Candidates say Marysville is a “welcoming city” after racial remark during forum

Marysville City Council candidates were mostly in agreeance about the direction of the city during a candidate’s forum that was held Thursday night, except on the issue of race. The five candidates running for three spots on city council, as well as the lone candidate for mayor, took part in last night’s forum. The questions asked revolved around economic development, repairing roads, unfunded liabilities, and growing the city’s population.  On the issue of growing population, it was asked what the city could do to attract a higher diversity of residents. The response from candidate Jean Cramer resulted in raised eyebrows and audible gasps, followed by several moments of silence from the audience. “My suggestion… keep Marysville a white community as much as possible,” said Cramer. The candidate further went on to state that she would not like “foreign born” people to settle in Marysville.

Every other candidate present strongly disagreed with Cramer’s comments, including current councilwoman and mayor pro-tem Kathy Hayman who is the daughter of a Syrian immigrant. “They owned the Lynwood bar, it was a grocery store at that time,” said Hayman. “So what you basically said is that my father and his family had no business being in this community.” Mayoral candidate Wayne Pyden stated that it would be illegal to deny a person of color housing in the city based on their race. “Everybody is welcome in Marysville,” added Pyden. Others participating in the forum were current councilman Paul Wessel and candidates Shawn Winston and Mike Deising. Thursday’s forum was moderated by WPHM General Manager Scott Shigley. City residents will go to the polls to select a new mayor and council on Tuesday November 5th.

Full audio of the exchange between candidates during the Marysville City Council Forum: