Letter to the editor: Transparency and citizen input at its finest

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Editor:

At its November meeting, The Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds (ACE) reviewed and discussed the outcomes of:

  • the Civic Playfield Recommended Plan developed by a project advisory committee consisting of Parks Department staff, other city staff representatives and interested citizens, along with the consulting firm Walker Macy), and
  • the Waterfront Access Recommended Options developed by the Mayor’s Task Force (consisting of representatives of city council, Port of Edmonds, city staff, selected residents, Washington State Ferries, BNSF and WSDOT, along with consultants Tetra Tech, Parametrix and EnviroIssues)

Full and current details of the status of these two plans can be accessed on the City of Edmonds home page www.edmondswa.gov.

The Civic Playfield plan clearly reflects what a majority of the participating citizens asked for – open spaces, walking paths, thoughtful landscaping, recreational facilities (tennis, basketball, pickle ball, Boys and Girls Club, petanque courts, skateboard facility) and a layout to accommodate small and medium sized events, including the Taste of Edmonds. This will be a great addition to the downtown area.

The Waterfront Access process also provided for significant public input. The Task Force reduced the options from an initial list of 40-plus alternatives to three levels of preferred alternatives presented to City Council on Nov. 7, 2016 – Near-Term Recommendations, Short Term mid-block pedestrian and Edmonds Street pedestrian/emergency vehicle access, and a Long Term plan to pursue the existing Edmonds Crossing (minimum build) ferry terminal relocation currently included in the City Comprehensive Plan. ACE officially weighed in on this process in a letter to the Mayor and Council dated Feb. 22, 2015, stressing strong consideration for the short term options included in the current list of recommendations. That letter can be accessed here.

Of particular significance to ACE as a citizen activist organization is that both of these processes were well-publicized, transparent and provided numerous opportunities for significant input from the public. The outcomes clearly show that this input carried great weight for the committee and the task force as they developed their final recommendations. We commend the mayor, council, city staff all other participants and the consulting teams for facilitating that.

John Reed, on behalf of
The Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds (ACE)

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