Change is getting stuff done

By John Lovick | Aug 02, 2018

Mill Creek is changing. Fast. And all too often, our local issues are overlooked and cast aside in lieu of flashier statewide projects. Without adequate attention, these issues escalate and try to define us. We have a sinking road that has been sinking for decades! I can’t remember a single winter (or spring!) that 35th Avenue hasn’t flooded—and I’ve lived here for 41 years. I patrolled this area for three decades as a State Trooper, up and down every road in our community, all with one of only two north-south arterials liable to flood at any time and in any season. I can’t tell you how many midnights I was patrolling some street responding to a call and then forced to crawl through 35th at ten miles an hour.

To be honest, as a Trooper I was sure no one was ever going to do anything about our sinking road, I didn’t even know what could be done aside from laying down a new foundation of magic carpets and helium balloons. But just like the rest of Mill Creek, change has come mighty quickly in the last few years. New divisions right and left, businesses pouring in to create jobs and grow our economy, and endless construction blocking 132nd today and Seattle Hill tomorrow. And our 35th Avenue is no exception. The road that sank two full feet is finally in for a much needed face lift (pun intended).

And this change didn’t come about because we patiently waited for our turn year after year after year. This change, and all the community investments we’re seeing, is happening because every one of us living in Mill Creek and this region spoke to our friends, our neighbors in Snohomish and Lake Stevens and Everett, and our local and statewide elected leaders and told the plain, down-to-earth truth: we need the infrastructure and support to deal with our

growth— and that means no more sinking roads that force 15,000 drivers to traverse a knee-high swamp each day, no more single lane ‘arterials,’ and more real solutions to cope with our changing, flourishing Mill Creek.

We all live in this community together. Our kids go to school here, we work here, we start businesses and families here, and we grow up and grow old with our Mill Creek Festival and the Summer Concert Series, and watch younger colleagues and friends do the same. The point is, we are in this together. From the depths of a sinking street to our soon-to-be above-ground 35th Avenue, we stuck with Mill Creek through thick and thin and created actual, positive change that will ensure Mill Creek remains a vibrant and healthy city for years to come.

Many years ago, as a brand new State Trooper, I felt welcomed into Mill Creek, but I never thought we could seriously press for change with the same influence and results as Everett or Seattle. Now, we’re fixing our roads; investing in our schools, students, and teachers; businesses are thriving; and we’re stronger than ever before, growing, changing, and building our little corner of the world together.

We have proven that when we come together around an issue like our sinking streets, our community cannot be ignored. The State is collaborating with us on new projects and investing more than $5 million in the reconstruction of 35th Avenue, and we are keeping the projects accountable, on budget, and on track. And that is what community is—all of us standing up and working together, building the partnerships that matter and the infrastructure we need, listening to local concerns, and, most importantly, getting stuff done.

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