From the Edmonds Mayor: ‘I have decided not to run for a third term’


    Many of you have wondered whether I will seek another term as Mayor of Edmonds.

    I have spent considerable time with my family and a handful of friends weighing the decision for several months. Although this is a hard decision, I have decided not to run for a third term.

    I’m pleased with where the city is at nearly eight years after I first ran for mayor. City Hall was in chaos then and I’m proud it’s more stable, prosperous, and productive now. The time is right for me to move on to other things in my life.

    Originally I planned to announce this decision later in the spring, but since candidates are beginning to make announcements now I want to clear the field for a robust race to produce a qualified, new mayor. And I know potential candidates will need time to organize and campaign. It’s hard work.

    I hope the public selects a candidate who demonstrates both in-depth knowledge of our community and relationship-building skills to advance a quality agenda in the city and the region; not to mention manage a staff of 230 quality employees and budgets of over $100 million.

    It has been my honor to serve as your mayor; an experience I will always cherish. Meeting new people in the community, experiencing the joy within the city, and working on important, challenging issues as we have moved forward together has been both enjoyable and rewarding.

    I’ll speak more to some of these issues with our city in my March 7th State of the City address, but for now I would like to highlight some of what we’ve accomplished.

    Our community has renewed energy and vitality. We have stabilized our city finances, broadened our demographics as younger families choose to live here, attracted new businesses, improved places where the community can gather, supported the arts, and advanced Edmonds as a daytime destination. As a friend said to me recently, “I feel like Edmonds has finally arrived!”

    A major piece of “arriving” has to do with catching up on overdue public works/engineering projects, including some which were a result of the last recession. Our city employees have made dramatic and significant progress in road resurfacing, waterline, sewer, stormwater projects, and include major intersection/roadway improvements efforts such as Highway 99/228th,  76th/212th and 212th/84th (round about).

    We have brought our public spaces far in the past several years. The purchase of Civic Field and its pending redevelopment is a legacy project we will leave for the use of future generations. The waterfront has been dramatically improved, the fishing pier has been refurbished, and significant improvements have been made in virtually every park in the city. Edmonds has become known as a fabulous family destination in part because of these spaces.

    I have also focused our city government on new ways of communicating with its citizens. That includes monthly Mayoral columns, a stream of city news to My Edmonds News and the Edmonds Beacon, Town Halls across the community, the city quarterly newsletter, our city Facebook page, and various media events, all highlighting work, activities, and success in the community. I believe government serves its constituents better with transparent information sharing and discussion.

    Together we have grown and reshaped the attitude, the finances, and the future of Edmonds, all while improving the quality of life in our community. All across the city changes are visible and inspiring. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve and look forward to being your mayor for the remainder of my term.

    — By Dave Earling, Edmonds Mayor

    23 Replies to “From the Edmonds Mayor: ‘I have decided not to run for a third term’”

    1. It has been an honor working for Dave these last 7+ years! He is an inspirational leader while at the same time being an experienced and steady manager. That is a rare combination in my experience. Many people can be effective in one or the other of these roles but Dave has been exceptional at both. He will be missed at the end of the this year but we all understand his decision and wish him the best of everything!


    2. Sorry to see you go, but I really respect you making this announcement when you did. Now the mayoral race can be about what people propose to do rather than complaining about the status quo. It’s easy to criticize but a lot harder to lead!


    3. Thank you for your dedication to the betterment of our city, Mayor Earling.

      My family and I are grateful to have been citizen’s during your tenure. You have led the city from a period of debt, decaying streets and budget/staff cuts to where we can actually set aside millions of $ to protect our marsh.

      We hope you enjoy your retirement and know you left the city in a better state than it was when you were elected.


    4. Mayor Earling, thanks for all your hard work on behalf of the citizens of Edmonds. I know there were a lot of late night meetings and different factions to reconcile; it is tough job.
      Thanks again. You left some big shoes to fill.


    5. As a relative newcomer to Edmonds (2 years), I quickly came to appreciate how our City Hall operates. I was walking around downtown and had a question about one of the City’s major projects. On the spur of the moment, I wondered into City Hall and asked the receptionist about it. She quickly directed me upstairs, where another person called out the project manager. In a candid and informative exchange, lasting a good 20 minutes, I learned what I needed to know, and then some. Absolutely no bureaucratic run-around.

      There’s a culture of helpfulness and openness in City Hall, and in my experience that usually comes down from the top. So thanks Mayor Dave. Let’s hope your successor builds on what you’ve established.


    6. Mayor Earling, thanks for your many years of service to the city of Edmonds as mayor and on the city council. Your steadied hand and thoughtful leadership were just what the city needed when you arrived and I know you leave the beautiful city of Edmonds in a healthy place. Your successor has big shoes to fill! I wish you well in your next adventure.


    7. Thanks for leaving us a much better Edmonds than you received when you became our Mayor. Your example has been inspiring.


    8. Help Wanted:
      We need a God fearing person who is ethical, loves the area, not bought off, not working for ANY special interest and willing to work for the people. Will NOT go to increase our taxes first, but knows how to reorganize the city and look for ways to cut expenses. Not wanting a personal raise unless you earned one by showing our fiscal responsibility. In short a Leader. Someone going to follow our constitution not Seattles. NOT having their main issue building heights.. I swear if I hear that one more year I’m going to scream..ok to build a nice HOTEL (not motel). So meetings can be held here and the downtown area becomes more vibrant. Finally a multi story free parking lot.


      1. Out of curiosity… what is wrong with the hotel we’ve got? It’s not particularly fancy, but it’s serviceable. I have no problem recommending it to people. I think a big hotel in the middle of downtown would be a mistake.


        1. It’s great I have recommended it too…but it’s often over booked, limited services, a little dated, no real meeting spaces, limited eating choices except for the make youself waffle, and perfect if you like train noise.


    9. Thanks for your diligent efforts on behalf of the citizens of our city. Many will not realize the amount of time that the Mayor spends on the chief executive role, nor the time involved with the regional boards such as Sound Transit, where you are currently a very senior member. Leaving an elected position is never an easy decision and I know that many will appreciate the thoughts that are linked with your decision. I wish you and your family a happy and fun-filled new involvement, and hopefully you will remain involved in providing directions for our city’s future activities.


      1. You have that concept so right and I don’t think citizens realize these 24/7 issues. We do not have a City Manager so sometimes leadership issues can come from varying opinions. Mayor Earling has done a great job attempting to bridge the divide. Thank you Mayor Earling for your years of service! Happy Trails to you and Sue in the years to come.


    10. A tough job under any circumstances. Thanks for taking it on when others wouldn’t. Only those who have experienced public service can begin to appreciate what you have given to our community. Thanks for your contributions to our city.


    11. John, a hotel is very different from motel. A hotel builds up. has Meeting space, hotel rooms, restaurants,and entertainment. Motels usually have 2 story max motel rooms. That’s it. Most groups, Edmonds chamber, city politicians, businesses, family…all need medium size meeting space.
      For weddings, travel seminars, corporate meetings, local groups, I could go on and on. So they leave Edmonds and go to Seattle, Everett, or one of the islands to hold their larger events or meetings. And they don’t have to be that large. They need eateries, overnight hotel stays (all under one roof) and all that says is they pass by Edmonds bye. So all those TAX dollars (revenue) not only for city but all our store fronts restaurants lose that money too. A motel can barely handle the nights (most the time booked) booked by ferry traffic and some local visitors. So small. People do NOT want to stay even close to 99. When I had a store in Edmonds, I heard a million times a summer where can we stay this is such a nice town? Motel sold out. Where could you send them? Back in the car and go to Mukilteo, Seattle or take a ferry ride to island,or whatever. Out of Edmonds. Other reasons too but those are the main ones. Edmonds needs a hotel. We had a huge one years ago and it burnt down..


      1. The Best Western Harbor Inn (which I don’t work for or have any affiliation with) is a three star hotel with a 4.5/5 rating on TripAdvisor. It may not be fancy but it’s definitely a hotel. If you’re talking about building some six-story hotel in the middle of Edmonds, people will fight it, as it is in no way in keeping with the existing feel of the city. I’ve watched what happened to Kirkland with runaway construction, and I am not impressed.

        If the hotel’s booked solid regularly during the summer they should raise their rates. I’ve never had trouble getting a room there, though.


    12. In order to be considered a hotel you have to serve food on property. (Restaurant) which as far as I know they haven’t built one on property. The motel has always been booked heavily in the summer. If you have got a reservation and stayed there, fine..not the issue here. The issue is we need a nice hotel. Many, many, many, many small towns have put in small Hotels and it hasn’t hurt the look. Carmel??? Monterey?? Just to name a couple. Tons more. If you are worried that it may hurt your personal view.? I do t would help the town and businesses and I do know that. And tax payers.


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