Lynnwood Council fails to overturn veto of car tab relief

LYNNWOOD, November 14, 2022—At a somewhat contentious Business Meeting, the Lynnwood City Council on Monday did not secure the five votes needed to overturn Mayor Christine Frizzell veto of the $40 car tab relief, Ordinance 3416, that passed on October 24. Councilwoman Shirley Sutton was not present at the meeting.

“After spending these last couple of weeks educating myself on what the alternatives would look like and how that would play out if we were to get rid of the car tab fees, I have not been convinced that there would be a better alternative than the car tab fees we originally have in place,” Councilman Josh Binda said as his reason to support the mayor’s decision to veto the $40 car tab relief ordinance. Councilman Binda abstained from the initial council vote last month.

The ordinance that Mayor Frizzell vetoed passed during the October 24 business meeting in a 4-2 vote. The October 24 vote was as follows:

  • George Hurst: Yes
  • Jim Smith: Yes
  • Julieta Altamirano-Crosby: No
  • Josh Binda: Abstained
  • Patrick Decker: Yes
  • Shannon Sessions: No
  • Shirley Sutton: Yes

The mayor’s veto comes as no surprise, as last year, then-Councilmember Frizzell voted no on a similar $40 car tab relief: Ordinance 3400. The previous mayor, Nicola Smith, vetoed the ordinance, with the council failing to override it in a 4-3 vote. Councilwoman Julieta Altamirano-Crosby voted yes last year but changed to a no vote this year after further researching the infrastructure needs of the city.

“I have always opposed these fees and have raise a concern that they were put by a councilmanic action, not a vote of the people,” Council President Hurst said. “According to the MRSC…Eight of the 110 [cities] have both sales tax and vehicle fees. We are one of those eight out of 110 cities that have made this decision. We are an outlier, that is a concern for me.”

“We are going to have $4 million more than what is required by our financial policies in Reserves,” Hurst continued. “I really question these fees…”

After the motion to postpone the vote failed with the mayor voting in favor to move forward with the veto vote – there was a tie vote – Councilwoman Shannon Sessions make the motion to overturn the mayor’s veto of the ordinance related to $40 car tab relief.  The motion was seconded by Councilwoman Julieta Altamirano-Crosby.

The vote was as follows:

  • George Hurst: Yes
  • Jim Smith: Yes
  • Julieta Altamirano-Crosby: No
  • Josh Binda: No
  • Patrick Decker: Yes
  • Shannon Sessions: No

The motion failed to achieve the minimum five votes needed to overturn the mayor’s veto and hence failed.

“I think it is irresponsible of this council, particularly as we are growing, building up a major downtown corridor, having Sound Transit come, wanting all the things that this council is asking for in public safety, streets and sewer… by taking this money away is drastically hurting that, so I think that is irresponsible,” Councilmember Shannon Sessions said before her vote to support the mayor’s veto.

Other Council Business

American Rescue Plan Act Fund allocations

  • Up to $300,000 for a Human Services Coordinator Position (proposed by Hurst) – approved unanimously
  • $60,000 for Mentors for standardized testing for low-income students (proposed by Altamirano-Crosby) – approved unanimously
  • $43,000 for Shop Lynnwood campaign (proposed by Sessions) – approved 5-1 with Councilman Smith voting against.

Mario Lotmore

Mario Lotmore is originally from The Bahamas and for the last seven years has called Mukilteo, WA his home. Having lived in every region of the United States has exposed him to various cultures, people, and approaches to life. Lotmore created the Lynnwood Times to represent the character of a diverse and growing Lynnwood. The launching of the city’s community newspaper will only help bring neighborhoods together. Lotmore was an industrial engineer by trade and proven success implementing and managing lean accountable processes and policies within his eighteen years of operations excellence, strategic development, and project management in the aerospace, manufacturing, and banking industries. Over his career he has saved and created hundreds of union and non-union jobs. Lotmore is the President of a Homeowner Association, an active Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics volunteer in his community, and former Boeing 747 Diversity Council leader. Mario’s talent is finding “that recipe” of shared destiny to effectively improve the quality of life for others.

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