Letter to the editor: Your vote matters

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Editor:
Edmonds voters in the Port district, I hope you’re paying attention. Your vote really matters this year!
Please realize that anyone within the Port District boundaries gets to cast a vote on all three of the positions that are on the ballot. As noted in other letters to the editor, this year the Port has spent over $84,000 appealing the Edmonds Shoreline Master Program (SMP). Why would the Port spend so much appealing the SMP? The approved buffers in the new SMP include a 110’ buffer, with a 15’ setback. This makes the redevelopment of Harbor Square that the Port has in mind nearly impossible.
In fact, the Port put forth a Harbor Square Master Plan, with redevelopment included, in March of 2013. They have pulled this idea from Edmonds City Council scrutiny, in the hopes that they could reintroduce their Plan when the composition of the Council was more favorable to them: “community tenor is changing and eventually the makeup of the City Council will change as well.” (from Port minutes of 3/1/17)
If you like a redevelopment plan for Harbor Square that includes five-story buildings near the Edmonds Marsh and not far from the waterfront, then you should vote for the incumbents. As for me, I think it’s way past time for a change: for environmentally and Edmonds-friendly development, and for fair and responsible money management. I strongly recommend Lora Petso, Susan Paine, and Angela Harris for the Edmonds Port Commission.
Mike Shaw
Edmonds

6 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you to Mike Shaw for clearly stating the choice facing voters in the Port election. The current port commissioners keep telling us that they don’t have plans “at this time” for high rise development in Harbor Square, but Mike’s letter points out that their own meeting records show otherwise. This is just one example of misinformation coming out of the current port commission. They keep telling us they are doing a great job, citing their accomplishments, without mentioning that any environmental progress was made under duress. They only did what they had to do under threat of litigation, and then did only the minimum.

    • Any objective citizens who attended last night’s meeting in the council chambers clearly learned why all three incumbent Port commissioners should be elected. The three opponents no doubt have good intentions, but they lack the needed knowledge and experience to deal with the full scope of the job they are seeking.

      Five story buildings on the waterfront is a totally bogus issue. The Port cannot unilaterally do that if they wanted to. The Edmonds city council is in charge of building heights.

      I can’t help but wonder how many opponents to the election of the three incumbent Port commissioners ever walk the waterfront. If you walk from the ferry terminal to Marina Beach Park, only a curmudgeon would not be very proud of what is seen along the way.

  2. One need only research and study (very simple with the internet) and drive all around Edmonds, including the waterfront and marsh to really see all that has been destroyed in this environment for the past 40!!! (look at photographs at the museum, study) years with just about everything considered a “tear down” or asphalt over or profit maker only for development entities….including right at the edge of an incredible marsh…… with the interests only of short term development, real estate, and PROFITS for a select few etc. The SCIENCE is in regarding our environment and we need the destruction to stop and our environment to get a chance to breathe again………and be alive like it used to be. This would take people that are aware of the science, believe in the science, and not old school ideas of tear down, cement over, asphalt over, sell to the highest bidder multiple story buildings, removal of a heron nest with eggs and parents (at the Port), garbage dumped into the marsh, unusual run off areas, etc. We need new leaders that are progressive and believe in the science regarding our beautiful environment – Some times it just takes some fresh eyes, fresh ideas and a reverence for the environment and all living things here.

  3. Ron Wombolt. No one that I know would ever call you objective, but maybe you meant something else. As for 55′ tall buildings, it’s clearly stated in the Harbor Square Master Plan (HSMP). As Bruce Faires said in the Port minutes of 3/1/17, “the existing HSMP represents the best use of the property.” The term “best use” in this case means money, plain and simple. During the same Port meeting Steve Johnston then said “community tenor is changing and eventually the makeup of the City Council will change as well.” I’m voting for Susan Paine, Lora Petso, and Angela Harris for Commissioners because they do things above board and honestly. They listen to people – even those with different viewpoints – and conduct their affairs transparently. I want Commissioners who deal in the open, and honestly, not through the back door.

  4. Ron W –
    I’m one of those candidates and I and my family are regularly (weekly) at the waterfront and Marsh. The marina operations are in good shape. That’s not a contested issue.

    There are 2 big issues in this campaign – the Harbor Square Master Plan has simply been withdrawn until the City Council changes and the future of Edmonds Marsh. The Port has NOT made any revisions to the HSMP, and as recently as this past March, has decided not to make any revisions (see above). The comments by the incumbents that they have made environmental expenditures, in a very limited way that’s true. They have vacuumed the storm drains, $5000 this year. and in 2014 they paid for the permit mitigation costs for the Jacobsens’ building, $12,000. But this doesn’t qualify the incumbents as good stewards of the Edmonds Marsh, in fact the opposite is true with the Port spending $84,000 to challenge the Shoreline Management Programs environmental buffers.

    Finally, I find it offensive that you are defining voters who care about the Marsh and not having tall buildings at the waterfront as something other than objective. Then, you go on to make a statement about the challengers not enjoying the marina or the Marsh – these are public areas and are meant for everyone. As these open natural urban areas become more rare, the environmental value of our Marsh becomes that much more important.

    Susan Paine

  5. Susan’s reply shows exactly why she’s a great candidate, and the existing Port guys need to be replaced. There’s far more to being a good Port Commissioner than just managing the Port!

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