South County Politics: Lynnwood mayor and council candidates

Issue statement from candidates for Lynnwood mayor

Lynnwood City Councilmember George Hurst is challenging incumbent Mayor Nicola Smith in the Nov. 7 election.

Hurst and Smith recently sent statements about their views on what they think are the most important issue or issues in the election.

Here are the two candidates’ statements in the order that their names will appear on the November ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet:

City of Lynnwood Mayor, four-year term

George Hurst

Where’s the money? That’s the concern for the residents of Lynnwood. When elected I will stop the misguided practice of over spending and then balancing the budget by raiding City reserves for millions of dollars.

Poor planning is impacting our quality of life in Lynnwood. We have to rebuild roads that have not been maintained (over $14 million just for 36th Avenue West). Current leadership’s policy is to constantly increase our city taxes and fees. And now, the new Regional Fire Authority and ST3 will add even more to the tax bill of Lynnwood residents. Enough! Vote for a shift in direction. Elect George Hurst.

Nicola Smith

Lynnwood has to be ready for ST2, Lynnwood Link by 2023. We must continue to build our infrastructure while protecting our neighborhoods. We need to make sure that we continue on the path of being a safe and welcoming city. Our community’s wicked social issues (opioid, homelessness and mental health) must be addressed. The city finances are on the mend and we must continue to prioritize programs and services while applying fiscally sound spending.

Issue statements from two Lynnwood City Council candidates

Lynnwood City Council incumbent Ian Cotton faces challenger Shanon Tysland for one of three Lynnwood council positions on the Nov. 7 ballot. Cotton and Tysland recently sent statements about their views on the most important issue or issues in the election.  Here are their statements in the order that their names will appear on the November ballot and in the voters’ pamphlet:

City of Lynnwood Council Position 2, four-year term

Ian Cotton

Thank you for allowing me to serve you.

The critical issue this campaign is YOUR MONEY!

Lynnwoodians! Go read who voted for the Budget on Nov. 28, 2016. I Voted NO. Go read who voted to put the RFA on the ballot on April 242017. I Voted NO. Read for yourself!

Transparency, Integrity and Compassionate Accountability are what I bring to the table on your behalf.

Much good has been done and great things lay ahead, but only for a City that can live within its means. Spending one-time money for on-going expenses is not sustainable.

I am Ian Cotton and I ask for your vote this Nov. 7., Facebook @cotton4council

Shannon Tysland

One of the most important issues in Lynnwood is homelessness. Homelessness is complex as it has no geographical boundaries and a myriad of reasons from addiction, mental health, lack of affordable housing and many combinations. Our residents have public safety concerns around adult homelessness. There have been over 300 drug needles pulled from parks in Lynnwood this summer alone. I will work with my colleagues on the City Council and regional leaders to address underlying issues and find solutions to ensure we have adequate shelter space and resources, particularly for our children, women, and veterans. Keeping Lynnwood safe is one of the highest priorities.

–By Evan Smith
Evan Smith can be reached at

  1. Mr Cotton needs to choose a side – here he says he voted against putting the RFA Measure on the August ballot but one month later on May 22, when presented with essentially the same Resolution, he makes no significant comment on it and votes for putting it on the ballot. Transparency? Integrity?

    Link for the second vote – Resolution 2017-10 – see part 90.3 B of the minutes

    1. Ms Frizzell,

      I still have not heard from you on my explanation regarding your comments above. Ms. Lundsford has rather dominated the discussion here :-).

      If you would like further clarification on the why and how of the votes I have cast on this issue, or any other issue, please feel free to state them.

      Thanks again all for your passion and involvement.

      1. A tone deaf person will never hear. Maybe you can see your attempt to troll Frizzell is another example where you set the example of what it means to lack integrity. I still haven’t heard from you that you are running as a slate or apologize for colluding to bring down the RFA. Even if you get reelected, I do hope you realize your ways so you can start serving your community and not your friends.

        1. My hope is to have a constructive discussion or even debate, however it seems we are descending into heresay and gas-lighting.

          It appears, as I’ve stated before, that we’re at an impasse.

          Have a great day all,

          1. My hope is that I can have a constructive discussion or even debate without being called dominating. I can agree with you that we are at an impasse of what defines integrity. As I am sure it hard to hear but I have hope you can learn from this. Have a wonderful day!

          2. I must apologize for being late to moderating this conversation. I have edited some of the preceding statements to ensure they conform with our policy regarding name-calling. Thank you.

  2. I have talked to Mr. Cotton myself about his say one thing, vote another way approach.   I told him it’s confusing and makes politics hard to understand.  He continues this approach and continues to have loyal supporters.  To me, it’s frustrating but what’s shady to me is sunshine for someone else.

  3. Greetings all, I appreciate your interest in this topic. Indeed I wish more showed both your interest.

    @Ms Frizzell:
    The ‘nay’ vote regarding putting the RFA ballot measure forward was done for two reasons: 1) Lynnwood voters were outnumbered 4:1 on ballot, 2) There was no language keeping the RFA cost neutral to tax payers property tax.

    The ‘yay’ vote on the Resolution you are referencing was specifically because the language for control of our property taxes was (finally) included.

    Happy to field more questions on this matter, as based on the comments above, confusion persists.
    Thanks again all.

    1. The ballot you created and approved by vote, you voted nah on. You worked on the ballot hand and hand with FD1, together said it was good to go and then voted NO. Then voted Yes on the resolution. I am still confused and cringe when you say you have integrity. I think you are a great guy but we must have different definitions of what transparence and integrity means.

      1. Good evening Ms. Lunsford,

        I sympathize with your confusion. People just need to be paying attention to be sure that the cost neutrality component is adhered to.

        If you have specific instances where you call into question my integrity or transparency I am happy to clarify any item where my position on something is not clear.

        I enjoy making sure the correct information gets out to the people so they can make informed decisions. Indeed, I can inform people to a fault at times, more than one person’s eyes have glassed over when I’ve started to share information, it is an area of growth for me :-).

        Thanks again,

        1. My confusion is that you might be confusing integrity with loyalty to your long time friends of George Hurst and Van Aubuchon. Both who are best buddies with the last Mayor Don Gough and Ted Hikel. All 4 who have been fighting a regional fire authority for years and help you in your campaign. Cost neutrality would be nice, but what people need is a fire department ready for the expected growth of Lynnwood. What people need is a council member who will get that done and not risk millions of dollars of work going down the tubes just because of one or two road blocks. Specific Instance where I think you have been shady, RFA, meadowdale play fields renovations and this campaign. You are running as a slate and this solo act of yours is hopefully your last instance of your political career 🙂

          1. Ms. Lundsford,

            I was born and raised in Lynnwood, we are a rather small community when you really look at it. I always like to say that as I get older, the world gets both larger as we realize how truly large it is, and it gets smaller, as our number of relationships grow and so does our connected-ness.

            Van has known my family for years. His eldest son took over my Herald paper route. So yes, he is a friend of mine.

            George and his family are an absolute treasure to our family. The patience his daughter had for ours when teaching Sunday school at our church is the very definition of building community.

            You are making an awful lot of baseless and I would say, negative and unkind accusations Ms. Lundsford. I would ask you to stick to the facts and if you have specific issues you would like clarification on, my offer still stands to provide them. As I have stated before, I rather enjoy that aspect of serving our community.

            It is my hope that the good people of Lynnwood see my record for what it is, see how I have built trust through consistency of character and action and how I have worked to create a more stable and financially sound Lynnwood.

            Thanks again for your passion for your community.

            Thanks again,

  4. “You are making an awful lot of baseless and I would say, negative and unkind accusations Ms. Lundsford” All I have been stating are facts. It is a fact I don’t know if you vote out of loyalty to your long term friends. Yes, just because it’s negative doesn’t make it true. It is fact that you, Van, RosaMaria and George have endorsed each other, worked together and strategize campaigns together for almost a year now. It is fact you are inconsistent on how you vote. It is fact that I over your friends oligarchy over Lynnwood. But I am just one vote, unfortunately you can’t vote to take this decision away from the people just like you did with the RFA. Just got to wait till Nov 7th, good night Mr. Cotton.

    1. Again Ms. Lundsford, you make broad strokes of the brush with your comments. Let’s leave it at, ‘you don’t agree with some or all of my decisions while on Council.’

      I can accept that. My goal here is to better understand your specific issues so that I can better represent you and all the other great residents of Lynnwood. However if I have wounded or upset you in any way, my apologize.

      I wish you well, and if I am re-elected I look forward to serving you on City Council. My hope is that you feel respected and listened too and if you ever have a specific issue or legislative item you would like championed I am always willing to listen.

      We might disagree on many things, including your perspective on, well, everything you have stated, however this does not diminish my obligation to serve you just like I would serve anyone else in our community in my role on City Council.

      Thanks again, and I look forward to serving our great city for another 4 years, should the good people choose that is their choice.


  5. One of the reasons I thoroughly enjoy serving our community is I truly enjoy good dialog and discussion on items that people are passionate about.

    Thanks again everyone for your engagement!

    You can learn more at

    Thanks again

  6. One of the council meetings I attended in the fall of 2015.

    Van AuBuchon made a motion before the Council to put the FD1 issue on the ballot so ONLY Lynnwood citizens would be able to vote on if we wanted to pursue looking at merging with FD1. Please keep in mind, this became a issue after Mayor Smith had taken 1.4 million away from Lynnwood Fire Department. Councilmembers Boyer, Goodwin, Ross, and Roberts voted NO. They were going to make the decision for Lynnwood citizens. Van informed them that he had checked with the Auditor and it would not cost the City any more money to put the issue on the November 2015 ballot.

    Both Van AuBuchon and Ian Cotton voted YES to have Lynnwood Citizens decide for ourselves if we wanted to pursue going with FD1 on the November 2015 ballot. Boyer, Goodwin, Ross, and Roberts voted NO. Keep in mind if this had been done back in 2015. Only Lynnwood would have voted and NOT all of FD1. The other Councilmembers said NO.

    In a recent forum, the Mayor claimed she is responsible for taking away Lynnwood Fire Department and throwing Lynnwood citizens under the 4 (FD1) to 1 (Lynnwood) vote bus. She wanted to be a FD1 Mayor!

    Cotton, AuBuchon, Hurst. You have my vote!

  7. How can someone be a Mayor of a Fire District? Also, Mayor Smith wanted to PROMOTE a City employee to be the new City Administrator when she became Mayor. I guess she forgot Lynnwood voted against having a City Administrator; they said that is the Mayor’s job to administer City business. Is that why she said NO to the citizen’s of Lynnwood voting on whether or not to be in FD1 which has a history of financial mismanagement?

  8. Just to clarify, I was informed that Ms. Lundsford is the campaign manager for Ruth Ross and a personal friend of Mayor Smith? If this is correct then it explains many, if not most of her comments.
    Also, after watching the debates I am voting for Ian Cotton, Van AuBuchon and George Hurst.
    I also have met and talked with Rosamaria Graziani – her dedication to social justice is amazing.

  9. That’s great to show support for your candidates and voice your concerns. Once filing was over, I asked Ruth to help with her campaign. After getting to know Ruth I become inspired by her and have worked to create her campaign Now I know you have already called the candidates I support white racist for supporting the regional authority to going to vote. But I will continue to be vocal with my support and concerns. I will keep to the facts and wish everyone well. I am in a state of grieving for our community and will not go back and forth with you. My heart is broken and will pray for us to heal together. Have a blessed night my neighbor.

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