Edmonds City Councilmember Steve Bernheim said Thursday he is not running for re-election to his council seat and will retire after one term.
“I am pleased to announce that I will not be a candidate for re-election to Edmonds City Council Position 6,” Bernheim wrote in an email to My Edmonds News. “I leave to others the challenge of getting us to a better position four years from now.”
Bernheim said he was proud of the council’s many accomplishments during his time in office, including the creation of a Transportation Benefit District, the rezone of Firdale Village to attract new development and the repeal of bans on wall murals and outdoor dining.
An attorney who is known for his commitment to environmental issues, Bernheim also cited the passage of several sustainability measures, including the legalization of hens as household pet, creation of a Tree Board, increasing penalties for illegal tree cutting, and banning disposable plastic bags.
“This is not a list of everything I wanted to accomplish or thought I would accomplish,” Bernheim said. “But it’s why I say Edmonds is a better place today than it was four years ago when I first decided to run for office.”
So far, only one candidate has declared for Bernheim’s seat — retired carpenter Paul Anderson.
Here is the complete text of Bernheim’s email:
To the voters of Edmonds, I give my thanks for their votes, confidence and encouragement over the past three and a half years. Since I joined the Council, the mayor quit, two (or was it three?) finance directors left, the city attorney was replaced, and three City Council members resigned or passed away.
Since I joined the Council, in spite of all that, we’ve improved government by eliminating city-paid health insurance for family members of the City Council; adopting a local Disaster Plan; creating the productive Economic Development Commission; and adopting a protocol for notice from the city clerk for the effective dates of new ordinances (so the ones we pass don’t get lost).
We’ve raised needed money to pay for the increasing costs of society, including creating the Transportation Benefit District to raise $25 a year for each car for transportation improvements; finally repealing the mayor’s salary increase; and raising utility taxes, and stormwater and water rates to pay for necessary maintenance and improvements.
We’ve protected residents and enhanced neighborhoods by reforming planning laws to expand buffers around new developments, increasing City Council review of development decisions, rezoning Firdale Village to attract new development, preserving the 215th St. SW neighborhood with a unique “downzone,” and repealing the bans on wall murals and outdoor dining.
We’ve improved our environment by legalizing hens as household pets, creating a Tree Board, adopting “sustainability” as an express value in our planning laws, increasing penalties for illegal tree cutting, expanding the number of parks where dog walking is allowed, banning disposable plastic bags, and allowing a zoning exception for the rainwater collection tank to help PCC build a top-rated energy efficient supermarket.
We’ve added twelve sites to the Edmonds Historic Register and limited individual contributions to local City Council and Mayor election campaigns to $500.
This is not a list of everything I wanted to accomplish or thought I would accomplish. But it’s why I say Edmonds is a better place today than it was four years ago when I first decided to run for office.
I am pleased to announce that I will not be a candidate for re-election to Edmonds City Council Position 6. I leave to others the challenge of getting us to a better position four years from now.