Fireworks in more ways than one at Edmonds Council meeting Tuesday

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With two councilmembers absent and a light agenda, the Edmonds City Council finished its business in one hour and 15 minutes Tuesday night. But two issues stood out from the meeting, during which councilmembers renewed a couple of interim city ordinances and amended its Community Development Code to adopt updated International Building Codes.

– Ron Clyborne of the Greater Edmonds Chamber of Commerce provided an update on the Chamber’s plans for the annual Fourth of July celebration, which includes separate parades for children and adults and an evening fireworks show. He requested donations from citizens to help offset the significant expense of putting on the event, which draws thousands of people to Edmonds each year. Since both the cities of Mountlake Terrace and Lynnwood have canceled their Fourth of July festivities this year, the Edmonds celebration is likely to be much larger, Clyborne added. Donations can be made by calling the Chamber at 425-670-1496 or via the Edmonds Chamber website using the “pay now” button.

– With Councilmembers Steve Bernheim and D.J. Wilson absent Tuesday night, the temporarily smaller council appeared to reverse course on its support for a $15,000 contract with Climate Solutions, a Northwest environmental nonprofit group. The council had voted 4-1 to approve the contract on May 18, during which time Councilmember Michael Plunkett was opposed and Diane Buckshnis and Dave Orvis were absent. The measure reappeared on Tuesday’s agenda for the stated purpose of identifying the correct city council budget for funding the approved contract, but instead it turned into a debate on whether the city should enter into the contract after all.

Both Buckshnis and Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas indicated that they had been approached by several citizens recently, asking if the timing was right to spend the $15,000, given the city’s budget problems. That discussion angered Councilmember Strom Peterson, who noted that councilmembers should have raised those concerns at the time the measure was originally considered two weeks ago — and that a few comments by citizens shouldn’t warrant changing their position. “I don’t think that’s a great way to govern,” Peterson said. However, Fraley-Monillas said she saw no problem “in sitting back and seeing what our budget looks like” before revisiting the Climate Solutions contract.

Mayor Haakenson indicated he was uncertain whether the city had actually signed the contract, which would have enrolled Edmonds in the New Energy Cities program aimed at helping the city address environmental issues including energy efficiency, clean energy financing, distributed renewable technologies, smart grids, and electric cars. However, the Council voted 3-1  (Peterson opposed) to approve a motion directing Haakenson to not execute the contract if it had not already been signed.

2 COMMENTS

  1. While I was opposed to the Climate Solutions contract in the first place, once our elected decided to go through with it, I feel they have an obligation to do so. Not try and find a backdoor way out of it after they get citizen input. Maybe we should try and get the input BEFORE we make these decisions

    The Council has once again proven to be out of touch with the citizenry. But, as always they compound this by figuring it out AFTER they have made a commitment on the City’s behalf. no concept.

    I was opposed to the contract with Climate Solutions, not because of whether or not their work would be good, but because of the City’s current economic situation. It appears that certain council members didn’t give that much thought and so they approved the contract.

    Now after hearing from angry citizens who did think about the economics, council member Fraley-Monillas all of a sudden wants to take the opportunity of correcting the fund the money is taken from, to instead use it as a way to change her vote and be against the contract.

    The councilwoman always professes to want the input of citizens in her decisions, yeti n this case, as in the Skippers purchase, she never thinks to get their input until after she has committed the City to a contrary action.

    We deserve better government than this. Let’s think about actions before we do them. It makes the City look inept and unreliable to outsiders when you can’t count on it to come through with what the council says it will do.

    Ms. Fraley-Monillas is not the only council member that seems to act without giving proper consideration and then tries to backpedal. She is just the most glaring example. Everyone on the council should take a good look at themselves and see what they can do to act in a more thorough and professional manner.

    As it is, the council, their meetings, their actions and backtracking are not the quality of government we deserve. They hurt the City’s reputation.

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