Edmonds City Council to consider adding resident-only requirement for Economic Development Commission

Michael Plunkett

Michael Plunkett

The Edmonds City Council Tuesday night will consider an ordinance that appears to effectively prevent former Edmonds City Councilmember Michael Plunkett from serving on the Edmonds Citizens Economic Development Commission (EDC).

The proposed amendment to the Edmonds City Code, which is being introduced by Councilmember Strom Peterson, states that the 2009 ordinance that created the EDC “indicates a legislative intent” that members be Edmonds residents and that a residency requirement “serves the public interest.” The ordinance also states that if a commission member “fails to maintain his/her eligibility either through an amendment of the eligibility criteria or due to a chance of circumstances surrounding the commission (e.g. change of residency) after his/her appointment, that commissioner shall lose his/her seat.”

If approved, it appears the amended ordinance would make Plunkett ineligible to serve.

Edmonds City Councilmember Lora Petso came under fire at the May 6 council meeting for appointing Plunkett – a three-term Edmonds councilmember who moved to Seattle after resigning in June 2012 — to a vacancy on the commission. Each city councilmember gets to appoint two people to the 17-member EDC, and Petso’s was filling a vacancy left by the resignation of a previous appointee, Commissioner Evelyn Wellington. Unlike appointments to some of the city’s boards and commissions, individual councilmembers’ EDC appointments do not have to be reviewed and/or approved by the full council.

Also included on the Tuesday council agenda:
-Authorization for mayor to sign Solarize Edmonds Project Memorandum of Understanding

-A resolution supporting the naming of the area outside the Public Safety Complex as Veteran’s Plaza, which will occur — along with a special ceremony — on Memorial Day, next Monday, May 26  at 1 p.m.

-Report on final construction costs for the Main Street Lighting and Sidewalk Enhancements Project and acceptance of project.

-Authorization for mayor to sign a Professional Services Agreement with KPG, P.S. for design of walkway improvements to 238th Street Southwest from 100th Avenue West to 104th Avenue West.

-Report on bids opened May 8, 2014 for the Annual Sewer Replacement Project (Phase 2) and award of contract to Shoreline Construction in the amount of $1,778,836.26.

-Continued discussion regarding cost to have the minutes of the Public Safety/Personnel and Parks, Planning, and Public Works taped and transcribed.

The council meeting will begin at 6 p.m. for an executive session regarding property acquisition, followed by the regular meeting at 7 p.m. Councilmembers are also scheduled to convene following the regular meeting in executive session regarding pending or potential litigation.

The meeting will be in the Council Chambers, Public Safety Complex, 250 5th Ave. N., Edmonds. You can see the complete agenda here.

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1 Comment

  1. First a disclosure, I have been a member of the Citizens Ecmonomic Development Commission since its founding, but the comments below are my own and not of the CEDC.

    Citizen input is one of the cornerstones to of good government. Edmonds is blessed with one of the most engaged groups of citizens in all of Washington. The role of boards, commissions, and committees is to organize citizen input in a way to help the administration and council make more informed decisions. The Citizens Economic Development Commission is a great example of how a commission is working on the tasks as assigned by council. It origin is an outgrowth the 60 member Levy committee several years ago that looked at the budget and found that the budget was not sustainable. Council chose to create the CEDC to find ways to add revenues to the city through any and all forms of economic development.

    Looking at the city web site you will find all of the current work produced by the commission that represent around 8000 hours of volunteer labor to help the city with this task. Here is the link:

    http://www.edmondswa.gov/government/boards-and-commissions/economic-development.html

    There is a clear statement of work. Posting of all agenda and posting of all minutes along with work papers, studies, and presentations to council. It is a model of how a board or commission should maintain open and transparent government.

    The CEDC uses the old 3 minute public comment method of allowing input. Some members of the community may not have time to serve but have ideas to share that support the goals of the CEDC.

    HERE IS AN IDEA. DEVELOP A PROCESS FOR ANYONE, VOTER, TAXPAYER, LANDOWNER, BUSINESS OWNER, STUDENT, NEIGHBOR, (WOODWAY, ESPERANCE) TO SUBMIT ANYTHING IS WRITING TO THESE BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS AND ALLOW THAT TO BE PART OF THE PUBLIC RECORD. AND YOU COULD GIVE THE PUBLIC THE ASSURANCE THAT THEIR INPUT WOULD BE REVIEWED BY THE GROUP.

    We have new and powerful ways to build 2 way commutations with the public. We even have the capability to create a blog for all commission. Let’s be creative and do some experimenting. This would give anyone the ability to input ideas and thoughts to the CEDC.

    The issue of raising revenues without raising taxes is not a simple task and we can use any and all good ideas to accomplish that goal.

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