Sultan Mayor Carolyn Eslick officially kicked off her campaign to become the next Snohomish County Executive last week.
Eslick, who is serving her second term as the mayor of Sultan, announced her intention to run against current Snohomish County Executive John Lovick early in March. The two will face off in this fall’s special election, the results of which will determine who will finish out the current term. The executive seat will be on the ballot again in 2015 to fill the next four-year term.
Eslick’s campaign is being managed collaboratively by a team of volunteers headed up by Elizabeth Emmons and Russell Wiita, who are serving as her primary campaign managers.
Event attendees included Washington State Senator Kirk Pearson, Snohomish County Sheriff Candidate Sgt. Jim Upton, Washington State Republican Party Executive Board member Jim Donner, as well as Chris Vallo, who challenged Dave Somers for his seat on the Snohomish County Council last November.
Several Sultan City Councilmembers were in attendance including John Seehuus, Rocky Walker and Marianne Naslund, as well as members of Eslick’s family. Her daughter, Alicia Weideman, traveled from Montana with her husband and three children to attend the campaign kickoff.
The event, which took place on Tuesday, April 1 at 5 p.m., was held at JD Slick’s in Sultan. Campaign co-chair Elizabeth Emmons introduced Eslick and gave a brief presentation.
Eslick, who moved to Sultan in 1979, served on Sultan’s City Council for six years before running for mayor in 2006. A long-time business owner, she owned and operated the Dutch Cup Restaurant for 20 years before she sold it to pursue a career as a business consultant. A strong proponent for small business and local entrepreneurship, Eslick founded a nonprofit organization in 2010 called GROW Washington, meant to encourage and develop small businesses in the county.
Through GROW, Eslick provides business classes and seminars designed to help aspiring entrepreneurs establish and be successful in their own businesses. GROW Washington features storefront locations in Snohomish and Sultan, and has recently expanded into Everett.
“In other words, Carolyn is good for business,” said Emmons.
Emmons also discussed the level of volunteerism that has developed in Sultan under Eslick’s leadership.
“Carolyn has been a staunch advocate for the people of Sky Valley,” said Emmons. “She believes in us. She knows that we have the skill sets, the work ethic and the desire to build a better tomorrow, and that’s why she organized the very successful Sultan volunteer program.”
“Under her collaborative leadership, we have logged thousands of hours to make our great town better,” continued Emmons.
Sultan’s Block Watch program encourages folks to proactively take a stand against crime through a collective neighborhood watch system. Other volunteer-led efforts have flourished under Eslick’s leadership such as Sultan’s City Wide Pride cleanup event and the Adopt-a-Street program.
Each month a local volunteer is recognized by the city of Sultan and given a certificate of appreciation signed by Eslick. Local businesses are similarly honored.
Eslick gave a rundown of what her priorities would be as the Snohomish County Executive. Her multi-faceted platform focuses on economic development and strong leadership with a hearty emphasis on crime prevention and public safety.
“We have a problem on our streets,” said Eslick.
At the end of February, Eslick and her husband were burglarized twice in one day. After entering their home, the thief stole all of her jewelry, a bag of medications belonging to her husband, a laptop computer and several other items. Eslick shared that the suspected burglar was picked up by sheriff’s deputies within about a week, but was released from jail after serving only a few days.
“He had been picked up nine times; five of those were felonies,” said Eslick. “Now why are they letting them out over and over again?”
Eslick hopes to be able to focus on treating citizens with mental illness, so that they are not continually and repeatedly incarcerated. She commended Senator Pearson for the recent bipartisan mental health funding that was passed in Olympia.
“Some of the folks are in our jails are in there because they’re mentally ill. They have done things because they’re mentally ill,” said Eslick. We need to make sure that we get those folks help, and it doesn’t mean they go to jail.”
“That’s one of the things I am really passionate about,” she continued. “We need to make room in the jails because some of these burglars need to be spending more time there.”
Eslick discussed her financial experience, stating that she has maintained a balanced budget at the city of Sultan for the seven years she’s been in office. It’s been a task that posed some challenges along the way.
“When Tim Eyman came in and cut our license tabs, everybody loved that idea, but what it did to our small cities was it devastated us,” said Eslick. “We had to scramble really fast to figure out how we were going to find that $60,000 for the general fund.”
“We have been a lean machine at the city of Sultan, for a long time. I know how to do that,” she continued. “I know how to make those tough decisions.”
Next, Eslick discussed the importance of economic development, pointing out her track record of having owned and operated her own business for 20 years. Also, through GROW Washington, she has helped facilitate the development of hundreds of entrepreneurial efforts since starting the nonprofit organization in 2010.
“Twenty years owning a business, that’s a long time,” said Eslick. “To be able to survive that, that’s huge. I did it, and I did it well.”
Eslick thanked everyone for attending her event. She asked her supporters to share her website with their friends and acquaintances.
“Let me tell you, folks, that all I know is that I can be here to serve you,” said Eslick. “I’m proud of everything that I’ve done, and it’s all been because you folks have said, ‘We need it.’”
To learn more about Eslick, please email her at email@example.com or call (425) 212-1511. Her new campaign website is located at: http://eslick4exec.com/.