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Candidates speak at Bothell Chamber of Commerce luncheon

Rep. Luis Moscoso speaks at the Bothell Chamber of Commerce luncheon. - Sarah Kehoe, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter
Rep. Luis Moscoso speaks at the Bothell Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
— image credit: Sarah Kehoe, Bothell/Kenmore Reporter

State representatives were invited to the Bothell Chamber of Commerce luncheon July 9 to speak about their part in the latest legislative session.

Rep. Luis Moscoso, Rep. Derek Stanford and Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe of the 1st District also went from table-to-table for a timed question and answer segment with attendees.

Moscoso reported he is unhappy with the state legislature's decision to not move forward on transportation funding.

"It's frustrating, we are at a gridlock with our transportation issues," he said. "Fixing our bridges and roads is imperative and I really want to make this happen and get things done in Olympia."

Moscoso said the state is "way behind" in all avenues of transportation, including bus and vehicles.

"Our Sound Transit 3 plan will touch on many things we need fixed, but that probably won't come into fruition until 2020," he said.

Moscoso believes people in each city of the state need to come together to develop their own plans.

"We need each city to come to the state with a plan that will suit them best," he said.

Stanford discussed how it has been difficult to have any kind of economic growth in Bothell because the state is still trying to recover from an economic recession.

"Right now we are dealing with a slow down in pace for economic growth in Bothell," he said. "But Bothell is in line for a couple of loans."

McAuliffe spoke about the success of the Bothell Crossroads project, which realigned SR 522 to the south between Hall Road and 102nd Avenue Northeast. The highway now consists of two travel lanes in each direction, left turn lanes, and sidewalks separated from traffic by tree-lined medians. Connecting streets (Northeast 180th Street, 98th Avenue Northeast, and SR 527) was extended to reach the new alignment and provide pedestrians additional opportunities to move between downtown and the Park at Bothell Landing.

"This is a very exciting thing for us and a step in the right direction toward improving our transportation," she said.

McAuliffe touched on the improvements in the education systems in the area, both kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education.

"Thanks to the new STEM system we have placed in our schools, we are seeing higher scores from students in math and science and less drop out rates," McAuliffe said. "The new hands-on learning concept is doing great things for our schools."

Stanford said the legislature tries to prioritize funding services that will drive economic and population growth in the state.

"That's always a huge concern; we are always thinking about how things impact jobs, it is a balancing factor," he said. "We are still trying to crawl out of the latest economic recession. The economy is recovering, but slowly."

Stanford urged local governments to prioritize projects they believe to be the most critical for their cities.

"There should be an open discussion in each city about what needs to be done to drive economic growth," Stanford said.

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