Council rejects idea to up bid for Edmonds Conference Center; hears again from turf field opponents

Joan Bloom
Joan Bloom
The Edmonds City Council Tuesday night voted 6-1 to reject a proposal by Councilmember Joan Bloom to quadruple the city’s offer – from $300,000 to $1.2 million — to buy the 14,375-square-foot Edmonds Conference Center at 4th Avenue North and Bell Street.

(Although Tuesday’s meeting was officially a study session, the council took action on this particular item because of the July 15 deadline for making a new offer on the property.)

The council learned last week that Edmonds-based North Sound Church, located across the street from the conference center, had submitted to the State of Washington the highest bid of $2.4 million. The offer also included an escalator clause to $2.8 million to lock in the church’s offer for the former Edmonds Community College property, which the State of Washington has declared surplus.

While acknowledging that the $1.2 million was significantly lower than the high bid, Bloom told fellow councilmembers she was making the motion because “I think we are making a huge mistake in not considering purchasing this property.” Bloom said she was hopeful that the state might consider the city’s lower bid based on financial “offsets’ that could be given to another public agency, or — at the very least — Edmonds’ new offer could delay the state’s final decision and give the city more time to gather public input on possible uses for the property or consideration of making a larger offer.

After Bloom’s proposal was defeated, Councilmember Lora Petso made a motion — passed unanimously — that the city request that the state notify them if the high bid falls through.

A good chunk of Tuesday’s meeting, however, was taken up by another hot-button issue that councilmembers hadn’t heard about in a while: ongoing opposition to the tire crumb rubber turf fields being installed this summer as part of a multi-use athletic field complex at the former Woodway High School. As they did a few months ago, parents of children attending the Edmonds Heights K-12 school located next to the fields, along with students of varying ages, project neighbors and environmentalists, lined up Tuesday night to testify against the project, which is being developed through an interlocal agreement between the City of Edmonds, the Edmonds School District and the Verdant Health Commission.

Work has already begun on phase one of the three-phase sports complex, after project opponents were unsuccessful in convincing the school district to delay action on the project due to health and environmental concerns associated with the crumb rubber turf, which is made from recycled tires that contain known carcinogens. While Councilmember Tom Mesaros said that he is sympathetic to the parents’ concerns, he noted that the city doesn’t have control over what the school district does with its property. But Councilmember Petso introduced a motion to schedule a public hearing on the interlocal agreement itself, which delineated the city’s role in the project. That motion passed by a vote of 5-1, with Councilmember Kristiana Johnson opposed and Mesaros  — who said he was worried that the hearing would falsely lead project opponents to believe the city could impact the school district’s decision — abstaining. A date for the public hearing has not yet been set, but Bloom urged that it be scheduled as soon as possible.

As part of the sports complex work that began in late June, the natural grass at the Woodway Field has been torn up to make way for two artificial turf fields made of plastic grass blades and recycled tire crumb rubber. The fields are scheduled to be available for use by local select and recreational sports teams starting this fall.

The project is also facing a court challenge from Edmonds resident Mark Wall, who will appear in Snohomish County Superior Court July 31 (delayed from the earlier July 8 date) for a preliminary hearing on his appeal to overturn the Edmonds City Council’s land use decision regarding the property. Wall has asked the court to deny the requested permits for the project located off 100th Avenue West in the Westgate neighborhood. Edmonds School District attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss Wall’s legal action.

In addition, the council heard information on the following:

– an update on city’s investment policy.

– discussion of the SR-104 Complete Street Corridor Analysis. (There was a lengthy presentation on this issue; we’ll report more details in a separate story.)

– a report on final construction costs for the 2014 Citywide Storm Drainage Improvements and acceptance of project.

– discussion of an ordinance amending the Edmonds City Code relating to council committee meetings and formally establishing the committee of the whole.





  1. What happened to the discussion about Boards and Commissions? There is no video of it. Couldn’t tell what happened. Anyone know? Thanks. The Diversity Commission funding seems to be getting “put off” a lot.

  2. Councilmember Tom Mesaros says ” the city doesn’t have control over what the school district does with its property”. No wonder the City Council closed review hearing was such a farce. They were there to decide whether or not to approve the permits for the school district to build their regional sports complex. Apparently Tom didn’t realize he had the ability to vote against the project. You did have control over what the school district did with its property Tom.

  3. Actually, given that the City Codes didn’t prohibit the use of those crumb rubber fields, the Council had no say in the issuance of the permits at all. Which is why the closed record hearing was so narrowly drawn by the hearing examiner. What they can do now is to refuse to fund any thing related to those fields. It will be interesting to see how that works out.

  4. I’m not even referring to the crumb rubber. I’m speaking of the council members and city turning a blind eye to a fraudulent SEPA statement. And the school districts improper segmentation of the permitting process to try and avoid the full impact of this project. The city and council members could have stopped this at any time. The hearing examiner denied the permits for lighting of this project. The school district then removed the permits for lighting from consideration and have now gone ahead and installed the light poles and infrastructure anyway. I’d like to see a private citizen try that one!

  5. I find it really ironic that the fields will contain around 80,000 chopped up used tires that will off gas toxic fumes, yet the city cannot legally do anything about this. However, if the school district wanted to dump 80,000 used whole tires on those fields it would be illegal and the city would be able to protect its citizens from the hazardous waste. When did chopping up hazardous waste into little pieces make it safe?

  6. Well, I guess we are all in the KNOW of how all citizens residing in the City of Edmonds are basically at the very bottom of this government, with the exception of perhaps a couple people. ……..It appears to be who you know, who knows who and quite a few benefiting from Edmonds being a great gig for many entities with citizens coming in last in my opinion.Im not surprised at all of the audacity and shock of the Edmonds School Board actually allowing some company out there to come here and dump something into our city that contains known carcinogens and even when our Environmental Protection Agency
    has stated that this product needs more testing (2015) So our government and this particular school board is actually going to test on real people, real children, real wildlife,etc……and our City Council and Mayor saying nothing they can do??????

    It is up to the Mayor to keep the citizens SAFE…….I believe that is in the Mayors handbook!

    I say it is time to send a strong message by the citizens of this beautiful city and that would be to dump this whole school board because of them allowing this action that is so totally environmentally questionable! Perhaps having a City Manager and dumping the Mayor position, or having only a part time Mayor, which we actually always had until this changed in 1983. Again I say everything starts at the top. When a city feels more like a kingdom with those on top in the KNOW (including the chosen staff, long time commisioners, commission people wielding power here, old outdated ideas, cronyism, breaking of laws, regulations,etc) and very few at Council questioning anything, it is to me a sign of a totally non transparent and I feel sneaky, tricky government…….(a dark time in our United States history comes to mind with all those “operatives” and the many tricky things that unfolded and how quickly that happens with closed, behind door, sneaky government. …..Interesting it feels that way to me, harking back in time……I say it is no wonder businesses have left Edmonds by the droves going quite a way back.

    Im sure this will be a surprise to many citizens that in our ferry terminal is a stack of tourist booklets called “Guide to Edmonds 2015″ with a history of Edmonds in it going back to the 1800s and right up to now with the quote at the end of the history, ….and this apparently written by someone in our government

    ” Change has been a constant in Edmonds…….A. consolidation of the railroad station and a new ferry terminal (isnt our ferry terminal NOW a newer multimillion dollar structure built not that long ago paid for by taxpayers…..isnt the train station a newer multi millione dollar entity paid by our tax dollars not that long ago?….and we call it the “ghost station” because very few are there most of the time)
    are planned near the south end of the waterfront. “Intermodal” ( like Phil Williams kept saying about how the Sunset Project will be, and as we SEE proofs in the pudding…..or perhaps the devils in the details) is the byword for a facility that will tie together rail, bus, ferry and car services to move people through Edmonds for work and play”
    I am assuming the developer at Salish Crossing has known this for a while……Everything happening at Dayton, assumed new Main Street, but hey, call me a conspiracy theorist……I only care about the zillions of our tax dollars constantly wasted when we dont even have badic infrastructur such as safe streets, sidewalks, etc.
    So for all the “possee” out there speaking of me and my conspiracy ideas here, perhaps it IS important for the citizens to get a copy of this 2015 tourist Guide to Edmonds to see what is being planned. ……I guess that certainly answers the questiongs about the brown building on the waterfront that some of those that are really in the KNOW supposedly had no idea about……the city with its office down there with other entities

    Why have the citizens not been given this information from our Mayor involved in all things transportation by the state…………Between the very late information coming from our government regarding the very lethal , dangerous Bakken oil cars coming through here (about a year after I mentioned it writing in to this publicaton)to the mega huge development ideas on our waterfront to the actual dumping of crumb rubber toxic untested waste into our envirnment, I say , time for new leadership starting at the top.

    Again I encourage all citizens to look on Edtv at the videos of our City Council meetings and who asks questions and who doesnt. ……and the so many non answers to questions with thr Mayors staff or perhaps not prepared for questions…..not sure which

    and remember everything starts at the top

    It is election time and we should be paying attention to where the citizens sit with this government and what is supposed to be a democracy with the government representing the citizens who are at the top, again not the other way around……..

  7. I purchased a home and moved to Edmonds on May 23rd. I have been absolutely blown away by the sheer amount of deception, misinformation I have been witness to by the Administration and parts of the City Council. Between having 38 executive sessions with only 1 being made public to approvals of fraudulent SEPA determinations to allowing developers to clearcut property against the Development code. Millions sent in defending lawsuits and losing. What a beautiful town that if we do not wake up will be a total farce.

    1. Guess it’s time to move back where you moved from. I love it here – been here since 1955. Played football in the Edmonds stadium – dirty, stinky mud – we would have loved a nice artificial turf field that was always in great shape. Negativity is bad.

      1. Mr. Porter, I was quite positive and I think if you were in my place you would probably not have much of a different position. I work hard to by my property like I am sure you have. And I will fight to have my legitimate grievances properly addressed. As for the turf, it does not seem unreasonable to have an extra level of care for our children. And it seems pretty logical to look and say “if you would not allow 1000 tires to be put there why would you allow 1000 ground up tires”? How many times do we have to have the same basic issues happen before we learn? Is questioning the “studies” and the potential health effects when it stares you in the face so terrible?

  8. Scott, I am very sorry that your choice to move your family to Edmonds has gotten off to such a very difficult start. How beyond sad and I hope the community will support you.

    The City of Edmond’s government has a history of taking foolish action – action that can cause great harm and promotes distrust in City Government. Incredibly, these actions are often conscious choices, whether it is violating the public records act, operating under a very flawed City Code for many years or reserving an illegal easement on a private citizen’s fee title property.

    Why are these types of choices made by our City leaders? We just witnessed it again when the City passed an Emergency Ordinance and then failed to have the required public hearing within 60 days. No problem for our City government – they apparently think they are above State law and can hold the required public hearing on day 77 and call it good.

    Hopefully some day we will have ethical leadership that says enough is enough – we must see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced. This definitely applies to the City of Edmonds government itself, which I believe needs to make sure it follows the State and City laws no matter what. It should not be so hard to keep it plain, simple and just.

    1. So, Mr. Reidy, if you and Mr. Blomenkamp (what a deliciously ironic name in our fair city, I might add) have had illegal actions perpetrated against you by the city, have you taken, or will you take appropriate action in a court of law? You cite illegal action, Mr. Reidy, and you suggest illegal action is being taken against you, Mr. Blomenkamp, but you and all of us have recourse in our courts and hearing processes. Stop carping, and take it to the judge…or maybe you already have. In which case, how’d that work out for you? Are we looking at illegal actions, or things that judicially didn’t work out so well for you? Just asking. “illegal” is a strong word. Use it cautiously.

      1. Mr. Johnson, perhaps you would enlighten me on the irony since I have only been a resident for less than 2 months? As for legal recourse, there are certain processes (such as Hearing Examiner reviews) that must be done before legal action can be pursued. Show up August 27th and see for yourself at the Hearing Examiner hearing. The point both Mr. Reidy and myself are making is that an Administration that consistently requires it’s citizens to pursue this recourse is not an ethical government when repeatedly they are judged against. The point is we are a nation of laws not men that arbitrarily interpret the law. And the government works for us, not the other way around. And what I am speaking about are actions that are completely done not in accordance with the City codes as well as state law, so I guess that would be termed “Illegal”. If you run a red light what you have done is illegal, whether you received a ticket or not. And yes we have recourse in courts and hearings just as we have the recourse provided by the United States Constitution (It is called freedom of speech, and association). And while neither of our situations rise to this level, I would imagine you would have called various people like Martin Luther King, Gandi, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Fredrick Douglas “complainer” or “whiner”. Sounds more like you have friends in the places we speak of.

        1. You are absolutely right.Your arguments and protestations do not rise to the level of those you refer to. Seriously, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Ghandi, and…well, seriously? You have to have a basis for your complaints. Do you? That’s all I’m suggesting. Let’s see what the hearings examiner has to say…he/she has always worked out for us. No, those illustrious people who have shaped our nation were not whiners. The jury is out on whether you are. And I don’t run red lights. By the way, would those “friends in the places we speak of” be the same as “the select few”? Just asking…again.

      2. Mr. Johnston – I am happy to meet with you at your convenience to discuss this in much more detail. Please contact me as soon as possible.

        I really hope you will meet with me. I continue to stay involved as a citizen and a large part of my motivation is to do what I can to encourage the City to behave properly and legally so that other citizens won’t be harmed by the City’s choices.

        If you want an example of the City’s illegal conduct, please watch my audience comments made during the April 28, 2015 City Council meeting. I start speaking shortly after the 5 minute mark during Audience comments. If you don’t care to watch that video, following are my comments:

        Hi, Ken Reidy of Edmonds. I hold in my hand a temporary construction easement document from tonight’s Council agenda packet. Temporary construction easements must be granted to the City when the City has a true public need to use another’s property. That requirement is what this grant document is all about. It is a common basic document. The granting of an easement also comes into play during the City’s vacation of a street easement that is not needed for public ingress or egress. For example, the City may need to maintain a utility pipe under the easement area being vacated. In these situations, the City Council can pass a resolution of intent to vacate the street easement as long as the property owner grants a different easement to the City in exchange for the street easement being vacated. Per the code, this condition must be met within 90 days.

        So please, after you review agenda item 10 tonight, please take a moment and appreciate that wow, incredibly, the City chose to violate the City’s own code related to my property. There is no resolution of intent to vacate; our code requires such. There also is no grant document like this related to what the City did to me. Our code requires a grant.

        As you know, the illegal easement caused great harm for years and years that lives on and on.

        Please look at Edmonds City Code 2.01.010 which documents the duties of the Mayor. The Mayor shall see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced. The word is shall which is mandatory. The City’s code does not state that once the City has chosen to commit an illegal act, the Mayor is suddenly relieved of his duty to see that all laws and ordinances are followed. Such would be crazy and would lead to great injustices.

        Why would any of you act as if once the City has chosen to break a law, the burden to see that the related City law is followed is shifted to others. The code is clear. This not the citizen’s burden, the Mayor shall see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced.

        This is simple and basic. There was no grant. That should have been the end of story, case closed. Instead this City acted as if it had a grant and used the illegal temporary construction easement to attack my private property via permanent code enforcement. Permanent code enforcement related to a temporary easement.

        Okay, Council may have been fooled before they voted on that illegal easement but all have had years of opportunities to address what took place. Why the refusal to do so? How can you ask people to trust the City when the City refuses to correct its own violations of the code? Thank you.

      3. Perhaps Mr, Johnston you should just say what you mean with the innuendos? Obviously you have difficulties understanding the basics of our form of government, whether it be federal or local we have the right for redress as well as expecting our elected officials to perform their duties. If in the course of this performance there are differences in areas that allow for discretion or opinion then of course it needs to go to a hearing or court. However, this is the least efficient and most expensive. In cases where the law is clearly written, it should be applied to everyone regardless of race, creed, color, gender, private citizen or not, and developer or not. In my case having purchased property and then having a developer destroy several pieces of my property because the city did not faithfully follow its procedures and then begin to put up a wall of resistance to simply follow the city code then there is something wrong. And before you ask, how much clearer does it need to be when the code says 18.45.00.H.1 “The applicant may not fill, excavate, stack or store any equipment, or compact the earth in any way within the area defined by the drip line of any tree to be retained.”

        1. I understand how goverment works and should work at the local, State, and Federal level just fine, Mr. Blomenkamp. I worked successfully providing public and private clients with environmental permits for almost 40 years, with generally good and honest experiences with municipalities throughout the Northwest (including Edmonds), hearing examiners, and courts in matters of land use and development. You seem to be following the right path for redress, and I would hope nobody, least of all me, would ever seek to deny you that opportunity–my clients and I personally have benefitted greatly from the process through the years, once we have presented our cases honestly and in conformance with relevant codes and regulations. What I’m saying is that you should not refer to the City’s or anyone else’s action as “illegal” until it is adjudged to be so, in your case either by a hearing examiiner or court of law. And yes, legal actions are messy and not a preferred course, but the opportunity is afforded to us for just such purpose–you disagree with an action or outcome, and seek to be made whole. Good luck to you. As for your situation, Mr. Reidy, it looks like you continue to fight a decision that was made long ago. I wish you well, or at least, that appropriate justice is rendered in your case, if it hasn’t been already.

        2. Mr. Johnston, thank you for your wishes and I do appreciate your point and do not take saying something is illegal lightly. I moved to Edmonds for many reasons, one of which was a perceived balance of development rights with environmental sustainability. I am far from being an environmental activist but to purchase property specifically for the old growth trees and then 2 weeks later not through negotiation to have a next door developer purposely completely change what I bought by damaging a stand of trees (and I would say it was purposeful when 95% of the damage was done the day after showing me the initial damage and I would not acquiesce to his desire to have them removed). I would call this illegal when Black’s Law dictionary defines Illegal as “Not authorized by law; Illicit ; unlawful; contrary to law.” Nowhere do you see it requires adjudication. I would expect the city to faithfully review the issues and listen to evidence rather than take the position of “he has a permit”. Again thank you for the good wishes and I hope to have a chance to actually enjoy my new property soon.

      4. How ‘ bout our city and government just follow all laws, rules and regulations and then they wouldnt have to waste all this time in closed door meetings regarding “potencial litigation” EVERY week. Anybody that has been in suits with our courts know how stressfull it is and the incredible amount of money it costs……I suppose if you’re of unlimited means maybe its no big deal…………it may be a different story for the average person

        Besides, we’ve seen one court case with our city in downtown Seattle that was quite an embarassment to many. Why not have the city just operate totally legally and pay ATTENTION always to all laws, rules and regulations………We citizens have to do that

        Gee, what a concept…..simple and direct.

        Citizens that follow the rules and our laws expect our government to do likewise……..and shouldnt have to take our government to court

  9. Scott first of all if your going to complain you have to be more specific to my knowledge executive sessions are closed to the public council can have as many as they want, As far as defending law suits go whats the city suppost to do and what law suit are you talking about fraud sepa determinations now i dont know anything about that again a statement with no specifics

    1. Michael, first of all under state law there are limited reasons an executive session can be called so they cannot “have as many as they like” (take 10 seconds to either google or search this site and Ken Reidy has quoted this several times). Second of all, the reasons for executive session are quite reasonable (mostly to protect against speculation in land deals, sensitive issues related to lawsuits for again reasonable reasons) however after the need has passed there is a requirement for public disclosure and it should not take unnecessary City Employee time or the citizens time to gain access to this information let alone having to file a lawsuit) for example last week the City Council voted to pay Finnis Tupper $50k for failing to provide records in a public records request (this is around the 20th largest settlement in the stat since 2000. Considering this includes settlements by the state, and I can name at least twenty larger cities (We are 25th). I am sure there was a lot of City and Mr Tuppers time that could have been better spent, and time is money. Lastly as for defending lawsuits, first of all avoid making stupid decisions that lead to them (like not enforcing city ordinances or doing unethical actions that then force citizens to file suit like in the Humann case), secondly recognize when a mistake has been made and own up to it and settle it. The cost to the City (AKA “the Tax Payer) is much greater than just the monetary judgement, there is the legal cost for the City as well as employee time to gather information. Is this enough specifics for you?

      1. Just want to let you know that the $2 million Humann case is not attributable to the current city administration. It was the result of actions by the previous mayor, Mike Cooper. Ms. Humann’s lawsuit was perhaps one of the reasons why Dave Earling received nearly twice as many votes as Mike Cooper in the 2011 election.

        1. Ron, I realize that. My point is that many of the issues I refer to are systemic. Considering that before Mayor Cooper there was the Haines Warf change request expenditures by Mayor Gary Haakenson. As for the Humann case, at any point there was the potential to offer a settlement. And there are more than just the Mayor’s office involved there, try at least 7 City Council members, and at least a City Attorney. Again the point I am making is when you follow the law and not make it up on the fly many of these issues go away. If the law needs to be changed then follow the procedures to change it lawfully. And if you make a mistake, stand up and admit it and fix the problem. Is that not what most people tell their children?

  10. “he/she has always worked out for us”……..just trying to figure out what that means….is this in regards to the City of Edmonds…….ok, call me a turnip, just trying to figure this out and why anyone would argue regarding citizens requesting democratic governments follow the rule of law if they see some unethical or rule/law breaking issues they may have encountered with the operations of government entities.

  11. Tere, was any of this illegal. Are you going to run as a write in candidate if so please declare . I would ask for some more factual information but I dont think you would answer.

    1. That comment was deleted because it contained incorrect information. I know for a fact it is incorrect because I was covering the mayoral election at that time.

      1. I will gladly furnish the link from the entity that published a full page article in regards to their help getting Mayor Earling elected when he was behind in points. This publication, My Edmonds News published that link with my previous comment and link to that entity quite some time ago. Im sure most people saw that link before. I did not imply that something was done illegal. …..just facts on money and entities….. Our Supreme Court has ruled on this but in many peoples thinking around the country regarding large sums of money coming in to elections all over, appearance does mean something also, even though all is legal now……..

      2. I believe the publisher has my email address with my subscription so perhaps an email in regards to this “incorrect information” to me.

  12. The minutes of the July 14th city council meeting are now available on the city’s website. The minutes reveal that councilmember Mike Nelson attended the preceding executive session in which collective bargaining was a topic. With councilmember Nelson’s direct involvement in the labor movement he should be recusing himself from any collective bargaining discussions, as a conflict of interest clearly exists.

    1. I just spoke with someone from the city who was in this session and told me this is absolutely not true – Councilmember Nelson was not in attendance.

      1. So they are saying that these minutes are incorrect? Sometimes there are errors in the draft minutes, but typically not who is in attendance.
        At 6:00 p.m., Mayor Earling announced that the City Council would meet in executive session to discuss collective bargaining and pending or potential litigation per RCWs 42.30.140(4)(a) and 42.30.110(1)(i). He stated that the executive session was scheduled to last approximately 60 minutes and would be held in the Jury Meeting Room, located in the Public Safety Complex. No action was anticipated to occur as a result of meeting in executive session. Elected officials present at the executive session were: Mayor Earling, and Councilmembers Johnson, Fraley-Monillas, Buckshnis, Petso, Mesaros, Bloom and Nelson. Others present were City Attorney Jeff Taraday, Public Works Director Phil Williams, Human Resources Manager Mary Ann Hardie, Parks & Recreation Director Carrie Hite, and City Clerk Scott Passey. At 7:02 p.m., Mayor Earling announced to the public present in the Council Chambers that an additional 10 minutes would be required in executive session. The executive session concluded at 7:12 p.m.
        Mayor Earling reconvened the regular City Council meeting at 7:15 p.m. and led the flag salute.

        1. Apologies -Councilmember Nelson was not there for the labor negotiations part of the meeting related to the union he represents. Sorry for the error.

        2. No, not implying anyone was lying. Just had someone call me up to correct the record. To be clear (and I wasn’t clear on this from an earlier phone call I received) Councilmember Nelson was present for this meeting except for when issues were discussed related to the union he represents. Apologies for any misunderstandings here, but I am traveling today and am doing my best to moderate comments from afar.

    1. Michael, I do not try and portray I am an expert on everything. As for being here only 2 months, my situation has required me to read the ECC and ECDC as well as many parts of the RCW and quite abit of case law. My point about the council is that they confirm directors. They also are responsible for approving arbitrators, and city attorneys, and settlements. They at any time can request information on the workings of the Administration. They have a responsibility to be a check on the Administration overreaching in a variety of situations. I was not trying to say they directly had a had in the situation however as elected representatives they do have the responsibility to act both in the best interests of the city as well as to follow the law. Is that really too hard to ask for? A case in point is the failure to address the change from having committees to not. For about 9 months that was contrary to the ECC.

      1. Well i followed the debi humann case and have a copy of the case number C13-101 in my desk,the way I see it the exmayor fired somebody he should not of and did’nt keep his mouth shut that only cost him half a million bucks plus court cost, the current mayor should have made sure that that women had a job another mistake now what role the council had I don’t know,now im not an attorney but in my mind and in this case settling out of court would have been foolish,one thing I know you fire somebody you better have a good reason and if you say anything about that person it can only be dates on when they worked there. otherwise your probably going to get sued Now i would like to know a little more about the $50 grand that person got for not getting public records, You spend more time here you will see that between the council and city goverment espically the council waste a lot of time working on things they have no control over and try to do things that they just can not do its been going on for years

    1. Im still wondering if the publisher of this publication still has a position of working for the Seattle Public Schools or has this gone away and when……in the interest of transparency

  13. Here’s what a city employee told Teresa: “Councilmember Nelson was present for this meeting except for when issues were discussed related to the union he represents.” He needs to be excluded from ALL union negotiations.

    Councilmember Nelson is a full-time union employee; he is the executive director of the local SEIU. Does anyone really believe that he can switch from looking out for what’s best for employees represented by the SEIU, to looking out for what’s best for our city when dealing with the other unions?

    Furthermore, allowing councilmember Nelson to participate in the negotiations with other unions allows him to learn the city’s negotiation strategy that undoubtedly would be made known to the SEIU.

    1. Ron,
      It seems that Mr Nelson and the City need to be extremely transparent when executive sessions are regarding any Union. If Mr Nelson recuses himself, as he has stated he will, that should be announced from the Dias. Since the public is not privy to what is discussed ( as is proper) we cannot know what he was and wasn’t present for. We also have no way, in fairness to Mr Nelson, to determine if matters discussed were irrelevant to him as a Council Person.
      Mr Nelson is walking a fine line and in order to do that all of his involvement when ANY Union is involved should be very public. He has said he would be, and the notion that he will not be present only for Discussions involving a Union he works with is simply not enough.

  14. rom if this guy is on the e board of a union what good is he doing for the city he will have to excuse himself with any union stuff sorry i see a huge conflict of interest whats new a disfunctional city council

    1. I think a picture is worth a thousand words and this may be “transparent” but certainly makes one wonder what a balancing act this could be for anybody in our government…….I don’t really see how one could be totally objective while out picketing and speaking regarding union issues …………….I have not seen this in our My Edmonds News, perhaps I missed it, but it doesn’t feel right. Don’t get me wrong, I was at Swedish Hospital here recently for an emergency, and I don’t know WHAT the problems are there, but I was shocked at how dirty it was, and will never go back. I went home to wash as it f elt that bad!

      I always considered FOREVER Swedish to be one of the best hospitals bar none!!! I will not return to that hospital.

      Again, a picture is worth a thousand words and this just doesn’t feel right to me. Perhaps I’m wrong, but that was my gut feeling when I saw it.

      Just my feelings regarding this and having recently been a patient there.

  15. I read the article that Tere provided the link to, regarding Dave Earling and his election being run by special interest groups. Could myedmondsnews please repost the comments from Tere. She supplied the article and was proven correct on her assertions regarding Mayor Dave. That article from the National Association of Realtors definitely helped me to understand how things have got so bad with the Edmonds policy of development and revenue at any cost.

    1. Would you please give us some specifics that apply to the past 4 years and illustrate “Edmonds policy of development and revenue at any cost.”

  16. Well, I guess Im wondering where the comment is that suposedly has incorrect information……Perhaps this publisher could let me know what information was incorrect regarding the comment that was dated 7/17 and submitted at around 12:31……..I believe I did back that comment up with proof above regarding Dave Earlings last run for Mayor and I guess Im stll wondering why there is such a large amount of money given for this election when there is NOBODY running against Mayor Earling.

  17. ron your questions about nelson should be directed to the council they picked him, like i said a disfunctional city council this guy has to excuse himself so now the mayor gets the final vote in a tie so much for the 7 person idea

    1. I plan on contacting the councilmembers Michael, but I believe they can only pressure Nelson to do the right thing I don’t believe they can make him recuse himself.

  18. And any Code of Ethics (save the current iteration the Council adopted) would spell that out, and enable it to be a full process. My other concern is that on matters related to labor and the City Unions: Mr. Nelson cannot (well should not) be voting which means that he is not able to be the 7th vote should it come up. In matters related to the Unions, we have essentially a Council of 6.

  19. anybody ask nelson whats he is going to do when union stuff come up at meetings, if he can’t participate whats he doing on the council in the first place thats what you should ask councilmembers Ron

  20. change the subject can the city put any burn bands in effect as I read it now people can still have controlled campfires I was wondering if the city could overrule this and but a complete band on fires thats exactly what needs to happen

  21. Very relevant comments, Diane and Michael. Councilmember Mesaros nominated Nelson; Councilmembers Fraley-Monillas, Buckshnis, Mesaros, and Petso voted for his appointment. For the reasons described above, he is a flawed councilmember; that is particularly aggravating when there were several better qualified applicants.

    Councilmember Nelson’s participation in any union matters would not pass any appearance of fairness doctrine.

  22. If a council member who works on organized labor issues should be prevented from dealing or voting on any organized labor issues then all council members who work in business should be prevented from dealing or voting on any business-related issues and all council members who work in the real estate/development field should be prevented from dealing or voting on any real estate/development issues. If that’s the direction you want to take, it has to apply to everybody.

    1. The very real issue isn’t that global. It is the financial interests of the individual council member that may be in conflict with the position they hold. Council members have a fudiciary responsibility to the Citizens. When they have conflicting financial responsibilities ( such as having a direct financial interest in a labor union or a specific piece of real estate or business) ; they are precluded from voting on those matters as Council members. There exists a conflict of interests. Mr Nelson has a job where he has a financial interest in representing his Union. That is a fine line for him to walk, and in so doing he and the Council must be transparent in all those activities. He can do that and has stated he will be transparent. Any questions of his attendance at labor related executive session must be answered fully and completely because of that conflict. It must all be in the open. Same for any other situation with any elected official and their direct financial interests; Mr Nelson’s job with the Union is just more apparent than most as an area of potential conflict.

  23. This isnt just about regular people just working on organized labor issues or business issues…….It is about the appearance of objectivity and fairness, equality under the law, who is really represented by our government? can become questionable………the appearance by members of our government of not favoring one group (a union in this case) over other groups ,……………These people are supposed to represent all of us with as much objectivity as possible…….I would not want my representatives out on the street waving signs for private businesses either, particularly if someone works at the top of one ………If someone in our government was out on the street holding a sign say for Costco, Mcdonalds, etc.this would have the appearance of favoring one specific business…….and isnt Nelson PAID for his work at the union entity? …at least favoritism at his work.?….just in my opinion……and I think it even states in the photograph that he is on the Edmonds City Council….so he is representing us, the citizens……….just questions about this. Nothing wrong if people are private citizens

    When a government has the appearance of favoring some groups/citizens over others, this creates a lack of trust
    We always need a government that we can trust and not any appearance of special interests

    Its ok to favor things but its another thing to go out and demonstrate for them as a government official….if not illegal, appears unethical when this council member may get paid by the union for his job ( Im assuming this, correct me if Im wrong) and he/she are the representatives of all of us at a demonstration because they are our government representatives of the people

    Again, we do need a full working detailed Code of Ethics which this council does not seem to want to fully implement, interestingly enough, which would make all accountable

  24. Even with our so called “watered down” code of ethics this situation is covered.
    ” we shall
    •Seek no favor; do not personally benefit or profit by confidentialinformation or by misuse of public resources.
    •Conduct business of the city in a manner which is not only fair in fact, butalso in appearance.”

  25. I dont see how nelson can be an effective council member if he votes anti union he will get in trouble with his job if he votes pro union people will say he is showing favortision towards the unionsI just dont see it happening sort of like having a cop on a jury it isnt going to work

  26. After reading the qualifications of most of the citizens who applied for the last appointment to the city council., I thought that many of them could represent us well. I was so disappointed when so few people filed to run and go through the actual election process. When I brought this issue up in another meeting, the most striking comment was the cost and time of running a campaign. Really? I believe both Joan Bloom and Laura Petso were elected for under $5,000. It doesn’t take a ton of money if you have the right message. Maybe money can help you get elected once but no amount of money can keep you in office if you have failed policies. I thought Ken Reidy and a whole handful of potential candidates could have mounted spirited campaigns and probably changed the face of the council.Descent is good and healthy in the democratic process. How about some of you getting ready for next time. Lets see who’s hands the public wants on the reins of our government. Oh by the way I do not believe that Mayor David Earling has ever been defeated for any election he has entered. According to the last election most of us are grateful that he is our mayor.

  27. Oh Dave you are so so wrong. Dave Earling lost his first election to the City Council. He was defeated by the incumbant Joanne Jaech. Also he lost to Aaron Reardon for County Executive. Dave blamed his defeat on the following letter that was mailed to every voter by Jaech Campaign.

    Earling haunted by past actions
    The voters of Edmonds should retain JoAnne Jaech on
    the Edmonds City Council. Her opponent, Dave Earling has
    failed to explain his positions of the past.
    There are five major issues: his candidacy to fill a vacant
    position on the council; his recommendations that the city
    increase the building height limit and multi-family zoning
    in the downtown; his membership in the Edmonds Foundation;
    his position on the Edmonds secondary sewage treatment
    plant location; find his position on the proposed land
    swap to expand the Edmonds ferry dock.
    Four years ago, after 56 ballots, the Edmonds City
    Council did not confirm Dave Earling to fill a council
    vacancy. If he is a man representing the majority, why is it
    I that in 56rounds over a period of 30 days he could not draw
    a four-vote majority? Also four years ago, Dave Earling,
    president of the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce,
    presented to the Edmonds council the recommendation
    that the city’s comprehensive plan and zoning code be
    updated to increase the building height limit and create
    more multi-family housing in the downtown area. Two
    years ago, 16 developers and Realtors, including Dave
    Earling, formed the Edmonds Foundation and donated
    approximately $7,000 to a $12,000 council candidate’s
    campaign – the most expensive council race in the history
    of Edmonds.
    Dave Earling, chairman of the legislative committee of
    the Edmonds Chamber, lobbied the council to give away
    part of Bracketts Landing Beach to the Department of
    Transportation. This would have allowed DOT to expand
    the ferry dock without any planning in regards to the
    possible bad effects. Recently, Dave Earling influenced
    the Chamber to lobby the council favoring the move of the
    sewage treatment plant from Dayton Street knowing the
    move would raise rates approximately 23 percent and the
    city would lose millions of dollars in state grants.
    Dave Earling has been instrumental in generating
    divisiveness and anger throughout the community. The
    facts are conclusive, Dave Earling does not represent the
    residents of Edmonds. That is why I am voting for JoAnne
    Jaech on Nov. 3.
    Finis Tupper,

  28. Compared to the costs[economic and other issues] of the partisan Democrat appointed mayor Cooper of several years ago, Dave Earling has been a breath of fresh air!

    …Just sayin’

  29. Giveaway our beach?………Well, didn’t our Mayor Dave Earling say a while back “Every foot is money”

    Again, “Every foot is money”………. Well, that’s what many have been worried about.

    Well, there ya have it…….proofs in the pudding or devils in the details.

  30. And yet Mr. Earling has since won the last mayoral election by an impressive margin and is running unopposed for another term in this upcoming election. I think it’s safe to say that he has generated less “divisiveness and anger” in the community in recent history than you maintain he did way back in …what years are you talking about, Mr. Tupper? The only other explanation is that maybe we’ve changed as a community. Hard to say. In any case, most of us are probably not as familiar with the facts you state in your ancient letter as you are, or at least have the same take on those “conclusive facts” as you do.

    I personally can’t speak to all the allegations you’ve laid out with any historical perspective, save one. If the Washington Department of Transportation were to have sought to expand their Main Street ferry terminal onto new areas of the beach, they would have had to go through the same rigorous assessments of project impacts on the manmade, physical, and natural environments as anyone else, under state and federal regulations in effect for the past 30-plus (state) to 40-plus (federal) years. Did the expansion you referred to fall into that timeframe? You know they did. In more recent years, the department certainly funded extensive environmental and engineering assessments at the location below Point Edwards in association with relocating and expanding the Edmonds ferry terminal as part of the Edmonds Crossing proposal, before those plans were put on hiatus. Oh yes, they would have had to assess whether there were “any bad effects” as the result of their planned development, including loss of beach habitat and recreational opportunities.

    All this makes me wonder about the veracity or (maybe more fairly) the slant of your other allegations. Moving the sewage treatment plant from downtown may not have been a bad idea if the City were considering either relocation or expansion of the plant at the time you refer to. Again, what’s your timeframe? Was it the mid-1980’s when relocation or expansion of the plant was being considered (ultimately it was expanded in place), or was it after that? I certainly remember the strong opposition to locating Brightwater (the highly controversial regional sewage treatment plant) on our waterfront years later.

    So you allege to recall the mayor may have supported taller buildings and more multifamily residences (zoning) downtown? Even if he did, the latter has occured (as it should have under the requirements of the state’s Growth Management Act), and the former has been debated and rejected. At least the subject generated a lively discussion over the past several years.

    As for raising money for a council campaign? It was legal then and is legal now. Ever given a donation to a candidate, Mr. Tupper? Do you wish you could have convinced more of your friends and associates to join you? That’s the way it’s done. Everyone gives in accordance with their personal interests and commitments.

    Most of us regard Mr. Earling as a highly competent and effective community leader with an intense commitment to making Edmonds better. That is why I’m voting for Dave Earling in the upcoming election. Yes, I and many others will connect the arrow, even though he has no opponent, because we feel our City is headed in the right direction. Can we make it better? Sure. And we’ll have you and others as our collective conscience as we move forward as a community.

    And where is JoAnne Jaech these days? Long, long retired, I believe…

    By the way, using a letter you yourself wrote many years ago to “prove” a point isn’t what I or any other thinking person would regard as “proof in the pudding” or the “devil in the details” in current times. Maybe it had its intended effect back then–maybe not. I can assure you that such a letter carries much less weight now.

    But I for one greatly admire your passion for our fair City.

  31. Im still trying to figure out why all the $$$$$$$$$$$ if there is no opponet. I think we should be asking that question.

    I think most smart, savy citizens get it by now……..We know who is on top and who is on the bottom or at the least thought of last. …..the regular hard-working, tax paying citizens…..I get it that there are many who would go to great lengths to keep a long running system going here where the biggest winners are that “select few”……..again not unique to Edmonds,……. This is happening all over……..and then some brag about having the $$$ to contribute …$$$$ and questioning others regarding their contributions….If this isnt class and privledge, I dont know what is!…..loud and clear

    I say lets have REAL representative government for ALL of our citizens……….lets have a basic working infrastructure that makes our streets and sidewalks safe for everybody and a priority and first on the list, not last……(and I still dont see a well marked cross walk where one of our elderly citizens was actually dead on our streets)……Lets have a government that follows all rules, laws and regulations so we dont have MILLIONS of our hard earned tax dollars wasted on a government that thinks it can skirt laws and regulations and wastes huge amounts of time trying to defend bad actions. Lets have a city where five years from now people wont be saying “oh, that city has been corrupt forever”…….
    I say lets look for new leadership and get rid of the ol’ boy and ol’girl enmeshed system that has kept our town in the past with old school ideas……

    Again, if there is no opponet, why all the $$$$$$$$$$ for this candidate with no opponet???

    1. There’s a very simple reason for why all of the $ with no opponent – the $ were contributed before it was known that there was not going to be an opponent.

  32. Finis
    Oops My bad. I bow to your superior knowledge as a historian. You have obviously been paying closer attention and been around edmonds politics a heck of a lot longer then myself. Maybe I should have said that he has never lost an election in which I supported him. No disrespect intended.

  33. Just to clarify…look at the demographics of Edmonds. The overwhelming majority of our fair city are the select few.

    I continue to be astonished at the number of problems one person has with every decision that is or isn’t made.

    I think it greatly apathetic to blame the select few for their plight. That implies they are a victim of hidden powers beyond their control. That happens from time to time, but not every time.

    My best advice, keep posting, we need the entertainment and you need the distraction from your victimization.

    Edmonds has to remain progressive, build a tax base, add affordable housing, and maintain the high standard of living its residents expect. If the naysayers have the answers, they should run for office, with real facts, not rhetoric and wild eyed banter.

    Dave Earling has done what most of the folks who are complaining have failed to do, get elected, and hold together one of the most dysfunctional City Councils I have ever seen.

    That’s my two cents.

  34. We all get and KNOW who are the ones asking legitimate questions on our council and who asks nothing or anything of substance before they vote…….Questions that always should be asked and addressed…….Those that think its ok to not ask any questions are just going along……. amazing that they would KNOW everything in advance…and apparently there are a number of you who think that is fine and on top of everything else denigrate those asking perfectly legitimate questions for the people in order to vote…….yes, blame it all on the City Council

    For those “select few” out there government representing the people is always to have checks and balances………Otherwise we might as well have a monarchy.

    …….a monarchy

    “A monarchy is a country that is ruled by a monarch, and monarchy is this system or form of government. A monarch, such as a king or queen, rules a kingdom or empire. In a constitutional monarchy, the monarch’s power is limited by a constitution. But in an absolutemonarchy, the monarch has unlimited power.”

    definition from the Free Ditionary

    Perhaps we have alternatives to this “system”…..something to think about

    “unlimited power”

  35. Wow. Just wow. I am giving up cable, because you cannot make this stuff up.

    It’s a good thing that our Long and his Court are not half as inept as many folks seem to think. My beef with council has, and continues to be, the inability to make decisions for the greater good. They languish and sometimes downright pout.

    None of them, at least from what I know, are profiteering, power brokers, or wringing their hands in smoke filled rooms. The proof is in the pudding. Incomes in Edmonds are higher than most other neighborhoods in Seattle area. Schools perform well. Families want to be here. Streets, for the most part, are safe. There is a strong sense of community. As ineffective as I think council is, overall, they have done an good job.

    Your oversight is a nuisance. Unnecessary FOIA requests, brow beating, and constant conspiracy becomes entertainment. I have yet to hear one proposal from many.on this group. I am.sorry that you are a victim.

    With that being said, where do Westgate and Sunset projects sit? Where are we on mid-rise affordable housing?

  36. I still don’t hear answers. Just the same rhetoric from the same folks who don’t have alternatives. Victims and blame. Apathetic at best. Yes, I am fired up about it.

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