November Update from Councilmember Megan Dunn

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November 2021

Megan Dunn's eNewsletter

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


Paula Rhyne, Legislative Aide

Dear Friend: 

I hope that this newsletter finds you well this Thanksgiving season. Even with the days getting darker and shorter, and the extreme weather we have been experiencing, there is a cornucopia-full of things to be grateful for this season. With the approval of COVID vaccines for children aged 5-11, the continued expansion of eligibility for the COVID vaccine will further help to put this pandemic behind us. The County also recently passed our 2022 Budget and I am proud that we were able to include funding for environmental stewardship and conservation, justice system reforms, restoring adequate staffing levels, and a recommitment to funding public arts. As we look ahead to the holiday season and closing out 2021, I have a renewed sense of hope that our best days are ahead.   

As always, our office is here as a resource to you. You can also find me online on Facebook and Twitter. My office is committed to being responsive and helpful. If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at You can also call my office at 425-388-3494.  

Be Well,  


2022 County Budget

On November 9, the Council voted to approve the 2022 County Budget. As you may know, the county’s budget is primarily comprised of revenue collected from property and sales taxes, with a smaller percentage from other taxes, fees for services, and restricted funds from state or federal funding. State law allows the county to increase property taxes at a standard rate of 1% each year, however the county has not taken this increase over the past four consecutive years and has instead “banked” this allowance. These past four years of banked capacity, added to various other years that the county did not implement the 1% increase, brings our total banked capacity to 8.6%. This year’s budget proposed to implement the standard 1% increase, and use 1.5% of our banked capacity to meet the increased need for basic government services. The budget’s proposed 2.5% increase on the county’s portion of your property tax levy rate is then spread across all of the  households in Snohomish County. For an average homeowner, this means that their property tax bill will increase by a total of only $7.39 per year. 

I voted in favor of the 2022 county budget and adjustment in revenue structure because it will pave the way for Snohomish County to better meet the community’s needs while making critical long-term investments in our county. Our residents will see their return on investment through improved public safety and better staffing levels to provide basic county services.  

In this budget, I championed initiatives and forward-thinking programs including: 

  • Justice System Reforms: Funding to analyze the possible implementation of various therapeutic courts with an emphasis on a veteran's treatment court tract and fully fund a body camera program for every deputy;  
  • Equity and Social Justice: $3.6 million towards continued equity and social justice work and funding for a translation services pilot project; 
  • Environmental Conservation: Approximately $36 million in investments in environmental stewardship including a new land conservation initiative to protect our forests and open space; 
  • Human Services Needs: Additional Designated Crisis Responder positions to help people in need and an allocation of $10 million for creating long-term shelter and housing options in Everett, and North, South and East County; 
  • Fiscal Responsibility: A directive that our courts system reports back that additional funding to their departments is meaningfully addressing the backlog in our court systems; and 
  • Environmental Stewardship: A new CPACER program (which was highlighted in the March newsletter) to allow property owners financing for energy efficiency and resiliency at little cost to the county.  

Though the county’s share of your property tax bill is relatively small (see graphic below), I recognize what a burden the cumulative amount of taxes are on low-income and fixed-income households. The county has a number of tax exemption programs that may help with tax relief for people who qualify. Additionally, the state has a Tax Work Group that is asking for public input to inform decisions that will better balance our state tax structure to be less regressive on working families. Starting in 2023, eligible families in Washington State will also be able to access the Working Families Tax Credit Program. This program will provide payments ranging from $300-$1,200 to individuals and families who meet certain eligibility requirements.  

Budget Dollar Breakdown Amts

COVID Vaccine for 5-11 Year-Olds

As I’m sure you have heard, the COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children aged 5-11. Though children are less likely to become sick, receiving the vaccine further reduces their risk of severe illness, it also reduces their ability to transmit the virus to other children and adults. For kids who have vulnerable family members at home, this advancement will be helpful to keep those family members safe.  

The Snohomish Health District has run several mass vaccination drive-thru sites for adults over the year, but out of concern for patient safety they will not offer drive-through vaccine sites for children ages 5-11. Instead, the Health District is operating as a distribution hub to smaller vaccine administrators across the county including school districts. Families should first contact their primary care provider so that the child can be in a familiar place to receive the vaccine. Otherwise, please click the graphic below for other local areas that are offering the pediatric vaccine and ways to secure an appointment.  

For people aged 12 and older who need the initial vaccine or a booster shot, please visit the Snohomish Health District website for more information on local clinics.  

COVID Vaccinations for Kids

Snohomish County Cold Weather Shelters

The County has several Cold Weather Shelters that are activated on nights when the temperatures are expected to be below freezing. The cold weather shelters are operated by local organizations, volunteer groups, and faith-based organizations committed to helping those who are unsheltered. This county website has real-time information about which shelters are open and how to get in touch with the folks who are operating the space. Additionally, youth between the ages of 12-17 who are in need of shelter may call 425-877-5171. 

In January of 2020, I joined as one of the hundreds of volunteers spread out across the county to count the number of people sleeping on our streets, under bridges, behind buildings, in doorways, or at a temporary emergency shelter for the annual Point In Time Count. Volunteers counted 1,132 people in Snohomish County, or about 1/3 of Aquasox stadium, did not have a place to call home. As we move back into the cold season, my heart is heavy for our unsheltered population and am working diligently to find meaningful and practical ways to end homelessness in our community. 

Cold Weather Shelter Information

A Home for the Holiday Virtual Town Hall

As the county takes steps to solve homelessness, it’s important that we keep channels of communication open with the community to make sure that we as a government are being transparent and responsive to the needs and concerns of residents. Please join me in December for a Housing and Homelessness Virtual Town HallAt the Virtual Town Hall, we will talk more about the state of homelessness in Snohomish County and what measures are being taken to address this crisis. Panelists and more information will be announced soon. 

Homeless person outside in snow

Boards and Commissions

Your voice matters and there are a lot of ways that you can get involved with local government. From sharing public comments on issues before council to helping inform our decisions by serving on a board or commission, it’s important to me to hear your personal experiences and knowledge on issues. There are openings on various boards here at the county and this month I would like to highlight two District 2 openings on the Community Services Advisory Council. This council meets monthly and members can serve a maximum of two four-year terms. Working together, they advise the county on “all matters relating to the causes of poverty and to a reduction in the effects of poverty.” If you’re interested, please contact Tanya Baniak at or 425-388-2488 for more information. 

Now Enrolling for Transitional Kindergarten

We all know how imperative early learning is to a child’s trajectory towards success. Everett Public Schools is offering Transitional Kindergarten for children who are not currently in an early learning program and are age eligible to enter kindergarten in the fall of 2022. Students will be screened in December and January for eligibility. For more information, please click the graphic below.  

EPS Transitional Kindergarten

District 2 Festive Events

Native Bazaar

After taking a year off because of COVID, the Native Bazaar is returning. From December 3-5 at the Don Hatch Jr. Youth Center from 9-4p, local Tulalip tribal members will be showcasing their craftsmanship and have items for sale as well. The Youth Center is located at 6700 Totem Beach Drive, and masks are required while attending the event. 

Native Bazaar Graphic


Merry Mukilteo & Tree Lighting

The City of Mukilteo and Chamber of Commerce are hosting the Merry Mukilteo & Tree Lighting Celebration on Saturday, Dec 4 from 4-7p, with the tree lighting at 5p. The event will take place both at the Rosehill Community Center Plaza and business park across the street at Nature Together. There will be photos with Santa, caroling, pop-up holiday shopping, candy canes, and more!  

Merry Mukilteo


Everett’s Wintertide Festival 

The City of Everett’s Wintertide Celebration is starting with a Kickoff Party on November 27 and 28 complete with an outdoor Makers Market and a tree lighting on November 27 at 5p. There’s lots of music and theater events happening over the season to help celebrate, and Santa himself will also be cruising around town again with the Everett Fire Department on select Wednesdays in December. You can also swing by the Everett Arboretum for Wintertide Lights from 4 to 8 PM every night in December. On Saturdays they will have extended Family Fun Events from 4-6p including kids arts and craft projects. 

Wintertide Graphic


Port of Everett Holiday On The Bay 

The Port of Everett is also hosting the Holiday On The Bay on Saturday, December 4 starting at noon with lots of events including two drive-imovies, a lighted boat parade, holiday market and crafts, and a “Frozen Fountain” tree lighting. This year, the Port is also hosting Pacific Ice – an outdoor ice skating rink at the Port’s Pacific Rim Plaza in Fisherman’s Harbor. Pacific Ice community ice rink will run through January 2022 and tickets are available online. Click on the graphic below to see the full flyer for this celebration.

Holiday on the Bay Graphic


Adopt a Stream Foundation 

The Adopt A Stream Foundation is selling “live & wild” Holiday Trees for Salmon at the Northwest Stream Center beginning Saturday December 4 on a reservation-only basis. Reservations for the entire month of December will be opened on Friday, December 3rd for the general public to select a time to stop by and pick out their Holiday Tree. When they go live, reservations for the month of December can be made through their booking page at After the season, you can return your tree to the Northwest Stream center to be planted next to local salmon streams, or plant the tree somewhere yourself! 

NW Stream Center


This Thanksgiving season I am grateful for the opportunity to serve my community and honored to have earned your trust to represent you on the county council. Thank you for the work that you also do in the community for the greater good. Please reach out anytime if I can be of assistance to you. 

With gratitude, 


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