PR for People Monthly September 2017 - Page 11

When Nicola Smith burst on the scene in 2013, her candidacy to become Mayor of Lynnwood, Washington seemed to be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Nicola had been Dean of Student Life and Development at Edmonds Community College for over twenty years, and this was her first foray running for public office. Although Nicola’s background had demonstrated a long track record of managing multiple departments and programs with competing interests and complex budgets, the incumbent mayor, Don Gough, appeared to be amused by her candidacy and deemed her to be unqualified. And even though Gough didn’t garner anywhere near a sizable majority during the primary, he seemed pleased enough at the results. “We’re ready to move on to the general election,” Gough said. “I’m happy with where we’re at.” Gough then reportedly said he planned to take a break from the campaign trail to spend time with his family.

What happened next in November, 2013 was unexpected. In the election, Mayor Don Gough was walloped by Nicola Smith. Smith had 61.4 percent, or 2,076 votes. Gough had 1,284 votes, or just under 38 percent. This election was much more than the unraveling of small town politics. It was a race between the old and the new, and an indicator of what happens when a small city is marked for growth and destined to become a regional leader in the Puget Sound region. Upon winning the election in a landslide, Nicola Smith said, “I am really honored to be in this position and I’m very excited that the voters have entrusted me to move our city forward.”

As it turned out, Nicola Smith’s career in public service was a natural transition from her prior administrative roles. In a short three and a half years, she has leveraged her professional leadership skills and expertise to refresh and reset the City of Lynnwood. By engaging staff at all levels, and matching the right staff with the right jobs that needed to be done, Mayor Nicola has infused the entire city organization with efficiency, innovation and transparency.

One of Mayor Nicola Smith’s most notable achievements has been the development of the Lynnwood city center that includes 1,000 affordable housing units and the groundwork laid for the new Light Rail.

Mayor Nicola Smith

Destiny in Action by Patricia Vaccarino

Nicola Smith entered the realm of politics at a much needed time in American history when we yearn to have true leadership at all levels of government. The city of Lynnwood is fortunate to have her as their Mayor.