Council agrees to make $1.1 million offer for vacant Skippers property

The Edmonds City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to make an offer to purchase the vacant Skippers Restaurant property located across from the Edmonds Ferry Terminal for $1.1 million.

Councilmembers D.J. Wilson and Strom Peterson were the dissenting votes, both stating that they believed it was fiscally irresponsible to make such a purchase given the city’s budget difficulties. Others on the council disagreed, however, stating that the purchase would guarantee that the property wouldn’t be sold to an undesirable owner, such as a fast food outlet.

“We have an opportunity like we’ve never had in the city,” Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas said. “This is probably the most important piece of the city we can buy for economic development.”

We’ll have a more detailed report on the council’s action and what it means on Wednesday.

  1. Wait a minute….we are asking our city employees to take another pay cut this year, we have an unfunded fire fighter’s insurance program, we are operating in a deficit and we are not running a levy (according to Mr. Plunkett)…..where are we getting this $1.1 million ?

  2. News flash – cities don’t do economic development. Businesses do. Back to civics class with the lot of you.

    The Council’s cabal has exposed themselves once again. An agenda item to lay out over a million dollars, just happens to show up and get voted on in one night?! Hmmmm, after spending how many months debating cat leashes and plastic bags, you expect us to believe you all just happened to agree without prior consultation? Reminds me of that fateful night at Engle’s Pub. What were the words from Council President Bernheim to the concerned citizen, “You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!” Can’t wait for the letter from Ron Wambolt to the Beacon next week.

    We have an Economic Development Commission (not consulted), and a subcommittee (insulted, and ignored). Now we have a conspiracy to defraud taxpayers (yes, that’s us) of over a million dollars on a venture with no plan.

    I agree with Ms. Fraley-Monillas that this property is important in presenting Edmonds as a desirable destination. But spending money by fiat, without a plan, is the mark of an amateur despot, not a wise Council.

    The humorous part of this, is that Mr. Plunkett has unwittingly slain the bogeyman. Now, there is no threat of a 75 ft tower for him to use as a weapon. He might have to actually do something… well, other than completely mismanage the Finance Committee, again.

    How long do you think it will be before the Council makes this someone else’s problem?

  3. Even if the acquisition money comes from a separate budget, this still takes this parcel off the tax roles and adds costs to the city for demolition, improvements, and maintenance. It does seem like less income and more expenses is the opposite of what Edmonds needs.

  4. Comment on comments 1 & 2 – My, my, such venting. Hopefully those two received some relief from their hate and discontentment!! and it does seem like a major setback for the building heights proponents, D.J. Wilson and Strom Peterson, our two high roller receivers of 1 grand contributons. Looks like a step forward to me.

    It will be nice if our waterfront area is developed without the presence of hi rise condos as envisioned by Wilson and Peterson.

  5. Mr. Martin:

    It is interesting that whenever information is presented that sets forth facts that cannot be answered, it is called venting. However, name calling of Councilman Wilson and Peterson is acceptable. Both Councilman Wilson and Peterson have repeatedly stated, on the record, that they are not interested in 75 ft building on the waterfront.

    I would say that Mr. Gregg has a good point but, of course, he too is out to get Edmonds. So, I dare not agree with anything he says.

  6. There is one, and only one issue, in this City right now. Our economic survival. All else is distraction, or wasted effort.

    In pursuit of economic survival, we must keep in mind the many moving and inter-related parts: beautiful parks and views, a clean and vibrant marshland, arts and artists, family outing destinations, great schools, thriving local businesses and much more. We love this place for many reasons, and want it to live on.

    What I see in this acquisition is not love of Edmonds, but an expression of arrogant, dull, power, that does nothing to help our financial woes, only aggravates them further. That’s not hate or disappointment or venting. It’s calling it like I see it.

    Our City Council is proving to be incredibly inept at stewarding our financial resources. The City is being quiet about it, but we really are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy this year, and much of that is due to the Council, not the City employees who have to suffer unpaid leave. We’re gambling on a lack of insurance claims, and hopes for increased business for our future. It’s time to tighten things up, not make another gamble.

    Finally, regarding 75 ft condo towers, do you really think that would happen? Or that anyone in town is excited about it? Have you seen the condo projections in the Seattle area lately? Have you seen the “Vacancy” signs around town? 100% buyer’s market. The bogeyman, however, is no more.

    Back to my original post. How long until the Council makes this someone else’s problem? Bets, anyone?

  7. Ms. Cloutier : I said nothing about 75′! And what terrible name did I call anyone?

    You should learn that both of your favorite councilmen are in favor of higher building heights, if only the creeping kind. I know Peterson said he was in favor of current building heights during the recent campaign. However he has a record of talking out of both sides of his mouth, especially in favor of creeping building heights. Here is an example from the Council minutes:
    ” Strom Peterson, 9110 Olympic View Drive, said he owns a small business in downtown Edmonds and is president of the
    Downtown Merchant’s Association and a member of the Greater Edmonds Chamber of Commerce Board. But most
    important, he said he is a resident of Edmonds. As a business owner of Edmonds he urged the Board to move forward with
    the proposal to require a 12-foot first floor ceiling height and to raise the overall building height in the downtown to 33 feet. (etc etc.)

    Now do you get it? As for DJ, at the 4/6/10 Council meeting, he proclaimed that he would negotiate higher special building heights spot zoning with the Port and waterfront developers and infered falsely that Bernheim and Buckshnis were in agreement which was not so. He acts incredibly naive often. Like you, he looks at it as “thinking out of the box” whatever that means.

    DJ either walked away or threatened to do so when the Ballinger clean up group quit listening to him blather. He neglected his duty to attend the Community Transit Committee meetings he assigned himself; probably thinking a seat on Sound Transit would follow, which didn’t happen. So and we lost the Comminity Transit seat to after having it since its inception in the mid 70s. And now he is threatening to walk away from any involvement in the waterfront development, because secret meetings are no longer tolerable. I suggest resignation is also a viable option in his case.

    Finally I believe both of them are blatherskites. (One who talks a lot but says little; yes, name calling but factually supported) I timed out one discussion and found that those two talked 53% of the total council (7 member) discussion on having standard procedures for the Council website. As for changing their websites, Peterson has changed his 4 times since beginning to use it for campaign purposes during the recent primary election. But he still can’t get it right as it says his term expires 12/31/09. Sure wish for our sake that was true.

    Todd’s second paragraph is a good one, leta build on it!

    Mr. Gregg is a gentleman, and I wish him well.

    And for you, another clue. At a Council meeting at election time while you were rudely and unfairly lambasting Bernheim, a man next to me nudged me and said “Well, I know who I won’t be voting for.”

    Now if you want to know what I really think about your favorite off track politicians just let me know.
    Ray Martin

  8. Mr. Martin:

    Again, just because I say what I believe and you disagree with it, doesn’t mean that I am rude or unfair. That is simply my opinion.

    But, you still have not answered my initial question: WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM to buy this property? If you can make $1.1 million appear and pay our City employees and completely fund our fire fighter’s insurance policy, I’d say for it. Buy the property.

    The facts you state above have nothing to do with the City being flat broke. Let me give you a simple example so that you can understand the problem: I have to pay the monthly bill for my gar which is $100 per month and my mortgage which is $1000 per month and I am going to buy a cup of coffee which costs $10. However, I only make $1000 per month. See the problem here? This is the same problem we are facing with the City — on a bigger scale.

    Regarding my campaign, it was a great ride. I lost. But, what a great easy to get involved in local politics and understand the issues. I think it is something that everyone should do once in their lifetime. But, Mr. Martin, is another conversation.

    Actually, regarding Councilman Peterson, he and I are barely on speaking terms. However, unlike many people, I do not let personality stand in the way of truth. I am intellectually honest.

  9. Sorry for my typos above. I hit enter by accident and can’t edit. But, Mr. Martin, if you would like to discuss in person, call me and we can have coffee sometime.

  10. Mr. Martin. You sir are a disingenuous liar.

    Above you state:

    “You should learn that both of your favorite councilmen are in favor of higher building heights, if only the creeping kind. I know Peterson said he was in favor of current building heights during the recent campaign.” – Please prove this.

    “However he has a record of talking out of both sides of his mouth, especially in favor of creeping building heights.” – Again prove this. And none of your mixing and matching statements from over several years in a time line that fits your nifty little conspiracy theory. How has he said different things to different people concurrently, which I believe is the definition of that idiom.

    “Here is an example from the Council minutes:” – Perhaps here you could add ” from 2004.” rather than make it seem like during the last campaign.

  11. Back to the issue at hand – which isn’t personalities, elections, or friends, but money, and the fact that we Edmonds property owners are being taken for a ride by an out-of-control City Council.

    The Council obligated the City to spend money. This is a particularly hard time for the City financially, as we are close to the brink. And are, in fact, lucky we haven’t gone bankrupt on medical bills already.

    Excusing this behavior on the basis of personality attributes, conspiracy theories, and imaginary enemies, doesn’t balance my City budget. And doesn’t give me confidence that they won’t decide to do it again.

    Do you really think this was all done in the public eye, with no “secret meetings”?

    I can make it all DJ Wilson’s fault, though. See, DJ took a campaign contribution from the property developer. The property can’t be made into a condo tower, as no-one is buying, so the owner is screwed. But DJ pretended that he was going to make the tower a reality, so that the others in Council would buy the property to stop him. See! Then the owner gets 1.1 million for worthless property! It’s all DJ’s fault! Sad part is, someone now probably believes this.

    Real Issue: City Council accountability, transparency and fiscal responsibility.
    Waiting for a real answer, sans tinfoil hats.

  12. Mr. Martin. That is true. I often look at you and your cabal and feel the same way. As to the truth, of course you have no response. That is because while you may not like my message and delivery, and believe me that is reciprocated, you know that you misstate facts to suit your own means. Indeed sir, you are a liar.

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