City council report on Edmonds’ homeless puts face on hidden problem

Types of housing in Edmonds (Graphics courtesy Koné Consulting)

What is viewed by many as an invisible problem in Edmonds got a face Tuesday night, as the Edmonds City Council heard real-world stories about community members who are homeless.

Among them: a middle-aged man who grew up in Edmonds, and has been staying in a park for the past eight years. A couple in their 20s living out of their van. A middle-aged couple living in their RV. Some were thrown into homelessness due to family crisis. Others lost their savings due to chronic health challenges. None of them expected to be — or chose to be — homeless, consultants hired by the city said.

A dozen local homeless residents were interviewed as part of the study, the first step in an Edmonds City Council initiative aimed at addressing homelessness in Edmonds. The council in 2017 allocated $250,000 toward addressing the homelessness issue. An assessment conducted by Edmonds-based Koné Consulting reported on the extent of homelessness here so the council could “make informed decisions” on the best ways to meet the community’s needs, Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas said in introducing the presentation.

You can view the entire report here.

Koné President Alicia Koné, who was assisted in her presentation by consultant Karin Ellis, said her company was assigned four tasks: To estimate, to the best of their ability, the number of people in Edmonds who are either homeless or are at risk of becoming homeless; to inventory services in Edmonds for homeless individuals; to look at existing or potential funding streams that could support homeless services; and to interview other cities about “promising practices” they have implemented to address the issue.

In compiling the report, the consultants interviewed 63 people with a range of perspectives on homelessness, including faith-based leaders, human services providers, emergency responders and grocery store managers. They also collected data, and found that population-level information from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) was most reliable, Ellis said. That’s because it could be aggregated by the 98020 and 98026 ZIP codes — minus the Town of Woodway — to get city-specific information.

By using that data, the consultants determined that approximately 230 Edmonds residents are currently experiencing homeless. That was defined as living in an emergency shelter, in someone else’s home (for example, “couch surfing”), or somewhere “that is not typically sleeping quarters for humans” — which DSHS uses to define homelessness under state law, she added.

Family crisis was the most common reason cited for being homeless, but environmental factors mentioned included rising housing costs and stagnant wages. Unique to Edmonds is fact that 60 percent of the city’s housing is single-family homes — two-thirds of residents are homeowners and one-third are renters. As of 2015, more than 30 percent of Edmonds residents are “cost-burdened,” meaning they are spending 30 to 50 percent of their income on housing, Ellis explained. Also unique to Edmonds: Homeowners are more cost-burdened than renters — the opposite is true in surrounding areas, including Seattle and King County, she noted.

Many think Edmonds doesn’t have homelessness because you don’t see people sleeping on the street. But being homeless is often hidden here, Ellis said. “These are situations where people are staying with friends and family, couch surfing, maybe staying in an RV in someone’s backyard, maybe staying in an RV in church that’s offering a safe place but not as visible to the public.”

Based on DSHS data, over 80 percent of those who are homeless in Edmonds are between the ages of 18-64, and people of color are disproportionately affected. “Though white people represent over 80 percent of the Edmonds population, they only represent 66 percent of the homeless population,” Ellis said. African Americans are 1 percent of the Edmonds population, but make up 10 percent of the city’s homeless, she added.

About 20 percent of the homeless population here is elderly, blind or disabled, she said

Senior citizens are the smallest portion of the current homeless population but they are believed to be at the most risk of becoming homeless due to fixed incomes and rising property taxes and costs of medications.

While there are a range of resources available in Edmonds to help those who are homeless — from churches to the Edmonds Senior Center to the Edmonds Food Bank — a missing element is a cold-weather shelter. The Edmonds Senior Center used to serve as a cold-weather shelter but that was discontinued in anticipation of the building’s demolition to make way for a new multigenerational waterfront activity center.

When the consultants asked service providers what their greatest needs were for assisting the homeless, the first one listed — not surprisingly — was affordable housing. The second priority was community engagement, reflecting a concern by service providers “that people in Edmonds — in this community — don’t realize that there are people in need who live here. And that there is some community education, engagement and outreach are needed,” Ellis said.

In terms of best practices from other cities — among them Beaverton, Ore., Salt Lake City and Spokane — that Edmonds could implement to address homelessness, the consultants summarized those as follows:

– Develop a regional collaborative response, especially in an area like South Snohomish County where the geographic boundaries between cities isn’t well-defined.

– Work to preserve the affordable housing that Edmonds has and help landlords ensure that existing units are healthy for people to live in.

– Conduct ongoing data collection and monitoring.

– Seek new funding sources to address the issue.

Human services across municipalities.

The study also examined human services funding across nearby municipalities — along with those included in the “best practices research” — and noted that, unlike the other cities, Edmonds doesn’t currently dedicate any city funds to human services needs, nor are their city staff “solely” dedicated to human services. The city could also provide its own grant money in order to attract matching dollars for projects, she added.

Given the nearly $200 million in both public and private funding currently allocated to Washington State’s homeless housing systems, the City of Edmonds has an opportunity to attract funding to prevent and address homelessness, Ellis said.

When it came time for final recommendations, community outreach and education is a good place to start, Ellis said. This includes sharing stories of community members who are experiencing homelessness. Increasing the city’s collaborative efforts with other municipalities and agencies is also important, as is preserving affordable housing and preventing displacement of current residents. Having a staff person dedicated to addressing these issues would also help.

Finally, the consultants stressed the importance of taking a proactive approach to address the problem of homelessness, before it gets worse.

“We’re relatively well off in this community and in my experience we are filled with good-hearted people,” Koné, an Edmonds resident, said. “And I believe that the city has an opportunity to prevent crisis by doing more for the people who need help here.”

The council then discussed the results of the report and asked questions of the consultants. One item noted, in terms of community collaboration, was the fact that the city has set aside $250,000 to be used toward a City of Lynnwood proposal to purchase the Rodeo Inn Motel on Highway 99 — with the goal of housing homeless families in the Edmonds School District.

Fraley-Monillas said the council will have an hour to discuss the matter further at its March 5 meeting, with the goal of developing policy recommendations aimed at addressing homelessness in Edmonds.

Councilmember Mike Nelson said that he hopes the report will reinforce the idea “that we’re not just talking about homeless, we are talking about people. We’re talking about veterans. We’re talking about children. We’re talking about someone’s mother, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s son. And this is something that we clearly need to take a serious look at in our city.”

The council also:

– Held a public hearing on an ordinance that would ban single-use plastic dining utensils and straws. After a suggestion by newly announced city council candidate Vivian Olson that the measure could hurt the city’s numerous bubble tea shops, which use plastic straws for their unique product, the council passed an amendment would allow for waivers for those businesses that can’t find an acceptable substitute. The council agreed to place the amended measure on next week’s consent calendar for approval. The effective date of the ordinance would align with the effective date of council-approved ordinance in January 2019 that bans non-compostable food packaging items in Edmonds.

– Heard the 2018 Public Defender’s Office annual report and an update from Community Transit.

— By Teresa Wippel

 

38 Replies to “City council report on Edmonds’ homeless puts face on hidden problem”

  1. Leave the market alone! Meddling is akin to socialism. This is all about control. We need to fight this as hard as we can.

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    1. Hi Bob, While I agree that we should try to let the market work we have many examples that doing so would not produce the result some would want. The Arts Community in Edmonds is a good example of tampering with the “market” to achieve a goal. Our public subsidy of the Performing Arts Center is measured in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is not really possible to have facilities like this without public and private subsidy. What may be a good exercise is to discuss ways we can help with the homeless/affordable house issues and do it in a way the lets the market work.

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  2. Great report on the homeless presentation, Teresa. Thank you for that. Is the consultant’s report and/or presentation available online? (Apologies for not looking on the city’s website.)

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  3. Its not governments responsibility to meddle in matters such as this. The market dictates not government agencies. My favorite Ronald Reagan quote: “Hello, I’m the government, and I’m here to help.’ They only make things worse. Always.

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    1. Ii is the government’s role to regulate the market. Unregulated, the market encourages monopolies, the growing gap in wealth, allows the growing expense of education, permits the ridiculous growth in medical costs, fails to test for infected food, winks at reckless pollution, poisoned rivers, encourages undue influence on government by the wealthy… The government is our elected government, and it is here to serve us. A country without government is mired in chaos and anarchy. A country governed by the market alone is not a place many of us would care to live.

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      1. Seattle ‘failing’ at handling chronic criminal homeless, report says
        A group of Seattle civic leaders say there is data to back up the idea that a group living on the street is responsible for an unusually high level of crime, and that the system to prevent it is failing.
        Author: Chris Daniels
        Published: 6:01 PM PST February 25, 2019
        Updated: 10:26 PM PST February 25, 2019
        The City of Seattle is failing at managing the chronically homeless who are also prolific criminals. That’s according to a new study released by the leaders of different business improvement districts, and written by a former Mayoral public safety adviser.
        The “System Failure” report was written by Scott Lindsay, who worked in the Ed Murray administration and ran for Seattle City Attorney. He cited the records of 100 ‘prolific offenders’ tracking their histories over the past 12 months.
        Lindsay’s report shows the 100 ‘prolific offenders’ are responsible for more than 3,500 criminal cases and are often released from jail after midnight when services are hard to find.
        Leaders from the business improvement areas for Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District, SODO, Downtown, Ballard, the University District, and Seattle’s tourism industry all helped to commission the study and say it has led to a spike in crime and concerns for public safety.
        “Safety is an issue – and we’ve got a number of chronic individuals that are causing issues around the city,” said Tom Norwalk CEO of Visit Seattle.
        Norwalk was one of the multiple leaders who sent a letter to the Seattle Mayor, Council, City Attorney, and Police Chief outlining the concerns in the report.
        The letter reads, in part, “It is clear to us that the justice system is not meeting its obligation to protect public safety in our communities. We fully support a policy that includes alternatives to incarceration and access to behavioral health treatment, but for that system to work there must be accountability for outcomes within the justice system and for the people who continue to repeatedly cause harm in our communities. This report clearly indicates that accountability is missing.”
        “We need help, I have businesses broken into every single night,” said Erin Goodman, of the SODO BIA. “Something has to change.”
        Goodman says crime is up 31 percent this year in SODO because of the concerns listed in the report.
        Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is not disputing the facts in the report.
        “This report confirms what we already know – nearly all prolific offenders commit crimes rooted in mental health and/or chemical dependency issues. There’s little question that without direct intervention and enhanced investment in mental health, chemical dependency treatment, and housing options, this population is extremely likely to re-offend upon completion of their respective sentences. Few would argue the traditional criminal justice system is the best way to remedy these underlying issues, which is why we’re invested in the King County-led Familiar Faces Initiative and Vital pilot program, created to address the behavior of the region’s most frequent offenders,” said Homles.
        “These business improvement organizations raise legitimate concerns – to have a person harm their business or employees, serve their sentence, then return to commit that same crime again is as dispiriting as it is alarming. This report makes no recommendations, but whatever the next step, this is a conversation that must include our King County government partners as well, in that they lead the region’s coordination and investment in mental health and addiction treatment,” Holmes continued.
        Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, who had not seen the report before a meeting with reporters, acknowledged that she’d heard the concerns.
        “When we see that there are areas of this city that see an uptick, we’ve got to deal with it,” Durkan said.
        “It’s not her fault. She’s the person in charge of this city with the stature and the experience to have an impact – and we immediately need mitigation,” said Goodman.
        Anita Khandelwal, the director of the King County Department of Public Defense, said in a statement:
        “A report issued today by several neighborhood districts in Seattle underscores the complete inefficacy of the criminal legal system in addressing homelessness and behavioral health issues. It underscores the fact that we continue to criminalize mental illness and homelessness, when in fact we need a new approach – one that provides meaningful supports for people in our community who are struggling.”
        “The report fails to recognize the humanity of the people it profiles, most of whom are our clients. At the same time, by showcasing the failures of the system, it reinforces what we know: Our clients are harmed by incarceration, and our community needs to provide them with housing and services.”
        The report came on the same day when the City was touting positive changes in the homeless response, and that exits from homelessness to permanent housing were up 30 percent. It also helped hundreds of new clients get out of the snow and cold earlier this month, and get introduced to services for the first time. End of article.

        Edmonds formed a BID, Edmonds business owners here is where your money will go in the future. To clean up the mess of politicians, while your business is broken into and you need to pay for that as well.
        It’s all coming to Edmonds.
        We called the police last year, my wife turned around and there there was a homeless person in our yard, about 15 yards away from her. He had outstanding arrest warrants and was arrested.
        God forbid, what if it were your children in your back yard. Where is the concern from Edmonds leaders. No concern, just their agenda. Edmonds is on the verge of being turned into Seattle. Just listen to these politicians, and all you know will be destroyed under the warm and fuzzy guise of Social-ism. Gone- forever..
        Look at Seattle.

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      2. Nathaniel is very correct about the positive role of regulations. The goal of business is to do things that make a profit. Government plays and important role to regulate the issue he presents. Government could be more creative on how it regulates things to make sure it does so in a way to bring about the desired results. Often govt has regulations and incentives that are not as efficient as they could be.

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    1. That is exactly what is coming to Edmonds. Patrick Doherty explained the multi family tax exemption as well as upzoning as a good thing. Far from it. It increases the land value and thus it increases everyone’s property taxes. How are you going to try to get the seniors to “age in place” when you are increasing their property taxes every year?

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      1. Kari, we pay two types of real estate taxes. One tax, library, and EMS will go up or down based on the value of each property. The other type of real estate tax is based on each persons “share” of the total. School, county, city, and state RE taxes work like this. The amount of revenue the city is allow to collect when compared with the total values in Edmonds determines the rate expressed as $/thousand. Our current total assessed value is over $8B. We all pay the same rate and that rate times our home value is our total tax. In future years if the total value goes up to say $9B but an individuals home does not increase by the same percent, ones tax bill actually go down. Even if an individual home value went up it does not mean the tax will go up. It all depends on ones “share” of the total tax base.

        Just looking at the tax issue for MFTE and any form of up zoning both add to the total assessed value of the community. While one can be concerned about MFTE or up zoning increase of individual taxes is not a major concern. Also to consider is any new construction not only adds to the total base, the mitigation fees paid for the new construction adds to the budget for water, sewer and parks. For example the Westgate development paid over $1m of mitigation fees. That in it self relieves the pressure to raise taxes for those services.

        Looking at our most recent tax increases show most to be a result of state taxes for schools. The transit tax is now over $600 per medina household with more than half of that added on our last tax bill. None of this addresses the notion of our taxes going up and to some extent causing seniors to reassess how they can make ends meet. But in reality up zoning and the use of MFTE to incent new development would tend to lower our taxes not increase them.

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        1. So if the value of your property goes up your taxes go up. Correct? Up zoning increases the value of the property and that of the neighborhood.

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        2. Kari, to answer your question below. No it not automatic that you taxes go up when the value of your home goes up. If the average increase in value is say 15% and mine goes up by 25% and yours goes up by 5% here is how it works and why. My share of the total is now more and your share of the total is less, so my taxes go up and yours go down. Your point on up zoning is a bit more complicated. If your home had no view but someone cut down all the trees in from to create a view then the next time the assessor evaluates your home the value of the land would be greater and your taxes would go up. You now have the choice to enjoy the windfall of a new view until the assessor catches up with the new value and then you could sell for the added value, more to a non-view neighborhood, pay less taxes and pocket the profit.

          Hopefully someone out there has more accurate information than presented here but I think it works this way. If a neighborhood of single family homes is up zoned to now allow a multifamily project on your lot I do not think the value would go up until you sold to the developer, made a tidy profit and the new development is actually created.

          There are more powerful reasons to be against up zoning than taxes. Taxes are complicated and it is not always clear what drives your actual taxes. Hope that helps a little.

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  4. Yes, thT is exactly what is happening here. I thought I heard the entire topic was curtailed because the public was not on board. Looks like they are trying to push it through again.

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  5. Do nothing about this problem and plan on Yost Park becoming a homeless camp at some point. We’ve basically been governed as an unregulated Capitalist nation since the Reagan Administration. An exception to this approach occurred in 2008 when the outgoing Bush and incoming Obama Administrations had to deal with a banking crisis after almost all the rules of the road had been eliminated. The alternative would have been a Depression, which many people on the Right thought would be preferable to government action. Grab four friends and play the Monopoly game out to a conclusion. If you have the endurance, you will end up with one rich guy, and three poor guys who can’t afford a home anywhere. I figure we are now about 2/3 of the way thru the game as a nation. It seems like about 25% of the population is doing great and getting richer. Another 40% or so, are staying in place or getting maybe a slight bit more ahead. About 30% are really struggling and living pay check to pay check. About 5% are homeless or getting close to it. There is nothing wrong with regulated Capitalism and giving everyone a fair shake. Unregulated Capitalism results in fewer and fewer of the population owning more and more of the wealth. Stronger anti-trust, anti-monopoly and stronger union laws came out of the last great Depression. It’s just a matter of time if something doesn’t change.

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  6. Thank you My Edmonds News for your excellent report on Homelessness in Edmonds and for providing links. I am out of town and you r my link to what’s happening. Carolynne Harris

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  7. I’m curious to know what actions the “anti-socialist” or Right leaning folks commenting here would do to solve the problem of homelessness and substance abuse in the Edmonds area (and everywhere else). I’m honestly open to reasonable ideas about this and would like to hear them. I’m totally with you, that much of this problem stems from substance abuse and general lawlessness. But, the fact is, much of it is also caused by economic conditions for some people in our society. Just read the Police Blotter and see all the arrests for shoplifting, mail theft, and petty theft of one sort or another. The jails are full and a revolving door as per the article Mr. Malgarin referenced. Personally, I think the the Socialist/Capitalist conflict thing is a red herring and doesn’t solve much of anything. We can scream our political views of right and wrong in each other’s faces forever, and nothing will come of the exercise. So is the solution building more jails and emergency facilities; incarcerating people longer, or using some public money to treat substance abuse, decriminalize substance abuse and build some affordable housing somewhere? In the past we have used public funds to build railroads, bail out banks and compensate farmers for profits lost to tariffs. Is that Socialism? Responsible people are paying the bills one way or the other from what I can tell. We are all good at saying what’s wrong but not so good about how to make it right. Do we just ignore the problems and hope they go away?

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    1. Clinton, thanks for being “curious to know” about potential ideas for Edmonds to work on homeless solutions and substance abuse. Council set out on a mission to learn more about both topics and set aside $250k for each. I do not have the information on what they have or are planning to do about substance abuse but they allocated $25k for the study we now have. Reading the study shorts out a lot of fact from fiction about homelessness in Edmonds. I don’t claim to be in either of your groups that you challenged to respond but maybe we can still all listen to each other and generate ideas that can help with some solutions for the Edmonds homeless and those who are feeling the pressures of costs that may make them homeless in the future. Here are just a couple of thoughts that could help.
      1. We need a better inventory of the cost of current housing stock in the area. Driving outside the bowl would show some housing stock that looks to be nice homes that have a lower cost than “bowl stock” The cost of land drives the final cost of any new construction, to construction cost for building is about the same on a land that cost $800k as it is on land that costs $200k. Creating data that helps us understand where are current lower cost housing is today may give us some ideas of how to expand the stock. Others surely can help with this notion.
      2. We need to be more creative on how we use govt incentives to add to the affordable housing stock. Giving a 100% tax break on all apt units to get a small subsidy for 20% of the units is not very efficient. Simply collecting the entire tax and giving that entire tax away and rent subsidy would produce more subsidy for more people. For example an apartment that is being taxed with a value of $350,000 would produce a taxes of $3600 a year or about $300/month in rent subsidy.
      3. The State is willing to give or sell at greatly reduced rates land that can be used for affordable housing. With land cost often accounting for 30-50% of the cost of a project we could build housing that would be far cheaper if the land cost were zero or very low. Let look around to see what land the state owns or will own that could be used for this purpose.
      4. Council often closes the door on ideas that would reduce the cost of construction or reconstruction in town. Council could be more forth coming on some of their actions. They have taking negative stands on several ideas that could have added more affordable housing stock. The best example is the development plans offered by the Port for Harbor Square a few years back. The vision for that area would have produced more than 300 units that because of their sized would have added to the sock of affordable house that targeted transit oriented and all the other buzz words we claim to want. There are other things council could do to create more cost effecting construction.

      Clinton, those are a few thoughts to start out discussion. If we all read the report from cover to cover and put on our thinking caps we can find ways to do better. The may conflict with groups in town that have other ideas of how we manage growth but at least we should discuss the ideas and then decide.
      I would be curious to know if anyone is willing to have some candid discussions about these issues and sort out fact from emotion. The homeless report goes a long ways to getting us started.

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      1. Our next 3 Practices Event, from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at Edmonds Community College, is aimed at having deep, productive discussions on affordable housing. Look for more information on that soon!

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  8. First, heroin users will NOT volunteerily go to a rehab. You need a in patient facility. (no out patient, statistics prove it doesn’t work out patient, they just re-abuse) We also know that there are mental patients mixed in with addicts. So, we need to separate the mental disorder and build or re-open a mental facility.
    Then we go to the addicts and say you either go to INHOUSE rehabs (Yes folks we need to build some or redo a building) or jail. But you will not stay here. What we should have left is a very few people who are homeless and really will work to get ahead. Those small amounts can then be put into training facility. There are costs here but it will END the problem. It still will be cheaper even building new structures with the billion dollars a year we currently spend and its not working at all. With no vision for the future. We actually are currently spending a lot more than a billion when you factor in other local cities. When these INHOUSE addicts recover they are required to work in the facility that sobered them up for a minimum 1 year. Same with the people who need to be trained. They work at the facility minimum a year. Train up these adults. Not a hand out.

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  9. Great letter Joy. I 100% agree with your comments and solutions here. My only difference is I think it should be substance abusers in general, but that’s a minor nit pick. Great to be on your side for once. (Maybe there’s hope for me not to have to get anger management after all). Sorry Brent, couldn’t resist. Clint

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  10. Thinking some more about it this, I’m pretty sure we would also need to do something to take the black market out of drugs, similarly to what we did with alcohol after the failure of prohibition. I think you need to eliminate the score thrill and associations that go with the illegality.

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  11. Comparing alcohol with drugs is a non seqitur…drugs can be far more addictive, and lethal…

    That is why they are a challenging problem, e.g. Meth, Fentanyl, other opiates, …

    Alcohol does create problems but is far more controllable. Rarely is there a break-in or robbery in an attempt to get alcohol money. The addictive drive, and resulting, crime, is far more evident with drugs.

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  12. Assessed property values for 2019 have generally gone up, but total property taxes have generally gone down. That’s primarily because school taxes have dropped. The City of Edmonds portion have gone up the usual small amount, but those taxes only amount to about 15% of total property taxes. Hence that increase is more than offset by the decrease in the tax segments that account for the biggest share of taxes.

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  13. Ron is correct in the assessment of what is driving our increased taxes. The tax problem we need to solve next is how do we pay the school district short fall in the coming years. We gave the teachers raises but they were funded only for the first year. The state can decide to pay it by raising state taxes or the state can allow us to tax ourselves to pay for the raises locally.

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  14. One area of affordable housing is the ADU, Accessory Dwelling unit, which is allowed under some circumstances. Converting a part of a house for a unit is regulated. I’ve often wondered if there could be screening of tenants which is legal and not discriminatory. People are leery of renting to strangers. I think we could discuss possibility of more units in one of the meetings

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  15. I think there needs to be a discussion of the role of ADUs (Accessory Dwelling Units) in the housing mix. Many homes could accomodate a living unit within their homes. They are regulated, but a need for tenant screening needs to be discussed. People would want to screen tenants in a legal and non discriminatory way. Is there a way to make more duplexes available? I have seen neighborhoods in other areas which allow duplexes in a limited way. I think there is fear of overloading one area.
    Any discussion of options needs imagination.

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  16. Untreated alcoholism is virtually always fatal, i.e cirrhosis of the liver is generally a death sentence. Alcohol is a lethal substance when overused, like any other drug.The reason alcohol is more controllable is because we choose to legalize and control it – nothing inherently better about it. It’s our sacred cow of drugs. The point is, people don’t have to steal to get alcohol because it’s cheap and legal. They do have to steal us blind to get their ever more pricey fixes of the illegal drugs. When alcohol was illegal in this country the problems associated with it were quite similar to that of opiates now. The Mob controlled it with theft, murder and tax evasion. Supposedly honest brewing and distilling companies were often their accomplices.

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    1. Clinton, some interesting point, thanks. Earlier you ask for “anti-socialist” or Right leaning folks to offer some ideas about homelessness and drug abuse. I offered some ideas for ways to look and homelessness based on the report to council. I am curious to know if any of the ideas I mentioned met with you stated objective to seriously list to some ideas?

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  17. Very much so, just as I responded positively to Joy’s comments above, I think your ideas have great merit. Barbara Chase also makes a great point in her comments on ADU’s and how they might be more encouraged by a more open minded city administration. As I noted way way back in this whole housing dust up in Edmonds, the City Government’s (Especially Mayor’s) view of it was that “Edmonds is special and we don’t have a housing problem.” Personally I’m very encouraged by all this. I think things have come out during this discussion that needed to come out and I think some changes might be in the works that need to happen. The problem is so multi dimensional that the solutions have to be equally so. Ideas need to come from all directions to arrive at some consensus and start making some progress. Political dogma just isn’t going to cut it on this issue.

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