By AMY GILBERT McGRATH, contributing writer
Published January 11, 2023
Help explain Snohomish’s future to your neighbors
SNOHOMISH — The city planning department is looking for people to join a new Civic Ambassador program to help it gain insights for the 2024 Comprehensive Plan.
The plan is the city's compass for urban growth under the state's Growth Management Act (GMA), using as much community input as possible.
New items being considered for the comprehensive plan include social equity, climate change and increased requirements for housing needs. Required elements on the list include future land use, transportation, economic development, parks and recreation, utilities, housing, and a capital facilities plan.
Civic Ambassadors will meet three times between February 2023 to February 2024 to discuss the comprehensive plan and how to communicate the information to the community. Ambassadors will receive training and $100 per quarter, for a total stipend of $400 to compensate for their time. Meetings will be scheduled based on ambassador availability. The city has partnered with the Snohomish School District to provide free childcare to ambassadors during the meetings.
Planning Director Brooke Eidem intends for each candidate to bring a diverse offering.
"I want to leave it as open as possible," Eidem said about qualifying candidates. She stated a desire to reach every type of demographic in the city.
You can apply if you live in, work, or own a business or property in Snohomish.
"People who are well connected are well suited for this," Eidem said. Since the ambassadors will share information with and gather feedback from the community, having an existing network of people connected to Snohomish will be helpful.
According to Eidem, this role is ideal for someone who wants to expand their network and get involved with city planning without committing to a multi-year position on a board or commission. Eidem intends to continue the Civic Ambassador program, allowing new candidates to apply yearly.
It is up to each ambassador to choose how to reach the community best using their creativity. The planning department has ideas for accomplishing this, but they want ambassadors to select and guide the activity. As an ambassador, this could mean setting up an informational booth at the farmer's market, hosting a meeting at a community building, or even inviting your neighbors over to discuss city plans. Each ambassador should make at least one contact per month either in person, via social media, or through other means and will report back to the planning department on their activity.
"The purpose of Civic Ambassadors is to create another layer of knowledge and perhaps a more accessible means of communicating back and forth between the city and the community. The program will leverage the existing networks of community members to broaden the two-way communication and ensure everyone has a voice in future planning for the city," Eidem said.
For more information on the Civic Ambassadors program, go to www.snohomishwa.gov/184/Comprehensive-Plan
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