From the Edmonds Mayor: As the dust settles

Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling
Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling

Often after a major national or international incident, I spend a fair amount of time reflecting on the incident and its possible ramifications. Needless to say, our recent Presidential Election gave us all reason to pause and sort things out. Jeez!

Adding to the “Jeez,” I visited my daughter and her family in Arizona this past weekend where, as you know, political attitudes often are dramatically different from ours in the great Northwest! I mean, Jeez!

Well, just so everyone knows, I didn’t vote for either of the two leading Presidential candidates. And six of my family members (wife, three children, son-in-law and I) voted for four different candidates. There, all of the disclosures are now public, but without specific attribution!

My first opportunity to vote was for John F. Kennedy for President; so, as they say, “I’ve been around the block a few times” with contentious local, state and national elections. And I’m sure many of you have knowledge of “rough and tumble” races – but few, I believe, as “rough and tumble” as this year’s.

We are all sick of words or phrases like: “basket of deplorables”; “groping”; “email servers”; “crooked Hillary”; and “nasty woman”. How much punishment are we expected to endure? Now we have protest marches and appointments to argue over, not to mention the popular vote versus the Electoral College. And while I know many of our national campaigns have been filled with rancor going back as far as John Adams versus Thomas Jefferson, this election felt far and away more personal and strident than any others I have observed.

Last week after the election, an Edmonds woman who was terribly upset with the election outcome “went off” about her personal feelings. She was outraged with the winner of the Presidential election and crushed the “glass ceiling” had not been broken with a highly qualified candidate. Yet, after her anger subsided, she doubled back to beautifully articulate our need to cherish what we have in the United States. While I can’t recapture her exact words, it was along the lines of – when will we fully understand and appreciate our history, our quality of life, our democratic process, our beautiful country, fabulous state and the gift we have with Edmonds?

I found her passion inspiring, and was moved by her ability to express the underlying values we have and must sustain. While angry with the election outcome, she values the good we share in our country.

On a local level, your seven councilmembers and I will not let rancorous national politics get in the way of our duty to make decisions which are good for the community and region and that keep Edmonds a safe, secure, prosperous and vital city. We will undoubtedly have differences, but we all want the best for Edmonds.

In closing, you recall I mentioned six voters in my family who voted for four different Presidential candidates. Well, guess what? We are still family! Even though we argued about and had differing opinions on who would make the best President, we are still family who eat together, talk together, value together and love together. A goal we should all seek as members of this great community.

— By Dave Earling, Mayor

  1. I wouldn’t vote for you again. There I disclosed that. Why? If you can’t put your big boy pants on and vote for a presidential candidate, why should I vote for you? You don’t share all my values but I look at all the candidates and find the candidate that shares my main moral convictions and pull the lever. I would be ashamed you have taken that stand.

    1. Joy,

      I believe that you may have misunderstood the mayor’s comment. I think he was trying to state that the republican and democratic candidates were not his choice, and that another candidate was more aligned with his values. He voted for that candidate. (If I am wrong, please correct me.)



      1. And if you have a problem with voting 3rd party, specially in a state where it matters less, then you do not understand democracy!

        1. You can vote for Mickey Mouse if you want but he will not win if he is not running. If you want to throw your vote on third party good luck picking a winner.

        2. “I you want to throw your vote away on a third party good luck picking a winner.” I have never voted to “pick a winner.” I vote to express what my values are. I vote to make a statement to myself that I actually act on my values. And a third party candidate is, by definition, running. Only a write-in is “not running.” A vote is never “thrown away” because it expresses the voter’s values. I don’t view an election as a beauty contest that I must be on the winner’s side to be cool. An election is my chance to prove my values.

  2. Mayor Earling — I appreciate and enjoyed your article regarding politics in the U.S. Our diversity and different opinions and being able to set them aside and get along is what is so great about this country. My first voting experience was in 1948 between Harry Truman and Thomas Dewey. We didn’t have the media participation we have now, but it was still interesting when the newspapers headlined Dewey as the next president. Without a doubt though, this year’s election was far different than any I have ever witnessed.

  3. Undoubtedly some now feel crushed that the “glass ceiling” has not been broken. Many were very pleased in 2008 when the color barrier was broken; look what that has achieved! Race or sex should never be the deciding factor.

      1. Good morning, Mr Wambolt;

        I hope all is well.

        I agree that race and / or gender should not be the deciding factor(s).

        In my opinion, I consider the following factors: experience, education, temperament and compassion. I study the candidates’ policies and determine
        who best matches my political views.

        Send my regards to Shirley.


  4. And why should anyone care about who the Mayor did or didn’t vote for? The fact is that the federal funding for many of the projects on the City agenda may or may not get funded, the economy may or may not suffer some bumps and our Council, encouraged by the Mayor at the last meeting, raised the utility rates at a high level and also raised property taxes ( to the legal limit without a levy) without regard to just letting that dust settle while seeing what the the possible impacts are to all of the Citizens of Edmonds. Look at your utility rates folks!

    1. There’s merit in why the city wants the increased amount of revenue from utility taxes, but 9% annual increases are unreasonable for everyone.

      1. Ron, yes there is some merit there. But my comment was directed to the tone deafness of the Mayor and Council given the circumstances of the election. We, as citizens will be absorbing new taxes for transportation as well as facing the current economic uncertainty that comes with the new federal government. Waiting to see what come of it and even the direction of those changes out of respect for all of us makes sense. And rather than a puff piece from the Mayor, it would be nice to see an acknowledgement of the uncertainty and a respect for that. Isn’t that wahat everyone said went missing? Just wait to impose drastic changes like a he utility rate increases until things settle down and in light of whatever it is when the “dust settles”. That’s all.

        1. If anyone has witnessed confusion this last year about putting an item on the consent agenda when in fact there is no consent – I welcome your thoughts. A few of us have pulled items from the consent agenda to either discuss the issue put on consent the week before or to have an actually vote recorded on the ordinance or resolution. If you noticed, I split the ordinance of the EMS levy increase from the prop tax increase as I knew a Council Member was uncomfortable bundling them both together. We haven’t even seen those new ordinances.

          I realize this has nothing to do with the Mayor’s op-ed, but before citizens start criticizing the actions of Council, we should be sure we understand what actually transpired.

          But, yes, I agree emotions are high both on a national and local level and I have fielded a number of phone calls, discussed issues with both family, friends and people who come to talk to me. It is not easy, like Ms. Tipton said to have an answer. All I can say is we will all have to try and work through these issues pragmatically and with an open mind and open heart – and yes, the dust is still not settling nor will it for a while. I get it.

  5. Dear Mayor Earling,

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts with the citizens of Edmonds.

    I was nine years old when John F. Kennedy was running for president, and I have memories of the debate that took place so many decades ago. I remember writing in my diary that Richard M. Nixon was mean and stern. In contrast, I viewed Mr. Kennedy as handsome and dreamy.

    When you mentioned an emotional Edmonds woman who was extremely “upset with the election outcome,” I thought you were speaking about me. But that was not possible, because I am in California for the holidays. I shook my head and laughed at my senior moment.

    In 2012, my mother Louise unexpectedly passed away. She was 85 years old but in good health; her heart suddenly stopped. The shock that I experienced is analogous to how I reacted to the result of the 2016 presidential election.

    A dear friend of mine sent me an e-mail message several days after the election. “I know our hearts have been as heavy as mine since the election. It has been such a sad, disappointing shock. I just wanted to extend my arms to all of you. Love is the best way through the dark.”

    President Kennedy’s famous quote is also helping me to heal. His said; my fellow Americans, ask now what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” My husband and I have decided to make monthly payments to several national organizations.

    At the local level, there are so many opportunities to do good works for the Edmonds community.

    Before leaving for California, I met with a city council member at an Edmonds coffee house to discuss the future of the Edmonds Marsh. It was Monday, November 7th, the eve of Election Day (in fact, we met at 8:30 AM). Yes, we have differences. But our conversation was honest and very cordial. We are fortunate to live in a lovely town in the Pacific Northwest.

    The nation is divided, and the rift might never be bridged. But the citizens in this town can prove that we can do better. Yes We Can!

    Barbara Tipton

    1. Thank you, Ms.Tipton, thank you for your comments. This is certainly not the America I expected when I graduated from Edmonds High. We can still create positive change. Yes we CAN!


  6. Thanks Mayor for being up front about your vote. Transperancy helps the community In knowing it’s leaders. We don’t always agree but if you can trust isn’t that the foundation of a great community. This was my first derailed vote for the mainstream presidential candidate.

    Barry Johnson

  7. I believe voting for any candidate other than the two main contenders is a wasted vote. I wouldn’t care at all but since you shared the information and you are a elected official whom I voted for. Next time will make a difference to me and others.

    1. Oh my, Joy. In light of the “main contenders” in this past election, I hope we are not condemned to only two establishment choices!

        1. One’s vote should be based on many more factors. In fact, whether a candidate can win should be very low in the decision tree if considered at all.

  8. Darn those third party also-rans – they just keep messing things up! From NPR:

    “Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Saturday it will participate in the recount
    efforts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan spearheaded by Green
    Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.”

    And, of course, from those that were outraged that Trump would put the election in question:

    “Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Erik Elias wrote that “regardless of the
    potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is
    important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented”
    in any recount proceedings.”

    because, you know they aren’t questioning the election, but on principle they must legally protect themselves (from what?) by supporting the recount.

    “Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…”

    1. And, now on cue, from those that said the election would be rigged:
      “The results of this election should be respected instead of being
      challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing”

      I’ll spare you all from singing the Talking Heads lyrics again…

    2. I hope this isn’t one of those “let’s keep counting votes until they get the amount they need to win.” I believe that happened a lot in the south in the 1940s. Around Arkansas. They had a name for it which I can’t remember. They kept “finding” vote boxes. who do you think put Jill Stein up to this???.

      1. Recounting until the opposition wins also happened in Washington State in recent past…Dino and Gregoire…just sayin’

  9. Mayor Earling, there you go openly displaying courage and common sense again! I appreciated the transparency of your comments and the tenor in which you share them. Even though I’m a Lynnwood resident, I have observed your leadership first in business and now in government. You are a good leader, a good mayor and Edmonds is lucky to have you. I’m quite sure that Edmonds City Council and the mayors office will do just as you say and get on with the business in which you were elected to do. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  10. If telling the truth is disrespectful, and other people are uncomfortable by the truth, then so be it. This is what happens when white privilege is challenged and the person in the position of power feels threatened or undermined when marginalized groups or people are gaining equity and equality. It challenges the “status quo”. Also, it used to be the “whisper down the lane game” where people would sit on their porches and “discuss” AKA gossip about their neighbors. Don’t tell me, sir, that you never had a conversation about “what she was wearing” or “really, they are dating” or “are you sure that ____ is a boy/girl/gay/straight. Also, when was the last time he had to fight for his rights to his genitalia? Personhood? Screened at an airport? Called a derogatory name?? I’m sure, with all due respect sir, not as other as some of us. As a registered voter, it gives me pause. Sounds like it’s time for you to “move on” Mayor. You have become out of touch

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