Senator Hobbs meets with local leaders before heading back to OlympiaBY CHUCK TUCK | JOURNAL REPORTER For the third consecutive year, Senator Steve Hobbs (D-Lake Stevens) met with a group of community leaders Saturday, Nov. 15 to discuss the pressing issues facing the greater Lake Stevens area with respect to the 2009 Legislative Session.
At the end of the day, the group came to a consensus on four priorities for Hobbs to focus on in Olympia:
• Teacher salary support and assistance for the school district with funding of non-employee related costs.
• Continued support for the City of Lake Stevens and the Lake Stevens School District’s Safe Sidewalks program.
• Supporting the expansion of permitted projects applicable for funding from existing real estate excise taxes (REET 2).
• Long-term planning for the redesign of the SR-9/SR-204 intersection at Frontier Village.
Hobbs said that holding the annual community leaders meeting allows him to generate an agenda that is in lockstep with the communities he serves.
“My job is to carry out the will of my constituents. Facilitating a discussion with involved citizens at the local level generates my marching orders for Olympia,” Hobbs said.
Hobbs has made progress on the issues identified as priorities in previous community leaders meetings, including providing nearly one million dollars in capital funding for local projects like the Lake Stevens Civic Center and the Lake Stevens Senior Center.
Hobbs also made significant headway on another top priority: eliminating the disparity in teacher pay between Lake Stevens and neighboring districts, where teachers receive a higher state salary.
Participants included Mayor Vern Little, Lake Stevens School District Superintendent David Burgess, Police Chief Randy Celori, and Fire Chief Gary Faucett. Also participating were members of the city council, school board, chamber of commerce, veteran community and concerned area citizens.