City Council gets first look at Westgate plan, OKs new Economic Development Director, extends deadline for salary report

Patrick Doherty was confirmed as the City's new Economic Development/Community Services Director Tuesday night.

Patrick Doherty was confirmed as the City of Edmonds’ new Economic Development/Community Services Director Tuesday night.

Updated July 27 with a link to ReVISIONING Westgate Report.

The Edmonds City Council got its first look Tuesday night at a proposed development plan for the Westgate neighborhood, which reflects two years of work by the Edmonds Planning Board and three public hearings, following initial data collection, citizen surveys and meetings, and reports initiated by University of Washington undergraduate and graduate planning and architecture students.

The public will have a chance to offer its thoughts about Westgate during a public hearing on Monday, Aug. 4, although Council President Diane Buckshnis emphasized Tuesday night that no action would be taken right way, given the complex nature of the proposal before them.

The council also made two other notable decisions Tuesday: confirming by a 4-3 vote Mayor Dave Earling’s appointment of former City of Federal Way Economic Development/Community Services Director Patrick Doherty to the same job in Edmonds, and agreeing to extend the deadline — from Aug. 1 to Sept. 18 — for the Citizens Commission on Compensation of Elected Officials to complete its work. The latter follows a flurry of councilmembers’ questions about the commission’s initial recommendations, which included a $500-per-month raise for the mayor and no increase in councilmember compensation.

Regarding Westgate, City Planning Manager Rob Chave provided a detailed explanation of both the project’s history and the Planning Board’s work on the issue since 2012, when the University of Washington Green Futures Lab made its initial recommendations. Citizens who provided feedback during the survey phased expressed a desire for more public spaces and improved walkability in the area, which is now a collection of strip malls dominated by the busy intersection of Highway 104 and 100th Avenue West.

Here are the main changes the Planning Board has made after thorough study:

1- While the original UW plan called for a focus on form-based code –in which form and mass of buildings are regulated in relationship to one another and to the streets and blocks they are on — the Planning Board modified this vision so that it is more of “a hybrid approach” that includes both form-based and traditional zoning. You can view an illustrated example of how form-based codes compare to traditional zoning here.

From the report:

The overall plan provides for opportunities while not mandating that new development conform rigidly to certain minimum building heights or requiring buildings be pushed up to sidewalk lines. Nonetheless, open space and amenity space is still required, as well as pedestrian and non-motorized circulation within each of the four quadrants of the Westgate commercial area. The general emphasis of the plan has changed from buildings organized around the SR-104/100th Ave W intersection to a quadrant-based system which focuses on creating circulation, buildings and spaces within each of the four quadrants formed by the intersection.

– The initial UW report called for development of up to five stories, but following Planning Board revisions the buildings are now capped in most places at three stories. Four-story buildings are allowed only where the nearby slopes are higher, or where no residences are nearby, Chave explained. In some locations with no adjacent slopes, heights are limited to two stories.

– Street setbacks have been increased from the original 8 feet to 12 feet so that streets are wider and to allow turn pockets for traffic access if they are needed.

–  The intersection of SR-104 and 100th Ave W has a significant step-back requirement radiating from the intersection, to assure that a sense of place is provided at this key intersection.

– Design standards now include a map indicating “Westgate Protected Slopes” to ensure preservation of vegetation that would help buffer the commercial area from the surrounding residential area.

Citizens who want to learn more about the Westgate project can find extensive documentation including maps, memos and reports as part of the July 22 council agenda here. You can also see Chave’s full presentation here.

While the council discussion on Westgate was minimal, that wasn’t the case regarding the proposal to extend the deadline of the Citizens Compensation Commission to allow for further deliberation. Councilmember Joan Bloom made it clear that she wasn’t happy about receiving the ordinance just prior to Tuesday’s meeting, without time for sufficient council review or citizen input, and she and Councilmember Lora Petso voted against the measure. By extending the deadline, the compensation commission will have time to gather additional information and hold another public hearing on the matter.

Doherty’s appointment also drew “no” votes from Bloom, Petso and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas. Bloom said she was voting against Doherty “because his experience is heavily weighted toward development…rather than economic development.” Bloom said she also would have preferred an economic development director “with experience to lead Edmonds in becoming an events city.”

Doherty fills the vacancy left when long-time Community Services/Economic Development Director Stephen Clifton took a job with Snohomish County. He lives in Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, and is a former manager of the City of Seattle’s Design Review Program.

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30 Comments

  1. Development, Development, Development……only one way……Coming to a town near you…….and possibly from places a world away from Edmonds…….some half way around the globe making $$$$$ off of our small town

    http://www.djc.com/blogs/SeattleScape/2010/03/17/high-rise-living-planned-for-federal-way/

    http://www.djc.com/news/re/12015097

    Interesting Choice for a town with a HISTORY of the citizens saying they want SMALLER buildings. .
    …..I vaguely remember
    someone saying they envision SKYSCRAPERS on our waterfront, well, VOILA

    Gee, I wonder what industry THIS is weighted towards……..One industry………Yes, there are no conflicts of interest!
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    • You shouldn’t remember vaguely at all. This scare tactic gets brought up about as often as road work in Edmonds.

      There are two ways to deal with “development.”

      Acknowledge the fact that it happens. That the washington growth management act mandates that all cities plan for population growth, rather than react to it. That we face the fact that people who own land will be tempted to sell it and make it profit when the opportunity arises. That it should be managed through discussion, code, and rational thinking.

      And perhaps, remember that economic development does not mean building development.

      Or we can scream “development” whenever some vague notion of being dragged into the 2000s occurs and wave the specter of Kirkland around.

      But the fact is hoping to make money by wishing it to happen isn’t a viable solution. The term “head in the sand” comes to mind.

      How about we all have a rational discussion and not just pretend skyscrapers are going to fall from the sky if more than three people get in line to pull a building permit on the 3rd floor.

  2. Rather than relying on the City Council only, Sunset, and other public development areas should be put on the ballot for Advisory Voting by Edmonds voters! It is too late for the 5-Corners Boondoggle…

    It seems that the Edmonds City Council is giving too much “power” and deference to the Project 21 crowd at the University of Washington without detailed consideration of what the Edmonds taxpayers really want!

  3. CCCEO stands for Citizens’ Commission on Compensation of Elected Officials.

    For the most part, the CCCEO is responsible for its own organization, operation, and ACTION, per ECC 10.80.020. The CCCEO did not ACT to establish a quorum to discuss and vote on whether or not they wanted to ask for more time to “fulfill their work”. I imagine they thought their work was fulfilled and finished, which is probably why they filed their compensation schedule for 2015 – 2016 with the City Clerk’s Office on 7/10/14. City Attorney Jeff Taraday stated during the 7/15/2014 City Council meeting that there is no way for the City Council to undo the CCCEO’s work and that there is no action for the City Council to take.

    The CCCEO filed their compensation schedule even though they never had the mandatory 7 members. It was mentioned that the CCCEO failed to vote in a public meeting to approve the compensation schedule and that the Open Public Meetings Act had been violated during the process. The CCCEO’s 6/17/14 meeting only had three members present, which I believe was not even a quorum.

    My opinion is that this process has been a mess.

    I also think that the best use of the citizens of Edmonds’ taxpayer dollars at this point in time would be to just allow the previous schedule, or the substantial equivalent thereof, to remain in effect, per ECC 10.80.050. Why spend any more taxpayer dollars or volunteer hours on this mess? I can’t imagine how much taxpayer money, time and energy has been used up related to this mess just over the past couple of weeks. This is an example of the type of mess that dilutes staff, City Attorney and Council Member’s ability to focus on the rest of their duties.

    On 7/22/14 the City Council voted 5-2 to pass a last second Ordinance that was not included in the Agenda Packet to extend the deadline for the CCCEO to file their compensation schedule, a schedule they already filed on 7/10/14.

    This is a good example of the type of Council conduct that I find hard to understand. Council Member Thomas Mesaros stated during the 7/22/14 City Council meeting that the motion related to the last second Ordinance would allow the CCCEO to fulfill their work.

    How does Council Member Mesaros and the others who voted for this last second Ordinance know that the citizens of Edmonds want this new Ordinance passed and the related taxpayer dollars, staff time and energy spent on this additional effort?

    Even after being told by the City Attorney that they did not have to take this action on 7/22/14 . . . that not doing so would not foreclose them from voting at a future meeting to have the CCCEO do more work related to 2015-2016 compensation, they did so anyway.

    I believe the City Council should have had a public hearing before passing this new Ordinance even though the law did not require such. The Council President and full Council knew that this was a very controversial subject and citizen comments would have been very helpful in the development of proper PUBLIC POLICY. I am disappointed in the 5 members of the Council that did not provide the public an opportunity to provide feedback before they voted to pass new Ordinance No. 3974, an Ordinance whose effective date is still not indicated on the City’s website.

  4. I respect the PUBLIC POLICY that was in place at the start of the year (except for the elements that were inconsistent with State law), but I believe this situation is now substantively different. Now, there will be even more taxpayer money spent, more staff time, City Attorney time, City Council time and volunteer hours worked to adjust elected officials pay for just a 2 year time period. I imagine that the costs have already been far higher than ever imagined when this was thought of and set up.

    What are these compensation changes going to cost now when you add in the cost of all the extra work done plus that that yet to be done, including the recruitment of new commissioners? I just think there are solid reasons to stop spending time and money now and try to get it right in 2 years.

  5. Ken I agree with you. Are there other ways to do this. Do all cities use this method.

  6. Hi Don,

    Good questions. I think the old basic rule was per the State Constitution. Article 11, section 8 of the state constitution prohibits the increase or decrease of an elected official’s salary after his or her election or during his or her term of office; this prohibition, however, applies only to officials who set their own salary, such as city and county councilmembers and county commissioners. See Const. art XXX, § 1. Consequently, any increase or decrease in the salaries of those elected officials who set their own compensation may not take effect until their next term of office.

    However, legislation (HB 1084) adopted in 2001 authorized the setting of elected officials’ salaries by a local salary commission. I believe this can be done during terms of office. I’m pretty sure this is optional and I have no idea how many cities employ a local salary commission.

    More info from MRSC:

    House Bill 1084 authorizes cities and counties to establish salary commissions to set the salaries of elected city officials and county commissioners and councilmembers.

    Cities and Towns

    RCW 35.21.015 provides that salary commissions for elected officials of cities and towns may be established, by ordinance, with the members to be appointed by the mayor. The commission members may serve only two terms and may not include any city official or employee or any member of their immediate families. The legislation does not dictate the number of commissioners.

  7. Thanks Ken no simple answer

  8. “may not include any city official or employee”………..At the website for the City of Edmonds there is an area for the CCCEO members names listed and I believe a city staff person listed (human resources I think). As this person is a city employee and works for/under the Mayor, I would think they would not be able to be involved at all with the CCCEO and the Mayor’s salary raise as that person works under/for the Mayor. How could that person be objective regarding their boss? This would appear to clearly be a conflict of interest. …..along with ANY other city employee considered to be “staff” for the City of Edmonds. It seems odd to me that the Mayor would appoint the very people that would be deciding his/her salary. Well, they could just about pick anybody and that sure could set up some issues. Perhaps something needs to be changed.

  9. The person listed ( who is a City Employee) is not a voting member of the Commission. It appears that person facilitates and coordinates the Commission’s work with the City ( getting them information, presenting questions to the City attorney ect). It is clear from the minutes that is the case.

  10. Tere It would help if you would check your facts first before
    accusing people of any wrong doing

  11. Let’s not let the FACTS get in the way of EMOTIONAL arguments.

  12. Does anybody know why the CCCEO was 25 minutes late starting its April 3, 2014 public hearing?

    One reason I ask is because the following was discussed near the start of the meeting:

    DISCUSSION/CREATION OF COMMISSION GROUND RULES

    Commissioner Hunter explained that, after the last meeting, there had been some discussion about the need to establish ground rules to ensure the group’s compatibility and that the absence of ground rules may have caused a need for ground rules.
    There was some discussion that followed by the Commission, which came up with the following 9 Ground Rules:

    1. Have an agenda.
    2. Stay with agenda.
    3. Try to control input and hold disruptions to a minimum.
    4. Be courteous to each other.
    5. Respect confidentiality.
    6. Always be moving toward the completion of the presentation (ultimate goal).
    7. No one-on-one or side meetings (no side conversations).
    8. Use of majority rule (Chair should have the ability to add an item to the agenda on his/her own).

    I am not sure why ground rule 9 isn’t in the minutes, or if there were only 8 rules.

    Hopefully City Staff will explain why the meeting’s start was delayed in the spirit of Open Government. Did any members of the public leave before the meeting’s delayed start? Had any one-on-one or side meetings taken place before the Ground Rules were adopted?

    Mayor Earling informed Eve Wellington the very next day, April 4th, that she was disqualified from further participation in the compensation commission. There is no discussion whatsoever in the April 3rd CCCEO meeting minutes that her eligibility was an issue. What caused the Mayor to write his letter the next day?

    Wouldn’t the Commission and the City Staff facilitating the Commission’s work with the City have ascertained her eligibility before the Commission appointing her during the March 20, 2014 Meeting?

  13. Ken, I would suggest asking one of the commissioners or the cities laison

  14. I wasn’t accusing anyone of anything.

    I was just pointing out how easily a conflict of interest could come up as an issue, and it is clear there seems to be some issues regarding this whole subject of the Mayor’s raise at this time. …..and any raise for the City Council members

    I would think the committee members would be perfectly capable of asking ANY questions of the city staff or city attorney on their own. If they were not capable of doing that, WHY would they have been chosen for such a huge responsibility?…….. as far as tax payer money goes and HOW it is spent. That’s all. Even the question regarding how many members to make the determination seems to be an issue. The law is black and white, not shades of gray.

  15. Prior to 2012 the recommendations of the salary commission were subject to approval, and alterations, by the city council, any changes to councilmember compensation did not take place until the end of each councilmembers term in office and their re-election. In 2012 the new city attorney ruled that city council was required to take no action on the committee’s recommendations – their recommendations were final and must take effect at the start of 2013.

    The city attorney’s ruling may be correct, but it seems to be illogical that an ad-hoc committee can unilaterally decided how the mayor, councilmembers, and our municipal judge are compensated. No other city committee of citizens are able to make unilateral decisions on anything.

  16. Good point Don. I just sent the following email:

    Dear Ms. Hite (council blind cc’d),

    Can you explain why the April 3, 2014 CCCEO public hearing started 25 minutes late?
    Did any members of the public leave before the public hearing’s delayed start? Were any Commissioners or City Staff members late arriving for the 5:30 PM public hearing?

    I see that the CCCEO discussed/created commission ground rules near the start of the April 3, 2014 meeting. Did they come up with 8 or 9 ground rules? Had any one-on-one or side meetings taken place before the Ground Rules were adopted? Why were they asked to respect confidentiality when the related process was supposed to be subject to the Open Public Meetings Act?

    Mayor Earling informed Eve Wellington the very next day, April 4, 2014, that she was disqualified from further participation in the compensation commission. He stated that her prior appointment to the Citizens Economic Development Commission (EDC) made her a public official and that public officials are prohibited from appointment to the CCCEO. It seems very odd to me that an appointment to the EDC, a commission with no eligibility requirements at the time Ms. Wellington was appointed, would make a volunteer EDC member a public official.

    There is no discussion whatsoever in the April 3, 2014 CCCEO meeting minutes that Ms. Wellington’s eligibility was an issue. Did the Commission and the City Staff facilitating the Commission’s work with the City ascertain her eligibility before the Commission appointing her during the March 20, 2014 Meeting? Isn’t it standard procedure to verify an applicant’s eligibility before appointing them to a board or commission?

    What caused Mayor Earling to write his letter on April 4, 2014? Mayor Earling’s letter refers to Oceanographic Comm’n v. O’Brien, a 1968 State Supreme Court Case dealing with ELECTED members of the fortieth (1967) Washington State Legislature. How does a case concerning elected members of the State legislature apply to a citizen who volunteers to sit on a 17 member advisory board like the EDC?

    If this case does apply, doesn’t it help establish that the members of the EDC are not public officials? The EDC is a temporary commission set to expire December 15, 2015.
    Please identify the public office that an EDC member holds or is invested with. Please identify the portion of the City’s sovereign powers that a member of the EDC can carry out.

    Thanks for your prompt response to my requests and questions above. I imagine I will have more questions related to this situation.
    Thanks.
    Ken

  17. Ken, Great questions. Keep me in te loop I think you have my email address

  18. It is time to move on with some ideas that will set the stage for how best to set compensation for our elected officials. Playing “gottcha” with the existing process does little to heal a contentious situation. I clearly admit my personal bias right up front. We need to pay our elected officials a fair value for their work. We pay our mayor less than the folks he supervises and we pay the council what can only be considered a paltry amount for the time they spend and the skills we expect them to bring to the job.

    Here are some assumptions and numbers.
    Mayor @ 40 hours per week so about $55 per hour. Actual time spent is likely more.
    Council @ 30 hours per week so about $13 per hour. Actual time spent is likely more.

    The commission has proposed a raise for the Mayor of about $3/ hour and nothing for the council??? Is that equitable? I think not.

    The process of comparing our compensation structures to other comparable cities and picking the middle ground has some flaws. Good Mayors get reelected, poor ones do not. More often than not mayors get paid less than those they supervise. Does that create pressure for salary escalation? What are the other factors that cause cities to give a mayor a raise? Probably more factors for a mayor than for councils. Councils may give the appearance of working at odds with each other. That’s what they do as they try to represent us. So does that create a bias for a raise or status quo? What are the other factors working against cities giving a pay increase to council?

    Do all cities do the same process? What are the other processes used? How we decide pay for elected officials is messy.

    Other city workers are mobile compared to elected officials. They can leave Edmonds and go elsewhere, or they can leave other cities and come to work for Edmonds. Look at our directors. Almost all have come from other cities and some were promoted in the process from a lower level job in the process.

    Mayors and council folks do not leave for greener pastures in other cities. With the exception of some past council members who run for and are elected mayor they pretty much stay put and face the voters to keep their jobs.

    So how do we get out of this mess? Here’s my opinion. Let’s stop all the analysis of the committee and all the messy steps that got us here. Good people did what they thought to be correct. Done deal. Live with it and design a better process for the future. If council has the authority to write a new law for compensation, then write one.

    The Mayor job is now $55/hr. $58 with the raise. Put it on CPI increases and charge the committee with “making recommendations for future increases above CPI.” Council set the salary for new mayors and that starts the process all over again.

    Council compensation: Also adjust for CPI. Then use something like this plan for future pay when each is reelected. Over time council will move closer to parity.

    Year 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
    Hourly Rate $13 $20 $25 $30 $35 $40
    Est Annual $20,000 $31,200 $39,000 $46,800 $54,600 $62,400
    % of Mayor 24% 37% 46% 56% 65% 74%

    A plan like this would add about $300,000 to the budget when fully implemented. Good government cost money, better government costs a little bit more.

  19. The table line up in the draft reply but not in the posting above. They should have lined up like this. 2014 on top $13 directly below, $20,000 directly below that and 24% directly below that. Sorry about the alignment issue. I think you can get the picture.

  20. This table is a little easier to read
    Year…………….. 2014….. 2015 ….2016….. 2017…. 2018 …..2019
    Hourly Rate ….$13 ………$20 …….$25 ……$30…… $35…….. $40
    Est Annual….. $20,000 $31,200 $39,000 $46,800 $54,600 $62,400
    % of Mayor…. 24% ……….37% …..46% ……56% ……65%…. 74%

  21. Darrol,

    Your figures for Council hourly rates for a 30 hour work week are inaccurate. Council members receive $1000/ month. At 30 hours per week, this would be $8.33/ hr.

    • What about the $50/meeting up to some number of meetings? The end result is the same and I still suggest the table not matter what the starting point is. The only difference is what the budget impact would be.

    • Just went back to the web site to gather more data and the slides show a total comp package of just under $1600. That would make my numbers correct. However,that number misleading because my data did not try to calculate the value of benefits. So the $1000 is a more correct number. That makes the arguments even more compelling to adopt a schedule like I previously displayed. The only difference is that the budget impact in the out years would be closer to $350,000 up about $50,000 from the estimate of $300,000. At full implementation it would be around $20 per year for the average household. Still a good value for good government and a fair comp plan for council. Thanks for the added information Joan. You all should get a better comp plan.

  22. Thanks Don.

    As you know, I have been advocating a complete Code Rewrite for years. I am encouraged that work is underway on the Community Development Code (Chapters 15 – 23), but I am disappointed that not much seems to be going on with the City Code (Chapters 1-10). The City Code (Chapters 1-10) needs significant attention also, in my strong opinion.

    For example, we have a whole TITLE, Title 2: City Officials and Personnel that needs much work. One would hope that such a major Title of our Code what clearly define what a City Official is, but good luck with that.

    The poor condition of our Code results in situations like the current debate: Are EDC members City Officials or not? It is beyond unfortunate that this isn’t clear.

    Many Cities address this in their Code to provide clarity. Many times that discussion takes place in a City’s codified Code of Ethics, something that we also don’t have. Lynnwood for example defines city official, officer, or employee as every individual elected or appointed to an office or position of employment, whether such individual is paid or unpaid. (Lynnwood Municipal Code, Section 2.94.020 – Definitions – Ethics).

    Many sections of the Edmonds City Code date back to the 1980’s and haven’t been kept up to date.

    Just (4:56 pm) received a couple of unsatisfactory answers from the City’s Liaison. See below:

    Questions: Can you explain why the April 3, 2014 CCCEO public hearing started 25 minutes late? Did any members of the public leave before the public hearing’s delayed start? Were any Commissioners or City Staff members late arriving for the 5:30 PM public hearing?I see that the CCCEO discussed/created commission ground rules near the start of the April 3, 2014 meeting. Did they come up with 8 or 9 ground rules? Had any one-on-one or side meetings taken place before the Ground Rules were adopted? Why were they asked to respect confidentiality when the related process was supposed to be subject to the Open Public Meetings Act?

    Answer: Unfortunately, while I would like to be able to provide the information you have requested about the 4/3/14 Citizens’ Commission meeting, I am not authorized to speak for nor provide answers (nor is it appropriate for me to) on behalf of the Commission. As part of HR’s function with this Commission, HR is tasked with staffing and assisting with other certain administrative tasks for the Commission (such as obtaining requested comparative data, securing meeting rooms, taking meeting minutes, etc.).

    Question: Did the Commission and the City Staff facilitating the Commission’s work with the City ascertain her eligibility before the Commission appointing her during the March 20, 2014 Meeting? Isn’t it standard procedure to verify an applicant’s eligibility before appointing them to a board or commission?

    Answer:
    Per the application form and resume that Ms. Wellington submitted for one of the Citizens’ Commission’s vacancies, there was no information provided about her appointment on the Economic Development Commission.

    Don, I have a hunch that the application form did not ask if the applicants held other board or commission seats. I have submitted a public record request for the application.

  23. Ken, Thanks for the update.

  24. Yes, the Edmonds City Code needs a complete REWRITE. The citizens of Edmonds should demand this.

    Clearly there would not be all of these questionable gray areas. I guess I’m wondering WHY the City of Edmonds is not updating the City Code?…….Is there a reason some of the Code goes back as far as the 80s?……about a lifetime ago, if one ponders the beginninng of computers, internet, etc.

    Yes, the City Code is everything and particularily in regards to CLARITY! Why is the City of Edmonds not updating it its Code?

    On a lighter note, if the City of Edmonds does not have the money to take care of CORE issues/basic foundational infrastructure for the City, then we should not be giving out raises to the City staff or the Mayor……..From what I’ve seen, most cities around the country do not appear to be doing this at this time!……..and the raise for the Mayor is so gigantic….I don’t get THAT! And the no regard at all for our City Council??? in this picture??…..

    With so many suffering and with nothing at this time, it feels particularily apalling to me.

  25. Now you see it, now you don’t.
    Tomorrow night the council has an important decision to make. Will the council support the Washington State Constitution, the laws of state and city codes? Or will council act to protect the illegal behavior of a Citizens Commission and City Staff? Please, city council don’t forget your sworn Oaths of office: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the state of Washington and city of Edmonds, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of (name of office) to the best of my ability.
    First off, the city attorney admits the Commission acted illegally. He opines the Open Public Meetings Act was violated. The only commission meetings given public notice were the two public hearings. The Commission met and conducted business without a quorum. The Commission adopted a rule of confidentiality.
    On July 10th, 2014, the Commission’s Compensation Schedule for 2015-2016 was filed with the City Clerk. There is no record the Commission ever voted on this final report. Any Mayor and Council involvement after the binding Compensation Schedule is filed with the city clerk may be construed as meddling with the decision of an independent body. Legally any action taken by the Council and/or Mayor after a final Commission decision is a violation of the Washington State Constitution Art. XI § 8 and not incompliance with Art. XXX § 1.
    Both the City Council and public don’t have access to all the commission records to make an informed decision. The city’s website doesn’t have all the agendas, nor do the all links to the meeting minutes work properly. The staff was advised of this back on July 18th.
    You can’t always believe what you are being told. The Council is being asked to confirm three Mayor Appointees. At the July 15, 2015, Council meeting, Acting HR Director Hite testified there were five members until a few weeks ago. One commission member was on medical leave and approved the compensation schedule. Her name doesn’t appear on the Compensation Schedule because she wasn’t present. Although she still occupies a commission seat. Norma Middleton’s name still appears on the City’s website even after the city attorney wrote “Commissioner Middleton missed two consecutive meetings beginning on May 20th, 2014. That position became automatically vacant pursuant to ECC 10.80.040 after the second missed meeting because the Commission did not excuse her absences.” Also, I have an email from Ms. Hite claiming Commissioner Ernest is still a member of Commission by virtue of the Mayor’s appointment for a four year term. Even though, the City Attorney memo of July 22, 2014 states the position is vacant. The City Attorney explained the vote requirement in the City Code. He said that his understanding was the Commission voted. There is no city record that the Commission ever took a vote on the final Compensation Schedule filed with City Clerk on July 14, 2015.
    The Mayor has the authority to remove a commission member only with approval of the city council. On April 4th, 2014 he acted without City Council approval in dismissing Ms. Wellington from the Commission. Incompatibility of Office was cited for his decision without any legal analysis of the legal doctrine adopted by Washington State Supreme Court decision in, State ex rel. Brown v. Blew, 20 Wn.2d 47, 51, 145 P.2d 554 (1944).
    Under what legal authority does the City Attorney decide something is null and void? The law is very strict, legal decisions are the preview of the judicial branch after a crime has been committed. You as council members cannot ignore the facts that the meetings were not open to public. The Meeting minutes and agendas were created many months after the actual meetings. The Compensation schedule was filed with clerk on July 10, 2014 and is a final report and binding. The deadline was August 1st, 2014. Tonight is August 4th, 2014. The commission’s work for 2015-2016 is done.

    • Mr Tupper,
      Thank you for the comprehensive, easy to follow compilation of what has happened, the laws involved and what it means. You obviously did a lot of work. Now it makes sense.

  26. COMMON SENSE…..Jefferson and other revolutionaries believed that EVERY person, regardless of their education or ranking, were naturally by instinction, morally or socially, tied to their fellow human beings by affection…..They believed that this was the VIRTUE, a social and MORAL sense, that sustained ancient republics.

    SOCIETY was what Jefferson and Paine CELEBRATED.

    EQUAL ACCESS to the instruments of our government! Eighteenth century VIRTUE came and flowed from the participation in society, not government. This was the confidence and belief that they had in SOCIETY……A social and moral sense.

    They believed that government was merely the scaffolding for SOCIETY.

    Paine, writes in COMMON SENSE at the opening paragraph, “PROMOTES OUR HAPPINESS POSITIVELY BY UNITING OUR AFFECTIONS”…….

    We, the PEOPLE, in order to form a more PERFECT UNION…….

    Citizens and Society are at the TOP, not under our government…….

    WE THE PEOPLE, are our government!

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