nov. 6 general election

The Arlington Times recently sent out a survey to the candidates for city and county offices in the Nov. 6 general election, from the Arlington City Council to the Snohomish County Executive.
All of the candidates vying for the same office were asked the same questions. Last weeks issue spotlighted answers from Arlington City Council candidates, and The Arlington Times now presents the answers of the contested Arlington School District Board of Directors members and county-level elected officials. The general election is scheduled for Nov. 6.

Arlington School District

Glen Reid, challenger, Arlington School District position 2 candidate.
1. If elected, what are your first priorities upon taking office?
The first two subjects necessary for a student to learn are reading and mathematics. Reading enables students to acquire the knowledge and study of mathematics enables them to logically use the facts learned.
I intend to introduce reading and mathematics programs that have a history of providing high levels of reading skills and the use of logic acquired in the study of math to understand the facts learned and to use mathematics in their daily lives as required.
2. Which job qualifications or positions most distinguish you most from your opponent?
My qualifications are extensive. I have a BS degree in chemistry with minors in nuclear and modern physics, mathematics and studies in philosophy, history and both traditional and symbolic logic. I was an instructor in an army school and spent 12 years in Army Reserve Schools teaching both technical and military subjects. My students included both enlisted and officer personnel. As a civil service chemist, I also taught classes in automobile safety that successfully reduced the accident rate in my agency and provided instruction to new scientific personnel in administrative and laboratory procedures. As a project engineer, I gained experience in administration and supervision. I served on the Arlington School Board from 1991 to 1995, and during this time, I conducted an extensive study of education classroom procedures, administration, text books and academic content. In this, I have collected and studied more than 150,000 pages of data about education and the results of various programs.

Jim Weiss, incumbent, Arlington School District position 2 candidate.
1. If elected, what are your first priorities upon taking office?
I will continue to work on the following priorities:
Academics, to continue aligning curriculum with grade-level expectations and exceeding standards.
Sound operating practices, to include policies and procedures that are realistic. In other words, are we doing something that makes logical and practical sense?
Raising expectations of staff and students not just to be good, but also to strive for great.
Prepare for the future, in terms of growth financially, facilities, and community involvement.
2. Which job qualifications or positions distinguish you most from your opponent?
Having served the last four years on the board as vice-president and being involved as a parent and ACE committee member for four years prior to that qualifies me for the position. I am constantly reading, studying, and asking questions regarding educational programs and seeking solutions that are appropriate for the Arlington School District.
I had the pleasure of having just graduated both daughters from Arlington High School in 2006 and 2007. As a parent who has spent the last 13 years involved in my childrens education meeting with teachers, principals, bus drivers, and everyone else associated in the schools, I feel I would be better in touch with what is going on in todays schools than my opponent.
The business of education is not easy. There are a lot of emotions involved when you are dealing with our childrens lives and their futures. I have dedicated the last four years to seeing that their future is bright and fulfilling without hindering the process along the way. I know I will work harder in the future to ensure that the next generations of students to pass through the halls of any Arlington school will leave with as enriched and thorough education that we, the citizens of the Arlington School District, can provide.

Snohomish County Clerk

Bob Dantini, Snohomish County Clerk candidate.
1. If elected, what are your first priorities upon taking office?
Top priority is to facilitate resolution of clerks staff pay and benefit issues. I will support these dedicated employees in every manner possible. Secondly, Ill meet with every employee and listen to their views about what they believe is good and bad about their job and what they think could be done to be more effective and efficient.
2. Which job qualifications or positions distinguish you most from your opponent?
My depth and level of professional experience and leadership are the most distinguishing aspects. Ive successfully led the largest elected county treasury in Washington state. I have a college degree from the University of Washington; my opponent has a high school degree. Prior to becoming treasurer, I earned a living making recommendations on how to improve operations in many different areas of county government. The recommendations resulted in millions of dollars in additional non tax revenues and savings to the taxpayers. My opponent has very limited exposure to business operations within the clerks office. The elected clerk is a leadership position. I have been a respected and effective leader for 12 years.

Sonya Kraski, Snohomish County Clerk candidate.
1. If elected, what are your first priorities upon taking office?
My top priorities are:
Addressing the outstanding labor issues. The clerks office staff has been working without a contact for nearly three years. As a result of no contract, their pay rates are at 2004 levels and they are paying higher insurance premiums than other county employees. This has resulted in the clerks office losing trained, qualified staff at an alarming rate. The labor issue must be addressed so that we in the clerks office can ensure a stable work environment for staff which will, in turn, ensure that citizens are being served by experienced staff.
Improving customer service with web access to information and forms. The clerks office currently has some information on court processes as well as limited forms available on the web, but these need to be expanded to streamline services, reduce travel to the courthouse, and improve access to the court.
2. Which job qualifications or positions distinguish you most from your opponent?
I am the only candidate with clerks office experience. More than 22 years ago I began my career in the Snohomish County Clerks Office as a file clerk and have worked my way up the ranks to manager of the domestic violence and family law facilitators, and the juvenile clerks office. I have worked in or supervised nearly every position within the clerks office and understand not only the front end of the office, but what takes place behind the scenes. This is important for several reasons:
First, one of the most important issues facing the office is labor relations. It is imperative that the next clerk have a clear understanding of the duties and responsibilities of the various positions in the office. In order to understand the complexity of the labor issues presented at the negotiating table it is necessary to have a clerk who understands where her employees are coming from on both an employment and personal level. No other candidate brings this attribute to the office. As the next County Clerk, I will make this a priority of the office and will work with the Executive and County Council to bring the impasse to resolution.
Second, due to my experience in the Snohomish County Clerks Office, I understand how critical the clerks office is to the legal system. The clerks office is a liaison for those who are involved in the court system, and I have seen firsthand how confusing the process can be for people. Although there are thousands of cases filed and adjudicated each year, to each individual their case is the most important. Citizens deserve to have someone administering the office who truly understands the functions of the clerks office and is able to work effectively with staff, the Bench, other county divisions, and community agencies.
Third, I have strong, effective working relationships with the superior court judges and administration, as well as the legal community and other community agencies, which is imperative. I am the only candidate to receive overwhelming support from the retired judiciary and local attorneys because for more than 22 years I have worked side-by-side with them in the courtroom and clerks office earning their respect. The judicial system is in the process of change. Document imaging, alternatives to traditional courts, such as drug court, and online access are a few of the changes. This transition requires a clerk that has the respect of the judiciary and the skills to understand what the judges and attorneys need as the legal system transforms with technology. This requires more than a mere administrator, but someone who understands how the clerks office functions, and how each employee within the office contributes to the overall success of a judicial or technological initiative.

Snohomish County
Sheriff

John Lovick, Snohomish County Sheriff candidate.
1. If elected, what are your first priorities upon taking office?
My first priority will be to restore the crime prevention officers who were eliminated by the present administration.
Crime prevention is the most effective and least expensive way we have to make our communities safer. The current administration cut those positions and I will restore them.
I will make a committed effort to reach out to the youth in the community. I will work to expand the cadet program proposed in the county executives budget.
2. Which job qualifications or positions most distinguish you most from your opponent?
We both have 30-plus years of law enforcement experience. I bring both negotiating and leadership skills to the sheriffs office developed during my nine years as a state legislator and 11 years in the U.S. Coast Guard.
My longstanding relationships with the County Executive and members of the County Council will enable me to successfully promote the needs of the Sheriffs Office and the community we serve. I will bring structure and leadership to the Sheriffs Office.
3. What concrete steps should be taken to reduce crime and ensure public safety?
I have developed a Community Partners Against Crime Action Plan (COPAC) which I will implement on day one. Part of this plan is for the sheriffs office to have a stronger commitment to the youth in our community through programs like YMCA, Explorers, Youth Meth Summit and the Police Athletic League.
I will improve community partnerships by restoring the crime prevention officers to work with communities directly to assist them in addressing their concerns more effectively. Command staff will be in the precincts and we will rededicate those precincts to the public. Precinct commanders will be held accountable for organizing, implementing strategies to fight crime, and developing partnerships with their local law enforcement agencies and the community.

Tom Greene, Snohomish County Sheriff candidate.
1. If elected, what are your first priorities upon taking office?
My first priorities will be to flesh out a new strategic plan for the sheriffs office, begin a top to bottom review of our policies and procedures, begin work on the trigger ordinance so it is in place by the next budget cycle, and approach the County Council on restoring the crime prevention officer positions.
2. Which job qualifications or positions most distinguish you from your opponent?
The job qualification or position that most markedly sets me apart from my opponent is executive level command experience. I have been promoted five times up through the ranks of the sheriffs office and taken on a myriad of new responsibilities. It has been a career-long learning experience because I determined early in my career that I wanted, one day, to be a police chief or sheriff. I didnt just make up my mind a year or two before this race began.
3. What concrete steps should be taken to reduce crime and ensure public safety?
These are the concrete steps I will take if elected:
Partner with our neighborhoods to teach crime prevention so we are all working together for a safer Snohomish County.
Be sure that we are pursuing our top offenders, those 20 percent of our criminals that are doing 80 percent of our crime.
Invest in technology so we work smarter and faster.
Measure our results to be sure we achieve meaningful results and report back to the community.

Snohomish County
Executive

Jack Turk, challenger, Snohomish County Executive candidate.
1. If elected, what are your first priorities upon taking office?
My first priority is to resolve the labor disputes with the county jail employees and the clerks. I think the primary job of the executive is to ensure the day-to-day functions of government operate smoothly, and both of these have dragged on for long enough.
After getting this out of the way, my core priorities for Snohomish County government are pretty straightforward:
Ensure we have the resources, systems, and training in place to effectively maintain and promote public safety.
Work with local, county, and state officials to identify cost-effective, realistic solutions to reducing traffic congestion on our highways.
Encourage entrepreneurship and economic development by partnering with government officials, financial institutions, business leaders and schools.
2. Which job qualifications or positions most distinguish you most from your opponent?
My background is business. Ive worked for small companies, medium-sized companies, and mega-large companies. Ive done the dog and pony show for venture capitalists to raise startup funds. Ive wrestled with regulations while establishing employee benefits. Ive hired people, Ive fired people.
Ive worked in factories, Ive worked in offices, Ive had my own business, Ive worked as a single contributor, a line manager, and a manager of managers. Ive served as a member of the board of directors. What distinguishes me from my opponent is this long history of real world business experience. When legislation is proposed, no matter how well-intentioned, there are always ground level ramifications for business.
This can be particularly burdensome for small businesses, which dont have large administrative staff, legal staff, and IT support. Its usually just the owner and maybe a couple others. I think it is critical that we have people in government who not only understand the basic economic laws of supply and demand, but also have a true feeling for what its like to make a business work.

Aaron Reardon, incumbent, Snohomish County Executive candidate.
1. If elected, what are your first priorities upon taking office?
We must adopt smart growth policies, stop sprawl and protect our local farmlands. The Growth Management Act hasnt done enough to protect our quality of life. We need more innovative solutions, like our Community Infrastructure Development Initiative, adopted in 2006, which is delivering critical transportation and parks projects years ahead of schedule at a lower cost to taxpayers.
2. Which job qualifications or positions most distinguish you most from your opponent?
In the last four years I have established a proven record of success leading Snohomish County. We closed a $13 million deficit to balance the countys budget without raising taxes, and we stood up to powerful opposition to make the tough decisions, like opposing the County Council when they voted to raise the pay of elected officials by more than 17 percent. By focusing on priorities, like protecting services for seniors and veterans, safeguarding ball fields and revitalizing our local farms, Snohomish County is on the right track.

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