With public distrust of Congress and politicians in general at an all-time high, it wouldn’t be surprising if citizens of Edmonds would prefer doing just about ANYTHING besides attending a public meeting this week — especially on dry-sounding topics like zoning and master plans.
But the truth is, this stuff matters. It sets a course for how Edmonds grows, develops and changes (or doesn’t, depending on what happens next). If you read the My Edmonds News comments section (and I’m told that some people come to the site for that reason alone!), you’ll notice many strong opinions. But in the final analysis, for the most part, those opinions are from a relatively small group of residents. There are thousands of Edmonds citizens who have no idea what type of impassioned discussions are occurring both on My Edmonds News and in the council chambers regarding the future of Westgate development, changes to the Shoreline Master Plan or amendments to commercial zoning regulations that would encourage more mixed-use development on Highway 99.
Most city council meetings are not well-attended, and I get it — people have other priorities in their lives. But if you can spare a few minutes, look over the council agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting. There will be two public hearings — one on the Shoreline Master Plan and the other on commercial zones. This is the time to make your opinion heard.
The same goes for Councilmember Joan Bloom’s public meeting on Westgate zoning Monday night. There have been several opportunities for citizens to share their opinions about Westgate and what they’d like to see there, and plans have been developed based on those opinions. You can take a closer look at what’s been penciled out here, then stop by Councilmember Bloom’s meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at Faith Community Church. If you can’t make it, My Edmonds News does plan to attend and videotape it for later viewing.
On a separate note, it was just a week ago that citizens — led by event organizer Emily Hill — gathered on the Edmonds waterfront for the Edmonds Embraces Diversity walk, following an incident Aug. 20 in which an Edmonds family was threatened and subjected to racial slurs on Sunset Avenue. Larry Vogel and I were there with video and still cameras in hand to cover this event, which drew 100-plus people, including several of our City Councilmembers, State Senators and Representatives. I am proud to say that we were the only media organization to document this amazing show of community support.
Next month will mark exactly five years since I founded My Edmonds News. I continue to do this work because I am more passionate than ever about my original mission — to be “an online gathering place for neighbors and friends.” Thanks for the support you provide through your encouraging emails, your comments, your donations and — to our wonderful sponsors — your advertising dollars.
Teresa Wippel, Publisher