News from Councilmember Sam Low - District 5

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Snohomish County News

News from Sam Low

November 2020

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 

2021 Budget

On Tuesday November 10th the County Council passed the 2021 Budget on a 4-1 vote. With so many people struggling due to the economic affects of COVID, I made a point to not vote for any property tax increases. The 2021 budget was my 4th County Budget and it was the 4th year in a row with no General Fund property tax increases. In addition, there was one property tax reduction proposed (Surface Water Management) and it passed on a 3-2 vote. I felt it was important to vote yes on this reduction given taxpayers in unincorporated District 5 had about a 35% increase on this particular property tax in 2020. Continued property tax increases are making it difficult on our seniors and those on fixed incomes.

To highlight positive aspects of the 2021 budget, the Council continued current Public Safety funding, confirming the voices of our constituents to keep this as a priority. I am thankful that the majority of the Council still believes in Public Safety and that we are not supporting the Defund the Police movement.

In addition to the well-publicized increase to County Social Justice Programs, the Council also focused on mental health and added three new Designated Crisis Responders (DSR’s). This year through September our County DSR’s had responded to over 8,000 calls.

Last year, the County finally implemented my latex paint recycling program.  Recycling paint instead of disposing of it in landfills has been a big priority of mine and good for our environment. The program to date has been very successful according to our Solid Waste Director.  I appreciate Executive Somers working with me on getting this program up and running. I am always looking for ways for the County to be good stewards of our environment.  To that point, in this year’s budget I worked to implement an electric vehicle pilot program for the Sheriff’s office. I appreciate the Sheriff being open to my proposal and for the Council supporting this program.  I am looking forward to the report from the Sheriff’s office on how this implementation works out.

With regards to District 5 specific projects in 2021, the much-delayed Index Galena road repair is ready to go to bid and work is scheduled to start in 2021. Along with this, we were able to keep the current funding levels for our Family Resource Centers including Take the Next Step in Monroe and money from the 2021 budget was designated for repairs to the Monroe Senior Center building.

CARES Act Funding

Council has been focused on getting additional CARES act dollars out into our community. Last month I proposed adding one Million of our CARES Act dollars to support food banks and organizations assisting with food distribution during this pandemic.  I appreciate the Council’s unanimous support in getting these dollars into the hands of the people and the organizations on the front line making a difference for the families in need in Snohomish County.

Given the recent COVID restrictions, this week Council approved an additional 4.5 Million dollars in funding to support our small businesses. These dollars will be distributed through our local city programs as well as through the Economic Alliance of Snohomish County.  This is a critical time for our small businesses and I am committed to doing all that I can to provide support to them.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the staff who work for the County Council. This year there has been a tremendous amount of work for our council staff regarding the 2020 and 2021 budgets, the CARES Act funding, as well as figuring out how to make all this work in a remote setting.  I have to say we have the absolute best staff! 

County Corrections Complex / Sheriff's Office

This past week I took an opportunity to tour our County jail.  The staff, including our nurses and mental health professionals, have been on the front line in working with COVID and our inmate population. I am extremely proud of the work they are doing to keep everyone safe.  Despite these difficult challenges, our corrections deputies have continued to work tirelessly to ensure the safety of the inmates and all the staff. To show support for our Veteran Correction Deputies, the Sheriff’s office put together a Veteran’s wall outside the staff dining room.  Staff members are invited to post photos of themselves, family, friends and loved ones who served or are currently serving in our armed forces.

Photo of Veteran Wall featuring plaques for individuals who have served.

Speaking of Veteran’s, I was invited to accompany Sheriff Fortney in honoring Deputy Jac Clausen who served our country for 12 years, completed three tours overseas and was combat wounded.  Sheriff Fortney surprised Deputy Clausen with a small ceremony to reveal the new design on his patrol car and to thank him for his service to our country. It was an honor to meet Deputy Clausen and to thank him for his service.

Photo of patrol car with paint job honoring veterans

Parks Public Meeting for Lakefront Communities November 20th

Public Meeting Announcement: Snohomish County Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism is working with City and State government organizations and lakefront communities to address concerns about the impact of wake boats on lakes this Friday, November 20, 2020 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm for a discussion. The meeting will be held virtually through Zoom.

Follow this link to join:

Join from a PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone or Android device:

Please click this URL to join.

Passcode: 567217 Or join by phone: Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):

US: +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 669 900 6833  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 929 205 6099    

Webinar ID: 981 1286 0196 Passcode: 567217 International numbers available:

For more information, email: or call (425) 388-6600.

News from Puget Sound Energy - Supporting child care across WA

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is in support of All In WA’s Child Care Initiative. PSE has given $300,000 to help expand access to affordable childcare across the state of Washington. This important Initiative will help those in our communities get the support they need during this unprecedented time

The Initiative provides grants to childcare providers and organizations serving the childcare field, with the goal of ensuring affordable, quality childcare for the state’s most impacted working families. These grants come in addition to funds available through the Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

You can find a copy of the press release here.

I hope all of you have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.

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