Get to know John Spencer
“I started dating my wife Terri in 1966 and came to Lake Stevens frequently as she is a life-long resident of this area,” Spencer said.
John and Terri raised their three children in Lake Stevens, each of which graduated from Lake Stevens High School. They also have four grandchildren.
Spencer is a University of Washington graduate and received his Masters of Science in Regional Planning from the University of British Columbia.
He started out working for the newly formed Department of Ecology in 1972 and became the Director in 1980.
“In 1984 I became the Director of Seattle Metro wastewater utility and was there for nine years,” Spencer said. “Following that I was the General Manager of the Snohomish Public Utility District and left there to go into consulting in 1995.”
He now works for CH2M HILL as Vice-President, where he does utility management consulting and also manages large capital improvement projects for water and wastewater systems.
Spencer has been heavily involved in keeping the water quality in Lake Stevens high and last year was elected to the Lake Stevens Drainage District and worked to consolidate the District into the City of Lake Stevens to achieve efficiency and coordination of stormwater and drainage around the lake.
“When Terri and I moved to Lake Stevens we worked hard to form the Lake Stevens Clean Lake Association which eventually led to the City/County/District project to aerate the lake and implement improved drainage projects,” Spencer said.
As a strong supporter of the annexations, Spencer wants the city to succeed in not only maintaining our quality of life but to reach higher and become an example of exceptional annexation efforts and all the positive results that can come from them.
“We have a lot of challenges ahead that range from making sure our growth is matched with adequate transportation (roads and transit), environmentally sensitive land-use, parks, playgrounds and side-walks for safe friendly communities, to police services that are both responsive and preventive,” Spencer said.
He has a love for the children in our community and served for seven years as a Scout Master for Troop 41.
“I want Lake Stevens to be a place where kids can grow up with lots of quality activities to do. We can do this by partnering with our school district, civic groups and business and commercial interests to bring new activities and entertainment enterprises to Lake Stevens,” Spencer said.
Spencer shares his ideas for a city with a balance of business, family activities and environmental quality and would like to create more quality parks and playgrounds in addition to using the Lake and Centennial Trail as assets for future events.
“By leveraging the potential of the lake to be an aquatic center of activity along with the Centennial Trail and the addition of quality parks and playgrounds (including skateboarding) the Lake Stevens area will be a fabulous place for all ages,” he said.
As far as the downtown civic center plans, Spencer sees the potential for future recreational and commercial activities and a service provider to residents in the downtown area.
“The decision of the Council to move the civic services to the Grade Road area was a good decision and will free up land in downtown to encourage more recreational and commercial activities in town,” Spencer said. “The civic center could be a catalyst for attracting more activity in the core area of the town. A well designed center can be the icon of quality we want for the city and be an excellent neighbor. It can help create a true center for the city.”
Spencer feels that the recently passed Critical Areas Ordinance doesn’t balance the need to protect areas critical to maintaining a quality lake and may not accomplish what it set out to.
“I think the ordinance needs to be given a broader review by Council, but more importantly, by the citizens recently annexed into the city.” Spencer said. “Frankly, I think we can be a lot more creative in protecting our environment and allowing for reasonable growth.”
If elected to the City Council, Spencer sees many opportunities to work together as a growing community and “become a model of how to make a small community work for the good of all of its residents.”
When asked what he wants to accomplish as a City Council member, Spencer says, “representation of the annexed areas, creating a solid foundation in city government to manage growth coming to Lake Stevens, protecting our beautiful environment and making Lake Stevens the best place to raise kids in Snohomish County.”
We will soon see what the future holds for Spencer and the others running for city council but what Spencer sees as the future of this great city is ‘one community around the lake’.
“Lake Stevens will be the community of choice to raise a family where kids can grow up with a strong sense of pride that they too, one day, will live, work, play and raise their families here, in Lake Stevens,” he said.