Tonight: Edmonds Council to pick a mayor, hold hearings on city manager

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The Edmonds City Council meeting is the place to be tonight starting at 7 p.m., when the council holds public hearings on proposals to place before voters a switch from a mayor-led to a city manager-led form of government and to ban take-out Styrofoam containers, and then chooses a mayor from among eight applicants interviewed last week.

The meeting will be at the Council Chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N.

13 COMMENTS

  1. If the City Manager does get on the ballot, and it passes, what will the cost to change to that form of governament be? It seems that all the ordinances are written for the Mayor form of government, and would have to be re-written, the duties and responsibilities of the City Manager would have to be defined and codified. It seems there will be a lot of legal costs associated with such a change. Anyone know how much money that might be?

  2. If the citizens are permitted to make this major decision, it will probably pass. And this in turn will influence an improved chance for a needed levy.

    Some folks never accepted automobiles and clung to their horses. Nowadays some refuse to adapt to computers. And some prefer the outdated and fast diminishing Mayor/Council system.

    Our Council faces a test tonight. Let’s see how they do.

  3. The cost huh? Wow! And just how well hass the current Mayor/Council system worked? Its time to cut our losses and get our city’s finances back into the black. Vote for council/manager!!!

  4. If an informed electorate votes for it, fine. But to be informed, they (we) should know the fiscal impact of such a change. An estimate of the costs to change the codes/laws to conform to a new system, the legal costs to determine and define the duties of the City Manager, the proposed salary and benefits package, ect. I am all for the city finances being in the black, but this change will cost money. The question is how much. Without knowing the cost, it is not possible to make a truly informed decision.

  5. Balancing the concerns and positions of Ray M. and Diane T., the shift to C/M will cost, based purely on back-of-the envelope estimates, approx. $100k to implement. Assuming only a small rise in salaries and expenses, the City Manager has good odds of paying for the ongoing cost increases through increased efficiencies. I think that’s Ray’s point.

    I disagree with Ray on the depth of the savings that we’re likely to see. But I am hopeful that, with either a new Mayor, or a C/M arrangement, that we continue to strive to operate as efficiently as possible.

    That’s why the Planning Board is working with the City to establish metrics regarding City operations – so that we can see where we’re performing, and where we fall short. This will enable more robust support for major program decisions, regardless the name or title of the executive.

    But the City budget is only a small concern. Economics for the city at large are of far greater consequence, and, in my humble opinion, should take priority on the agenda.

  6. But is the form of our governance the ‘why?’ for our financial problems? No one has proven so yet. Where is the list of ineffciencies, the professional findings of financial mismangement, the analysis and data which shows an improvement will come once this model is adopted. The many opinions proposing this change are just that – opinion. The President and congress routinely haggle and I don’t hear the patriots’ call to arms and change. Regardless of our form of governance, two problems remain 1) Edmonds is a bedroom commnunity lacking any substantive economic base; and, 2) ‘it’s the economy’ which has changed and is being reshaped for decades to come.

  7. @Jim – hit the nail on the head. That’s the WHY behind my push to get solid metrics to measure the effectiveness of City operations. This is precisely the kind of information decision makers need. It’s not perfect information, but it’s better than shooting from the hip, and making arguments based solely on comparisons to other communities of similar size, etc…

    Saying simply, “let the voters decide”, dodges the WHY question completely, and broadly paints all opposition as being somehow against the voters. Methinks that campaign isn’t going so well.

  8. (post meeting comment )
    That was the best Council meeting I have yet attended. Some civil and necessary debate over points of order at the beginning of the meeting, then a series of discussions on topics of consequence.

    Good job, Council! Keep it up! And, best of all… we’re getting a Film Festival!

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