Bloom makes another run at stopping turf fields; council decides to let interlocal agreement work continue

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Political reality took center stage at the Edmonds City Council meeting Tuesday night when councilmembers voted 5-2 to defeat a motion by Joan Bloom to discuss passage of a resolution asking the Edmonds School district not to install tire crumb rubber infill on sports fields now under construction at the former Woodway High School (now known as Woodway Campus).

Bloom’s effort to place discussion of the resolution on Tuesday’s agenda was supported by fellow councilmember Lora Petso, but other councilmembers — including Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas — noted that they would prefer to let City Attorney Jeff Taraday continue his work with school district attorneys on negotiating changes to an interlocal agreement for scheduling, operating and maintaining the fields. That agreement would spell out requirements for the type of turf infill that can be used on the property, which is owned by the school district but located within Edmonds city limits.

In addition, Fraley-Monillas noted that past efforts by councilmembers and citizens to convince the district to reconsider its decision to install the crumb rubber infill — which has raised health and environmental concerns among residents — have failed. “Two separate groups of us, including the administration, have talked with the school district about stopping the work and they’ve made it really clear to all of us that they are not going to do it,” Fraley-Monillas said. “I would prefer that we work on an ILA (interlocal agreement) that everyone could agree to and that includes the fields up at Woodway. That seems to be the most plausible way for us to move forward and have some sort of hand in what is occurring.”

Councilmembers voted 6-1 at their Aug. 4 meeting to direct Taraday to develop a draft agreement. City Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Manager Carrie Hite told the council Tuesday night that the fields are 70-75 percent completed and that artificial turf will be installed in the next few weeks, with completion by Sept. 30.

Given that tight time frame, and the fact that the council isn’t scheduled to vote on the interlocal agreement next week, Bloom said she was pushing to pass the resolution Tuesday night as a way of encouraging the district to stop the work before the crumb rubber infill is installed.

“We will be voting on an ILA after the crumb rubber is already in,” Bloom said. “We’ve had an enormous amount of input from many, many citizens who are strongly opposed to crumb rubber being the infill of choice. I still think given the time-sensitive nature of this, we should at least have an opportunity to discuss this resolution that I’ve presented so that we can decide as a council whether we want to request that they stop work to give us more time.”

Responding to a question from Councilmember Diane Buckshnis, City Attorney Taraday noted that Bloom’s resolution was non-binding and unenforceable by the city. “We have absolutely no power to stop work in the absence of a violation of law,” Taraday noted. “This is just a request and they can listen to it or they can ignore. It is simply saying ‘please’ to the school district.”

The two fields currently being installed through a partnership involving the city, the school district and the Verdant Health Commission represent phase one of the planned three-phase sports complex that are eventually supposed to include a walking track, resurfaced tennis and basketball courts, four year-round multi-use turf fields, concessions and bleachers. A $2.5 million grant by the Verdant is funding the first phase, which includes bleachers and safety fencing in addition to the first two fields. There is no funding available currently for phases two and three.

During council comments at the end of Tuesday’s meeting, Bloom said she was “profoundly disappointed” that a majority of councilmembers choose not to discuss the resolution. Fraley-Monillas reiterated that “we don’t own these fields. These are not our property. We are not able to tell anybody what they can do within their property without some sort of law that supports it.”

The council also:

– Held a public hearing on the draft master plan for redesigning Marina Beach to accommodate the daylighting of Willow Creek — and thus provide a channel for salmon — through the Edmonds Marsh and into Puget Sound. Chris Jones, landscape architect for the project consultant Walker Macy, walked the council through draft plan, explaining how public input through five open houses — three in person and two online — helped shape the final draft. Of primary importance to those attending included retaining the dog park, adding a vehicle turnaround for park drop-offs and emergency vehicle access, including a “brick and mortar restroom” instead of portable toilets, and incorporating “nature play” to encourage children to interact with the park features. Jones said that park, when completed, would have a look that is similar to Seattle’s Carkeek Park. The cost of park improvements is estimated at $2.5 million, and the cost to daylight Willow Creek will run about $5 million, with the hope of implementing the plan — with assistance from grant funding —  in the next three to five years.

– Unanimously approved for next week’s consent agenda a permanent ordinance that prevents property developers from submitting more than one development application for the same property.

– Discussed the 2015 Non Represented Compensation Survey currently being conducted by human resources staff. The policy will eventually be brought back to council for approval

– Heard a presentation about possible creation of Historic Preservation Districts in Edmonds. Planning Manager Rob Chave explained that creating an historic district involve designating an entire area as historic rather than an individual home, as is currently done in Edmonds. The process has the potential to contribute to tourism promotion, add economic value and enhance property values, Chave said, and also may involve financial perks for building owners – for example, tax breaks for restoration or compatible improvements. However, there are costs involved, including $40,000 to $50,000 in consultant fees to get started, plus the need for a full-time city staff person with technical expertise, which could run about $100,000 a year in annual salary, Chave said.

Councilmember Kristiana Johnson noted that it seemed appropriate to be discussing the idea in the afterglow of last week’s City’s 125th anniversary celebration. “History is something that gives people a lot of pride, a lot of interest in their community,” Chave agreed. “It’s a good thing.”

– Unanimously approved for next week’s consent agenda an amendment to an interlocal agreement with Snohomish County to receive $500,000 in Conservation Futures funds for Civic Field acquisition from the Edmonds School District. The funds were originally designated by the county to purchase beachfront property for open space and passive park purposes. When the owner decided not to sell the beachfront property, the city instead requested that the money used toward the Civic Field purchase, which the city is currently discussing with the school district.

– Approved for inclusion on next week’s agenda two, $3,000 grant requests to provide additional staffing for the Citizens Tree Board and to staff the start-up of the city’s new Diversity Commission.

54 COMMENTS

  1. “– Approved for inclusion on next week’s agenda two, $3,000 grant requests to provide additional staffing for the Citizens Tree Board and to staff the start-up of the city’s new Diversity Commission.”

    ~*~ Thank you Edmonds City Council for Your Considerations regarding funding the city’s new Diversity Commission.

  2. Fraley Monillas…..”we don’t own these fields”

    It made absolutely no difference that we didnt OWN about half (BNSF) of Sunset Avenue while we spent millions to reconfigure that whole area…..so somebody in our city needs to explain this better…..WHY our government has just given the total okay for toxic waste to be dumped into our environment! …..and just thrown theit hands up.

    If any private citizen was doing this on their property, we all KNOW that our city would be liable for giving someone a permit to put toxic material on their property now. This is not saying that this hasnt already been done and allowed by our city regarding asbestos abatement in the past. ……and just willy nilly handing out permits over the counter at town hall with no regards to the toxity of asbestos in our environment and whether anybody was actually doing a legal abatement. Surprise, surprise. Is this city saying anybody can just dump any solid toxic material HERE, anywhere here or just the city?

    It is CLEAR that this city government does not have the best interests of the citizens of this city and their safety and well being to say the least of our environment. It is appaling that to get a little extra $$$$$ for the city being paid for select teams to play more here, we would say to hell with science and safety for the people that live here and dump this into our environment.

    Perhaps it is time for the citizens to get serious in regards to the recall that has been discussed by many of the citizens in this city and other legal avenues. If there ever was a time, this would be it.

    I say there is something terribly wrong here……$$$$ appears to trump all even safety. Something terribly scary about that

  3. The statement by Council President Fraley-Monillas is quite disingenuous. Where there is a will there is a way. The law would be the Comprehensive Plan. Interesting that when there is an issue with a Developer an “Emergency Ordinance” gets passed but when there is a legitimate health issue affecting our children that is growing nationwide except for 2 council members they sit on their hands. What this is really about is taking the advice of a City Attorney, who cannot even keep his PLLC in good standing with the State, and not passing anything that might look like an admission of fault since there is a pending lawsuit against the City following the ECDC and Comprehensive Plan. Look how well this type of legal advice worked in the Humman debacle. And lets not only fault the Council, the City Administration had the opportunity to take Lead Agency status which would have allowed a legitimate SEPA review. It has still not been explained, other than conjecture from the City Attorney, as too why the City SEPA Official would not take this position for such a large project that had obvious Environmental Concerns and potential compliance issues with the Comprehensive Plan. Where is the explanation from Mayor Earling and Shane Hope on this?

  4. Yes, city council’s do have a say when someone proposes to dump tons of ground-up material containing known carcinogens on property within that city’s limits.

  5. Again, correct me if Im wrong, but it is a big stretch for me to believe that nobody at City Hall knew that demolition permits were just handed out wily nily in regards to demolition of structures and whether abatement laws regarding toxic materials abatement were followed……I brought this up and only then was the process changed. Im just a lay person and just happened to notice when walking some demolition sites may have had adbestos in the demolition debris, so I checked our government regarding this…..

    Is this the message we give our children and future generations here, that politics and money are more important than human health and well being?This isnt about the few, it is about all of us.

    Our Mayor has chosen his staff that he wanted…….Can we make sure that this City of Edmonds has qualified and legally licensed and up to date professionals on the city staff that are aware of our laws regarding this? Not every profession. requires that but lawyers certainly do……with all due respect Mr. Taraday, I am a professional artist and have never forgot to pay my business taxes or renew my license. I simply have a hard time understanding that, from my perspective. You are the person paid by the taxpayers of the City of Edmonds to represent the LAW to us……Maybe I missed something here, but it just seems kind of unbelievable to me.

  6. the council president has gone and meet with the school district talked about the rubber twice not once twice, she did try there not changing there decision it is there project they do have the permits and anybody can buy that rubber, you know I just watched a seahawk game where they play on crumbed rubber i watched a quaterback handle the ball then lick his fingers about 30 times nobody seemed too concerned hes in front of 60 thousand people eating crumbed rubber and nobody said a word, hello we have a real unaware society, but the council did try and there comes a point in time where there is only so much you can do,and if there is one person who doesn’t want the crumbed rubber its the council president shes already had a battle with cancer do I need to say any more

  7. It is not up for debate that crumb rubber has a negative impact on the environment, it does, and that alone should be enough to change to a non-toxic infill. As far as our children’s health, why do I have to prove that a product that contains known carcinogens and toxins will cause harm? When do we learn from the history of use and marketing related to asbestos, lead paint and tobacco? The toxins and carcinogens are there, so the distinct possibility that it will cause harm is there, and to date there have been no long term health studies.

    We have presented factual information regarding the harmful effects of chemicals contained within tires, provided expert testimony, attended countless meetings, researched and presented information on alternatives, found source of additional funding, educated thousands, and gathered almost 1,000 signatures.

    Since March, we have worked diligently in an attempt to convince the powers that be to use an safer infill and to put the health of our children and environment first. What have we learned? Money talks, big business talks, and parents attempting to protect children’s health from an unnecessary exposure does not seem to matter too much.

    The school district, health commission and city would all rather rely on industry backed studies as justification for using a product that contains KNOWN toxins and carcinogens, than to heed the concerns citizens who’s taxes will pay for these fields. We are being forced to fund fields that many of us fear will harm to our children’s health and our environment; and apparently we have no say in the matter!

    If locally we cannot convince those in power to show precaution when it comes to the health of our children and the unnecessary exposure to a toxic waste product, than why bother getting involved? It is extremely disheartening and makes one wonder “what is the point?”.

    Nevertheless, I will continue- this issue is way too important. I will just have to figure out a better way. Suggestions?

    • “It is extremely disheartening and makes one wonder “what is the point?”. The point, Laura, is that when this “battle” is over you can be proud that you and the other team members “fought the good fight” and worked relentlessly to achieve your objective. If crumb rubber gets laid at OWHS you can all be comfortable that it was not because of any lack of effort on the part of any of you.

      I don’t have any suggestions for you, as I’ve not followed the issue closely enough from the beginning. Learn from this one so that when the next issue comes along you’ll be prepared. I hope that you remain engaged.

  8. It took this N.CA community one week to convince their school district to switch from crumb rubber to a non-toxic alternative. Last minute decision, just one week! Same company installing Woodway Project is installing this project as well. This could be us!

    “The decision came after the board heard several sometimes emotional parents and advocates, who challenged the safety of the rubber infill, maintaining it contains carcinogens and could cause cancer and other health problems.”

    “The speakers pointed out there are other alternatives, and the school members ultimately agreed with them.”

    “The issue was first brought to the board’s attention at a special meeting held last week. Board members told the appreciative audience they had listened and learned.”

    “There is a mounting concern for the health and safety (of the crumb rubber),” said board member Troy Sanderson. “I don’t necessarily agree, but I hear what you’re saying and it is plausible. At the end of the day it is not all that much more money.”

    http://www.petaluma360.com/sports/4314399-181/no-rubber-school-board-votes

    http://www.pressdemocrat.com/sports/4303630-181/casa-grande-high-school-parents

  9. Yesterday I was in Seattle at a doctors office (who treats cancers) and I met a family from Idaho in the waiting room. Their son who was about 15 was all decked out in his soccer outfit. We got into a discussion about why he was there. As it happens he was there for cancer treatment. He said he had “always” played soccer in Idaho on ONLY crumb rubber fields since he was young. He said this was all they had where he lived.

    When we left, I couldnt help wonder about other children across our country that may have cancer from exposure to the carcinogens in this product…….

    .It seemed so odd that after the controversy in our town right NOW that I could run into a child (and wearing his soccer gear!) with cancer…….what are the chances?!………..maybe it is more PREVALENT than we have any idea. His parents had not heard anything regarding the dangers of crumb rubber

    It was very sobering walking away from there………How do we KNOW it is not more prevalent, particularly when the EPA now says more studies are needed……very sobering, indeed

    • Tere,
      Unfortunately, we will likely hear more stories like yours. As you know, cancers from environmental exposures typically take decades to show up. Since crumb rubber has been used for less than 20 years, and assuming a connection, we would be seeing just the early cases right now.

      So far we know of 35 young athletes from Washington State, including 16 from King County and 5 from Snohomish County, who each suspect a connection with many years played on crumb rubber fields and their cancer diagnosis.

      Most are soccer players (majority goalies). Sadly, a few have lost their battle. Since crumb rubber contains carcinogens and toxins KNOWN to cause cancer, it is not much of a stretch to suspect a connection.

      I believe that it is irresponsible to continue this unnecessary exposure, if there is any chance of harm! There is an easy way to avoid the risk: SIMPLY CHANGE THE INFILL used, to one of a handful of non-toxic options currently used by many schools and parks nationwide.

    • Alicia, thank you for your support and I for one can guarantee the support AGAINST this product will get larger, not smaller….most people do not know about it right now.

      ..We have had environmental laws in our Federal Government and that has happened because many, 40 years ago, stood up to these companies and the people and companies that continue to discount science and hard evidence, and quite frankly common sense !!…..in my mind, just to make some quick $$$ before it is REGULATED…We now have hard science environmental laws and some products such as this WILL be regulated and many areas that are going ahead anyway will be doing a “cleanup” and an assessment through long term studies of those injured.

      I encourge all to boycott these fields as a way to get this product out of our environment sooner, rather than later. I also encourage all to write the EPA, Ecology, U.S. Consumer Product Commission, etc. and your legislators, both State and Federal.

      This is not over by ANY means. The croud is not ” thinning out” , so dont be discouraged. We’ve just begun!…..

      We’ve done this before and don’t forget, we didnt back off regarding landmark issues in our country including Civil Rights and Segregation, the Vietnam War, Environmental issues, Womans Rights, the right to vote for all, etc.

      So, dont be discouraged…..just the beginning…..boycotts , picketing and education worked really well in the past and really gets the message out…….the media also. Including the parents of children at schools, even the ones that are not sport minded…..

  10. Alicia and Ron: Thank you both for the encouragement. I am definitely not giving up, but I do wish to express my deep frustration with the process. I now have a deeper understanding of why many choose not to be involved in public matters, and believe that is an important message to share.

    If it is this hard to convince those in charge to protect the health of CHILDREN from the unnecessary exposure to toxins and carcinogens, I can understand why public involvement is low on many other matters. I cannot stop fighting for this because it does involve the health of children (plus adults and our environment), but if it was not so dear to my heart, I would be hard pressed to continue the fight.

    Why must we be forced to fight so hard to protect human and environmental health from this type of exposure? Why do we have to wait 10-20 more years to PROVE it is causing harm. Shouldn’t the suspicion (based on the fact that there are toxins and carcinogens in the tire crumbs AND a list of 152 athletes with cancer who suspect a connection) be enough to make us simply change the infill and avoid the unnecessary risk?

    How about the known harm to the environment? Edmonds is working hard to daylight Willow Creek, control toxic storm water runoff, and protect our streams. City vehicles market “Puget Sound Starts Here.” Is that just hype, or do we mean it?

    How about simply giving parents the peace of mind that their children are safe. As parents, we have enough to worry about. How about we take this one off of the table? The School District in Petaluma did just that (referenced in post above) even in the absence of hard scientific proof?

    We could have publicly funded athletic fields that serve not just those families still comfortable with continuing to play on crumb rubber, but also those families who are now choosing to avoid sports played on crumb rubber fields; there are many of us and the numbers are growing.

    We can and should do better for all!

    • Citizens are more often successful with public issues than you may think. Just a couple of examples: citizens stopped a waste water treatment plant from being built where the Point Edwards condos are now located, and a suggestion from a nearby resident caused the location of a small park in front of Old Milltown, There are many more examples.

      I have no facts, so I can only speculate why you haven’t gotten the result that you’re so diligently seeking. I’m guessing that had there been this strong opposition against crumb rubber being used at EWHS, before that decision was locked into, you may have stopped both crumb rubber projects. As is often said: “timing is everything”.

      You and others should try to find some time to, at least periodically, attend the ESD superintendent’s monthly noon hour meetings. The next one is Sept.16th. They’re very informative.

      • How ’bout if that area hadnt been CONTAMINATED in the first place by whatever corporate entity

        ……Corporations and companies in my opinion are not people …They are corporate for PROFIT entities FIRST

        .”If there was one decision, I would overrule, it would be Citizens United . I think the notion that we have all the democracy that money can buy strays so far from what our DEMOCRACY is supposed to be.”

        U.S. Suprme Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, September 28, 2014

        Again most people do not know about the toxity of this product or that it is even being allowed sans regulation.

        In my opinion, this appears to be business as usual in this town going way back. This IS what needs to be stopped, the disregard for our environment here……many examples have been surprising to me and to many.

  11. Ron, I have certainly taken your previous comments about attending ESD events to heart and you will see me there soon. Unfortunately not everyone work close enough to take the time off to get there. As for Point Edwards, I do not know enough about the history however I wonder if it was community out cry or a certain development near it or being potentially developed near it.

    Laura, do not give up. Sadly this article confuses the reduction of people that are tired of spending time trying to sway people that say they are leaders with a lower number of people being involved. As I spoke at the Council meeting previously, the Council does have actions they could pursue however have chosen not to. For example ECDC 20.100 provides for EVERY permit to be reviewed by a Hearing Examiner, then appealed to Superior Court. This has 3 ways of being initiated, by motion of Council, by The Development Manager or by 3 residents within 300 feet of the project. I have done this in regards to an issue I have and will be heard Thursday August 27th at 3pm. Come and see it in action. There are other options also the Council could do. It is too bad that this appears to be a case of people with too big of egos, self importance, or simply taking legal advice that makes the lawyers money. Funny thing is the legal fees are probably to the point where the field cost difference and future replacement would be covered or close to it.

    Remember history is ripe with times that looked the most desperate and in the end were won out, from Valley Forge, Bastogne, to Pearl Harbor.

  12. I smell law suits and EPA investigations into the toxic infill playing fields that are/will be putting our kids at high risk

  13. I too believe in an active and vibrant discussion and disclosure about what happens in our community. For this reason, I would ask city council to ban Lysol, Toilet Bowl cleaners, synthetic fabrics, fabrics treated with finishing agents, fire retardant fabrics, hot dogs, pepperoni, dust, saw dust, laundry detergent, aspartame, any nitrate cured meats, smoked foods, farmed raised fish, products sold in flexible plastic packaging, plastic toys, rubber tires on cars or fields that cause dust, homogenized milk, shampoos and conditioners, aluminum based antiperspirant, scented candles, air fresheners with synthetic scents, anything with synthetic scents, non clay based cosmetics, beef fat, tomatoes in metal cans, mandarin oranges in metal cans, PVC curtain liners, PVC lined bathmats, stain resistant carpets, formaldehyde, wood finish, waxless floor cleaners and polishes, aerosol furniture polishes, oxybenzone and glycol containing sunscreens and lotions, talc, gasoline pumps and gasoline, gas powered engines, wood burning stoves, camp fires, nylon or synthetic tents treated with VOC water proofing, non organic or synthetic inks, Teflon coated baking or cooking ware, antibacterial hand sanitizers and soaps, urea or uric acid fertilizers, hair dyed, ajax or other crystalline silica cleaners, epoxy, rubber cement, acrylic paint, permanent markers, microwave popcorn, beer, malt liquor, whiskey, wine and most of all the sun.

    Every single item above has been linked to or contains carcinogens. I figure that we can rapidly draw conclusions that the soccer fields, a safe, low maintenance, and excellent consistent turf may very well also be linked to known carcinogens. My two children, well, I believe I am very happy that they have both turf and Bermuda options for their pitch, but I would feel significantly safer if City Council attacked and sued and forced out the other culprits in our town! They should take a proactive lead and start at stores on the north end, and work their way south. Then, start looking for folks who have pets with plastic flea collars or dry cleaning or who have recently used easy off oven cleaner. Once we get city staff to tackle that, we should really start making everyone walk in flax or cotton fiber clothing to cut down on exhaust, rubber dust, and VOC emissions from most petro based fabrics.

    Once City Council finds a way to demand that businesses stop peddling carcinogens to every consumer in Edmonds, and my neighbors stop wearing synthetic clothes, eating hot dogs, wearing sneakers with PVC soles, and painting their house, I will feel much more safe about allowing my kids to play on the turf fields.

  14. Big difference between having options to choose from and having one option shoved down our children’s throats and being levied to pay for the privilege. I can choose to buy a standard detergent or I can use a more environmentally safe (if I believe the packaging) one. My choice and I don’t have my tax dollars going to limit my choices to one type of detergent or other product. I am not for banning things however the decision to use something in the public arena that by the very choice limits the choice of others is wrong. There are multiple options that represent the middle ground with the repercussion of the decision not being the health of children but purely (in the grand scheme of things) a small economic one. Further the legal expense plus likely hood of the sponsor paying for it make it at the very least a reasonable option to review. This is not even including the law suits coming with merit or not they still will cost money to defend. Simply not a prudent choice to make in not mitigating the risk.

    • What choice is being shoved down your throat? Don’t send your kids to the soccer pitch. Send your kids to a town that only promotes natural turf fields, that are dust controlled, not fertilized, or contain any traces of VOC’s from previous owners. Your point is moot. There are a large number of things that the public gets forced down their throat, usually by the vocal minority – and in this case, it is thankfully not delaying the soccer pitch facility. The Council passes the approval of new businesses within the City – so they could prevent any business from bringing carcinogens into the mix, right? I don’t like motorcycles, diesel trucks, asphalt, or the smell of kimchee – but I don’t ask the City Council to handle it. I agree with your right to protest, but I don’t see the same folks who are using nail polish remover in front of their kids, or loading them into that “new car smell” Subaru Outback, or the cute synthetic uniform that they put their kids in every weekend – raising the same degree of hell. Where are the picketers in front of QFC, the DMV, and every nail salon in Edmonds?

      Once again – you have a choice – don’t go to the soccer pitch. You are right – there are multiple scenarios for middle ground – hell, since everything is gluten free these days – I wonder is gluten can be used as infill?

      There are kids who need a safe and consistent facility to play soccer. The ability to play soccer or other sports on turf fields will greatly enhance the number of choices our children have to be active. The majority actually believe this – whether they speak up or not is a different point – but I would say that the energy I see focused here is both hypocritical and misplaced – the City Council isn’t to blame, the School Board isn’t to blame, it’s the kids who are to blame. They are the ones who need a soccer facility.

      The legal expense is being generated by a vocal few – and if they did a tour of their homes – and really wanted to start isolating carcinogens, instead of strapping the City or School Board with the cost of a lawsuit, how about removing every carcinogen that they let their children sleep in, play in, eat in, and live in. Then, when they have isolated those every day regular exposures – and decide to isolate risks that benefit the greater good, and where the acceptable levels of risk have been shown as reasonable, ask retailers to remove processed sugars, alcohol, cleaning supplies, deodorants, and other “consumer choices” from the shelves – then ask City Council to get rid of monkey bars where kids can break their arms, dirt on the beach that may get in our eyes, and provide inflatable safety bubbles for walking down the sidewalk.

      I really do believe in a vibrant and passionate debate – and I applaud and respect Scott, Ron, and Laura – and their passion for bringing this to the forefront – I think issues like this keep the City of Edmonds on their toes – and force transparency and plain dealing – I just happen to respectfully disagree on this issue – the health benefits of a turf facility that can be used in all types of weather with reduced maintenance costs, and (having played both soccer and rugby for 15 years) in my opinion, a consistent (albeit not ideal) playing surface, outweigh the lack of facilities for organized sports activities for kids –

      • George, I find nothing in your tone or arguments as “respectful” disagreement. Reasonable people can come to a reasonable compromise. “Don’t like it so send your kids elsewhere or move” sounds very elitist and frankly ridiculous. Amazing how the dominant sport in the third world is soccer, I am sure played on all those wonderful consistent turf fields in their perfect weather. As a kid, muddy fields never stopped me from playing. I also have spent decades playing a wide range of sports. You talk like turf and consistency removes all chance of sprains and pulls. I unlike you believe a sprain is slightly less of an issue than cancer. It also seems like a delay is such a big issue for you, wow lack of fields just came up? No time for an actual review and discussion with Kitsap, Burien, and other entities to share information and make a decision that will be with us for years? And how you put reduced maintenance costs (actually trivial if at all, oh I forgot there has not been a reasonable review of the alternatives) above potential significant long-term heath issue. There is no record of ESD discussion with places that have used alternatives. Is it so extream to ask for that?

        Well, I am tired of responding to unreasonable arguments, my time is better spent reading the actual documents, evidence, and record on how, yes, this was shoved down every citizen in Edmonds throat by a select few. ESD claims this has been in the planning for 10 years, and the actual permitting, reviewing materials, and construction must be done in less than a year?

        Come out again and play since I really seem to press your buttons and I am sure there will be another issue I do it on.

        • Scott, your arguments, like mine, are founded on opinion based on perspectives and fact. Council voted 5-2 to say no. So the 5 people who voted not to delay or reinspect are now cancer mongers. Unlike your arguments, I posed a realistic picture of the hazards that we allow to be shoved down our throats every day. The issue doesn’t reside at Council anymore, it resides at the School Board. Calling our City Attorney out seems like a heck of a way to sway those 5 votes. What reasonable alternative has been presented? What additional taxes and or maintenance costs have the City of Edmonds folks decided to pay to have a first class natural turf soccer facility? I have read the record, and the only alternative presented was to leave it a wonderful green space to preserve the community, reduce traffic in the neighborhood, and not have lights. If other alternatives have been presented, and there are better infill choices, I agree, let’s use them. The City stalling on permitting, creating legal arguments with the school board with little hope of success, and continuing to discuss something that is out of their hands is not an alternative discussion. It’s a waste of time, energy, and money, in my opinion.

          Your opinions don’t get my goat, we all have them. Your arguments don’t get my goat, they are a side of the position. Taking your toys and going home and refusing to debate or hear other sides of an argument don’t get my goat, because that is your choice and right.

          I, once again, believe that this wasn’t shoved down anyone’s throat and yes, believe if you don’t like it, you can choose not to use it.

          The record has been transparent, the council acted in good faith, and the fields are being built.

          I, once again, applaud the vibrant discussion that MEN promotes, and in no way single you or any others out when I present rational, real world, facts, as do you. Your side does as well, and it amazes me how thin skinned folks get when the other side of the argument is presented. You bring up extremely valid points on costs of maintenance, downstream and long term effects, public comment, and other. What does council have the authority and/or power to do about that? Realistically will any legal action by the City be money well spent? Will additional materials reviews prove otherwise?

          I have been wrong ten times today, have been convinced twenty, and will probably change my mind thirty. I see that as debate and discussion.

          So, take your toys and go home. I am heading out to buy my son turf cleats, but I do enjoy the/discussion.

        • George, I do not “take my toys and go home” as shown by my own personal Hearing Examiner review scheduled for August 27th. I just wish to spend my time discussing a issue with those with open minds. I too am for quality fields, I just have seen the evidence that the options have not been reviewed adequately. And a review is not simply reading that there are options, it is investigational. More so I am for a transparent, open, and legal process that allows everyone to speak and comment. The facts (ala dates, incomplete required documents, code not being followed) in the record show that a rush of the process was done. Doing traffic studies, noise evaluation, etc. after installation is not valid. This is in the record.

          You and I probably do not disagree on as many things as we may think.

        • You are correct, I have read your approach on other issues, and we are on the same side on many issues. There are alternatives, and costs associated with alternatives. I am blessed to live in a City where most council members are approachable and reasonable, and there is an active involvement in both commercial and residential quality of life. My differences arise in the blame consistently being placed on Council, and the accusations that some, not saying you, say Council makes in smoke filled back rooms. I have never lived in a Town this small, nor one as actively involved in preserving the quality of life for its residents, and I like it when I get pissed about an issue or am pleased with an issue. I welcome continued debate, and am sure we will be on the same side of many arguments!

        • George, I love Edmonds as a whole in the short time I have been here. I just wish there have been things of substance I can truly comment positively on, I am sure they will be coming. However in my short time I have been exposed to major issues that if left unchecked will change this quality of life. Most of these have been procedural, which go to the core of a government. I actually do not blame the Council as much as I blame the Mayors(take note of the pluralism). They are responsible for enforcing the code. No action by council is effective without enforcement or execution. However, they do have options to change this so ultimately they are responsible. Only the citizens are more responsible for not being involved and speaking up. Complacency is a bad thing.

      • George, here is a comment of yours from a year or so ago-

        “There are statistics that support everything – I tend to follow Mark Twain, “Always acknowledge a fault, this will throw those in authority off guard, and allow you to commit more”. There is a fault with every plan, and I make a living off of finding them, but the crux is not to find the fault and piss and moan, it is to find the fault and fix it – and most symptoms are not cured by doing nothing.”

        We found the fault- crumb rubber may contribute to an increase in childhood cancers and it will increase environmental pollution. Issues we spent billions trying to find fixes for.

        We also found the fix- simply change the infill. We are not against the artificial turf, and it is misleading to spin it that way. The majority are simply asking for a change in infill to one that does not contain probable cancer causing chemicals.

        For the most part, I agree with closing comment above:

        “the health benefits of a turf facility that can be used in all types of weather with reduced maintenance costs, and (having played both soccer and rugby for 15 years) in my opinion, a consistent (albeit not ideal) playing surface, outweigh the lack of facilities for organized sports activities for kids”

        Once again, I am not fighting the installation of the artificial turf fields. I am simply fighting to change the infill so that I am comfortable with my son playing on the fields. Is that self serving…yes. Am I alone in that desire…no, every single parent who supports the fields has the same desire- increased field space for sports play.

        Change the infill and so many win!

        • And I respectfully agree with that, so what is the safer alternative? I don’t think I have seen anyone mention corkonut infill. We know Nike Grind has similar issues. No one has mentioned the rice husk coconut alternative. Granted, these cost about 3-4 times as crumb rubber, so what tax increases have we agreed to so the school board can pay for it?

        • George, the record shows all of this has been pointed out. I was at the Council meeting where these alternate infills were brought up. I myself have sent the ESD information on several alternate options as well as articles about other districs choosing alternatives. I am sure you know what a curve is, the curve is going up on the numbers of alternate decisions. As for cost, it is not 3-4x but 20-30% if even that. Some have shown a properly done natural turf field is cheaper than turf when all costs are included (lifespan for example) and is just as usable year round. Again, all people are asking for actually is a process where there is a legitimate intake of information, not predecided plans where the discussion is just lip service. And not studies that are done with obvious ties to specific industries. As for the City Attorney, not being able to do the most fundamental process in managing a PLLC, and not having a business license for 5 years should certainly be a big issue.

        • Let me say why I am for the fields, crumb rubber infill or not. Access to the opportunity to play in organized sports for me and my children has proven to be a life long lesson for us. The ability to practice, play, and compete year round has taught us lessons in teamwork, compromise, dedication, and most of all, that individual decisions affect team outcomes. Having a crumb rubber turf field is an alternative to a cancelled practice, a safe gathering place for teen boys and girls soccer clubs to collectively play the sport, and a consistent playing surface. As far as crumb rubber infill, I played collegiate rugby for the State Champions three years in a row, and continued playing well into my mid 30’s. I have been stepped on, kicked, dragged across, pushed, have eaten, breathed, and had ground into me just about every natural and synthetic turf material made. In my opinion, and secondary to a professional maintained fescue or Bermuda pitch, crumb rubber turf was the most forgiving surface. So for me, the cost of not having those opportunities is higher.

        • Any artificial field played on prior to 1998 was NOT filled with the recycled tire/crumb rubber mix. It was simply an artificial turf field. Crumb rubber use started late 1990’s and took off early 2000’s.

          In this case I am not not fighting against the synthetic/artificial turf surface, I am simply asking for the synthetic turf surface to be sprinkled with an infill that is non-toxic.

          The field consists of a gravel base and a mat for cushioning/gmax protection; then the synthetic carpet system is placed on top and the whole thing is sprinkled with an infill. The infill provides additional concussion protection because it allows the use of a deeper carpet system since the infill holds up the fibers of the deeper carpet system.

          There are many types of infills that can be used to meet this and there are subtle play-ability pros and cons to each infill; some infills scoring higher than the crumb rubber. Play-ability aside, crumb rubbers main pro is the price; it is cheep because it is a recycled waste product. The main con with crumb rubber is that it contains known toxins and carcinogens and therefore there is a risk to human and environmental health.

          We are simply asking for the use of a non-toxic infill that will be better for the environment and provide the precautionary measure of protecting against plausible harm from the tires known toxins and carcinogens.

          Since it is the last ingredient in the whole system to go down, the choice of infill used can be changed last minute. Examples: Burien’s Kennedy Catholic High and just this week a public school in Petaluma CA, who are using the same installer we are using- FieldTurf USA. Here is the full story.

          http://www.presstelegram.com/lifestyle/20150616/cancer-among-soccer-players-prompts-long-beach-to-pay-extra-for-alternative-artificial-turf

          Simply change the infill and the benefit to the community increases- it can be used by both those concerned about crumb rubber as well as those who are not- all can use it and get the same benefit- more all weather field space for sports play.

        • See, I completely agree with your above statements above. I have a 7yo that plays, soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, wants to do lacrosse, football and loves F1, Nascar, motorcross, and many others. I feel what your are saying and agree. My issue is I will not compromise his long-term health for convenience when viable options are out there. Again the fallacy is this is about turf fields or no fields. This issue is about crumb rubber infill (remember this is ground up tires that would not be allowed even in landfills) vs viable alternatives. My biggest issue is that the ESD instead of having a presentation about the various options chose to get a “consultant” to decide (if they did, I cannot find it and if required do it again.. Then when there has been substantial concern voiced instead of answering the issues thoroughly, build consensus, they cause divisiveness, make simple short refusals, and be obstinate. I also agree in general about your comments on the various things we are surrounded by, however there is a drastic difference between what you or I choose to have in our homes, cars, etc. and a decision in a public facility. Likewise, if an adult (or my son when of age) wants to play on the stuff it is their choice, but a decision for our children should have a higher standard even more so when it affects children that are not our own.

        • Having played on crumb rubber and coconut fiber rice husk, and Nike Grind, the rubber in fill was just as, if not more forgiving and more like grass. Having suffered three concussions, an artificial prodisc C in my neck, a captain hook finger, no tendons in my left ankle, and a few minor orbital injuries due to ground to face contact, I found crumb rubber a welcome relief to old school turf alternatives. You highlight a very important point. The fallacy is turf or no turf. The reality is there will, most likely be turf. In 3-5 years when the infill has to be replaced, will there be more specific scientific or cost data? Will there be better alternatives? (I respectfully disagree with the 30% cost increase, I still believe the superior natural turf and organic infill is 3-4x higher with a much higher refresh and replacement rate). So, in typical Edmonds fashion, do we delay a much needed project for 5-10 years, or do we petition for a ballot tax returns increase for the school board, vote on an increase for a CDD or specific levy, in the next cycle. My biggest problem has always arisen from the Council speaking, in what, in the private sector, is fairly clear and transparent, and then being accused of stalling. I feel the same way about Mayoral accusations. It’s a crappy job, and I am glad we have Dave. From my limited time in Edmonds, he at least listens and creates a forum. The dollars are there now. You know funding and project constraints. No turf, we all lose. Well said Scott.

        • Again I think we agree on most of this. We may disagree on the additional cost (we do not know without an open presentation or biding process). We may disagree on my views of the of the Mayor Council and such, and frankly my 3 months of experience I am open to saying is not completely representational (although I have ready much on past issues so it is not completely limited to the last 3 months). And I would be all for a funding to provide an alternative if I had confidence in the process and leadership. My problem with looking for additional funding is when the City and ESD spend tens of thousands to defend their actions along with forcing citizens into spending their time and expense then to say “now let’s assess a levee or such”. Verdant has already expressed a willingness to discuss making up the funding difference. Other municipalities have made the decision within weeks, why can’t the ESD. Put the infill on hold, put out public notice of 14 days, have 2-3 different companies present their options. If there is openly disclosed a contractural reason why it must be presented by 1 company, they do have their own alternatives, then have another company as a contol measure that would love to participate for consideration in future projects. There has been at least one I know of responding on myedmonds.

        • Dad gum Scott, now that’s an approach that I agree with. The fields are 75% built, the Council cannot prevent the ESD from moving forward, Verdant has volunteered funding for more expensive infill (to which degree, remains uncertain) but the fields move forward. In all of this, it would do multiple things – force the ESD to take accountable action because they are not in favor of delaying, solicit funds from private sources for better alternatives, and keep the project moving. We should run for office. I suspect you’d get a few more votes than I, but then again, I was never too in tune with the PC side of things. If Verdant believes that an alternative with their name on it is worth some time, and (in private sector, unlike government) we can find an alternative that doesn’t delay construction schedules significantly – then lets start looking for coconuts and rice husks. Keeping in mind that the original construct of my argument is that the Council really has nothing to do with this, but our angst and alternatives should be directed at the ESD itself – with the ultimate loss being a total shut down or delay of the project rubber crumb infill or no.

        • George, I appreciate the sentiment but I may be less PC than you, we need to have coffee. I would think and it appears correct that Verdant would be all over this except for the obstinance of the ESD. As for the Council, the issues I have is I have pointed out to them where they do have options. They and more directly the Developmental Services Department could immediatley issue a Stop Work Order. There is a process in the ECDC for reviewing any permit based on nuciance, hazard or code violation and I have found atleast 5 violations along with state law violations. This is where I fault them is they accept legal advice from a City Attorney that has a conflict of interest and do not investigate the options reasonably.

  15. There is a big difference between people making personal choices for their individual selves.. If one chooses to live with all of those bad and poisonous products and think it is fine, that is their choice for themselves. There are millions of educated people on this planet now that recognize what has happened to people medically because of KNOWN carcinogens and the destruction left in its path on this small planet to our earth and to all living organisms……and MANY municipal governments all over the world that have chosen NOT to allow these prouducts into their environment.

    Somebody, somewhere RECOGNIZED this HERE a long time ago as we have a quote from Rachel Carsons, Silent Spring, in brass at the bulkhead of our waterfront of Bracketts Landing. Perhaps some here need to reread that classic, ahead of its time, environmental masterpiece. ……and that was a long time ago

    Reading what some have written leads me to believe that they would actually think even the use of DDT was fine 50 years ago. President Carter and his family are excellent examples of the use of environmental carcinogens on humans. His whole family, as peanut farmers have suffered from various cancers, as do millions of farmers around the world that have used agricultural poisons to treat their crops. ******Some of these companies (well known names) that actually manufacture these farming chemical products also now make pharmaceuticals to treat the illnesses caused by them. They are getting their $$$ at both ends********

    One does not have to look far to see the path of destruction…….the irony of the EPA and Chevron doing a “cleanup” here now regarding dumping products into our community in the past

    I am still questioning Verdant Healths role in this…..

    no matter how these guys spin it in our community and how important “play” at the expense of all else is to some adults around here, those that are pushing this, something seems not about “health” at all

    At the very least, our role as parents and grownups is to protect the children.

    I think our city and our school board are inviting trouble in a big way.

  16. I contend that there is also an issue of accessibility to decision makers and their meetings. It’s easy to tell someone that they should attend a Noon meeting or 3pm meeting, but for the average resident, it’s not much of an option. Many people work in an area that’s not close to home. Even if you work just a few miles in Seattle, the nightmarish traffic makes attending these meetings a 2-3 hour block of time away from the office, which isn’t a viable option for most. I would love to see more school district meetings that are held after work hours and city council meetings that were held in different neighborhoods periodically.

    • “It’s easy to tell someone that they should attend a Noon meeting or 3pm meeting, but for the average resident, it’s not much of an option.” That comment of yours was obviously directed at me. I didn’t tell anyone anything; I had the following suggestion: “”You and others should try to find some time to, at least periodically, attend the ESD superintendent’s monthly noon hour meetings.” I know as well as anyone that daytime events are difficult for many to attend.

      ESD Board meetings are held at night, as are other school meetings and informational sessions.

      Holding city council meetings in different neighborhoods has been tried – every quarter on the 5th Tuesday. They did not achieve the desired objective, because the majority of attendees were the same citizens who attend meetings in the council chambers. Now there would be the complication of not being able to televise those meetings. Mayor Earling and his staff continue to hold meetings in different areas of our city.

      • Ron: While your comment triggered the response but was not directed solely in your direction. This is something I’ve discussed with others for a while, at the same time feeling some of my own frustration of not being able to attend certain meetings because of the workday dilemma. My comment was not to be a point of contention, but of another viewpoint. Also note that my comment said “more” meetings after hours, not implying that none of them are.

        I also understand that neighborhood meetings were tried in the past, but as the city continues to change and grow (demographically and otherwise), a revisit shouldn’t be completely out of the question. They don’t have to be full Council meetings, but ones where a couple of council members attend and have discussions based on the issues and needs of that community. The results of those neighborhood meetings could be brought back to full council (and televised) for discussion

        • Ms Crank is running for City Council and so far has done two unusual things: she has taken a stance on crumb rubber….nothing much from the other candidates, and she is recognizing that one of the reasons folks don’t show up to all the meetings isn’t approval or apathy but it is largely about accessibility to our government. She is proposing that the council be proactive in soliciting citizen opinion, concerns and involvement. That is a fresh and inclusive approach!!!!
          Perhaps concerns like the crumb rubber and private property rights regarding trees would not have reached “critical mass” and could have been dealt with more effectively.

        • The issue before our city council was not approval or disapproval of the use of crumb rubber; the issue before them is the approval or disapproval of an ILA with the Edmonds School District. However, the ILA was largely not addressed by citizens; citizen comments were largely in opposition to using crumb rubber. It is obvious that all council candidates would oppose the use of crumb rubber – should they ever be in a position to make that decision.

          Lack of accessibility to our (city) government is a bogus claim. This is all about trying to manufacture an issue. The Mayor and most, if not all, of our current councilmembers do solicit citizen opinions. They are in contact with citizens by email and telephone. And no city council has held more public hearings than this city council.

          I suggest that Ms. Cronk is suffering from not having lived in our city, or in our state, for even a full year.

        • Mr. Wambolt, if you are going to criticize my opinions, which you have a right to, I’d at least expect you to (1) spell my name correctly and (2) be factual.

          I have lived in Edmonds for more than a full year. You also have a right to your opinion about how long a person should live in their community before they become involved in government and elected office, and you can voice your opposition by not voting for that person.

          Also, a diversity of accessibility (i did not say “lack”) isn’t a bad thing to explore. Email and telephone outreach is great, but won’t capture everyone, just as social media will only capture a certain audience. If having interpersonal interactions end up not being a viable idea, then so be it.

          Rights and differences of opinion can be an amazing thing if done civilly.

        • Ms. Crank:
          I apologize for mis-spelling your name.

          My comments were a response to those made made by Ms. Talmadge.

        • Mr. Wambolt, the City Council could actually demonstrate that they are as you say “obvious that all council candidates would oppose the use of crumb rubber – should they ever be in a position to make that decision” by simply passing a motion for a permit review under ECDC 20.100.00 as I spoke about several weeks ago. I requested the exact same action in my personal case and was denied so I did it myself and on August 27th at 3pm in Council Chambers you can view the hearing. So stop “toeing the party line” by acting like there is nothing they can do, there is a multitude of things, if there is truely a will to do something.

  17. I agree with Ron Wambolt, there are ample opportunities to be involved in local government here in Edmonds. Our local government is accessible and your voice can be heard. Furthermore almost all of the Council meetings and committees as well as the Citizens committees and Advocacy groups hold their forums in the evening. I was recently on the Citizens Transportation committee for review of the Transportation Comprehensive Plan. Everyone that applied for that committee was accepted. That was also true in regard to the Parks Comprehensive Plan a year or two ago. The same is also true of the Edmonds Bicycle Advocacy Group. People need to quit making excuses and get more involved in their local government. Edmonds Citizens in general are more active in their government than other Cities, but we can still do better. Too often even here at Edmonds, we have people who seem to want to be criticizing others rather than be involved in solving problems. Try to say we, and not them and be part of the solution in making Edmonds an even better place to live. We are all in this together and nearly everyone can be involved, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t.

    • While maybe not optimal, I would agree there is much opportunity to voice an opinion, however that is different than being heard or able to discuss. The fear of litigation is thrown into the Council every time an issue is at a beyond a high level planning point. Then the majority of the council clams up, will not reach out, nor even hold smaller meetings with the people to hear them. Almighty Taraday speaks from on high and claims “You cannot have Ex parte communication”, or “Executive Session, this may be litigated”

    • I disagree. “Our local government is accessible” THIS is simply not true for many, many good citizens ……law abiding citizens here.

      In my opinion, there is a long time ol’ boy and girls club …..And those long term members of THAT group appear to have a system that works for them and theirs, whoever, and they clearly wish to have their system keep working for them.

      This isnt our first rodeo!

      References to “criticizing” citizens for many citizens that simply want a FAIR and equal, LAW abiding government representing them, appears to me to be one of the standard hallmarks of a system here for a select group………..We have found that there are many including our government that are not open at all……nor transparent and not always law abiding

      I believe one would have to be living under a rock to not understand the how and the why of this system here and who really benefits many times over from it……

      and the propanda and branding put out by this “system” is simply astonishing.

      We are all equal in this city and the whole of the citizenry deserves equal representation and a government that is transparent and follows all laws, rules and regulations. Such a simple requirement of elected officials and citizens participating, if not for the system here

      ” Injustice anywhere is a threat to Justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

      • I’ve long expressed my concern about the City Council being provided false, incomplete, inaccurate or misleading information before they vote on some issues. One would think that the City Council would be willing to reconsider their votes after citizens provide them information suggesting that the Council was fooled.

        But for some mysterious reason – they seem unwilling to do so. They may appear accessible on the surface – but do they really listen to all citizens and take ACTION when citizens bring valuable information to their attention?

        For example I’ve told them for years that Ordinance No. 3740 was passed after representations were made about so called Scrivener’s Errors. I’ve never found any evidence supporting any Scrivener’s Errors – yet the City Council has been unwilling to go back and investigate what happened during the passage of that Ordinance and address it. Instead they just sit there and allow that Ordinance to stand. I find that incredible and it makes it very hard to respect and/or trust their behavior.

        Recently, I informed them that they had violated a State law related to emergency ordinances. Please ask yourself why it had to be a citizen to notice that and bring it to their attention!

        They got my message – but they still proceeded forward in violation of State law.

        Another example is the recent discovery of the issues with the City Attorney’s business license, taxes, etc. In a related article, Council President Fraley-Monillas chose not to thank the citizens who discovered this situation. Instead, she stated that she believes the firm was unfairly singled out and targeted. Why the choice to criticize engaged citizens rather than simply thanking them for their attention to what is going on at the City?

        So – is it really worth the effort to be an involved citizen? Do they really respect the diligent research and information that citizens provide them – or is much of it just background noise to them? Are they truly accessible, or is it more a charade?

        • …..”instead they just sit there and let that ordinance stand”…….

          “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are”
          BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

  18. Ken, I totally agree with you. The council president seems to think it is ok for the council to do what ever it wants. Why don’t other council members voice there opinions unless they think it is ok. When they voted on the ethics policy it was not the one they where to vote on according to the agenda and they passed no enforcement policy. Being open and accountable to the public is getting further from the truth.

  19. Solid points Don.

    The Open Public Meetings Act calls for deliberations to be conducted openly. On June 2, 2015 – the City Council had 45 minutes set aside for the:

    Discussion and potential action regarding draft code of ethics, Attachment 16. Review of Options A,B,C and D.

    Instead of doing what Council President Fraley-Monillas placed on her own Agenda, she immediately made a motion to do something that was not on the Agenda. This is so very wrong.

    Her motion was immediately seconded. How could anybody be ready and willing to second a motion not germane to the agenda item? Then there were no comments whatsoever from Council Members Johnson, Mesaros or Nelson. The only words expressed by the three councilmembers before the vote were Ms. Johnson’s “I’ll second that” to Ms. Fraley-Monillas’ surprise motion.

    I fear that deliberations about the Code of Ethics took place outside of the public meeting and that discussions were conducted privately.

    Council President Fraley-Monillas read an email she stated she had received from absent Councilmember Diane Buckshnis. What Ms. Fraley-Monillas read proves that Ms. Buckshnis had a false understanding of what Attachment 13 was. Ms. Buckshnis apparently stated that she liked what both Mr. Peterson and Ms. Monillas had put forth. The Attachment 13 attached to the June 2, 2015 City Council Agenda was not the document put forth by both Mr. Peterson and Ms. Fraley-Monillas. The Attachment 13 attached to the June 2, 2015 City Council Agenda had been modified after Mr. Peterson left City Council.

    I believe that had deliberations taken place openly, it would have been hard for any Council member to argue that Attachment 13, the version Ms. Fraley-Monillas modified at least twice on her own, was better for our 40,000 citizens than an openly deliberated Attachment 16 would have been.

    This conduct on June 2nd was a very dark day for our City. After years of trying to get a Code of Ethics passed – it is amazing how they finally passed their “small” version of a Code of Ethics. I recommend citizens watch the related video. I just watched it again and it truly is amazing what took place that night.

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