Reminder: Mayor’s town hall meeting June 12 in Perrinville


Mayor Dave Earling

In an effort to increase communication between the City and Edmonds residents, Mayor Dave Earling has scheduled the first in a series of town hall meetings he plans to host throughout Edmonds. First up – Perrinville, scheduled for Thursday, June 12th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Corner Coffee Bar & Café located at 18401 76th Ave. W., Edmonds.

During his “State of the City” address earlier this year, Earling discussed the need for better, more open communication and his plans to publish bi-weekly articles in the local media and hold quarterly town hall meetings. Other plans include experimentation with Facebook, YouTube, and Google Plus, and are scheduled to launch over the coming weeks.

To date, there have been 10 articles written about varying topics and by various individuals, including Earling, the Port, Swedish, and city directors, all of which have been published in My Edmonds News.

The Perrinville Town Hall will be the first of three town hall meetings, aimed at providing the community with an overview of the city, information on current issues relating to the specific area they live in, and an opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback.

The Mayor and city directors will attend and will provide brief presentations.

Two more meetings will be scheduled for later in the year at other locations throughout town, focusing on issues related to those areas.

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  1. Does anybody know why members of the City Council are not mentioned as attending tonight’s town hall meeting?

    Per the Edmonds Strategic Action Plan, Action 5b.1 (70): Public Access, the City Council is to be the Lead Agent.

    Lead Agents are assumed to be the primary implementing party or parties. In some instances the Lead Agent may be the authorizing or approving Agent – as in City Council. Did the City Council authorize Mayor Earling to conduct this town hall meeting without any City Council members attending?

    The strategic objective is to: Conduct frequent town halls, public open houses, and other events at locations throughout the city to improve public access and facilitate dialogue on policies, programs, projects, and budgets.

    This is supposed to be done on an on-going basis and I am puzzled as to why City Council members are not mentioned as attending tonight’s town hall meeting. Does anybody know why?

  2. Ask members of council these questions and tell us what they say

  3. Just emailed Council – will try to report back if any responses are received.

  4. As someone who has held a number of town meetings in the past, it is the Mayor’s town meeting and I plan on attending. I have said to other Council Members that they can also hold their own town meetings as well. I find that since I walk my dog a lot through Edmonds, shop in many Edmonds stores and frequent many of the “local haunts” in Edmonds that people are not afraid to come up to me, call me or email me concerning their issues. When I held my town hall meetings, what I found was the same folks showed up at every meeting, so I will be interested to see who attends tonight and the gist of the conversations.

  5. It is ridiculous to believe that our government (that works for US) expects us to attend SEPARATE “town meetings” for EACH member of our government. THIS is ridiculous and WHO would go to this many meetings to have questions answered by our government or who would have the available time…….It doesn’t even make sense. And the Mayor’ s “staff” is more important than the City Council?……The City Council and the Mayor run this government, not the “staff”.

    This is a Mayor/Council town, with neither entity of this government ABOVE the others and certain people in our government need to stop pushing this. It is absolutely WRONG!

    THIS is where the problem is with our government……..This town is NOT RULED by the Mayor! and whoever……..It is a Mayor/Council town and our questions should be presented to the Council and the Mayor……..

    “hold their own town meetings”……..are you kidding?!

  6. Tere – town hall meetings are just that – town hall meetings. It is a way to reach out to the public while not on camera and not having to document via minutes that would required by the open public meeting act. I have stated to Council Members who seem interested that they can hold their own town hall meetings. Like I said earlier, I held four of them a few years ago and Adrienne was the only Council Member that was interested in joining me in these get-togethers.

    If we were to hold a “joint Mayor/Council” town hall meeting, we would have to “notice it” and have a minute taker and basically have a work session.

    Many different politicians hold town hall and many of our former Mayors held many as well – and it is merely a way of reaching out off camera and in a non-threatening environment. I receive phone calls all the time from our state representatives to join in a phone town hall meeting and it is only one representative.

  7. I believe the past Town Hall meetings were all held before the Strategic Plan was adopted on April 2, 2013. As of April 2, 2013, we now have a Strategic Plan that serves as a community’s roadmap and is used to prioritize initiatives, resources, goals, and department operations and projects. I don’t see where that roadmap promotes Mayor only Town Hall Meetings. I believe that roadmap clearly calls for the City Council to be the lead agent related to conducting frequent Town Hall meetings.

    Maybe I am not grasping exactly what a Strategic Plan is. I need to study this more.

  8. The whole idea behind the open public meeting act is to have TRANSPARENCY in our government. Why not have at least a couple town meetings a year that include our FULL GOVERNMENT to answer questions from the citizens in PUBLIC. I’m sure many citizens would gladly pay for someone to take minutes and document the public meeting. The Mayor and Council answering questions from the public in an OPEN, PUBLIC environment allows for transparency in our government and documentation.

    Here is some of the INTENT of the public act:

    Legislative declaration.

    The legislature finds and declares that all public commissions, boards, councils, committees, subcommittees, departments, divisions, offices, and all other public agencies of this state and subdivisions thereof exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of this chapter that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

    The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.

    [1971 ex.s. c 250 § 1.]

    Meetings declared open and public.

    All meetings of the governing body of a public agency shall be open and public and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the governing body of a public agency, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.

    [1971 ex.s. c 250 § 3.]

    An important intent of the act, “The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know”

    The open public meeting act is about honesty, integrity and transparency in our government……

    I’m not sure I get why you would think the citizens of this city asking questions in an open public forum would bee “threatening”……Is there a reason for that comment?….”and in a non threatening environment”…….I’m assuming you find the Council meetings threatening when questions are asked or comments are made…..

    I have sat through a number of them, and not felt that any of our government members were threatened by citizens in the room……

    • A review of the history of elected officials meeting with the public might be helpful.

      Most citizens are probably aware that city council does not meet when 5th Tuesdays occur. With a goal of wanting to communicate better with citizens throughout the city, in 2004/2005 council held town hall meetings on those Tuesdays in a variety of locations. Those meetings did not enjoy a great deal of success – the turnout of the local people was poor and the majority of those that showed up were the few that regularly attended all council meetings. So that practice was scrapped. The next effort at improved communications was the Mayor periodically holding meetings around the city; the experience with those meetings was identical to what happened with the 5th Tuesday meetings. Back in 2010, Councilmembers Buckshnis and Fraley-Monillas, and perhaps others, held a number of town hall type meetings. I think that the turnout for those meetings was also less than hoped for.

      The meeting scheduled for tonight is, I believe, unique. I’m not aware of any meeting, not addressing a specific subject, in the past 10 years held by the Mayor with department heads in attendance. This should be a very good opportunity for citizens to get some of their questions and concerns addressed.

      I believe that the following suggestion from Tere Ryder is a good one; no doubt our elected officials will consider implementing it.
      “Why not have at least a couple town meetings a year that include our FULL GOVERNMENT to answer questions from the citizens in PUBLIC. I’m sure many citizens would gladly pay for someone to take minutes and document the public meeting. The Mayor and Council answering questions from the public in an OPEN, PUBLIC environment allows for transparency in our government and documentation.”

  9. I would hope that the City of Edmonds having two elderly people within a couple months of each other dead on our streets is addressed fully. I don’t know of anybody around town that hasn’t been affected by these deaths.

    Thank you, Mr. Wambolt…….Open Public Meetings for the whole town with the whole government, documented……Questions answered, ideas, etc.

    I can guarantee these meetings will not have just a few of the public in attendance……It’s what makes a democracy work……

    • Tere:
      Do not rely on your suggestion being considered as result of your posting here. I recommend that you email it to the Mayor as well as to each councilmember.

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