Mayor Stephanson took office on Nov. 19, 2003; as of fall 2015, Stephanson is Everett's longest-serving mayor.
As mayor of the largest city in Snohomish County, Stephanson has focused on public safety and health, economic and downtown development, budget and finance, quality of life issues and creating additional access to higher education opportunities.
Stephanson, a former president of the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC), currently serves on the executive board of the PSRC and Prosperity Partnership, and the board of Economic Alliance Snohomish County. He chaired Governor Inslee’s 777X Permit Streamlining Task Force and previously served former Governor Christine Gregoire on her higher education funding task force.
As mayor, Stephanson secured authorization from the legislature to bring Washington State University into Everett to lead University Center to expand higher education opportunities. In 2016, he realized his goal to expand WSU to a full-branch campus to provide employers with a ready pool of educated employees.
In 2014, Stephanson convened the Community Streets Initiative task force to develop strategies to address street-level social issues such as homelessness, addiction and mental illness. His comprehensive Safe Streets plan includes a focus on creating more housing opportunities, particularly supportive housing for the chronically homeless. The mayor has encouraged partnerships with various agencies to increase access to affordable housing and other critical services.
Before serving as mayor, Stephanson worked as a director for Verizon Communications where he led a start-up venture to provide buried service wire placement and utility locating services in numerous states across the country.
During his more than 30 years of corporate business experience at GTE and Verizon Communications, Stephanson also served as general manager of customer service operations for Washington State and as a division manager directing telecommunications operations in a four-state area.
From 1982 to 1988, the Everett native served as an Everett City Council member, and was chosen to be council president/mayor pro tem two of those years. While on the City Council, Stephanson served as budget chairman and supported a progressive $30 million capital program for city projects that included an expansion of the library and improvements to city parks. In the mid 1990s, Stephanson served in City Administration as the Executive Director of Economic Development.
Stephanson is a proud veteran of the U.S. Army. He and his wife Victoria have been married for more than 45 years. They have three children and two grandchildren.