MARYSVILLE – Mayor Jon Nehring talked a lot about public safety at his “Vision 2020” State of the City address Friday at the Tulalip Resort Casino.
That’s because it’s a “priority of the community,” taking up about two-thirds of the city budget.
“We want to make Marysville an uncomfortable place to commit crime,” he said.
Nehring talked about proactive police teams that stop crime before it happens. That led to a 9% drop in crime last year and a 35% drop the past five years. The city having its own jail is key in that criminals are prosecuted and taken off the streets. “We don’t play the catch-and-release game,” he said.
Nehring said hiring officers is competitive.
“Police officers put up with a lot,” he said, adding the city hopes to hire five more this year.
Also, the code enforcement team is literally cleaning up town, he added.
Anecdotally the mayor said he was told by one citizen that when he moved here he was “embarrassed to bring family here,” but now he does.
On social media, the force’s K-9s Copper and Steele are very popular. “These dogs get after it,” he said.
The department’s School Resource Officers are making a difference in secondary schools. “They’re meeting our youth where they’re at,” Nehring said.
The embedded social worker program is going strong, helping homeless and drug addicts. He said it’s gotten 105 people off the streets and 55 have graduated from treatment. “It’s less costly than courts and jail,” Nehring said.
Three city-owned houses and the city’s Mental Health Court also have helped in that overall effort.
Regarding the economy, Nehring said there are a number of new businesses, and the Cascade Industrial Center will bring in thousands more. Those family wage jobs will allow locals to work where they live and not have to spend hours commuting.
Regarding transportation, Nehring said the city does a great job maintaining roads so it doesn’t have to go to the expense of rebuilding them. He mentioned numerous projects on I-5 along with connecting Bayview to Centennial trail and new Olympic View Park that will be built east of the estuary.
He talked about the new turf with lights at Cedar Field and its March 28 Little League opening.
He also talked of the new Civic Campus as construction gets under way that will bring together city services downtown.
Nehring mentioned his new growth task force that will guide development while respecting the values of residents.
He said the city will continue to provide a good quality of life with free or low-cost events, such as the new Fourth of July show. “I get to stand up here and brag,” but the credit needs to go to the City Council, department heads and city employees, Nehring said.
Jesica Stickles of the Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce also talked at the breakfast.
She said the chamber represents 230 mostly small businesses with 21,683 employees. About 17 were honored in December as Silver Club members with 25 or more years with the organization.
A new chamber directory will be published in March to let people know what’s going on.
About 400 in average walk in to the accompanying Visitors Center each month, and the chamber website gets 17,000 monthly visits.
Committees members belong to include events, emissary, government and a new one for military.
The next big fundraising event is the Brew and Cider Fest April 18. Cost is $25 through February. The carnival is June 11-14 and Home for the Holidays dinner auction Dec. 3. Chamber events raised $52,000 last year.