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Letters | Outgoing councilwoman Maria Henriksen's accomplishments involved whole community of Snoqualmie
As I bring my time on the Snoqualmie City Council to a close, I want to thank the citizens for your trust and the opportunity to serve you over the past 10 years. The choice to step down was not easy, but I am pleased with what we have accomplished together.
When I began, we were a city of 4,000 residents. Snoqualmie was poised for explosive growth, yet we suffered from a budget reliant on one-time revenues to cover regular expenses. Our downtown infrastructure was crumbling, we were challenged with flooding and there was concern among long-time residents about what an influx of new people would mean to their lifestyle.Citizens had been promised a community center, yet it had no funding, and we had been assured neighborhood retail and schools to support our population, but there had been little progress on either front.
In the past 10 years we have successfully addressed those areas and more. The council and administration have stabilized the city budget, weaned operations off of one-time revenues and improved our credit rating.
We have addressed numerous infrastructure issues and made investments in revitalizing downtown, which is now ripe for private investment. We have provided flood mitigation and maintained our own police and fire departments to insure the best possible service for our citizens.
We have fostered retail and business development during trying economic times, and have worked to support the School District as they built two new schools and endeavor to build more. In addition, with the support of my colleagues, I had the opportunity to serve in a leadership role to fulfill the promise of a community center and form a unique partnership with the YMCA in order to run it.
I also led the establishment of the Economic Development, Branding and Marketing Plan and led the creation of a wayfinding system which was eventually adopted throughout the Valley. Most recently I headed the effort to secure the future of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. All of these accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedication of the council and the support of the community.
It has been my pleasure to work with the administration, the skilled staff and the generous volunteers on our commissions and boards. The council could not do our work without your thoughtful guidance. It has been my particular pleasure to work alongside my talented and dedicated colleagues on the city council. You have my utmost respect and thanks for your tireless efforts on behalf of our city.
I also want to thank my husband, Peter, and my three boys, Christian, Jonathan and Daniel. Having a council member in the family requires a commitment from the whole family, and they have supported me every step of the way. Lastly, I want to thank you, the now 11,500-plus citizens of Snoqualmie, for allowing me to represent you for the past 10 years in shaping this wonderful city we all call home.