We’re putting the finishing touches on the (long!) list of important stories of 2011 and will publish those Sunday. For now, we’d like to share the Top 10 stories that received the most comments during the past year, with links, in case you want to review what inspired people to chime in on issues of importance to Edmonds residents, plus the five most-viewed stories:
Top 10 most-commented stories
1 ) 97 comments
“Dear fellow students, my name is Pascal Cloutier, and I am here to tell you the truth.”
So began the speech of Edmonds-Woodway High School student Pascal Cloutier, candidate for Associated Student Body president, during a broadcast over the high school’s television station, WBN, on Monday. Problem was, the speech he gave wasn’t the same one that had been approved by school administrators. And the contents — a passionate criticism of the current ASB system as ” just puppets of the teachers” — generated some equally passionate responses.
2 ) 71 comments
Citing a desire to get to the bottom of whether former Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson violated city policy when he approved $725,000 in change orders for construction at Haines Wharf Park, the Edmonds City Council Tuesday night voted 6-1 to begin an independent investigation into the matter. In an email following the vote, Haakenson described it as a political move during a contentious election year. Haakenson is openly backing candidates running against some of the current councilmembers (four are up for election this November) and is also supporting mayoral challenger Dave Earling’s bid to unseat incumbent Mayor Mike Cooper.
3 ) 64 comments
Mayor Mike Cooper’s statement: ‘I did what was in best interest of city based on legal advice received’
Much has been swirling around Tuesday night’s Edmonds City Council resolution that voided two “purported separation agreements” that Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper made with his former executive assistant, Kim Cole, who resigned Sept. 22. We asked Cooper via email for a statement regarding the situation; in particular regarding the language that he had no authority to enter into such agreements notwithstanding initial advice to the contrary.
4 ) 50 comments — although mostly off-topic as a discussion of city financials, etc.
It was a busy and productive evening for the Edmonds City Council Tuesday night as the council approved a “Complete Streets” ordinance to encourage pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly street planning and development, agreed to smaller street setbacks for the Westgate commercial area, forwarded to the planning board a draft plan for future Westgate and Five Corners development, and approved a rezone of land along Edmonds Way from single-family to multi-family residential.
5 ) 48 comments
Despite Councilmember Steve Bernheim’s claims that former Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson ”bullied and intimidated” Edmonds City Councilmembers, didn’t answer Councilmembers’ questions about city finances and wasn’t transparent about cost overruns at Haines Wharf Park, the Council at its Tuesday night meeting chose not to take any action against the former mayor.
6 ) 43 comments
Edmonds City Councilmember Steve Bernheim, who is supporting Joan Bloom for City Council, sent a photo of volunteers recycling Bernheim’s campaign signs (he’s not running for re-election) for Bloom’s campaign. “We are painting out Steve’s name, and stenciling or hand-painting, whichever works best, my name in,” Bloom said. “That is being done next Tuesday.” A sign decorating/fundraising party will follow on Friday, Aug. 26 from 5-8 p.m. at ArtWorks. “We’ll decorate the signs with flowers, to match Bloom,” she said.
7 ) 41 comments
By Ken Reidy
The City of Edmonds’ organizational chart clearly establishes that the Mayor, Municipal Court and City Council report directly to the citizens of Edmonds. This is a very important concept to fully comprehend. I believe it critical to the proper execution of our representative democracy, known as a republic.
8 ) 40 comments
I am appalled at the actions of five of our City Councilmembers. Last week, one or more city councilmembers broke the law by releasing confidential material to the Beacon. Ignoring this crime, this week five of them instead voted to censure DJ Wilson by passing around a resolution at 11:00 at night!
9 ) 39 comments
Last night, an irresponsible Council took an amazingly irresponsible action. By introducing a motion of censure, at 11:00 pm, and without having put the item on the agenda for public notice, they put bad politics over good government. With the election one week away, the motion came from a co-chair of my opponent’s campaign. It was made up of facts that were inaccurate or facts that were irrelevant.
10 ) 29 comments
More than one political candidate has accused the Edmonds City Council and mayor in recent weeks of engaging in too much drama, and Tuesday night’s meeting didn’t disappoint — as the council voted following a lengthy executive session to censure Councilmember DJ Wilson for his role in trying to arrange a settlement for Mayor Mike Cooper’s executive assistant, Kim Cole.
Top 5 most-viewed stories
1 Edmonds City Council votes to censure DJ Wilson for role in Kim Cole settlement attempt November 2011
2 E-W student suspended after he gives unapproved campaign speech February 2011
3 Couple combines passion for ocean, each other in unique Edmonds wedding November 2011
4 Owner of Edmonds Java Juggs charged with lewd behavior August 2011
5 Edmonds man escapes tsunami that devastates Japanese city March 2011