The Edmonds City Council meeting ran much longer than it’s deceptively short agenda Tuesday night, thanks to one issue: Who would be elected to the Council President Pro Tem position, a mostly ceremonial job that occasionally fills in during the Council President’s absence?
Councilmember Kristiana Johnson held the position in 2014, and she was nominated by outgoing Council President Diane Buckshnis to continue under newly elected Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas. There were two other nominees as well — Tom Mesaros, nominated by Councilmember Strom Peterson, and Lora Petso, nominated by Joan Bloom. After failing to get a majority vote for any one candidate after 13 written ballots, the council agreed to postpone the voting until the meeting’s end, to get other business out of the way. After an additional 13 ballots — 26 total — Johnson received the required majority of four votes.
The council did take time to honor Buckshnis for her work as council president during the past year and also recognized the accomplishments of Peterson, who is leaving the council after five years to serve as a state legislator, representing the 21st District.
“It’s a tough job but one we all relish and appreciate,” Peterson said of his council work. “I’m looking forward to getting down to Olympia and continuing to serve the citizens of Edmonds.”
The council also:
– Heard from the new Edmonds Managing Librarian Chy Ross, who recently replaced the retiring Lesly Kaplan. Ross said one of his main goals is to ensure that the library “remains relevant and responsive to the community.”
– Agreed to discuss at the upcoming council retreat the assessment rate structure for the Edmonds Downtown Business Improvement District.
– Heard an update from David Cline of Shannon & Wilson Inc., which is working to complete the final feasibility study for daylighting Willow Creek. The creek currently flows through a system of buried pipes and structures built in the 1960s when the Edmonds Marina was developed. The overall goal is restoration of Edmonds Marsh, which will benefit juvenile Chinook salmon.
Cline explained that the Willow Creek project will be closely coordinated with efforts by the City’s Parks, Recreational and Cultural Services Department to develop a master plan for Marina Beach Park, which is where the creek is likely to be routed.
The city announced Monday it received a $157,331 grant from the State of Washington Recreation and Conservation office’s Salmon Recovery Funding Board to continue work on the daylighting project. The city will use this grant along with city funds to prepare a preliminary design and permit applications for a daylighted channel from Edmonds Marsh, under BNSF railroad tracks, and across Marina Beach to Puget Sound.
– Discussed the process for filling the council seat left vacant by Peterson’s resignation. The council finalized the application and agreed to make it available for potential candidates starting Jan. 12, with an application deadline of Feb. 2. Other details of the interview process will be tackled at an upcoming council work session.