Quotable quotes from Monday candidate’s forum

The candidate forum drew a crowd to the City Council Chambers Monday night.
The candidate forum drew a crowd to the City Council Chambers Monday night.

Larry Vogel took photos and Teresa Wippel took notes during Monday night’s annual Edmonds Chamber of Commerce candidates forum, which extended an invitation to all those running — with or without opponents — for Edmonds Port Commission, School District Board of Directors, Mayor and City Council. What follows are photos and brief excerpts from Monday night. The entire forum was recorded by the city for future viewing and can be watched online on the city website. You can also watch My Edmonds News’ one-on-one interviews with all candidates (with opponents) for local elections at this link.

Port Commission Candidate David Preston, running unopposed, said the port has worked hard to attract tourism through whale watching, concerts by high school Sea Jazz musicians and Artists in Action. "We're putting in new bathrooms down there, which may not seem real exciting but it is down there, when you are walking around," he added.
Port Commissioner David Preston, running unopposed for position 2, said the port has worked hard to attract tourism through whale watching, concerts by high school Sea Jazz musicians and Artists in Action. “We’re putting in new bathrooms down there, which may not seem real exciting but it is down there, when you are walking around,” he added.
Port Commissioner Jim Orvis, also unopposed: The port is "a leader in developing environmentally sensitive procedures in the marina and boat yard, and many of these have been adopted by other facilities around the Sound."
Port Commissioner Jim Orvis, also unopposed, for position 4: The port is “a leader in developing environmentally sensitive procedures in the marina and boat yard, and many of these have been adopted by other facilities around the Sound,” he said.
Three candidates running for Edmonds School District Board of Directors: Gary Noble, Susan Phillips and Diana White. Noble cited improved district graduation rates and test scores during his 11 years on the board (his opponent ,Mary Murphy, chose not to participate. Phillips had served seven years on the board before resigning in 2014 due to a family medical emergency. She is running unopposed to regain her seat, and pledges "to continue to work to strengthen relationships between school, community and home." White, running for her second term and currently serving as board president, says the work she is most proud of is leading the fundraising and construction efforts to build a new $200,000 playground and walking track at Edmonds Elementary.
Three candidates seeking election to the Edmonds School District Board of Directors: Gary Noble, Susan Phillips and Diana White. Noble cited improved district graduation rates and test scores during his 11 years on the board. Phillips had served seven years on the board before resigning in early 2014 due to a family medical emergency. She is now running unopposed to regain her seat, and pledged “to continue to work to strengthen relationships between school, community and home.” White, seeking her second term and currently serving as board president, said she is committed to helping all students succeed, “including our struggling learners, our English Language Learners, our low-income and special needs kids, and especially our students of color.”
School Board candidate Carin Chase, seeking the open Director Position 1 seat: "In the amount of time that's been spent worried about [standardized] testing, classroom preparation, that we are pushing out those things that foster imagination and creativity."
School Board candidate Carin Chase, seeking the open Director Position 1 seat, said she is concerned that “in the amount of time that’s been spent worried about [standardized] testing, classroom preparation, that we are pushing out those things that foster imagination and creativity [in students].”
School Board candidate Bill Willcock, also running for District 1 director: The real danger of standardized tests is the over-reliance in them as a sole measure of success," and he added he would "fight hard for a more comprehensive view of student achievement at the classroom level, taking in more inputs than just a standardized exam."
School Board candidate Bill Willcock, also running for District 1: “The real danger of standardized tests is the over-reliance in them as a sole measure of success,” adding he would “fight hard for a more comprehensive view of student achievement at the classroom level, taking in more inputs than just a standardized exam.”
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City of Edmonds candidates running unopposed include Mayor Dave Earling and City Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis and Tom Mesaros. Earling said he has prioritized communication with citizens, including regular columns in local publications, and information via social media and video, “so they…feel like they are a part of the community.” Buckshnis, running for a second term, cited among her accomplishments  improving the city’s financial policies, and her commitment to Edmonds’ “traditional values and character.” Mesaros, who was appointed 18 months ago to fill a vacant council seat, said he is prioritizing leadership, collaboration and stewardship. “Government always seems to want more money, and I’ve learned after being on the council that there is never enough money,” he added.
Councilmember Mike Nelson, appointed earlier this year to fill Position 2, "I do believe Edmonds is a special place and I want to keep it that way. That' why my priorities are threefold: a strong economy, a safe community and a healthy environment."
Councilmember Mike Nelson, appointed earlier this year to fill position 2, “I do believe Edmonds is a special place and I want to keep it that way. That’s why my priorities are threefold: a strong economy, a safe community and a healthy environment.”
Nelson’s challenger, longtime community volunteer Al Rutledge said he would prioritize gathering input from the community: “When you’re elected, you’re supposed to represent the citizens and the people in this town,” he said.
David Teitzel and Alicia Crank are vying for the Position 5 seat being vacated by Joan Bloom. "I care deeply about Edmonds," said Teitzel, who has lived in the area since 1987. "My campaign theme is to be included...and we need to do a better job of demographically including people in Edmonds." Among Crank's priorities: Open government and transparency, housing affordability and smart growth and development. "I do have a deep appreciation for listening," she added.
David Teitzel and Alicia Crank are vying for the open position 5 council seat. “I care deeply about Edmonds,” said Teitzel, who has lived in the area since 1987. “My campaign theme is to be included…and we need to do a better job of demographically including people.” Among Crank’s priorities: Open government and transparency, housing affordability and smart growth and development, including a focus on “building up businesses that are here.”
Edmonds Planning Board Chair Neil Tibbott is challenging incumbent Lora Petso for position 7. Both candidates were asked what environmental elements should be preserved for Edmonds residents and visitors: Tibbott cited ensuring that coal, oil and hazardous waste "is being transported according to regulations and that they are followed." Petso pointed to open space development and stormwater. "We've had issues with water pounding through and water being too dirty. We need to work harder on our stormwater treatment," she said.
Edmonds Planning Board Chair Neil Tibbott is challenging incumbent Councilmember Lora Petso for position 7. Both candidates were asked what development should take place along the Edmonds waterfront: Tibbott noted the attempt by the Port of Edmonds, rejected by the city council, to gain approval of a master plan for Harbor Square development, “and I believe we lost an opportunity to bring new business, new opportunity to the Harbor area. One of the things I was looking forward to in particular…was more residential development in that area, so people could live there and also commute back and forth to Seattle or Everett on the rail system.” Countered Petso: “One of the key elements for development along the waterfront will be to respect the views.  Just as in the Bowl… if you have high-rise development on the waterfront you are going to impact views.” Another key to waterfront development is the train noise, and the council has taken steps with directional horns to reduce those impacts, she said.
Jan Kavadas has served for years as official timekeeper for the chamber forum.
Jan Kavadas has served for years as official timekeeper for the chamber forum.

6 Replies to “Quotable quotes from Monday candidate’s forum”

  1. Did Candidate Neil Tibbott really say that the Port’s attempt was rejected by the City Council? I thought it was a little more complicated than that.

    On March 19, 2013, The City Council voted 4-3 to CONVERT the Port’s request for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment into a City Council request for a NEW plan – a subarea plan known as Harbor Square. At least, that is what I think took place. The 4 Councilmembers who voted to do so were Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis, Strom Peterson, Kristiana Johnson and Frank Yamamoto. Then, weeks later, the Port of Edmonds withdrew its Land Use Application for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and/or Sub Area Plan Amendment.

    My memory is a little foggy on this, but I did say the following back in April of 2013:

    The Port of Edmonds and the City of Edmonds are both called to practice open and transparent government. As such, I believe it would be helpful if they would explain publicly why they chose to try and implement the Harbor Square Master Planned development “tool” via adoption of a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) as opposed to through a zoning contract or other implementation action.

    And:

    The Port’s recent Comprehensive Plan Amendment request put the City Council in the position of having to a make a very difficult decision that would be controversial no matter what they decided. I believe the Port’s request had a large cost – significant staff, planning board and Council resources expended on what would be an extremely difficult Comprehensive Plan Amendment for the City Council to approve. In the mess that commenced during the January 29, 2013 City Council Meeting, it appears that on March 19, 2013, The City Council voted 4-3 to CONVERT the Port’s request for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment into a City Council request for a NEW plan – a subarea plan known as Harbor Square. I have to wonder if this was an option available to the Council or if such a step required “docketing a new plan proposal that would need to go through the entire planning process.”

    All of this related to a Harbor Square Master Plan already consistent with the current Comprehensive Plan. Why didn’t the Port simply apply for a rezone then?
    The Comprehensive Plan Amendment process has been expensive in many ways.
    Since the Harbor Square Master Plan was already consistent with the current Comprehensive Plan, doesn’t the Port still have the option of applying for a rezone right now? Weren’t they still going to have to go through the rezone process even if the Council HAD AMENDED the Comprehensive Plan?

    Can somebody please explain why so much time and effort went onto pursuing a comprehensive plan amendment rather that just applying for a rezone?

    Especially when Page 67 of the current Edmonds Comprehensive Plan states that the Master Planned Development “tool” can also be implemented through zoning contracts or other implementation actions, rather than being adopted as part of the (Comprehensive) plan.

    And, also:

    I have never understood the Port’s strategy.

    Page 67 of the current Edmonds Comprehensive Plan states that the Master Planned Development “tool” can also be implemented through zoning contracts or other implementation actions, rather than being adopted as part of the (Comprehensive) plan.
    I believe that if the Port had requested a zoning contract and that request had been denied, the Port could have appealed that decision to Superior Court. Not so, apparently, with a Comprehensive Plan Amendment request. MRSC’s website contains an article that claims no one that has the authority to reverse a City Council’s decision to NOT amend the City’s Comprehensive Plan in the vast majority of cases.

    Why did the Port go down the Comprehensive Plan Amendment path? It appears that it has been a very expensive process in many ways. The Port’s application has commanded much staff, Planning Board and City Council attention. I wonder how much of our current limited taxpayer resources has been expended during this process.

    If anybody knows why the Port chose this path as opposed to a rezone, please advise. Thanks.

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    1. To clarify, candidate Tibbott did not say “rejected by the council” –that was my way of paraphrasing what happened in past in a short caption. If anyone wants all the details you can search our website, as we have covered the issue extensively — Teresa

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  2. Thanks for the clarification.
    I have searched. Maybe I have missed it, but I can’t find any representations by the Port or City as to why they chose to try and implement the Harbor Square Master Planned development “tool” via adoption of a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA) as opposed to through a zoning contract or other implementation action. Thanks.

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  3. “one of the things I was looking forward to in particular was more residential development in that area so people could live there…….”

    Joni Mitchell, 1970….”Big Yellow Taxi”

    “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot……That you dont know what you’ve got till it is gone……. And put up a parking lot…….They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum and then they charged a dollar and a half to see them…..

    “I wrote “Big Yellow Taxi” on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then I looked down and all I could see was a parking lot as far as I could see, and it broke my heart, this blight on paradise. Then I sat down and wrote this song” Joni Mitchell

    ..”…….then they took down all the trees and charged a dollar and a half to see them”……..

    This was a reference by Joni Mitchell to the Foster Botanical Gardens in Hawaii

    …..” hey farmer, farmer, put away tha DDT, and give me some spots on my apples…..but leave me the birds and bees please…”

    All just as relevant now and even more so from what science has shown us since 1970 and our fragile environment

    Our shorelines are a fragile environment and we must protect them from those that would want more development, teardowns, constant construction/bulldozing, etc.for short term monetary gains for a select few.

    We have a “paradise” right here at our shorlines…..Lets protect for all living things and our planet

    Dont be swayed by politicians already riding the bulldozers at our shorelines

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  4. It’s tedious, but can figure out a lot from the campaign contributions audit trail that has been posted via a link in MyEdmondsNews.

    Well done Teresa!

    Ignored

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