One person can make a difference

  • by:
  • Source:
  • 09/20/2023

In 1995, Terry Ryan was working 80 hours a week selling labels that went into shirts and coaching kids soccer with four little ones at home. Terry was seriously busy. He had lots of common sense and wanted to give back to his community. With absolutely no experience, he decided to run for the city council and later became mayor. 

Just two projects of the many where Terry was instrumental in helping our city:

We wouldn’t have the Sports Park if Terry hadn’t worked with former State Senator Jeannine Long to get the funding.

Town Center improvements: Some of the original designs were awful. It was Terry who led the changes that gave Mill Creek an award winning Town Center. When we needed retail anchors, it was Terry who met with the UW Bookstore and Central Market executives and got them to come here.

Terry could have said, “I’m too busy,” or “I don’t have any background.” He didn’t and our city is better for it.

My journey to the city council and mayor began when a developer wanted to pave wetlands just outside the city. With a group of mothers in our community, we beat back the project, and today we have Brighton where our current mayor lives. 

Mill Creek had been on a waiting list for eight years to get a post office. I decided to fly to Washington DC (paid for entirely by me) to meet with our congressional delegation to see if we could move the project along. People laughed at me. Three weeks later, then Congresswoman Maria Cantwell called to let me know we got the post office. 

I also worked with former State Senator Steve Hobbs to get funding to fix 35th Ave. Steve helped us secure over $6,000,000 in funding for the project. I didn’t know squat about roads but I knew about money and didn’t want our residents to get stuck paying to fix a regional road.

Why am I saying this now? Because filing time for candidates for city council is May 15–19. The election is in November. 

The council recently doubled its own salaries (the tax increase to pay for it will come after this year’s election.) We lost nearly half our police officers and it’s costing a fortune to replace them. There are so many opportunities to make a difference in our neighbors’ lives.

One of my favorite sayings is from Hallmark. “There are always a million reasons to say no but if you can find the courage to say yes, great things can happen.”

We have lots of “want-to-be” types. We need “want-to-do” leaders. Please consider helping your community.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter