Seeking to bring fresh eyes and a fresh vote to the Council table.

(Third time's the charm) This season I am once again willing to take up the challenge to seek a place at the City Council table.  I am seeking the Position #1, which is currently held by Councilor Rick Ryan.  
I ask you to tell your friends and neighbors:
Vote Steve Barnes for Council!

Many of you selected me in 2013 when I lost by a very small margin as well as in 2015 and I ask you to give me that opportunity again.  Just add your friends' vote so that I will be successful in your behalf!  I say to you and your neighbors:


What about the City Hall Proposal, 2017 version? Click the link below!
Question and Answer session with MLT News from 2015, still relevant today: (Q & A for MLT News)

Lest we forget...

In 2006, when Laura Sonmore had already served five years, we had an overall reserve of TEN MILLION dollars.  In 2013 that overall reserve was around two million (from former City Manager Caulfield's report in August 2012). Thanks to our agreed self taxation (the 2016 tax for our wonderful park system and repayment of reserves for rent) Mountlake Terrace is pulling out of our negative balance [see more of the article under NEWS]

Step back a few years...

When we moved to Mountlake Terrace more than three decades ago, it was known as a sleepy, but safe town.  A gentle suburb. We enjoyed walks in the many parks of our city, good schools for our children and benefited from the low key style of its citizens.  This was gentle suburbia at its best.

EdmondsRealty pic of Lake Ballinger

Meanwhile, the City Council has been busy.  For at least nine years, the City Council under Mayor Jerry Smith and other long term members, have agitated relentlessly for a more densely populated City with lower on-site parking requirements.  That may all serve a larger regional purpose, but is that what you want?  Do you want mid-rise shadows encroaching on your neighborhood?* Have you seen how massive that Arbor Village development is up close?  Do you want the parking squeeze that building preshadows?

In May of 2013, without any specific attempt to inform the affected citizens on SW 236th and SW 237th, the current council passed a measure RAISING the heights without debate.  I was there and spoke against this on the grounds that it should have been publicized to the affected owners.  The current leadership's response was that they would rely on surveys done FIVE YEARS AGO!  That is incredible!  Is that what you want?

I didn't think so.  And that is why you have a fresh opportunity to vote out part of the current Council this November.  I urge you to consider me, a long time resident of Mountlake Terrace and father to three who attended Terrace schools. I urge you to tell others about these efforts to return City Hall to the citizens.  I urge you to give voice and time and funds to help us return honest, transparent government and frugal spending practices to your Council! 

Will you agree with me on the need for greater, clearer, and honest communication between Council and you, the citizen?  

On the downtown core issue, I, Stephen Barnes, am okay with a downtown core BUT my beef is I am for today's citizens, not interested in expanding the planned size beyond today's boundaries.  Similarly, I am for a new civic center (based on our needs) IF it is priced right.


Keep your eye on this website and the new articles and links.  Tell your friends about your new choice and dive in for more information as it becomes available.  --Stephen Barnes

Recent Articles

  • We are glad you are checking out our site.  It is a work in progress as we each are involved in regular life in addition to our effort to engage you, the Mountlake Citizen, and enlist your help to overcome the incumbent candidates.
  • A Citizen Activist on the 2017 election (Guest comments) Background on Len FrenchFor twenty plus years, Leonard (Len) French has been a voice for the ordinary citizen.  When I met him in 2013 he had already ran for ...
    Posted Oct 22, 2017, 12:31 PM by Stephen Barnes
  • City Hall 2017, yes or no Background In 2015 I introduced the tall campaign signs with the Tagline "Working today for an affordable tomorrow". This was after working to defeat a hopelessly overpriced City Hall project ...
    Posted Oct 19, 2017, 11:40 AM by Stephen Barnes
  • Thank You, fellow Terrace citizens! ----------------------------THANK YOU for your previous confidence!  Now vote for me once again!Thanks to each who previously considered me as a new choice for the council and the thousand plus ...
    Posted Sep 4, 2017, 2:18 PM by Stephen Barnes
Showing posts 1 - 3 of 20. View more »

Update in progress!
I, Stephen Barnes, am asking for your vote for MLT City Council position  #1!

If you want open and honest politics, an advocate for small town preferences, a frugal outlook, and a friend for businesses you can use, 
vote Steve Barnes, MLT position #1!

For a Better Mountlake Terrace for our children and grandchildren

Stephen Barnes



NEWS FLASH: 2017 Interview with MLT News HERE

PREVIOUS INTERVIEWS:  2015 Interview with MLT NewsFresh interview from 2015! <----Click there! (And if you are interested, the 2013 near victory interview Click HERE!)

I invite you to call me!  At this point I have contacted hundreds of your fellow citizens.  You've seen my signs, maybe even my leaflets, maybe had a facebook nudge, but you still weren't sure I would be your voice on the City Council.  
Let's talk! 206-293-2366!


I am Stephen "Steve" Barnes.
I'm asking for your vote this November for City Council, and I am for:

  • open and honest policymaking 
  • the suburban lifestyle we know and love about Mountlake Terrace
  • a City Hall that makes sense
  • expanded business opportunities that benefit our citizens

For open and honest politics

Can politics be honest?  I will listen, communicate, and use integrity as your Councilor.

For returning our Council's focus to the suburban lifestyle we know and love about Mountlake Terrace

This includes fixing some our best assets, such as the Pavilion as well as reducing the irritations that don't fit our suburban lifestyle.

Restricted lanes and reduced parking are some of the issues that have bothered me in the past few years.  Sure, it is great to get outside funding for fixing the road on Cedar Way, but what is the real point of bike lanes and over a mile of middle turn lane where there are very few places to turn? A local bicycle club confirmed that there are just a handful of bicyclists using those new bicycle lanes.  Bicycle Commuters? About 0.1% of workers according to one survey.

Future and present reduced parking.  The City has been handing out permits over and over reducing the number of required parking spots to please builders. The most recent example was near Ballinger Park where a big apartment consortium was allowed to reduce parking for its future remodel from over 700 spots required according to city regulations to a builder preferred 500+.  Maybe that is why Arbor Village still does not have lease tenants in its ground floor businesses?  Neighbors of Arbor Village have noticed that there are more cars in front of their homes and along the reduced parking on 236th since it opened.  Did you wonder why?

I will work within the City Council and with the city planners to turn back this progressive parking squeeze.

For a City Hall that makes sense (finally)

In 2006 the City Council moved to replace the aging city hall.  After hiring consultants to formulate what that could look like and what it might cost, the consultants determined a $400 per square foot building cost was appropriate (that still is close to the current Northwest Building Index standard cost) and came up with three sizes and two models. For the size we are currently leasing on 220th (15,000 sq ft) it was eight to 10.5 million, depending on the model chosen.  After much private and public deliberation many additional items were cobbled into the project, settling at 37 million.  Since we owned the land, the building should be somewhere around eight million, or near sixteen million even if it were built out (30,000 sq ft) for future expansion needs.

When I became involved with the facts of the City Hall building project, there were a number of irregularities which struck me as surprising.  I reviewed City materials and city advertising which led me to seek clarity at the city council meeting.  I was rebuffed without being permitted to speak.  Requests in their break for added information and clarity were unsatisfying and contradictory.  That led to my support for the "No" campaign, where I pointed out irregularities as I saw them.  Please note: I was not and am not opposed to a City Hall.  But it needs to be one that makes sense.

Thankfully the addendum is that I participated in the 2017 Citizen City Hall Advisory Committee and helped to show that the office market space per person has shrunk (and therefore the ask of our citizens should be less). Also, reviewing over twenty projects we reduced where we should be on price per square foot. The Committee sent a recommendation to the City Council and Stan Lake and I spoke with the City Council about realistic pricing after which the Council reduced the package from 13.4 to the current 12.5 million. (See my article "City Hall 2017" at lower right.) 

For expanded business opportunities that benefit our citizens

The City Council has focused an overwhelming majority of its energy on the Town Center project and related matters.  In the meantime, businesses with services and products of interest to our own Terrace citizens have been slow to be added.  We should actively court businesses which bring services and entertainment "back home" to Mountlake Terrace.  Our citizens should be thinking first of local choices for eating out, shopping, and entertainment!  Terrace money should flow back into Terrace businesses!  I pledge to be part of that welcoming committee!

How you can help:

Running a campaign for a spot as your City Councilor is a huge undertaking.  If you can tell a friend about my website, put a "like" at fb.com/betterMLT or ask for a yard sign to broadcast your approval, that would be greatly appreciated.


Subpages (1): 2013