Remember to vote and mail your ballot!

If you haven’t yet made your choices for Edmonds City Council, now’s the time to mark your ballot and get it in the mail.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve profiled all three City Council races. We are reposting each of those now, to assist those of you who have not yet made a decision.

Position 1:

Michael Plunkett, the incumbent, has lived in Edmonds for 30 years and spent the past 12 years on the Edmonds City Council, serving as Council president in 2004 and 2008. During his tenure, he has:

  • Created the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission.
  • Voted to save Marina Beach Park from development and to preserve open space at Old Mill Town.
  • Saved the paramedic system by voting to move paramedics into the Edmonds Fire Department, and recently voting against cuts to the city’s police force.
  • Voted to allow the Lake Ballinger neighborhood to have a say in Highway 99 development.
  • Led the effort to stop loud motorized scooters in neighborhoods.
  • Voted for an 11-acre park in South Edmonds, sidewalks in North Edmonds, and for better stewardship of Lake Ballinger.

A real estate agent, Plunkett has been endorsed by the Edmonds Firefighters Local 1828.

Priya Cloutier, his opponent, is an Edmonds attorney who serves on the board of the Sno-King Economic Development Project and the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce. She also helped establish the College Place Middle School Music Boosters and coordinates the Edmonds 4th of July Main Parade. She and her husband Todd have two sons.

If elected, her priorities for Edmonds include:

  • Planned and sustainable economic growth.
  • Balancing the City budget for the long term.
  • Public transportation.
  • Maintaining the charm of Edmonds.

She has been endorsed by the Edmonds Police Association, the Joint Council of Teamsters, the Progressive Majority and the Everett Herald. Additional endorsements can be found on her website:

There’s been a fair amount of rhetoric in this race, with Plunkett claiming that Cloutier has missed voting in some important local elections and Cloutier stating on her Facebook page that Plunkett is afraid to debate her.

So here’s your chance to sound off on the candidate you are supporting for position 1, and why. Remember, healthy debate and expression of opinion is the foundation of our democracy!

Position 2:

The race for Edmonds City Council Position 2, with incumbent Strom Peterson facing challenger Diane Buckshnis, has showcased an interesting contrast of styles: Peterson states on his website that he has “the temperament to discuss contentious issues in a productive way,” while Buckshnis has been unafraid during recent council meetings to raise questions about the City’s financial analysis of the proposed fire department merger with Fire District 1.

Peterson has been on the City Council one year, appointed to fill a seat vacated by Deanna Dawson late last year.  He owns the Resident Cheesemonger cheese shop and sits on the council’s economic development committee. He also chairs the council’s public safety committee, and supports the proposal now before the City Council to sell City of Edmonds Fire Services to Snohomish County Fire District 1. He has been endorsed by the local police and firefighters unions, the latter of which is a proponent of the Edmonds-Fire District 1 merger.

He lists the following issues as his priorities:

  • Ensuring public safety in our neighborhoods.
  • Promoting economic development.
  • Supporting environmental sustainability and the growth of Green jobs and businesses.

Peterson has lived in Edmonds with his wife, Maria Montalvo, since 2001. He has been endorsed by Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson and City Councilmembers Peggy Pritchard Olson and D.J. Wilson, two state representatives, several local Democratic organizations including the Snohomish County Democrats, and the Washington Conservation Voters. More information on Peterson and his endorsements can be found on his website:

Buckshnis, a former banker and bank regulator, promises to be the council’s financial watchdog, stressing government oversight in light of the city’s $7 million budget deficit.  She is a director of the Edmonds Arts Festival, a volunteer at the Edmonds Senior Center and a founder of the Off-Leash Area-Edmonds dog park.

If elected to the Council, Buckshnis says she will focus on the following:

  • Stimulating the economy through fiscal responsibility and by marketing tourism.
  • Requiring government transparency and accountability.
  • Supporting the arts community and historic preservation.
  • Preserving open spaces, wetlands and waterfront views.

Buckshnis and her husband Steve Throll have lived in Edmonds for nine years. She has been endorsed by local Democratic organizations, the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington and the Herald newspaper.

For more information on her background and other endorsements, visit her website:

Position 3:

Of the three Edmonds City Council races before voters this election, Position 3 does not include an incumbent — thanks to a tight primary election in which current Councilmember Ron Wambolt was ousted by seven votes in favor of former councilmember Lora Petso and top primary vote-getter Adrienne Fraley-Monillas.

Despite that drama — or maybe because of it —  this race has a more low-key feel than the other two. Petso, who sat on the council from 2000-2003 before losing her position to Peggy Pritchard Olsen, is an attorney who entered the race because of concerns over the city’s financial crisis. Fraley-Monillas, an administrator at Shoreline’s Fircrest School, made an earlier run for the council in 2007, losing to current Council President D.J. Wilson.

Here’s background on the two candidates:


 Adrienne Fraley-Monillas lives in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood of Edmonds and has stated that she wants to represent all the city’s residents, not just those who live downtown. She belongs to the South Council Senior Center board of directors, is vice-chair of the Edmonds School District Special Olympics and serves on a Snohomish County advisory board for development disabilities.

If elected, her priority issues include:

  • Protecting Edmonds’ views by fighting to oppose taller buildings in downtown and the waterfront.
  • Promoting open transparent government by voting to reverse the council’s recent decision to shut the public out of the land-use process.
  • Improving the economy and promoting tourism by supporting local businesses.

Her endorsements include the Edmonds Police Officers Association, the National Women’s Political Caucus, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, and various labor unions and Democratic organizations.

Lora Petso and her husband Colin Southcote-Want operate a small business in Edmonds. In addition to her past work on the Edmonds City Council, her experience includes serving on the board of the Olympic View Water District. She lists the following as among her priorities:

  • Supporting current building height limits.
  • Bringing the city council back into the land use approval process.
  • Promoting sensible financial policies for the city.

Petso has been endorsed by the Herald newspaper.

  1. If you’re like me and you want citizens to have the option to appeal land-use decisions to the council, I recommend you vote for Michael Plunkett, Diane Buckshnis, and either position 3 candidate (I endorse Adrienne).

    Michael Plunkett voted to retain your right to council appeal. Diane is challenging an incumbent who voted to take away your right to council appeal. Adrienne and Lora both want to restore your right to council appeal.

  2. Thanks for reposting this, Teresa!

    As for appealing land-use decisions to the Council, I’m for Priya Cloutier on this one. Her position is “Yes, but..”, the appeal should be done on the record. Our Council has had some issues with illegally changing the rules once land-use decisions get in front of them.

    Mr. Plunkett is one of the specific offenders – he made an under-the-table deal with one of his contributors that forced an Edmonds property owner to allow an unnecessary driveway across his lawn. Now the city is being sued because of the Council’s ineptitude in hearing land-use decisions.

    So yes, there should be an appeal to the Council, but it SHOULD be on the record, and on the facts of the case only, not in back-room deals for campaign contributor developers. Orvis likes to say this is “running away”, but that’s what one should expect from a good ol’ boy who is losing influence.

    No more good ol’ boys and corruption! Good bye, Plunkett!

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