Snohomish County Council News - Sam Low, District 5

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Snohomish County News

News from Sam Low

January 2019

Sam Low's eNewsletter


Snohomish County Council
3000 Rockefeller Ave., M/S 609
Everett, Washington 98201
8th floor, Robert J. Drewel Building 
Phone: 425-388-3494


Darcy Cheesman, Legislative Aide 

Bipartisan Leadership in Snohomish County

I am honored to serve with fellow councilmembers who continually work in a bipartisan fashion. I pledged to work with all of my fellow council members since the day I joined the council and since 2017 we have all lived up to that pledge.  In January the Snohomish County Council continued this work by voting for a bipartisan leadership team for this year.  I applaud Chair Ryan in his work to reach across the aisle and focus on the citizens of Snohomish County and not party politics.  Snohomish County is showing what true leadership looks like.  The Everett Herald wrote an editorial about this last Sunday.


Efforts to secure funding for finishing 522 are underway in Monroe and down in Olympia.  Bipartisan support is moving forward in this Legislative session.  I invite people to join myself, other east county elected officials and concerned citizens in Olympia on February 6th for #Finish522 Advocacy Day. Below you will find an outline of the day’s schedule. 

  • Orientation         8:30am in the Pritchard Cafeteria. Here’s a map of the Capitol Campus
  • First Meeting     9am Representative Mead, Member House Transportation Committee
  • Lunch Break       12-1pm                
  • Last Meeting      2:30pm Senator King, Ranking Member Senate Transportation Committee
  • Transportation Committee Meetings 3:30-4:30pm
  • Return Home     5:30pm

Please RSVP to Pam Baker at the City of Monroe if you plan on joining us! Pamela Baker

If you are not able to join us – below is a list of the transportation committee members.  You can email each of them asking for their support in finishing 522.

House transportation committee members

Senate transportation committee members

US 2 Update

I requested that WSDOT come to our Public Works Committee meeting and give Council an update on US 2 with regards to the upcoming safety improvements and to provide us with some overall information on accident data.  You can go here to see all of their slides from the presentation. Slide four (listed below) caught my attention.  2018 data on fatal collisions is up from the previous year and WSDOT indicated that the information for 2018 is not completed yet.  I will continue my talks with WSDOT and our legislators to increase the awareness of the continued need for barriers and additional lane capacity.

US 2 Crossover Crashes by year graph

Opioid update ECC (Emergency Coordination Center)

This month the Department of Emergency Management released its’ current situation report regarding the opioid crisis.  The pie chart below shows where the referrals to the Snohomish County Diversion Center are originating from. The Snohomish County Diversion Center is a 44-bed facility (32 men and 12 women) offering short-term placement and shelter to homeless adults with a substance use disorder and other behavioral health issues, diverting them away from incarceration and toward treatment. I wanted to share this to highlight three of the cities listed.  Arlington, Marysville and Monroe have an inter-local agreement with Snohomish County for an embedded social worker.  This program allows for a county social worker out in the field with the police force.  The social workers are not tied to county or city lines so they have the ability to go directly to the people who need help.  I believe this information shows that the embedded social worker program is getting results.

Referral Source Pie Graph Chart

Fairgrounds recycling program

I had a meeting with Councilmember Nehring and the Evergreen State Fairgrounds to discuss year round recycling at the fairgrounds.  Currently, recycling only takes place during the 12 days of the fair and we are looking to implement year round recycling in 2020.  I have included a graphic to show our current waste diversion and the counties projected waste diversion with this new plan. When implemented the goal is to decrease our garbage from 79% to 39%. I will continue to work with Councilmember Nehring to bring this plan to fruition.

Fairgrounds Goal Pie Charts


Google backpack mapping in County parks:

As chair of the Operations Committee, I am interested in all aspects of operations in Snohomish County, not just within District 5. At a recent Parks Board meeting information was shared regarding a google mapping project spearheaded by the Parks Department Head of Maintenance.  Parks received a loaner backpack from Google and parks staff mapped Kayak Point, Lake Goodwin and River Meadows.  To find out more, you can go to Google Maps, type in the Park you would like, and you will see the mapped areas via the little yellow street view guy in the bottom right.  Click on it, then its circles that pop up on the map to follow along. Some of our street views are just 360 photos and others are mapped routes. Parks has also been working on getting 360 photos on Google Maps. This information is very helpful in showing the parks and campgrounds to those coming to visit from afar. At this time there are no future plans for additional mapping but it is not out of the question.  An example of the map can be found here.

Lake Roesiger Park

The Parks Department is teaming up with the Timber Framers Guild in Lake Roesiger Park.  They are working together to build a timber-framed wooden park shelter. This shelter will be built under the concept of a “community barn raising” event. The Timber Framers Guild anticipates doing the frame cutting and raising event in May. The build “event” will take place of 9 days beginning May 20th at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in the Beef Pavilion (Building 600). The first 7 days will be the cutting of the post, beams and connecting joinery. There will actually be 2 full shelter frames cut. One structure will be for Lake Roesiger, which will be raised on-site on May 27-28. The second one will go into storage for use at another park at a future date. To learn more about this event I invite you to join the Guild’s mailing list. They send out an e-blast each Friday with Guild news.  I am always impressed with the innovative ways our Parks Department teams up with different organizations in our community.  To learn more about the Guild their website is

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