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Fire District 4 EMS levy passes, Fire District 7 levy fails
Fire District 7 plans November measure

SNOHOMISH — At the end of election week, a few things were clear for Snohomish area voters. A small handful of votes were left to count at press time.
In the race to replace sitting Councilwoman Karen Guzak, the contest in November will be between Judith Kuleta and Elizabeth Larsen. Guzak announced earlier in the year that she would not seek reelection. Throughout election week, Kuleta maintained a slight lead ahead of Elizabeth Larsen.
Third in the race was Don Baldwin, who drew 24 percent of the vote.
For Fire District 4’s commissioner race, position 4 in November will be a contest between incumbent and commission chair Mark Hintz and challenger Evan Merritt. The two were in a fairly close match throughout the week. Late in the week, Hintz had taken 1,981 (37 percent) and Meritt was at 1,732 (32 percent).   
Fire District 4’s EMS levy was at 61 percent approval, enough to get past the 60 percent super majority required.
The measure bumps the collection rate for EMS purposes to $0.50 per assessed valuation of property in order to adequately support paramedic service. For the owners of a $300,000 home, if this measure passes it will increase their assessment by almost $50: from $102 to $150 per year.
To pass a permanent levy lid lift a super majority as well as a turnout validation is required, meaning 60 percent of the “yes” votes would have to come in from 40 percent of the people who voted in the most recent general election. The minimum number of voters needed was 5,843, FD4 Fire Chief Ron Simmons said early in the week. 
“We can ask people to vote but we can’t make them vote,” he said, adding that people are sometimes unaware about the validation requirement for some measures, such as this one. 
As of Thursday morning Garth Fell, elections manager for the Snohomish County Auditor’s office, said the turnout of 5,957 means the levy has validated.
If the Fire District 4 levy remains above 60 percent in its finalized numbers, it will pass. 
As of Thursday, there were only 85 ballots left to count in that race, Fell said.  
Simmons said the process to run a levy on the ballot costs the fire district approximately $10,000 to $30,000, each time.
If the levy would have fallen below 60 percent, Fire District 4 would have issued a nonpermanent levy measure in November, Simmons said. “A permanent levy is a hard sell.” 

In Monroe
The levy lid lift for Fire District 7 failed early on, with approximately 60 percent of voters casing a  “no” vote that was consistent as later votes were tallied.
Fire District 7 Chief Gary Meek said the district will try again in November, but for a lesser levy.
This attempt was for a six-year levy, that would have cost the owner of a $450,000 home $63 per year, the fire district’s website says. In November, “we’ll put out just a single levy lid lift,” Meek said. A single levy lid lift is a request for one year’s worth of funding. 
Fire District 7 Commissioner position 4 had Rick Edwards in the lead election night with 47 percent and increasing to 48 percent by late in the week. Next in line were incumbent Leslie Jo Wells with 22 percent and Sam Wirsching with 13 percent, which both maintained through the week’s end. By Friday morning, 11,703 votes were counted. Candidates Nancy Travis and Ronald Weltzin trailed. The top two vote-getters will advance to the November election. 
The Lake Stevens Fire merger into Fire District 7 had broad support among Lake Stevens voters. The vote was 80 percent in favor.
For a seat in the Monroe School District, Chuck Withfield was at 39 percent in early numbers, Eric Halvorson at 32 percent and Paul Faulds followed with 28 percent of the vote. Monroe’s single primary for the school board had 5,407 votes tallied by week’s end.
All of the primary results will be certified by the county on Aug. 20.
Voter turnout for this election was 24 percent of the 473,447 voters in Snohomish County.
— Election results were updated as of Friday. Information from Tribune archive reports was included in this story. 

 

  

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