Edmonds City Councilmember Lora Petso puts her hat into the ring


Edmonds City Councilmember Lora Petso, who was appointed to the Edmonds City Council to fill the seat left vacant by Councilmember Dave Orvis’s resignation last year, signaled her intent to run for the position by filing with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission.

Before being appointed last year, she had been an elected member of the Council but lost to the late Councilwoman Peggy Pritchard Olson in 2003.

Petso joins two other incumbents — DJ Wilson and Diane Buckshnis — in filing for the primary election in August. The two other candidates to declare are Edmonds business owner Frank Yamamoto and retired carpenter Paul Anderson.

38 Replies to “Edmonds City Councilmember Lora Petso puts her hat into the ring”

  1. I am so amazed that no one has yet filed for Donald Wilson’s Council seat. He appears so vulnerable after, during his term as a Councilman, having successsfully sued a senior citizen, a 88 years widowed neighbor. The law awarded him a portion of her lovely Edmonds view property! He used an antiquated and odious law called “Adverse possesion”.

    Any citizen interested in running for Donald Wilson’s Council seat should review Snohomish County Superior Case number 08-2-07367-8 and/or contact myself for further info.

    I understand there is currently a House bill in the legislature that would abolish the archaic and un-American adverse possesion law in our state. And I also wonder if Rep. Jay Inslee and State Senator Paul Shin would wish to continue supporting this individual, Donald Wilson, if they knew about this situation.


  2. Ray, When I suggested I might run against DJ I asked for your help but you offered none. I guess you may have your own candidate in mind. Maybe you should run.


  3. Thank you Mr. Martin for bringing Donald (DJ) Wilson’s odious act to the people of Edmonds.
    I have spoken several times with Mrs. Sutherland who is now at 90 in ill health due to the trauma that she went through dealing with the legalized theft of her land: it is nothing less as far as I am concerned. Do we in Edmonds want our city to be lead by someone who would sue an elderly lady for her land through “adverse possession” after using that view lot without her knowledge or authorization? I think not!
    I am not American by birth but by choice and to me what Donald Wilson did is just profoundly not just unethical but un-American!


  4. Darrol;

    I think you would be a great candidate and council member. I appreciated your support in the past for our Transportation infrastructure. We need someone like you on the Council. Someone who is passionate about Edmonds (not politics) and has a logical mindset.


  5. Ray —

    Again, you are dealing in half truths.

    Ms. Sutherland agreed to sell a parcel of land to us. We had a contract signed to do that, which was for an amount more than 20% over the appraised value because we wanted to be as reasonable and as fair as possible. When she tried to nullify the agreement by taking us to arbitration, the arbitration judge ruled in ou favor. When she appealed that to Superior Court, the judge ruled in our favor there, too. In fact, Ms. Sutherland’s claims were ruled so frivolous that we were awarded attorneys fees in the matter.

    I respect Ms. Sutherland and her opinion. But I believe we would recount the facts of this matter quite differently.


  6. I believe DJ’s account. However, many people would not persist with such a thing, realizing that they are dealing with an 88 year old woman.


  7. Darrol,

    I have to say I don’t know you well at this point, but if you do run and I visualize you as an energetic honest straight shooter you would have my support over what we now have, that you could count on. I wpuild also be pleased to support many other qualified individuals such as Ron Wambolt, Don Fiene, Citizen Harry, Joan Bloom, John Reed, and many others.

    Donald Wilson,

    I acquired and have carefully studied the case. Your drivel about “again, half truths etc”. is slanted and off track. And I have shared the entire document with two others to date. We all noted we were sickened by reading it. the Adverse Possesion law needs to be abolished.

    No one needs to accept what i say, just read it yourselves and you too can be feel badly for the 88 year old defendant who lost her property.


  8. To Don,
    I agree with you totally about voting for someone passionate about Edmonds and who would have NO political aspirations. That to me would be an immediate ” no vote”.
    They should also be honest, not imbued of themselves and of spotless moral character. That leaves Donald Wilson out!
    We are lucky to have such outstanding citizens as you Don, Darrol, Ron Wambolt, Richard Senderoff, Joan Bloom, Harry Gatjens, Frank Yamamoto who leads the Economic Development Commission on which I was honored to serve and many others who have the potential and the necessary qualities to lead Edmonds to a bright future. I am saddened that Steve Bernheim is not going to continue as city councilor and want to thank him for all his hard work. He made a difference in a very positive way and worked very hard in bringing more transparency to the process and protected the rights of citizens to interact with their leaders. Lora Petso is of the same vein, hard working and totally devoted in protecting Edmonds’ citizens best interests.
    In the end that is what really matters. Furthering one’s own narcissistic political ambitions and having no respect for the elderly to the point of taking advantage of a senior citizen is a morally reprehensible act in my view, and one such person should not be voted in any office, anywhere and certainly not in Edmonds.


  9. I forgot to mention in my list of people to vote for that Diane Buckshnis MUST be re-elected. She has been totally instrumental at bringing forth the fact that Edmonds’ finances needed a complete overhaul and that the citizens have the right to know exactly where their hard earned money is going. No one on the council is more hard working than she. Always prepared and always rational and smart. I hope that you will concur with me that she is a brilliant asset to this community and must be kept on the council.


  10. Ray and Betty, DJ’s explanation seems very rational. Contract Law is part of the foundation of our society. There was “offer, acceptance, and consideration” all in writing. Even when reviewed by an arbitration judge and later in the courts the contract seemed to be upheld. If DJ is such a bad guy let’s find more than something like this to talk about. While I may not agree with DJ on all issues, I find his work to be thoughtful and creative. At the Council Retreat he brought up the idea of self-insurance as a way for Edmonds to save money and that is now being studied. As the campaign for all 4 council seats and the Mayor’s office go forward I would hope we find ways to gather the facts about all the candidates. Openly and honestly have each candidate tell us their vision of Edmonds and how we can get there.
    Edmonds is a $75m business of provided services to our 40,000 citizens. About 20,000 are registered to vote and about 14,000 actually do vote. This $75m enterprise needs 7 good Council members all acting for the good of us all not just a special interest group. We need a Mayor with the skills and experience to do the tasks necessary to run a $75m business. We need a professional staff to make it all work. And most importantly we need an engaged community. One way for the community to become more engaged will be to participate in the upcoming development of the Edmonds Strategic Plan. This effort is moving forward with the support of the majority of Council and deserves the attention of the public to put together the best plan possible and find a way to pay for those plans.
    The Council is discussing the financial issues of the City and trying to figure out how to pay for things we say we need. We have a back log of building and park maintenance that has been cut from the budget. We have abandoned the street overlay cycle and not paved a street in town for several years. (We did do some work with Fed Stimulus money and we do repair when we dig up a street for utility work.) Yost Pool is in need of work to keep it going and reduce the operational costs. Edmonds also has a list of capital projects that are not funded and their costs exceed $120m or $12,000 per house hold funded over a 20 year period.
    With these and other issues facing our City it is time for all of use to get a little more engaged in figuring out want we want. (Help with the Strategic Planning Process). Decide who we want to lead us into the future. (Get involved with the election process and get the candidates to talk about real issues not just sound bites)
    So as we look at all the candidates let’s look at their records of what they have done, how they have done it and what they would like to do, and how would they like to pay for it. It is time we have a complete discussion about who we are, what do we want to do and how do we want to pay for it.


  11. Ray: Your tirade against Councilmember Wilson amounts to old-fashioned mudslinging. You make accusations, saying you have evidence, but you fail to produce it. You accuse him of being slanted. Perhaps he is, but there is no doubt your accusations are slanted. Pot, meet kettle.

    Calling him Donald when you know he goes by DJ is just childish. Yes, I know it’s his birth name, but you really degrade yourself when you do it.

    I don’t know whether he committed a wrong in his property dealings. I’m not one of Mr. Wilson’s supporters, but your comments push my sympathies toward him.

    Ray, you’ve had many important things to say on myedmondsnew.com, and I bear you no ill will. But please tone down your rhetoric. Edmonds deserves better.


  12. Darrol,

    Just what is the source of your sudden knowledge of the case? Could it be only be this morning’s jaded self justifications of Donald Wilson, who is apparently your friend?

    To be fair first read the whole file. And yes, the law is the law, and very unfortunately so in this case for the victimized elderly senior citizen. Adverse Possesion is a bad law because it may encourage unscrupulous individuals to take unfair advantage of it. I fail to see any societal benefits in this law.

    Was there intimidating factors, misrepresentations, etc? What was the intentions of the parties? How does the senior citizen feel now? What has been the affect on her health?

    Read the file directly for real first hand knowledge and learn how to take another person’s property from them against their will in a legal, but immoral manner.


  13. Joe,

    A “tirade” is a long vehement speech. I hardly think suggesting that interested folks read the court case for themselves is such. Your additional comments are a bit unkind, inaccurate, and not too very nice.

    The only place I have ever noticed his real name (Donald) used is in the court documents. I’m sorrry if you are offended by the use of his real name, Your contention that using his first name is degrading to anyone seems a bit wierd. Would you prefer Donald (DJ) Wilson? It is an imperative that we identify him.


  14. Here’s a thought;

    Please consider how your abusing the blessing Teresa W. and her team provides the City of Edmonds. This story was about a Lora Petso announcing her candidacy, not personal opinions of DJ Wilson. Yet, keyboard courage monopolizes content. Out of one side of your mouth you talk about civility and political discourse. Yet out of the other side you never hesitate to bash someone with a different opinion or (according to your perception) has wronged you in the past.

    Please explain to me how this is bringing the citizens of Edmonds together to tackle the toughest issues we’ve ever faced?



  15. Ray: You’re right – your comments were not terribly long. I should have called them a short tirade. Sorry for the hyperbole.

    I am not offended by how you address Mr. Wilson. I doubt he or anyone else is, either. Calling him by his first name is only childish because you know he prefers DJ. It is not degrading to Mr. Wilson or anyone else, only to yourself.

    You’ve made an accusation, but you failed to back it up with verifiable facts. Mr. Wilson has answered your allegations and no verifiable facts have been introduced to refute anything he said. As things stand right now, I see no reason to criticize Mr. Wilson for anything he did. If new facts are introduced, I may change my mind. Just to be clear, telling us we can go to the courthouse to check for ourselves does not constitute a fact that supports your arguments.

    Ray, I’ve never met you, but I suspect I’ll actually like you if I ever do. You seem to say what you believe and I admire that. Nonetheless, I stand by my criticism of what you wrote today.


  16. Joe,

    I’ve interviewed the widow at length. She tells me that Donald or DJ persistently offered her $200K for her entire property even after she had refused several times and her son had informed Wilson of his intention to build there one day. She had owned the property for 55 years and had absolutely no intention whatsoever to sell to the high pressuring DJ or anyone else. She also felt a lot of intimidation throughout the ordeal. One possibility is she may have been forced to sell with some false story that the lot was too small to be built upon. Its RS 12 and the lot is under 10.There are some serious questions of propriety here, of who told what to who and when. She said that DJ would not take no for an answer after harassing her for a period of time and then he sued he for Adverse Possesion, capturing about 15% of the property. However, It appears his real goal all along was to not just capture the 15% of the property but rather he coveted it all. She tells me she was paying taxes on the County’s evaluation on 350,000K. I personally looked at the property and figured it to be worth about 400K. Yet Wilson today claims he offered “an amount more than 20% over the appraised value”. What’s the true value of a view lot in edmonds? I’m quite certain its much more that DJ claimed today. Wilson eventally paid only 225K and went after her again and won over 5K sanctions against the widow It should now be coming a little clearer to you what Wilson did. He must be very proud of himself And there is a lot more in the record for you to read so you will be better able to know the full truth, such as more misrepresentation by Donald. Donald (DJ) Wilson should not be on our City Council under any circumstances for his persistent and purposeful treatment of this very nice 90 year old lady.

    Before you mistakenly vote for Wilson read the record yourself


  17. Ed, you’re right. I’m sorry to have contributed to this off-topic drift. Getting back to the topic at hand…

    I’ve always admired Ms. Petso’s blunt honesty. I think Edmonds would be well served by her continuing to do what she’s been doing. Having said that, I hope somebody runs against her because I like having choices. And it might force her to be a bit more forthcoming about her views on the big issues. As a campaigner, she’s been almost completely silent. I’d love to read or watch an interview with her.


  18. Teresa, is it possible to move the discussion about Councilmember Wilson to an appropriate place? Ed is right that the discussion here should be about Councilmember Petso. People who are uninterested in the accusations against Mr. Wilson should not have to wade through them to see what’s being said about Ms. Petso.


  19. Ms Lora Petso is one fine candidate for continued service on our City Council. She has a long proven consistently outstanding record both as an elected official and humble citizen. And I consider her a personal friend. I certainly intend to support her. Vote Petso!


  20. All – About six months ago, I created a Forum section that was on a separate page. The idea was to give people a chance to start a topic and debate it at length without being limited by having to comment on a particular story.
    Here’s what happened: no one used it. it appeared that people were very content to comment on stories and preferred that. And, the forum became overwhelmed with spam comments. So I disabled it.
    If there is consensus that I should start this again, I’m willing to give it a try That said, it takes a fair amount of work to moderate so I will only do this if you indicate you will use it for off-topic discussions.


  21. Teresa,

    Your current format is working well.

    Some individuals would prefer a more rigid process as a way to intimidate, limit, or discourage a particular train of thoughts and ideas that is different than their own. And people being people frequently wander off a bit naturally without undue harm.

    I thank you for your service which has included a reasonable opportunity to voice related opinions and comments. And I’m sure many others do so also.


  22. I’m skeptical that reviving the forums would work. I don’t think the topic drift problem is frequent or big enough to merit a new maintenance headache for you, Teresa. Maybe all we need is occasional reminders from people like Ed.


  23. Dear Ray:

    I was going to engage in a lengthy conversation regarding your misstatement of facts however, then I remembered that I don’t enjoy playing in the mud; only you do. My best wishes to you and yours this Easter.


  24. Ray,

    I’m going to violate my principle regarding staying on topic, since this one was already hijacked by you.

    You are a bitter clown that hasn’t gotten the attention you feel you deserve. As usual you don’t address the facts someone posted against your bitterness. Nobody ever suggested rigidity, intimidation or limiting other people’s thoughts. You personally hijacked a story about Lora Petso to spout your thoughts and opinions about another candidate. For which, (like usual) you take no responsibility.

    You appear to feel as though you can take a gift from a caring, thoughtful citizen and turn it into your own spicket if vitriol and bitterness.

    If your conspiracy theories and opinions are so valuable and you feel the community needs to hear them, take the same risks and invest like Teresa has to create your own blog. Here’s a freebie, name it “The Truth about Edmonds”. If you get visitors then you can recoup your costs. If not, then maybe you will realize you are stealing from Teresa to espouse your bitterness, hatred and vitriol.

    Think about other people than yourself. There a many of us that would like to read what the community has to say about a topic Teresa and her staff has taken the time to professionally present. Instead we regularly have to read you blathering about off topic points, conspiracy theories and displeasure with anyone who disagrees with you or doesn’t behave in the manner you deem appropriate.

    Answer my direct question; How is your attitude, postings and lack of respect for other citizens helping the community come together to resolve major issues?


  25. Ray, to echo others’ comments, either be civil and stay on point regarding the topic (Lora’s announcement) or take a long walk to unwind. I’m tired of your comments about others and I ask that you change your manner or drop-out of this community resource. Enough is enough!


  26. Wow, Priya, Ed, and Jim sure don’t want to debate Wilson’s actions in regards to an aging widow. Instead they launch an all out personal ad homimen attack on the messenger in an apparent effort to divert attention away from their buddy’s bad behavior.

    For Ed’s “direct question” here’s a direct response: All citizens, including myself, have every right to question a Councilman’s actions that may well be inconsistent with the values and expectations of the voting public. Ed, its called a campaign.

    Once more, let me call your attention to Snohomish county Superior Court case 08-2-07367-8. Please read this document so that you may then intelligently discuss or debate the issue without resorting to undue emotional and personal attacks.


  27. Ray, please take a look at this “evidence” proving the Earth is flat:
    It may surprise you to learn that most of us (maybe all of us) are no less interested in investigating their claims than in investigating yours.

    It doesn’t matter that you were the one who posted those messages. It doesn’t matter who they were about. It doesn’t matter what they were about. The tone and presentation are why I don’t care whether they are true and will not engage you in a debate about them.

    You are not the victim here. The victims are the readers who are tired of reading this (let me try to say this politely) garbage.


  28. From now on, any time you say you are rolling on the floor (ROFLMAO), my brain is going to try to form an image of “Seriously Torqued”. Why did you do that to me?


  29. Ray was at least partially correct in his accusation of an ad hominem attack. In particular, the statement “You are a bitter clown that hasn’t gotten the attention you feel you deserve” is without doubt an ad hominem attack. It is a statement about Ray, not about what he said. It doesn’t matter whether it is true, and it doesn’t matter whether it might explain why he wrote what he did. I stopped reading Ed’s message when he said it.

    I was pretty worked up about Ray’s comments, as you can probably tell, but I don’t think I crossed the line by attacking him. I would ask that everybody else (including Ray!) try to do the same.

    Here’s an article with a good description of what constitutes an ad hominem attack:


  30. My conclusion why the fitness for public office in the case of Donald (DJ) Wilson needs citizen scrutiny:

    When an individual moves into a neighborhood and a year or two later acquires an aging widow’s property which she has owned for 55 years and against her will, then the law, lawyers, and judges should be examined carefully, with an eye on reform.

    And the aggressive plaintiff, Donald (DJ) Wilson should also be looked at for continuation of public trust.
    Was there misrepresentation alleged by a primary witness? Yes, there was, and it was ignored. Was there intimidation, high pressure? The Courts may have been legal, but were they moral? Do we want our senior citizens treated this way?

    The verifiable evidence is sitting in the County Clerk’s office in Everett.


  31. Lora< are you still out there and running for election. Hard to tell by all the comments that have noting to do with your announcement, but mostly self serving in my humble opinion. Athough you and I dont always agree I am sure you will be running a hard straight forward campaign with out all the negativity and induendos we are reading. Again congratulations


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