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Everett council District 2 represents midtown, downtown



Greg Lineberry and Paula Rhyne are running for an open seat representing Council District 2 in Everett.

EVERETT — The council district system being introduced this year has two candidates running for District No. 2: Greg Lineberry and Paula Rhyne.
The district’s map covers much of midtown Everett, including the downtown core, and the Lowell, Port Gardner, Glacier View and South Forest Park neighborhoods.
Lineberry, 56, retired as an Everett Police Department captain and lives in the Port Gardner Neighborhood.
Rhyne, 41, currently is the legislative aide for County Councilwoman Megan Dunn and lives in the Port Gardner Neighborhood, too.
Both are making their first run for City Council. Rhyne applied for a council vacancy in 2017 and was one of six semi-finalists; the council ultimately chose Ethel McNeal.
The Tribune asked both candidates four questions and is reprinting their answers.

What are the key reasons you are running for City Council?

Lineberry: In 32 years serving Everett residents as a police officer I have never seen such a state of crises as what we face now.  Crime rates are higher than anywhere in the county, our city finances are broken, syringes are left in business doorways nightly, and unsheltered homeless are living in tarp structures on sidewalks.  I want a clean, safe, and vibrant Everett.  I have the experience needed to help us solve these growing problems.

Rhyne: My family and I are proud to call Everett home. It’s important to me that Everett is a safe, welcoming, and vibrant place for all of our neighbors to grow and thrive. Relying on my background doing constituent relations work and stakeholder outreach, I will be a responsive and thoughtful voice on council that will always fight for the needs of all of our community members.

Within your district, what specific things are voters requesting you do for them if elected?

Lineberry: Our District 2 downtown businesses want a city administration that supports them and creates a safe environment for customers.  Our District 2 residents in all neighborhoods want an effective solution to the homelessness crisis that provides help to those in need but also addresses legitimate community concerns.  They want to end the current practice of ignoring the issue until the situation is unsafe and out of control.  Our Valleyview neighbors want protection for Wood Creek.

Rhyne: I’m hearing time and again that we need elected representation that will take a proactive approach to addressing the city’s housing and homelessness crisis — particularly addressing the chronic homelessness in our city. I will work to provide more homelessness prevention measures, wrap-around services for people in crisis, and more affordable housing options for low-income families. I also support the city’s Re-Think Housing plan to balance housing affordability issues in the city.


City officials have studied three concepts toward resolving Everett’s negative-cashflow problem: approaching voters to enact a public tax for parks services, approaching voters for a property tax lift, and approaching voters to sever the Everett Fire Department from the city budget and transform it into a regional fire authority (a fire authority would set its own taxes to fund itself.) On council, would you vote “yes” to proceed on any of these three?


Lineberry: I support a city parks district with independent funding to prevent the city from continually cutting the funding that we want to support our parks.  I support a regional fire district IF it provides the best service to our city and best working conditions for our firefighters.  I don’t support a fire district if the purpose is to surreptitiously raise our resident’s taxes.  Property tax proposals must be fully justified before I can support them.

Rhyne: Our voters should have a say in where and how their valuable tax dollars are being spent. I would support all three measures going before voters for approval. However, with a property tax lid lift, I would only support a substantial property tax increase if it’s paired with relief or rebates for our seniors or others on fixed incomes who will be disproportionately impacted.

What is Everett lacking, and what steps would you take to try to change this?

Lineberry:
Everett is currently following the failed Seattle/Portland model to address chronic unsheltered homelessness.  We need to be leaders in providing shelter and housing, demand surrounding cities do their part, and we need to have the courage to mandate treatment under Ricky’s law for those in grave danger due to their addiction or mental health issues.  We must stop the cycle and make real change to help lift people up and support them in their recovery.

Rhyne:
As many things move online or virtual, people will continue to stay home even when COVID becomes a thing of the past. A vibrant arts scene, theater, restaurants, and mixed-use housing would help revitalize downtown and bring the spark back in a post-pandemic world to celebrate our city. Our downtown core needs to be reimagined to bring people back together and provide remote work options that will better align with the forecasted “new normal.”

  

 


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or call 360-568-4121.
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