This is in response to comments in the media about a recent recommended appointment to the salary commission.
Mayor Earling came forward with his appointments, five men, for us to interview at the same time and to appoint these men on the same night. I objected to the council president, that within the City of Edmonds we were 52 percent women and 22 percent people of color and that the five mayor’s appointees were all white men. I was upset with the continued lack of diversity on our boards and commissions. This was not representative of our population within our city.
In my discussion regarding these appointments with another councilmember, the comment was made “well these were the only five to apply for the commission”. (During the individual interviews, two of the interviewees indicated the mayor asked them to apply for the commission.) The councilmember suggested council take some responsibility to send notification to groups we individually associate with. I explained to the councilmember that the city needed to broaden where notification was sent to include areas where minorities lived. Everyone living in Edmonds should have chance to apply, not just those who know someone or that are asked.
Regarding the Beacon guest view article, “Conservatives need not apply,” I hope the author could understand the process.The reason the council interviews prospective candidates are to determine appropriateness of persons and commissions, on occasions we turn down individuals who we believe don’t fit well into the commissions. This is why we have the ultimate responsibility of appointments. The author is mistaken that this was an issue of conservatives because if the author had done research they would have seen that three of the five final appointments for the commission were conservatives. The author also fails to bother to point out are that we had no one of color and only one woman in the final appointment. Although, the author spends quite a bit of time indicating I have a “political bias”,”I make sure no conservatives participate in city policy making” and “I display blatant political intolerance”. I voted to appoint the five current members although 60 percent of the commission is conservative. It clearly isn’t which party you belong to but your history and prior qualifications. I wish the author talked about the lack of woman or people of color in the choice of five names given to us by the Mayor. These comments are most important today after the racist tagging of another school in Edmonds. If all were included in our charming city by the sea maybe something would change.
Our council has a hard job to do determining the best for our city and the 41,000 people who live in it. The vote was 5-2 to not appoint a person to this one commission. I have hopes this person will have interest in other volunteer opportunities within our city.
In moving forward, I will hope our city’s elected commissions and boards one day will look diverse and representative of our cities population.
Edmonds City Council