Bad feelings boil over in aftermath of contentious city council meeting

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For the second week in a row, much of what was discussed at Tuesday night’s Edmonds City Council meeting had nothing to do with the official agenda. In fact, most of it was related to fallout from last week’s contentious meeting.

In opening remarks as the meeting began, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling noted that due to behavior of some citizens during last week’s meeting, which included “disruptive comments and gestures,” Edmonds police will be at future council meetings “for the foreseeable future.”

“The council values comments from the public; however, we cannot allow a speaker to hijack the proceedings,” Earling said. “Public comment is welcomed and encouraged at appropriate times; disruption is not.” Disruptions similar to last week’s meeting will lead to a warning, with ejection following a second interruption, the mayor added.

Crumb rubber tire infill at the Woodway campus was again the main topic of discussion during the public comment period. A number of community members opposed to the artificial turf playfields urged the council to tell the Edmonds School District to stop work on the project while the council undergoes a review of already-approved permits governing their installation.

The council’s approval of the permit review last week came on a 4-0 vote (Councilmember Tom Mesaros abstaining) while two councilmembers — Diane Buckshnis and Mike Nelson — were on vacation. Buckshnis called in to the meeting while she was on the road in Wisconsin, planning to vote on the matter as well, but controversy arose about whether telephone participation by councilmembers was allowed. The council voted 3-2 (Councilmembers Lora Petso, Joan Bloom and Kristina Johnson in favor) to not allow Buckshnis to vote.

During the comment period reserved for councilmembers at the end of Tuesday’s meeting, resentments from last week’s actions boiled over.

Stating that “it’s my right to call in and be part of the discussion,” Buckshnis said she appreciated the supportive calls and emails she received from citizens who thought she should have been able to participate. “It’s really unfortunate all the disrespect that was echoed last week,” she said.

Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas followed with a statement that last week’s vote preventing Buckshnis from participating was “smoke and mirrors from those who want you to believe that it strictly had to do with the resolution.” Councilmembers have been allowed to call in to meetings “for the six years I’ve been on council,” Fraley-Monillas said.

Councilmember Bloom “indicated she didn’t want Ms. Buckshnis to participate because it would result in a tie vote,” said Fraley-Monillas, who described the action as “an insult to democracy as we know it.”

“I think they should be ashamed for what they’ve done, has hurt our city as a whole,” Fraley-Monillas added.

Bloom then responded to what she described as the Council President’s “lengthy attack of me,” stating that “as councilmembers we do not function on precedent. We function on the law and on established procedures.” In this case, the council is governed by Roberts Rules, Bloom said, and the council has not yet adopted a formal procedure to spell out how telephone call-ins are handled.

Petso added that she didn’t believe the council had allowed anyone to call in since the body agreed to adopt Roberts Rules (which occurred in 2013). “And I did hear the city attorney last week say that Roberts Rules do not permit you to call in unless you have arranged a process,” Petso said. The council did discuss a process for telephone call-ins in 2013, she said, but the measure didn’t come before the full council for a vote.”We should take it up now, we should get it done and we should move on,” Petso concluded.

(In emails sent to My Edmonds News following the meeting, Buckshnis said Petso’s assertion wasn’t true. Buckshnis said she called in to meetings in both July and August 2013 and former Councilmember Frank Yamamoto also called in during August and September 2013 while he was recovering from heart surgery.)

Also during the council comment period, both Petso and Bloom asked several tire crumb-rubber-related questions of Lighthouse Law Group attorney Sharon Cates, who was filling in for the vacationing City Attorney Jeff Taraday. Petso asked whether the council has the authority to ban crumb rubber fields in Edmonds, and Bloom inquired whether the city could stop toxic material from being placed on the fields. Cates said she didn’t believe the city had the authority to tell the school district what to do on their property but added she would have to research the issue further.

The council also took action on the following items:

  • After lengthy discussion and two defeated amendments, approved the city’s Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program. One of the amendments, submitted by Petso, would have removed the “multi-use pathway” description from the Sunset Walkway Project, a move that she said reflected her concerns about the current temporary pathway configuration. That amendment failed on a 3-4 vote (Bloom and Buckshnis also voting for). The second amendment, by Councilmember Johnson, would have shifted funding from 2016 to 2017 for implementation of the planned trackside warning system, which would significantly reduce train horn noise along the waterfront. Johnson said delaying the $300,000 budget item a year might give the city additional time to find money to fund it, and would also allow for completion of the rail crossing alternatives analysis now underway, in case the two items needed to be coordinated. The amendment failed to gain support from fellow councilmembers, however, and failed 1-6.
  • Received the city’s July 2015 Financial Report.
  • Welcomed Edmonds-Woodway High School student Ari Girouard as the council’s new student representative. Girouard serves as EWHS Senior Class president and captain of the Warriors’ softball team.

Finally, councilmembers and the mayor thanked City of Edmonds Public Works employees for the fine job they did responding to Saturday’s windstorm, which resulted in numerous downed trees and power outages across the city.

 

76 COMMENTS

  1. OK, bear with me, maybe I’m missing something: we had a 4-0 vote to approve a permit review, and one councilmember was prevented from voting. How did that stop it from being a tie vote? Wouldn’t it have been 4-1, with the same outcome?

    I also think the council should decide on whether or not people can participate via telephone, and not decide it on a case by case basis, which very predictably will annoy people who are on the losing side of close votes. (Though this doesn’t seem like it was one, unless I’m missing something.)

  2. Are we a City of Laws or is it up to the whims of the Administration? Why is it so hard to follow the law? If Members were participating in violation of their adopted rules then they were not upholding their Oath 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 all local ordinances, and that I will faithfully and impartially perform and discharge the duties of the office of _____, according to the law and the best of my ability.

    Roberts Rules of Order
    Part IV
    MEETINGS AND STRATEGIES
    Chapter 16 – Meetings A meeting, as defined by Robert’s Rules of Order, is a single official gathering of the members of an organization in one room, with a quorum present to transact business. The members do not leave the meeting, except for a short recess, until the business has been completed or the chair declares the meeting adjourned. This chapter covers the many types of formal meetings (including conventions and mass meetings) and informal meetings (small board and committee meetings), and it discusses the pros and cons of electronic meetings. It also explains how to manage and evaluate meetings and how to form strategies – and counterstrategies – for meetings.

    If there is a bonafide need to have remote participation then atleast pass a resolution or ordinance as required. Make sure it satisfies the Open Meetings Act, which has some hurdles. How will members see all the evidence of hard paper had in by the Citizens? How do you assure that the connection is solid and no drop outs of testimony? Do not the Citizens have a right to observe their elected officials at work? It can be done but at what cost. I personally find the motivation more to “satisfy” the 70% participation requirement than to actually participate. There is a reason why a Quorum is not full attendance but half plus 1, the job of the Council is to get work done not to be self-serving to the Members. If you cannot be present then don’t take the job. Is it about “you” or the citizens? However, if with valid debate, and consideration it is decided on then fine. I would only ask that the Council look at other Municipalities that do allow for it in limited circumstances and consider their reasoning.

    A second issue is why are we paying $41,000 a month (or more) to a Law Firm that after 4 years does not even have a rudimentary grasp of the Code. It is not rocket science, most cities have similar needs and processes. It takes about 8 mouse clicks to get to the relevant part of the Code for the process to enforce the Code.

    20.110.040 Enforcement procedures.
    A. Order to Correct Violation.
    B. Notice of Civil Violation.
    1. Issuance. If the person responsible for the violation fails to correct or cause the correction of the violation within the time given by the order to correct the violation, a notice of civil violation will be issued to each person to whom the order to correct violation directed.
    2. Issuance in an Emergency or for Repeat Violations. The community services director or his/her designee may issue a notice of civil violation without having issued an order to correct where an emergency exists or a repeated violation occurs.
    E. Abatement by the City. If the violation has not been corrected by the time ordered by the violations hearing examiner, or by the correction date ordered by the notice of civil violation, an abatement notice shall be sent by mail to the person responsible for the violation at their last known address, shall be posted in a conspicuous location on the site or served personally on the person responsible for the violation no less than 10 working days prior to abatement by the city. The city, its employees or agents are expressly authorized to enter said property for the purposes of abatement of said violation. The actual cost of abatement, including any incidental cost such as, but not limited to: staff time; legal costs; cost of postage or service; and any other reasonable, incidental cost shall be calculated and added to the monetary penalties. The city shall be free to employ appropriate contractors to remedy the situation and may pass through all costs of such contractors as incidental costs of abatement.

    Since when does the City Attorney have the power to make “Rulings”. He gives advice that the Administration and Council are by Oath bound to analyse and if inappropriate NOT follow especially if it breaks Laws or Rules.

    2.05.020 Duties.
    A. The city attorney shall advise the city authorities and officers on all legal matters pertaining to the business of the city and shall approve all ordinances as to form. He shall represent the city in all actions brought by or against the city or against city officials in their official capacities.

    In her own words last night it appears that the Council President has a sever mis-understanding of the City Attorney’s duties and authority.

    Simply this is all on the Mayor. He allows Members to interrupt each other and plays them against each other. He is responsible to enforce the laws of the City and the efficient running of the various departments. He should know exactly who has authority to enforce the code, which by the way is Shane Hope, the Development Services Department Director. It should not have been in any way a question to the City Attorney. The Mayor s flat out not taking responsibility.

  3. Its just like the lack of a comprehensive UPDATE of all of our city codes……..anybody or whoever can decide WHATEVER depending on whatever their special interests are for WHOever at the moment……..I dont believe the lack of an update is by accident in my opinion……..Roberts Rules does not allow call ins that I can see…..just because Council member Buckshnish and Yamamoto have done it before does not mean it is legal in the operation of our government under what is set up now

    Our government needs to be operated in a LAW abiding manner at all times with checks and balances

    So, now we have the police as a part of our government to help quash any citizens who question our government and in regards to not following the law at Council meetings

    Is this the, so you want a third world police state government regarding citizen descent occasionally regarding a government not following the LAW, we’ll give it to you???

    I just have to say again, wow!……Perhaps the Civil Liberties Union has some thoughts on this………one person at one Council meeting blurts out follow the law and we have the police at Council meetings for however long our Mayor decides………

    an extreme reaction to a simple process of descent by a citizen….one episode. I guess our Mayor thought the perhaps 10 people (and thats a stretch from most Council meetings I have attended regarding a count of people in the room) were going to physically riot?…….didnt look like that on the video I saw

    Again, wow!……..Is this the kind of leadership and government we want for our city?…….something everbody should be asking themselves……again, third world countries come to mind and how they rule……..that iron fist…..or scare tactics, or strongarm ….or something. I have not seen this before

    Everything that Mr. Blomenkamp was asking was a reasonable request by a reasonable citizen……..for our government to simply follow the law

  4. Time to vote everyone out and start over with a new council! Every meeting is filled with adults that can’t play together in the same sandbox!

    • I believe the Mayor sets the agenda, the tone and the Mayor chooses the staff. ……going back over a number of videos, there are usually only two Council members that ask the really hard fact finding important questions from what I see. I think we know who always goes along…..

      And again, why not a Code of Ethics with REAL back up for this government. …….WHY does this government not want that?……..perhaps doesnt want to be held accountable

      I say we need an important change at the top and that does not appear to be the citizens in our government…….where they are supposed to be….at the top

  5. How dare the Mayor take action against the residents of Edmonds for presenting valid complaints. Perhaps the Mayor has forgotten who elected him and who pays his excessive salary. Why threaten to eject people by the police (they fund) out of a building (they pay for) ?? If anyone should be ejected it should be the Mayor for claiming ignorance against the wrongs committed against the people. If not working for the Edmond’s people, who is the Edmonds city officials really work for? Should be obvious at this point.

  6. Furthermore: Calling in the police because citizens are upset with city officials is a complete waste of resources, and I’m sure most would agree police are needed elsewhere. Police are not meant to be private security for city officials who make bad choices. I find it ridiculous that the Mayor would suggest public comment is welcome at times, disruption is not. I do believe the Mayor has no authority over the freedom of speech.. When your making choices that affect a large number of people get ready for good and bad responses. People have sat back and restrained themselves about the issue only to be let down by the city officials. Don’t wonder now why people are expressing their anger. I agree with others if you don’t want to do the duties you swore to uphold then quit.

  7. I am disheartened that my request, during public comments, for Council to put personal feelings and blameshifting aside mostly fell on deaf ears regarding the telephone participation resolution. Again, based on what happened at the end of the meeting, the infighting does nothing but breed more hostility among those participating and disillusionment by those witnessing it. I do believe, though, that no one on council really wants to conduct business this way. Call a cease fire to this.

      • Ms Crank,
        Please take heart, your very well stated request that Council address the issue of remote participation did not fall on deaf ears. The greater audience heard you; loudly ( metaphorically) and clearly. Thank you for your calm, rational and well reasoned “audience” comment.

  8. Fortunately, elections are just 2 months away. I am praying 2016 will bring more civility and cooperation among all parts of our city government…especially, the city council.

    • Unfortunately several people are running unopposed, one being the Member that was trying to break their rules and The Mayor was a proponent of allowing it, and the Council President’s term is not due till I believe 2017. The only 2 Members that actually show a desire to inquire as to the issue have a challenger or are retiring. So the elections are of minimal help at this point. I would suggest for next year there needs to be a recall of EVERY elected official, those that the Citizens feel are responsive to the Citizens can stay, those not go.

  9. No wonder the world is in such a mess; I find it unbelievable that intelligent, reasonable adults behave like this. How did these folks get elected? I agree with one of the writers….vote them out and start over.

    • I would like to “like” this comment, and quite a few others. MyEdmondsNews, would you consider either a thumbs up or thumbs down for comments made in this forum? It really would let your community of readers know what the readers are thinking; those who do not want to make a comment, but would hit a “like” or “dislike” button. I think it would be helpful also to those making the comments as well as those to whom the comments are directed. If those elected see a “majority” of comments either supporting them or, perhaps in disagreement; this can only be a positive thing.

  10. Follow the law and if there is no clear protocol for council members to call in to participate (in writing), then it shouldn’t be allowed until there is a clear set protocol that is followed every time it occurs. Not doing this gives the perception that there are hidden agendas behind some council members objectives, to get their viewpoint or motions passed. Calling for police to be present at council meetings is really a stretch and gives a perception that citizens are out of control. This is not the case. I thought taxpayers paid for a workshop to help council members to get along with each other, instead their is still a perception that some council members still have animosity toward each other regardless of just the differences in opinion. Yes, there are elections coming, and citizens should vote to change the current makeup of the council. I applaud the council members that do ask the pertinent questions and attempt to uphold the law that is written. Just my opinion.

  11. Rather than waste all of the time that has been spent debating the call-in issue, why not jus go back to the December 2013 resolution and vote on it. Then there will be a clear direction to follow.

    As to the Freedom of Speech issue, that gives you the right speak your mind. It does not give you the right to disrupt and prevent others from doing the same thing. Their is a procedure for speaking to the council to quote others here “follow the law” and don’t assume it just applies to everyone else.

    One last thing, we have twice had to pay a consultant to come and help figure out a way for the council members to behave like adults. Over $10,000 of taxpayers dollars. Yet, they do not seem to have learned a thing. It is embarrassing and disgraceful.

    • As the person that was referred to in the Mayors comments and the person that made the “Follow the Law” comment I completly agree and last night I did apologize for my contribution. And in no way would I say I am exempt from my comment, and I am fully prepared to accept any consequences. I would only point out the police is quite overboard, and the only reason I spoke out was I had attempted to communicate the various illegal activities that have been happening just in my 4 months of being a resident. I communicated over 50 times with staff, Council, and the Mayors office. These were not discretionary gripes, but clear cut legal violations. There is a long president in this country of using Civil Disobedience as a LAST resort. I felt this was mine. And again it was not a tirade, locking myself to the doors or such. Just a case of pointing out what the City Attorney, Council, Mayor, and Council President should surely know.

    • Harry – I must remind you there is no clause in the Freedom of speech that covers “No disruption”, in any great debate your going to have multiple opinions about a issue. Through out various times in history people have had heated debates over issues, anger comes when others ignore the masses and common sense. The Mayor simply wants to have the council meetings run unopposed, he only wants to hear what he wants to hear, when he wants to hear it.. The world doesn’t work that way and neither does the freedom of speech. The act of trying to filter it in a council meeting is questionable in itself. Procedure is not law may I remind you, and don’t assume that the freedom of speech doesn’t apply to everyone.. I assure you more tax money is being wasted by the school district installing the fields.

    • Harry, you’re right; the consultant was a waste of taxpayers’ money. In my experience, when people have reached the ages of our city councilmembers their character is fixed and unalterable by any consultant.

  12. As one who has attended all council meetings in the last few months, I was struck by the length of the “speech” given by the Mayor in regard to public meetings and “disorderly conduct”, including the need for police presence for the foreseeable future.

    It was a swift and rather overbearing reaction to a few citizen comments to “follow the law”? According to our Mayor, “we cannot allow a speaker to hijack proceedings”.

    If a few out of order comments to “follow the law” are considered “hijacking”, than what do we call what is occurring within our local government and its response (or lack of) to the hundreds of comments and questions regarding the construction of athletic fields; fields that are, according to updated state code, classified as a “pollution generating surface” AND contain known toxins and carcinogens that violate the Children’s Safe Product Act?

    What do we call it when the required public participation in the design process is not allowed?

    What do we call it when a misleading (or worse) SEPA report results in a finding of non-significance in an area surrounded by a state protected Fish and Wildlife Area?

    What do we call it when a legal proceedings result in denial by the hearing examiner and city council for a permit for field lights, and yet the entire infrastructure for the lights, including 10 ft. concrete bases, are built?

    Why has there not been such a reaction to the hundreds of comments made to the laws, codes, and procedures that may have been violated? How about a statement from our Mayor regarding the many health and environmental concerns raised by citizens? Why not direct city resources and efforts towards providing the citizens with answers to the questions that have been put forth during the “welcome public participation”?

    Is public comment and participation truly welcome, or is it simply tolerated?

  13. I have a deep suspicion that our present Council President has put a “cat amongst the pigeons” and not handled her position very well this year, which has resulted in her making rulings that override some members of the Council, without a vote taking place.

  14. By the way can the Mayor have this type of authority with respect to “threatening” a police presence for the unforeseeable future? He is the Mayor representing all the people of Edmonds right? Not a Dictator?

  15. Enough is enough. How much longer does this need to go on before they are held accountable? If we’re still stuck with them after elections, they need to be recalled, starting with our mayor. What an absolute disgrace. Can’t do your job? Can’t follow the law? Out you go. Mr. Mayor, you should be ashamed of yourself.

  16. For the mayor to expect the police to control those attending council meetings instead of … the chair of the meeting…is not evidence of his confidence and security. As a former elected official, I don’t believe we should ever put the police between our public officials and our public city council meetings, short of evidence of threats of bodily harm. . …Metal detectors could be the next intimidating step … I have no problem with the Chief or his representatives attending meetings as members of the administration, but I don’t need or want paid city police officers on duty Tuesday nights at the council meetings (instead of fighting crime).

    I hope city council members are embarrassed enough to propose a resolution asking for removal of the official police presence for crowd control purposes.

  17. I haven’t been at a city council meeting in a while, but I’ll try to make it next week. A few points though: these are public meetings required to keep the city running smoothly. They adhere to an agenda for the most part and order must be maintained for the work of the city to get done. If people are being disruptive they will be asked to leave, and if they refuse they will be removed — that would be the reason for the police presence, and I think it’s valid if there’s an ongoing problem with meetings being disrupted.

    Someone mentioned civil disobedience; yes, that’s always an option if you feel strongly enough, but of course one should expect there to be consequences to the disobedience.

    I do not imagine that the Edmonds PD is going to engage in any heavy-handed tactics to intimidate people (it certainly wouldn’t be in keeping with anything I’ve seen out of them after a long time in the area). I also don’t expect they’d be there instead of out “fighting crime”; I expect they’d be kept past the end of their shift and get a few hours of overtime. This isn’t as dramatic as people are making it out to be.

  18. There are bullys and blowhards and it’s becuaes the mayor is weak? What school taught you that logic.? Calling cops in is for everyones safety and for order in the room. Maybe they did due dliligence and found some reason for cops to be there. I say keep the peace in that room so the business gets done and everyone behaves. Just my opinion.

    • There were no threats, and I do not have as much as even a single case of a police report as to any sort of violence. Further, it was not just the Council meeting, funny that 2 days later 2 officers were present for my Miscellaneous hearing. Yes, simple intimidation.

  19. This is, indeed, grist for enterprising attorneys looking to file nuisance lawsuits!

    Cut out the nonsense and get to work…

  20. Scott, what do you think the police are trying to prevent people from doing? That’s an honest question. I’ve never seen anyone prevented from speaking at the appointed time during a meeting. (When it isn’t time to speak, of course, that’s another matter.)

    I seriously doubt a police officer present in the room would do anything at all unless directed to do so, unless they thought someone was in danger.

    • John, I do not have a worry about the Police and frankly believe they are simply doing what they are told. I find it simply a ridiculous exercise of an ineffective Mayor looking to intimidate Citizens and a pure waste of our tax dollars. There was no probable cause to think any form of violence or significant disobedience was going to happen. And in fact I have been to about 12-14 Council meetings and have seen many times comments from the Audience. Not saying they were correct or not, simply there was not an officer called and I doubt they were “shadowed” to the next meeting they were present at.

      • I have been going to council meetings regularly for 12 years and have NEVER seen anyone behave like you did – Mr. Blomenkamp, you were not discriminated against; you were simply “over the top” with your verbal protests.

        • And next I imagine you will say you were at EVERY meeting. I will not call out the times or the people’s names because in no way do I think any of them (including myself) rise to the same level as blatant rule breaking and the farce of a Council procedure I have seen since attending. Council Members not studying the packets, listening to a City Attorney that cannot even answer simple code questions that are basic, a Mayor that is not a concensus builder, and many more ridiculous issues. Maybe you were asleep or possible not there but I did stand up and appologize for my part.

        • Folks, we are getting into name calling and a level of accusation that violates the reason why I started this website. Agree to disagree please, but let’s raise the level of discourse. I’m at the point where I’ve had enough and I’m going to start heavily editing these types of posts from now on.

        • I do not have the exact stricken text but I apologize if it violated rules, I thought it described actions not directly calling a person a name.

  21. There are many in our community who are concerned deeply about the construction of these fields. I have talked with dozens of Edmonds residents who oppose them, and am hard pressed to find one who is supportive, especially in regards to the materials being used. I too would like to see some of the issues that have been addressed during audience comments during the past few months responded to thoughtfully and thoroughly.

  22. Well it it sad to leave the last comment as it stands. I have seen the video, and Mr Blomenkamp’s recent Tuesday apology, and can’t see or hear anything really out of the ordinary (remember the Tree meeting at the Council during this year?) Mr Blomenkamp, welcome to the town of Edmonds, and I sincerely hope you have smoother sailing from now on, as you sound like a gentleman.

    • Thank you Jenny and I certainly appreciate the comments. I simply would like to see the Council function and get business done by following the rules like every other citizen is expected to. I will continue to watch and follow the issues and comment appropriately. I for one think the continual rotation of the same tired old ideas has gotten us where we are at.

        • So, yes, let’s not question the laws as Petso is one of the people in our government that DOES ask the good, hard questions of all

          I invite anybody to go through all the videos and see WHO asks the questions and actually many asked no questions until it was called to THEIR attention…….I guess if someone is working their way to a higher office, better to not ask questions or make waves.

          This is not government that represents the people……..Go back to the beginning of this year…….proofs in the pudding

          quite a tactic you guys use…..well, I for one believe many people see through it now and its so obvious

  23. All these problems are cause of the rubber in the turf the way i see it that rubber is legal and its the school districts project why these people are going to the council and acting like its there project is just wrong, its the school districts deal always has been and always will be and folks like it or not cancer or no cancer that rubber is still legal, they are going to do a review though but you know what the way some of these people have stared at the council and almost yelled at them like its there deal , its so embarrasing i really don’t care what happens. Now the other matter the good stuff the way I see it when Joan Bloom had her little outbreak towards Dianne she had a pretty good idea of how she was going to vote and did’nt like it. Since Joan is leaving soon I expect more of these outbreaks sure hope so I loved it maybe thats why the mayor is bring in the cops

    • Michael McCarthy- The reason the people want to be involved in the district’s deal is because the district is funded by the people. It is not wrong for concerned people to raise the health issue on the fields and hold the district accountable for their actions. They are spending the people’s money. The people want to make sure their money is not being misused, while putting people at risk of getting sick now and in the future. In this particular instance the people were well ignored by many officials on both sides (dIstrict & city). I feel sympathy for you, because you don’t care where your money goes and how it is used evidently. People also pay for the police so the thought of bringing police to council meetings is another complete waste of public resources.. I”m sorry sir I am confused about your I don’t care logic.

  24. Anybody who witnessed the May 27, 2015 Planning Board Meeting would have heard disruptive questions/comments made from the audience and even some answers to questions shouted out from the audience. The following examples are taken right from the Planning Board Meeting Minutes. The first audience comment example was made before the public portion of the Hearing was even opened. The last 4 examples were made after the public portion of the Hearing was closed:

    1. A member of the audience asked how the City would enforce the tree-density requirement. Mr. Lien explained that staff would not drive through the City, checking the tree density on properties. The tree density would be considered as part of any development permit review.

    2. From the audience, Cynthia Carlock, Edmonds, asked if the Board has thought about how the draft Tree Code might affect home sales in Edmonds.

    3. Vice Chair Lovell commented that had the City gone through the UFMP thought process before starting rewriting the Tree Code, the Board would not be sitting in a room with 300 people who are opposed. A member of the audience commented that the above statement is the most important thing said at the hearing.

    4. A member of the audience asked if the grant funding came from the Federal or State Government. Mr. Lien said the grant money initiated through the forest service and was filtered through the State Department of Natural Resources.

    5. From the audience, Mr. Kappes observed that Vice Chair Lovell’s earlier comment pointed out that private property is not part of Urban Forestry Management. However, the motion on the floor does not specifically address this concept. Board Member Rubenkonig pointed out that the Board is not in a position to address what an UFMP will include at this time. Vice Chair Lovell reviewed that the purpose of an UFMP is to help local government communicate government goals to the public and provide for consistent actions across city departments. His intention is not to say that an UFMP would only deal with public property. Instead, the plan should incorporate everything that was discussed at the hearing. It is possible that the UFMP would only address public and not private properties. The fact is that the City needs a vision and goals that all citizens can support.

    A review of the subsequent June 10,2015 Planning Board Meeting Minutes indicates no concern expressed over the disruptions that took place during the May27th meeting nor any request for police presence at future Planning Board meetings.

  25. Tuesday night Mayor Earling stated:

    “Edmonds expects and deserves Civil Discourse.”

    Trust in City Government appears to be shrinking as more and more people are exposed to the conduct of and processes followed by our City Government.

    I believe the Mayor needs to lead by example and start to address the huge challenge of rebuilding trust. He can demand that his staff make sure that its conduct is scrupulously just and that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced.

    He can make a commitment to the citizens that he will do everything possible to combat past and current improper and/or inconsistent application of our laws.

    Discourse includes written or spoken communication or debate. Civil discourse means, at a minimum, mutually respectful, courteous, constructive, and orderly communication.

    I believe it is not “civil” to refuse to respond to citizen emails sent to elected officials. How is failing to respond to citizen emails respectful, courteous or constructive? The Mayor, City Council and City Staff have official City email addresses. I believe it reasonable for citizens to expect those email addresses can be used to engage in orderly communication.

    Mayor Earling has a chance to promote Civil Discourse between City Government and Edmonds citizens. He can respect all citizens, respond to emails and require his staff to do the same. This effort would be consistent with the City’s Personnel policies, which include the following:

    10.1 General Code of Conduct

    The City’s primary function is to provide service to the citizens of Edmonds. To achieve that goal, all employees are expected to treat the public as their most valued customer. All employees are expected to serve the public in a professional manner, which is courteous, efficient and helpful.

    Among the City’s expectations are: tact and courtesy towards the public and fellow Employees and adherence to City policies.

    All persons, representing the City of Edmonds, shall conduct business in a professional manner, respecting all citizens’ rights, and showing courtesy to all. Their actions shall be conducted within compliance of the laws and regulations governing the City’s actions, including but not limited to RCW Title 42. City representatives are expected to conduct business in an open manner. They shall not engage in any conduct which would reflect unfavorably upon City government or any of the services it provides.

    They must avoid any action which might result in or create the impression of using their position for private gain, giving preferential treatment or privileged information to any person, or losing impartiality in conducting the City’s business.

  26. Again, I call on the government of our city to implement a DETAILED Code Of Ehics with recourse for offenders who violate the agreed on ETHICAL standards. This is a commonly used tool in many cities across the country to assure citizens we have a system for checks and balances in our government. This would include the staff our Mayor has chosen.

    The General Code of Conduct does not appear in my opinion to mean anything to some in our government.

    Some of the fairness issue and past grievances need to also be addressed when they STILL blatently adversely affect some of our good, best and brightest citizens. Citizens are not all treated the same and there are some glaring examples of this in our city.

    I have written in letters to our City Council numerous times and almost without exception, never (occassionly with Buckshnis….maybe once with Monillas) get a response from any Council members except for Bloom and Petso, who always take the time to do their job and respond to a perfectly reasonable citizen comment or request.

  27. These issues are not new. For example, related to the City Personnel Policy update, I emailed the City Council the following on Tuesday April 21, 2015 around 7:00 AM. The email was cc’d to Mayor Earling and Ms. Hite:

    Dear City Council members,

    Please pull this item from the Consent Agenda and openly discuss the following comment from the related Council Memo dated April 14, 2015:

    “The Mayor will be responsible for operating the City of Edmonds within the parameters of the Policies…”

    It is critical that an open and transparent City explain just how the Mayor of Edmonds will do so. This is especially true due to Mayor Earling’s past conduct related to acknowledging or responding to the public’s emails. Is the Mayor’s conduct consistent with treating the public as the most valued customer? If not, how will he require City Employee’s to treat the public differently than he treats them? I’ve had emails ignored by city employees – will this conduct continue to be allowed by Mayor Earling?

    Please make sure the citizens of Edmonds are fully aware of the process that will be followed related to Code of Conduct complaints, investigations and decisions.

    Thank you.
    Ken Reidy

    My email was not responded to by anybody. (Council member Petso responded to related emails on April 26th.)

    The City Personnel Policy update was passed on the April 21st consent agenda. When a City behaves in this fashion, how is civil discourse promoted? Is civil discourse just a one-way street that applies to citizens only?

  28. One of the most alarming things is when staff and/or the City Attorney are allowed to make comments directly related to a public comment after the public commenter’s three minutes are up. The commenter has to sit there quietly even if they disagree with what is being said – or worse yet fear that the Council is being misled or misguided.

    I think the City would be wise to allow members of the public 1 minute to respond to staff and/or City Attorney comments directly related to that party’s public comment made during a City Council Meeting.

    A great example took place during the March 19, 2013 City Council meeting. A property owner facing the threat of condemnation VERY respectfully asked the City to allow more time to discuss concerns without immediate and pressing deadlines and to work collaboratively to find sensible solutions that meet their needs and collective desire for community improvement. He requested the Council not authorize the possibility of condemnation but instead continue the hearing to allow City staff adequate time to understand and respond to the issues the property owner had tried to raise.

    After the property owner spoke, The Public Works Director was called up to the podium and given a chance to expand on his desire that the Council do what staff wanted the City Council to do. At one point, the property owner politely asked from the audience “Could I read one”. He was immediately cut off by Mayor Earling who stated “No, excuse me – the hearing is over…can’t go there.”

    Sadly – condemnation proceedings did result. We will never know if the Council would have voted differently if the property owner would have been given a chance for a little more civil discourse. Had more time been allowed, perhaps condemnation could have been avoided.

    I encourage interested citizen’s watch the related video as it provides a historical example of how our City Council meetings are run. Before the vote on the motion, Councilmember Bloom reiterated her preference to delay the action for a few weeks.

    Mayor Earling responded strongly: “Well I understand you’d like to do that – I’m trying to deal with the motion that I have on the floor right now.” I do not believe his emotional comments were a very good example of civil discourse up on the dias.

  29. Full report of Yale study just released. This documents exactly why so many are concerned about crumb rubber/recycled tire mulch and the VERY REAL effects to human and environmental health. This is what we are allowing millions of young developing children to play on. This is what we are allowing to leach into our environment. This is what we have a CHOICE to avoid.

    Report as follows:

    FINDINGS OF THE CHEMICAL ANALYSIS
    Conducted by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies of crumb rubber tire infill used in synthetic turf and rubber tire mulch used as surfacing material in toddler playgrounds.

    The shredded rubber tire playground mulch samples tested were provided by the manufacturer and were purchased in new bags of rubber mulch for use in gardens and playgrounds. The rubber tire infill for synthetic turf fields was obtained as new infill material from installers of synthetic turf fields. There were 5 samples of infill from 5 different installers of fields and 9 different samples of rubber mulch taken from 9 different unopened bags of playground mulch.

    RESULTS
    There were 96 chemicals found in 14 samples analyzed. Half of those chemicals had no government testing on them – so we have no idea whether they are safe or harmful to health. Of those chemicals found that have had some government testing done on them these are the findings with their health effects.

    11 CARCINOGENS
    2-Mercaptobenzothiazole
    Carcinogen, toxic to aquatic life
    9,10-Dimethylanthracene
    Carcinogen, respiratory irritant and can cause asthma
    Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
    Carcinogen, may cause damage to fetuses
    Fluoranthene
    Carcinogen, Fluoranthene is one of the U.S. EPA’s 16 priority pollutant — A PAH.
    Heptadecane
    Carcinogen
    2-mercaptobenzothiazole
    Carcinogen
    Phenol, 4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)-
    Carcinogen
    Phenanthrene
    Carcinogen – A PAH
    Phthalimide
    Carcinogen, skin, eye and lung irritan. A Fungiside
    Pyrene, 1-methyl-
    Carcinogen
    Tetratriacontane
    Carcinogen, eye and skin irritant. Can cause systemic damage to central nervous system.
    Pyrene
    Carcinogen Toxic to liver and Kidneys, a PAH

    20 IRRITANTS
    1,4-Benzenediamine, N-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-N’-phenyl-
    Irritant – causes skin and eye irritation, toxic to aquatic life
    1,4-Benzenediamine, N-(1-methylethyl)-N’-phenyl-
    Irritant – causes skin and eye irritation, toxic to aquatic life
    2(3H)-Benzothiazolone
    Irritant – causes skin and lung irritantation
    2-Dodecen-1-yl(-)succinic anhydride
    Irritant – causes eyes, skin and lungs irritation
    3,5-di-tert-Butyl-4-hydroxybenzaldehyde
    Irritant – causes irritation to eyes, skin and lungs.
    Anthracene
    Irritant – causes skin, eye and respiratory irritation. Breathing it can irritate the nose, throat and
    lungs causing coughing and wheezing.
    Benzenamine, 4-octyl-N-(4-octylphenyl)-
    Irritant – causes eye and skin irritation
    Benzenesulfonanilide
    Considered hazardous, very little testing has been done on it.
    Benzothiazole, 2-(methylthio)-
    Irritant – causes Skin and eye irritation.
    Dehydroabietic acid
    Toxic to aquatic organisms
    Docosane
    Irritant – causes Skin irritation
    Hexadecanoic acid, butyl ester
    Irritant – causes eye, skin and lung irritant. Can cause reproductive effects.
    Methyl stearate
    Irritant – causes eye, skin and lung irritation.
    Octadecane
    Irritant – causes kin, eye and respiratory irritation
    Octadecanoic acid also known as Stearic acid
    Irritant – causes skin, eye and respiratory irritation
    Oleic Acid
    Irritant – causes skin and eye irritation
    Phenol, 2,2′-methylenebis[6-(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-ethyl-
    Irritant – causes skin, eye and respiratory irritation
    Tetradecanoic acid
    Toxic to aquatic organisms. Skin and eye irritant.
    Anthracene, 2-methyl-
    Acute aquatic toxicity, Not much data available – what there is shows it to be an eye, skin and lung irritant
    Anthracene, 9-methyl-
    Acute aquatic toxicity, serious eye irritant

  30. Laura: that’s all interesting, but I don’t think anyone suggesting that people should eat handfuls of it. Your car tires are made of the same stuff, and of course over time wear down, leaving it all over the roads. Your assertion that we can somehow avoid it simply isn’t true; it’s everywhere. If there was evidence that it was harming kids on playgrounds I’d be right there with you on this, but I haven’t seen that evidence. If it was as dangerous as many people suggest I think we’d all be sick.

    • Are you saying that since we are already exposed to the harmful effects through environmental pollution, it is acceptable to go ahead and allow our children to roll around on it even though we know it contains harmful toxins and carcinogens? Lead paint and asbestos are not eaten….and yet we know the consequence of exposure. We are taking an unnecessary risk with generations of children and time will tell. I for one do not believe that is acceptable. I will keep my children off of such fields and will work to find answers and advocate for change.

      http://www.wkyc.com/story/news/investigations/2015/06/30/artifical-turf-rubber-toxic-cancer-causing-children/29524033/

    • Recently I looked at a purchased container of crumb rubber and the little TINY print on the container said that if one comes into CONTACT with ,I believe it said their skin, to WASH immediately.

      Well, if this product has shown the ph to be almost 11 (which we saw the scientist demonstrate at the City Council meeting), I guess so!!

      …..wash immediately

      This is like touching and handling lye! ……or nearly like……I am shocked that anybody would want children playing on this, let alone dumping large, forever quantities into our fragile environment here.

      I have yet to see a good reason for this. Playing sports and the city making a little extra money from fees seems incredible to me.

      One of the first jobs of a city and its organisations and leaders is the safety of all its residents……… including the environment, the air we breathe, the products we dont allow around wildlife and the things we impose on anybody, but particlarly our children. ……..safety first

    • This is a product that calls for LONG TERM studies and the Environmental Protection Agency said this in March 2015! THIS is a fact, so perhaps, people will not show the cancers for many years down the road, which “long term” testing would show

      …….A recent article in PREVENTION magazine (a publishing history of around 50 years of excellent “prevention” information…..I know because my grandfather had a paid 17 year subscription to it, and this was a very long time ago) an article recently helping people make SAFE choices on products in our world that are not safe.

      At the very least, as we make the choices for our children, we should not let others with financial interests make the decisions for us

  31. John Rumpelein: I’m confused by your rebuttal to Laura’s informative response. Obviously you didn’t read much of her comment before posting. Her comment plainly says under irritants that chemicals can be breathed in. Furthermore, touching it can also cause irritants, which is also listed. This stuff gets all over the place, it doesn’t just stay in the field. People track it home and back into the school, spoken from experience. You ever think about the janitor’s at the school’s who have to sweep that up.. Which blows the stuff even more air borne.. I can’t believe you brought up car tires, there really is no comparison between that. The mass of the product isn’t even the same consistency, nor do kids play on tires that are attached to cars for hours a day.

    • Her post was a list of chemicals that are found to be present in tire rubber. Tires are of course most commonly found on cars, which are driven around all around us, resulting in literally tons of this stuff being deposited on the streets that we walk on every day. My point really is that we are already exposed to it everywhere, and that I’m puzzled why people are acting like we’re suggesting that kids roll around in vats of arsenic.

      http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2661/when-the-rubber-meets-the-road-where-does-it-go

      • John, the point is not that we do not have a certain amount of exposure, it is the question of why add to it and more directly children typically walk on a road and alongside it. They do not roll around on it whiling breathing deeply from playing sports. But even more of an issue is the process by which this was all decided. There is a process by which the ESD and the City are required to follow and they simply did not. If the common citizen was to have a development plan such as theirs you would still be running around in circles trying to get everything in line for the City. Further if you were to propose a development that was in a area not zoned for it you would have to go through a rezoning process. These are just some of the issues. This type of manipulation goes to the heart of government and favortism.

  32. For those of you who do not like what the mayor or council does or does not do, stand in their shoes! Remember in a democracy they represent the majority of Edmonds citezens not those few think they can bully elected officials. As i have said before we have elections for all of these seats, put your hat in the ring if you think these elected officials are not doing the job the people elected them to do, but they deserve respect, if you agree or disagree with them. The rampage in this forum is over the top and is not called for. The city does not own these fields period. We have crumb rubber at Edmonds Woodway and other fields!!! Where is the outrage at city council about that, is that the mayors fault also? Civility must prevail for democracy to survive, at council meetings and in open public discussions.

    Fred Gouge

    • Fred Gouge: The mayor is not representing the people, if anything his actions and the actions of others in Edmonds government represent the contrary. If anything only the interest of the Edmonds School District have been taken into account by officials. Many people are complaining about this crumb rubber… I would not call the process for the crumb rubber “democratic” by any means.. People deserve respect when they earn it, especially in a position of leading a city.. They deserve the outrage they are getting, for ignoring the people and process… The public funds the city and the fields, people often like to forget the public pays for everything, not the state.. (State = The People) So the people of Edmonds do own the fields and pay the salary for all these district and city employees turning their backs.. They are required to be held accountable by the people. The city council has been addressed in articles as well as the outrage, haven’t you been reading? The Mayor is suppose to be the leader of the city so yes he should be setting an positive example for others to follow. He is not. Trying to suppress people during council meetings and use police as private security are not just ways to approach the public, especially when the public is angry with you because your ignoring their concerns and process. Where is the Civility when the city turns their back on the people? Are they suppose to be happy with being ignored, and say whatever the city wants to hear?
      That is not how the world works nor how Democracy is suppose to work. They have listened to the few instead of the many…

    • Mr. Gouge, America is a democracy BUILT on descent……..this is not a third world country built on a police state and secrets. THAT is why everybody around the WORLD has always wanted to come here. …..open government…..land of the free…….freedom of speach…….freedom to DESCENT!……last time I looked at our Constitution

      And let me remind you, the citizens of the United States are at the top of our government!……not the other way around……….

      Most of us only recently heard about the crumb rubber and the toxic chemicals in this hazardous solid waste. I have to say the toxicity of this product has been quite a secret kept by many for 15 years. Well, word is out now, and the citzens of this city have every right to OPPOSE this and ask for it to be removed from our environment. It is shocking to me that the people that were elected to represent the citizens are not listening……..This appears to me to be another listening only to the select few.

      Everything starts at the top……..yes, this is the “fault” of anybody that knew that this was happening only because there are no regulations yet regarding the hazardous rubber ground up……..

      this is the same “hazardous waste” product sans regulations. This is not the first time products have been used so that profits may come quickly and fast……

      It is our right to call for a change of government that does not represent the people and their safety.

      I have written numerous times about the SAFETY of citizens and this government not responding

  33. Fred, your comments are right on. I have attended council meetings for years and have never seen the disrespect that is shown. If council members are not showing respect to each other why would those who comment or are in the audience .As for this site it is turning into nothing but negative comments by a few people I believe that less citizens read or comment because they can be criticized by a few people, what a shame . Lets get back to being Edmonds and pulling together to make Edmonds a better place for all. Teresa you are doing a great job. Some readers are just using it as there personal whipping boy site.

  34. Adrian Minchelli than take the problem of the field turf to the school district its there project not the cities, Its not the cities project its the school districts if you want the city to change the laws about rubber infill your a little late that project has already been permitted, and if the school district doesnt listen go to the epa thats what there there for thats one good thing nixon did do. and tell those people to quit being so rude to the council they do a whole bunch of work for what $100.00 a week they did’nt sign on to be treated like that you know theres a whole bunch of how to run a goverment experts who write here guess what Im not one of them but I am an expert about being polite and having some manners and theres not much of that going on at council meetings

  35. I will say one more thing about the rubber infill and this is it you will never get rid of it by fighting with the school district or the city you have to go around all those people, what you have to do is prove that the rubber is a hazardous material, then you can get the laws changed,im not sure how you go about that storm peterson or somebody like him would be the one to talk to about that,i think he goes down there and makes laws but if i wanted to get rid of the stuff thats how i would go about it. what you folks are doing now in my mind isnt working smart and clever works a lot better than loud and frustrated

  36. Oh my goodness…….we did go to the school district! That is old news. We spent almost 4 months speaking, researching the health hazard and alternatives, we provided experts, etc. to the school district. We fought against the Edmonds-Woodway Stadium Field as well. They not only pushed our worries aside, they have repeatedly referred to us as a small, but vocal minority. We are anything but small….we are part of almost 1,000 local citizens (who have signed the petition), plus millions nationally, who are concerned about the unnecessary and preventable exposure to toxins and carcinogens.

    We have now taken the issue to our city in the hopes that they will want to protect the citizens of Edmonds. Cities do that sometimes; they enact laws or take actions to protect their citizens…..that is what we are asking for. We are working on this issue at the school district level, city level, state level, and national level……this is not going away even when these 2 fields are completed.

    We could have been part of the solution, but instead we are part of the problem.

    • Just a general reminder — no names mentioned but you know who you are — that has been repeated before. The limit on the number of all-caps words in comments is THREE. If commenters continue to push the envelope on this rule (which avoids the appearance of you SHOUTING at others, I will delete the comment entirely.

  37. My apologies if the reference of caps and shouting was meant for me…..I dont shout so this was not intentional…….will try to watch it……..Im an artist, what can I say, I find regular plain text and typing very visually boring…..will try to watch myself. I hope a ruling is not made about my little dots……..”dots” in my minds eye …….might mean something entirely different I guess to someone else

  38. tere so you think your going anything done with the council they spend half there fight over how to run a meeting and if i remember correctly the attorney cleared stated what they could and could not rule on and they could not rule on the rubber so now what part of that do you not understand take a differant approach i made a few suggestions and theres more you could go to labor and industries about the safety when the people install the stuff also osha and whisha might have a say in that , so you think you can just go to the city and complain and all this stuff gets fixed it is not that easy at all

  39. It is apparent that some of the contributors don’t know what has brought this to where it is. There have been permitting violations and false statements made on compliance documents. City officials and public entities should observe the laws just as ordinary citizens do, not use their position to push through pet projects, bullying citizens while they do it.

    As for whining, you might read the complaints of some of the council members when they were not allowed to get their way on a point of order.

  40. what brought this to what it is is the field turf and the rubber is being installed and the people mainly who live around there don’t want it plain and simple. The whole thing is stupid the school district just had to spend that money, Ill tell you what I think of field turf it reminds me of when a real good looking women puts on a whole bunch of makeup and looks like a clown

  41. Interesting the biased filtering done by this publisher…….and yet leaving a comment regarding a “whipping boy” from one of the usual chorus line going way back………something to think about…..a whipping boy. For anyone interested in this, apparently a reference to the young adult children’s book, Newberry Award Winner…..The Whipping Boy…….brought into a kingdom

    • That comment was deleted because it had too many all caps words. I don’t have the time to go back and change all the words to comply with our policy, nor should I have to.

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