Council covers limited agenda Tuesday, holds second Strategic Plan retreat

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By Harry Gatjens

The Edmonds City Council met Tuesday night for the second time in two days. As such, councilmembers had a limited agenda, with only two public items.

First was a report on the Regional Fire Authority project. Progress is still underway, although weather issues caused the cancellation of subcommittee meetings in January. This will be a long-term project, which is still in the discovery phase, particularly in the areas of finance and level of service. The public is invited to review the project’s website here for more detail.

The bulk of the evening was taken up with retreat number two on the Strategic Plan. In attendance were the Council, Mayor, Planning Board and members of the Economic Development Commission.

Tom Beckwith of Beckwith Consulting Group, the City’s consultant, presented results of Beckwith’s studies to date. He was helped by comments from his associates, Eric Hovee and Steve Price.

The results so far consisted of analysis of Census data, comparing Edmonds to the United States, the State of Washington, the Puget Sound Region and Snohomish County on a number of issues. Age distribution, housing options, income and spending patterns were among the items. It was a long presentation, with over 40 pages of PowerPoint graphs and analysis.

The results were somewhat intuitive if one were to think about Edmonds. Average age was higher than the other areas, home values were higher, and there were more single-family residences and more longer-term residents. An interesting view was on Edmonds’ economic spending. In all cases except automobile sales, Edmonds residents spent outside Edmonds than outsiders spent in Edmonds. The net result being that money flows out of Edmonds rather than in.

A complete view of the PowerPoint presentation is available here.

Further meetings are being held with Edmonds residents, businesses and civic groups to gather information on their perceptions of Edmonds’ future. Several of the meetings were scheduled for last week and had to be rescheduled for next week due to the weather.

Also included in the presentation were results to date of surveys completed by individuals about their satisfaction with Edmonds services and features. People are still encouraged to take the survey, which is available here. If someone doesn’t have online access, they can fill out the survey at the Edmonds Library. Or call the City at 425-775-2525 to have a hard copy sent by mail.

Edmonds resident “Citizen Harry” Gatjens provides regular reports to My Edmonds News on the workings of the Edmonds city government.

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Harry, back in ’04, the city had Berk & Associates conduct a study of Hwy 99 development and enhancements ideas that would add revenue to City coffers. The study was submitted to our Hwy 99 Economic Development Task Force (still operating) and it provided an estimate of how much money leaves Edmonds annually. The estimate was for Edmonds and MLT together and was about $500 million. We assume that Edmonds has a greater portion of the amount, and we can say ‘plus or minus’ several million. The point is simply that consumer money in Edmonds leaves town regularly and in large amounts. The Task Force continues to plan for development and enhancements, recruits businesses to the Hwy and the like. The study is clear also that even a increment of change, to keep money in town, will make a difference for Edmonds.

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