Solla, Hecla head into Nov. general election for Arlington City Council
By KIRK BOXLEITNER
Arlington Times Reporter
September 18, 2009 · Updated 8:42 AM
ARLINGTON — Incumbents did well with voters in the Aug. 18 primary elections for the Arlington City Council and the Snohomish County Council.
As of 4:46 p.m. Aug. 19, city of Arlington Council Position 3 incumbent Scott Solla garnered 1,189 votes, for 58.51 percent of the primary vote.
"I'm encouraged by the awesome support demonstrated through these votes, and I'm looking forward to November," Solla said. "I fully intend to get out, knock on doors, meet with citizens and engage in conversations that address their concerns."
Solla named the economy and public safety as his top priorities, especially as the city plans its fiscal budget for next year. Regardless of the city's revenues, he sees it as imperative that the city fund its police, fire and emergency medical services, as well as that it foster and maintain a "business-friendly" community.
"I'll continue to work with community and service club leaders," Solla said. "We need to be concerned with both the here and now, and with our long-term goals for the next 10-15 years. We're going to be doing a series of workshops on our vision for the downtown, to make sure our current zoning is in line with what the Council and citizens want. We'll be looking at signage, storefronts and usage. We should always be updating, upgrading and revising, rather than just dusting things off every once in a great while."
City of Arlington Council Position 3 challenger Brock Hecla will likely be heading to the general election as well, after receiving 531 votes, for 26.13 percent of the primary vote, in the preliminary count.
"I'm glad I could pull in as much of the vote as I have, considering that it's my first run," Hecla said. "I'll be talking to more folks, and hopefully getting more voters, including those who voted for Kari [Ilonummi]."
Hecla is already working to complete a forum feature on his Web Site, so that he'll be able to interact with many potential voters more immediately and spontaneously online, and answer their questions of him in the process.
"I'm an Internet-based person," Hecla said. "I really want to give back to this city, so to my mind, getting involved in politics was the best way to do that. Yeah, I'm young, but you've got to start somewhere."
Hecla's fellow city of Arlington Council Position 3 challenger, Kari Ilonummi, is unlikely to move on to the general election, since he received 297 votes, for 14.62 percent of the primary vote, in the preliminary count, but he does not regret running.
"I don't see this as a failure," Ilonummi said. "If anything, I succeeded in working with the public, helping them resolve some of their apathy and anger issues, and helping them see the bigger picture. I have muscular dystrophy, so just walking from door to door was a bit of a sacrifice for me, but, I'd do it all over again. I'm not giving up on the citizens of Arlington. I love this community and its people, and they'll continue to see and hear from me in the future."
As of 4:46 p.m. Aug. 19, Snohomish County Council District 1 incumbent John Koster (prefers Republican Party) garnered 11,932 votes, for 58.79 percent of the primary vote.
"I had hoped that our numbers might be that good, but I'm still thankful for all those who have supported us," Koster said. "From here, we'll continue to work hard to reach out to that remaining 41 percent of voters, and try and persuade them as well.
After a primary campaign that involved a heavy amount of ringing doorbells, Koster anticipates that his general election campaign will rely just as much on him pounding the pavement and talking to potential voters face to face.
"Those doorbells are the best polls I have," Koster said. "The biggest thing that people have told me is that they want our county government to facilitate the health of our economy. People are worried about keeping their jobs and their homes, and many have already lost one or both."
Koster sees it as his role to help ensure that government bolsters the economy, rather than hampering it, and restated his commitment to making sure that the government "lives within its own means," even if this results in budget cuts.
"We have to resist the temptation to raise taxes, because tax revenues are not the be-all and end-all of our government's economic health, either," Koster said. "We need a four-year college in North Snohomish County. We need Boeing to stay here and stay healthy, but we also need to diversify our economy. A job is the best social program there is. When you give someone the ability to start their own business, you're allowing them to build their dream."
Snohomish County Council District 1 Ellen Hiatt Watson (prefers Democratic Party), will also be moving on to the general election, after receiving 8,245 votes, or 40.63 percent of the primary vote, in the preliminary count.
"This provided good information," Watson said. "I'm still confident that this is winnable, but we have a lot to do. We have to get the word out about our message, in order to get different numbers in the general election."
Watson cited Koster's recent vote to retain Fully Contained Communities as an example of how "he's out of touch with what citizens want, since the public supports getting rid of FCCs. We don't need new cities in these rural areas."
Watson reiterated her concern with land use, citing the continued growth of Snohomish County as one of the reasons why it's important to "protect our quality of life and our tax dollars."Contact Arlington Times Reporter Kirk Boxleitner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-659-1300 Ext. 5052.