Linda Redmon sets plans as
SNOHOMISH — Linda Redmon, who ran on reunifying the city, will replace Mayor John Kartak come January.
Redmon led by 119 votes over Kartak and there were 75 ballots from Snohomish still to count as of Sunday, Nov. 7. Kartak congratulated Redmon in a phone call Friday evening.
Voter turnout saw about 3,500 people, or half of the city’s 6,900 eligible voters, cast ballots.
Redmon will retain city administrator Steve Schuller and intends to work full-time as mayor.
Redmon said that her first order of business will be to investigate why there is disharmony within City Hall. “I don’t know the root, but if we’re trying to serve our community, we need to ensure staff are taken care of so staff take care of our community.”
Another goal will be brainstorming how to have more housing in Snohomish by looking into city planning code. The historic district has apartments, quadplexes and small residential buildings that give a variety of housing, but building more here isn’t currently allowed by city code, Redmon noted in an interview.
A third goal will be looking at options to have Snohomish be more environmentally friendly “while being thoughtful with taxpayer money,” Redmon said. These may be efforts to increase tree canopies, adding bee-friendly flora, setting city goals for renewable energy and adding permeable pavement that reduces stormwater runoff.
Redmon swatted a rumor that she’ll reduce the Police Department’s budget. “The No. 1 thing I get asked is, will you defund the police? No I would not,” she said, “I am in no way thinking of defunding the police” and said she will not change the current police staffing model. She would, though, like to add mental health services on top of the current staffing at the police department if possible. The city’s contract with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office specifies police staffing numbers, and city officials have a say in what the department prioritizes.
Redmon’s swift rise in politics — she was elected to City Council in 2017 — raised a question published by Councilman Larry Countryman in a cartoon depicting Redmon essentially as a carpetbagger. (They’ve never chatted, Redmon mentioned.)
Redmon’s family arrived in Snohomish in 2009. Professionally, she has a master’s degree in nutrition and manages her family’s private psychology office. She started studying her local government around 2015, sparked by a public rumor that the city skate park would be removed as part of a bigger plan to repurpose Hal Moe Pool (Averill Field), she said. Skate park users, including her son, asked City Council to intervene.
Come January, five years after joining the City Council, Redmon will lead a city of 10,000 people.
Redmon asked Kartak to acknowledge May 31, 2020 concerns
The events of May 31, 2020 struck a big chord in the community. People swarmed Snohomish that Saturday afternoon because of a rumor antifa protestors would come do property damage. Toward sunset, open firearm carriers and members of the Proud Boys appeared in the crowd.
In the days after, Kartak never condemned the gun carriers or people showing the Confederate flag. At the time, Kartak stated his position is people performed their First Amendment rights, even if he doesn’t agree with what was displayed. He and then-Police Chief Keith Rogers faced political backlash for it.
Redmon said: “I told (Kartak) ‘you can fix this if you say you have heard people have concerns,’ and he did not, and it sealed his coffin.”
“I did not want to run for mayor, I wanted to stay on council,” Redmon said. She said she ran because the public pressed her to, especially after how the May 31 events were handled.
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