By the Communications Subcommittee of the Citizens Economic Development Commission:
M. Zagorski, D. Haug, B. O’Rourke, R. Senderoff
Two and a half years ago, the City Council created the Citizens Economic Development Commission (CEDC) with a sunset date of Dec. 31, 2010. Having found the work of the CEDC useful but unfinished, the council extended its life for another year. At the end of 2011, finding itself with inadequate time to consider whether to end or continue the commission, the council voted to extend its life for another 90 days. Now the council will again consider whether to extend the operations of this volunteer citizen group — for one more year or several years — or whether to let it expire.
As we review the CEDC’s accomplishments, we note that we worked with the city to assure a high level of citizen involvement in planning for the future of Five Corners and Westgate. We recommended, and the City Council approved, development of a citywide strategic plan and participated in the selection of the firm that is providing professional planning assistance. We worked with the city to develop and expand the sale of the city’s excess fiber optic capacity at a price that benefits both local business and the city’s coffers. Finally, we are working on several fronts to identify opportunities to increase tourism, and much remains to be done in this area. We think these are significant accomplishments for a volunteer citizens group that operates at no cost to the city other than providing a room for monthly meetings.
If the CEDC’s life is extended, we see the work for the coming year(s) might include keeping the citizenry informed about the progress of the strategic planning process and opportunities for giving input, participating along with the council and the Edmonds Planning Board in oversight of the process, working on challenges to increase tourism to our fair city in many areas, continuing to work on sales of the city’s excess fiber optic capacity, and more. Certainly the tremendous need to improve the city’s economic well-being continues to be of paramount importance.
We are interested in knowing what the Edmonds public thinks about the future of this commission. Should it sunset or continue and why? Are there other possibilities for raising city revenues that the commission should explore in the coming year? Should there be changes made to the way commissioners are selected or operate? What do you think? Please let us know. Stephen Clifton, the city’s director for economic development, has offered to receive your input by phone or email if you wish to give it directly. He can be reached at Clifton@ci.edmonds.wa.us.