Jared Mead has no opponent in race for City Council

Millennial ready to fill the seat held by Donna Michelson since 1999

By Dan Aznoff | Oct 19, 2017
Photo by: Dan Aznoff Councilmember Donna Michelson shared some of the wisdom she has gained from her 17 years on the City Council with Jared Mead, who is running unopposed to fill Michelson’s seat on the council. Mead, 26, has met with other members of the council as well as individuals on the city staff to gain as much knowledge as he can before assuming office in 2018.

Jared Mead has been preparing for the Mill Creek City Council election next month since he was 8-years-old.

Mead is running unopposed for Position No. 2, a seat that has been held by council stalwart Donna Michelson for more than half of the time Mill Creek has an incorporated as a city.  The 26-year-old knew he wanted to run for public office, he just did not think getting elected would be this easy.

Mead had filed to run before Michelson decided to step down to spend more time traveling with her husband. The open door forced him to take a crash course in city government.

“I’ve met with the city manager, met with Donna and other members of the council so I can hit the ground running and not be a wrench in a well-oiled machine,” Mead told The Beacon. “There was no way to realize the gravity of the responsibilities by simply watching the city as a pedestrian for the past 15 years.”

Mead is no stranger to politics. The former investment banker served two terms on the Planning Commission and currently serves as the legislative aide to Democratic State Sen. Guy Palumbo in the 1st Legislative District.

Mead grew up in Mill Creek, attended Penny Creek Elementary, Gateway Middle School and graduated from Jackson High before going on to earn a degree in International Studies and Business at the University of Washington campus in Bothell. He has always had an eye on politics.

According to Mead, his education did not prepare him to comprehend the complexities of the city budget.

“The budget is a thick document,” Mead said. “I sat down with a notebook before I opened the binders so I could write down questions and areas that required follow-up questions.”

Mead said City Manager Rebecca Polittozzo has made herself available to help him understand the details of the budget and the “inner workings of city government.”

The millenial wanted to know where the city was spending its money and how the fee schedule is utilized of offset expenses.

“I have been responsible for knowing how certain parts of the state budget impacted residents of the 1st District,” he said with a sigh. “But I’ve never sat down with an entire budget. The first time was overwhelming.”

With the perspective of an incumbent, Mead is concerned with development of the last parcels of open land in the city. He does not want to see another apartment complex reduce the natural beauty of his hometown.

“I can still remember how we could see the lights from the football field from my parent’s backyard,” he said.  “Now those lights are blocked by a faceless complex of apartment buildings.”

He said he has gained important perspective by knocking on 2,600 doors since the campaign began. Mead was pleased that residents of Mill Creek have welcomed him as a fresh face with new ideas that can help the city grow. He is determined to bring new business into Mill Creek that will meet the needs of the residents and help pay for city services.

“People have asked me why Mill Creek does not have a Chamber of Commerce, like Bothell, Lynnwood and every other city in South Snohomish County,” Mead explained. “I needed to attend a meeting of the Downtown Merchants Association to understand that business in Mill Creek is not conducted in the same manner as those other cities. We are truly unique, not just in the beauty of our city but the manner in which we approach business.”

Mead said he wants to make it easier for new businesses to locate in the city by proposing changes to the permit process and by encouraging established businesses to promote new members within their ranks.

“I love our open spaces,” said Mead. “You drive through Bothell and all you see are neon signs and crowded sidewalks.

“We have truly open spaces that allow you to hike a trail or enjoy the serenity of a park without leaving your own neighborhood,” he concluded. “We need to discover a way to maintain that quality of our city without paving over our natural beauty.”

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