Commentary: How should we implement ‘Paris Accord’ resolution in Edmonds?

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Neil Tibbott

By now, news watchers in Edmonds have seen one or more stories about the “Paris Accord” Resolution passed by the City Council on June 27. I have waited until now to say something about my “No” vote on that item. I waited primarily so that I could see the entire resolution and amendments written in the public record.

The fact that the resolution came to us as an action item on June 27 meant that we could vote on the motion at the council meeting that evening. Prior to our 6:30 p.m. start, the council received a lengthy email with proposed amendments sent by Councilmember Nelson to rest of us at 5:30 p.m. During the council meeting he apologized for sending the amendments so late and then continued introduce 17 amendments one by one.

Some of the amendments were approved and others were not. If you’re interested in the discussion and votes you can read them in the minutes beginning on page 7 here… https://edmondswa.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_LegiFile.aspx?Frame=&MeetingID=2311&MediaPosition=&ID=2212&CssClass

As I mentioned in the council deliberation, I had a problem supporting the amendments without the benefit of reading the text and evaluating their merits prior to our discussion. In retrospect, I should have at least asked the council to postpone deliberations to a future date. Council President Mesaros has since apologized for not making the resolution a study item instead of an action item, for which I’m appreciative.

When it came time to vote, however, I could not support the “Paris Accord” Resolution because it lacked clarity in several important areas, including budget considerations and the administrative resources required for implementing the action items. While it’s true that it is a resolution, not an ordinance, this one has specific target dates and expectations. By approving the resolution, the council effectively set in motion an action plan that requires city resources to accomplish the objectives.

Beyond the lack of clarity, I was concerned that we had not heard from the citizens of Edmonds about their priorities for actions the city ought to pursue regarding climate change objectives. Had this resolution come to the council in the usual way, beginning with a study session, citizens would have had ample time to read the materials and bring their comments. In addition, councilmembers could have asked staff to prepare estimates on the cost of implementing the proposed resolution.

Now that the resolution has passed, I want to invite the citizens of Edmonds to help shape its implementation. There will undoubtedly be proposals that come to the council and administrative details to approve.

Among the questions that I’ll be asking are: What amount of our annual budget should be dedicated to implementing the Paris Accord in Edmonds? What, if any, projects — like the Waterfront Activity Center, for example — should be postponed or included to accommodate new practices? What is a reasonable time frame for completing these goals? Is five years good or is 25 years good enough?

We can’t change the steps to getting the “Paris Accord” resolution for the City of Edmonds. That’s already behind us. We can, however, influence the way its implemented. This is something the entire council can agree upon. We value citizen involvement and will seek to do better the next time a resolution like this comes up.

Note: Full Name as Amended…

A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF

EDMONDS COMMITTING TO ACHIEVE OR EXCEED AT THE

LOCAL LEVEL THE GOALS ESTABLISHED

IN THE PARIS ACCORD

— By Neil Tibbott, Edmonds City Councilmember

11 COMMENTS

  1. Easy, stop property subdivision. Less dense residential. We’ve reached max house. We need more trees and less people.

    • Conservative solution: do nothing, rake in the profits, ignore the poor?

      But simplistic generalizations are generally not very helpful, are they? Better to listen to the other person’s fears and ideas and work together towards a mutually acceptable solution to problems we all face. As Americans we have to battle against the stereotyping and polarization our politicians have foisted off on us and which is ripping our country apart, and in a small community such as Edmonds we can do it, as well as taking steps to improve the world and ourselves – if we have the will to expect mutual respect from each other and ourselves.

  2. You can throw tons of money to the poor but without training..it’s just a waste…Nathaniel you talk about the stereotyping our politicians are dong to us, but you start your paragraph with a negative response. ” Conservatiives solution.” Which tells me you fell for it….the response about raising taxes is true. No matter what side your on. I have never seen a tax that King County and then Snohomish adopt.

    • Please note that my first sentence ends with a question mark. It was intended to show how foolish such sweeping comments all are. Irony.

    • Indeed it was, and yet… To quote CNN.com:

      “Reagan was certainly a tax cutter legislatively, emotionally and ideologically. But for a variety of political reasons, it was hard for him to ignore the cost of his tax cuts,” said tax historian Joseph Thorndike.

      Two bills passed in 1982 and 1984 together “constituted the biggest tax increase ever enacted during peacetime,” Thorndike said.

      The bills didn’t raise more revenue by hiking individual income tax rates though. Instead they did it largely through making it tougher to evade taxes, and through “base broadening” — that is, reducing various federal tax breaks and closing tax loopholes.

      In 1983, for example, he signed off on Social Security reform legislation that, among other things, accelerated an increase in the payroll tax rate, required that higher-income beneficiaries pay income tax on part of their benefits, and required the self-employed to pay the full payroll tax rate, rather than just the portion normally paid by employees.

      http://money.cnn.com/2010/09/08/news/economy/reagan_years_taxes/index.htm

      • To which I’d only add a question: in an increasingly densely populated country in a global economy, where would we be without government? Frankly, I prefer to have public schools, public highways, a legal system, border security, the FDA, police… “Government is the problem” is another of those superficial “solutions” that look less accurate on closer examination. If the car rattles, the rattle is the problem, not the car, and it can be fixed.

  3. Perfect Timing: Here’s another report (scientifically researched) indicating the data behind global warming is fixed. (not my opinion, just the opinion of the scientists our global warming friends rely upon for statistics to deliver their messaging)

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-15/research-team-slams-global-warming-data-new-report-not-reality-totally-inconsistent-

    Hence it is now called “Climate change”. I’m not convinced either way. But, those bound and determined to inflict transfer of wealth upon everyone to impose regulations, please consider you could be wrong. Rather than fight an unnecessary fight between ideological beliefs, how about if all parties come together and unite behind the mutual desire for clean air, water, energy and sustainable food sources. In order to achieve those things everyone should be willing to participate. But to enact taxation and transfer of wealth to address a one sided opinion doesn’t seem very American to me.

  4. “By approving the resolution, the council effectively set in motion an action plan that requires city resources to accomplish the objectives.” This quote sums up is precisely why I support the vote of the majority of our council. Instead of simply a feel good resolution, they passed a resolution with some teeth. Instead of lip service, Edmonds is taking the lead and setting an example for the rest of the state with regards to protecting the health of our citizens and environment. This makes me proud to call Edmonds home. Thank you, Edmonds City Council!

    Furthermore, I do believe that 5 years is a worthy goal to shoot for; however, to even suggest 25 years is quite disappointing. We have an achievable opportunity to do our part in protecting human and environmental health….why even suggest pushing that off to the next generation?

  5. I concur with Ms. Johnson and had the City Council made it a study item and gone through all the amendments, I still believe it would have passed. All the new Council Members need to know (if something comes to them at the late hour) is to bring the issue forth to the Council President that they need more time. It could have easily been put on another agenda date and citizens could have brought forth comments which many have been doing already over the years (thank you all for your speaking your voice).

    The Paris Accord has slated for City’s to set specific guidelines and that is what Council did; and with a resolution (that is not an ordinance) if the Administration cannot meet those goals, the legislators can amend.

    Everyone has an opinion about climate change and all I can say is take a trip overseas and talk to Europeans and more specifically Scandinavians and see how they feel about how the climate is changing and in their parts of the world.

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