Edmonds receives Tree City USA designation, Energy Star award

Mayor Earling with the Tree City USA plaque and Edmonds Tree Board member Sandy Seligmiller and Board Chair Anna Hackman.
Tree Board members Susan Paine and Laura Spehar were also on hand for the presentation.

Members of the Edmonds Tree Board came to the Edmonds City Council meeting Tuesday to present Mayor Dave Earling with a plaque announcing that the City has received a Tree City USA designation. Edmonds joins 80 other cities in Washington state and 3,400 nationwide that are Tree City USA communities, created by the Arbor Day Foundation to ensure that cities have a viable tree management plan and program.

The event was one of several “green” discussions the council had Tuesday night. After the Tree City USA recognition, Earling presented City Council President Strom Peterson with a 2011 award from U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Program, recognizing the energy-efficient operation of City Hall for the second consecutive year. Both Peterson and Earling acknowledged the work of city staff who are continually looking for energy-saving opportunities.

And later in the meeting, the council began preliminary discussions on ways to address the problem of often-unwanted telephone books that end up in recycling bins or garbage cans. The City of Seattle has adopted an opt-out program for consumers that the Edmonds may want to purse as a model, said Councilmember Frank Yamamoto, who brought up the issue. Councilmember Michael Plunkett, meanwhile, said that he’d also like to hear from the companies who deliver the phone books, to get an overall view of the pluses and minuse

In addition, the Council:

– Unanimously approved an ordinance allowing the mayor to assign extra duties to managers and directors and compensate them with “special duty pay.” Since it was initially proposed in February, the measure included three changes recommended by the Council’s Finance Committee: it will be a temporary, limited for up to one year; the mayor is authorized to pay up to 5 percent of the manager or director’s salary; and the council must approve an increase of between 5-10 percent.

– Passed resolutions supporting the City’s efforts to obtain grants through the State’s Recreation Conservation Office for improvements to City Park and the Sunset Overlook. Specific design plans for public comment will be developed if and when the grants are approved, but City Parks and Recreation Director Carrie Hite said that she would like to replace the “safe but really tired” playground equipment and also add a “spray pad” of interactive water features. The park’s former wading pool, which has been closed for some time, would be demolished. The Sunset Overlook would include the addition of a pedestrian trail and possible bike lane enhancements.

– Postponed until a future meeting the adoption of an ordinance permitting new charges for sewer, water and storm utility connections.

– Confirmed the mayor’s appointment of Joseph Fletcher III and Kody McConnell to the Edmonds Sister City Commission.

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