Letter to the editor: Do your homework before casting your ballot

Editor:

This time during each election year, people become campaign exhausted. Within Edmonds alone, we have eight people running for council seats and two people running for mayor. You don’t know who to believe or what to believe when it comes time to vote. The biggest piece of advice I can give is do your homework before casting that ballot.

In the city of Edmonds, we have a group that has been pushing for everything to stay the way it is socially and to continue developing our neighborhoods; they have been in existence for about eight years and use to call themselves the Downtown Elections Group. In this election cycle they are called the “EGG” Edmonds Good Governance; they are known as the old guard — predominately white, wealthy and connected to others of the same. They are led by a woman by the name of Maggie Fimia, former mayor of Shoreline. The EGG is also being led by a former mayor of Edmonds.

I have seen the work plans of both the Downtown Elections Group and EGG.  The same people belong to both and have various campaign duties assigned to each person involved such as fund raising, doorbelling, letter writing (ever wonder why the same people write letters for different candidates?) strategic planning, background investigations and much more.

This year has been a particularly bad election cycle and perhaps that is because this is a city on the verge of great change. To quote our current mayor we are “no longer considered Deadmonds.” We have a wealth of young families moving into the area once thought to be a retirement environment. We also have a large diverse community in our city to include people who are not white, and include LGTBQ, disabled, lower income, and those struggling with mental illness. We must address all the needs of the people that live in Edmonds not just the needs of downtown crowd. I am mystified how the old guard thinks they can keep Edmonds the way it has been for 100 years. It’s time to move forward in a careful manner excepting all who live here.

I have been elected to the city council three times by the citizens of Edmonds. I was never appointed, so I actually have spent quite a bit of time talking to the citizens of our city to understand their needs. I have also worked with both men running for mayor of Edmonds. I like them both as people. But I would suggest people look to see what each has accomplished since being elected.

Mr. Tibbott is kind and friendly and really tries his best. He was nominated last year to be council president but the majority of council members believed he wasn’t ready for the job. I am at a loss for what he has stood for except the connector (over the beach bridge) all the way through until the night of the final vote; only after the council received 250 plus emails and had 500 people rallying at the council chambers did he change his mind. He did not understand what we were doing wrong in communicating with the citizens.

He tried to stand for was hiring a two-person sidewalk crew to hurry up our updated ADA sidewalk process.He proposed it two years ago in a budget but pulled it back at the request of the administration. This past year he brought it up again and it passed council budget. By contrast, I have worked with Mr. Nelson more than five years and have been impressed with his tenacity for getting things done that benefit our citizens — and protecting our children. The list is impressive: working on our first inclusive park and playground, demanding safe storage of fire arms away from children, leadership on the Edmonds Marsh, leadership on our homeless assessment and opioid taskforce, his work with local businesses on composting, opposition to property tax increases, led the way for more and better police services, stood up with veterans for the new plaza, improving traffic safety in all of Edmonds, and leading on renewable energy.

Mr. Nelson and I have also attended multiple events supporting causes for Edmonds: rallies for gun safety, rallies for LGTBQ rights, a rally against hate crimes, a rally for legal immigrants and their families, and rallies for the working rights of hospital staff and teachers who take care of us and our children.

A lot has been made about partisan elections. Unfortunately, in this country we have two main parties where the majority of us camp. I had a great laugh at a recent council debate when a candidate told the other candidate they were supported by the “Democrats” and that she wasn’t taking PAC support. This candidate asked the Democrats for their endorsement but was refused. A couple of days later a piece of lit appeared at my door with endorsements of three Republican councilmembers and two Republican mayors and the next day a PAC endorsed her. You see, like it or not everyone picks one side or another.

I encourage everyone reading this to do a little homework. Go to the Public Disclosure Commission and check who is giving money to whom and how much.  Go to the candidate’s websites and see who is endorsing who. I promise you will predominately see two parties supporting two different people.

It is clear, Mr. Nelson stands up for Edmonds and gets the job done, that is why I support him for mayor. I want someone leading this great city who represents all of us, listens carefully to the citizens and looks to the future so as not make the same mistakes of the past. Vote Mike Nelson!

Adrienne Fraley-Monillas

Edmonds City Council

20 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Do your homework before casting your ballot”

  1. I am proud to be in a small circle of “former full time Edmonds mayors” having served from 2000-2010. There are only five of us. Larry Naughten, Laura Hall, Barb Fahey, myself and Mike Cooper. I am quite curious who is the “former mayor leading” this group. It is not me and to the best of my knowledge none of the other mayors are either. It is well known that I am supporting Neil Tibbott for mayor. I was also asked by Mike Nelson to support his campaign for mayor. As I deliberated on who to support I settled on Neil because of the skills that are required to manage a city with over $100 million dollar budget, manage hundreds of employees and have the collaborative people skills to work with the Council and neighboring communities. My decision had nothing to with keeping Edmonds the way it was. Edmonds has changed for the better as we have grown as a city. It will continue to change and adapt because of quality candidates for city council who listen to the people and are charged with setting the policy of our city. The mayor is tasked with running the city day to day. The Council is tasked with creating all of the policies that Adrienne has listed above. Lets keep the duties of the mayor (Executive branch) and Council (Legislative branch) in clear view as we choose who to support this election season. And for the record I am neither a registered Democrat or Republican. If you have doubts about that you only have to look at the support I have given over the years to candidates of both parties. Edmonds is and will continue to be a great place to live, not because of elected officials, but because of the people who live here.

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  2. There is so much smoke around Mr. Nelson that there must be at least some fire. When Mr. Nelson was appointed to city council in 2015 there were clearly much better qualified applicants for the open position. But some council members mistakenly preferred him solely because he was (is) an active member of the democratic party. This again is largely why he is being supported as the alleged better candidate – just look at his endorsements; all Democrats. the legislature some time ago enacted an RCW that required city elected positions to be non-partisan. As it relates to Edmonds, Democrats largely heeded that RCW until nine years ago. We need to get back to those days when the most qualified candidates are selected, without regard to their party affiliation.

    RCW 29A.52.231
    Nonpartisan offices specified.
    The offices of superintendent of public instruction, justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of appeals, judge of the superior court, and judge of the district court shall be nonpartisan and the candidates therefor shall be nominated and elected as such.
    All city, town, and special purpose district elective offices shall be nonpartisan and the candidates therefor shall be nominated and elected as such.

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    1. Ron, this is an oft-repeated piece of misinformation about RCW 29A.52.231.

      This law pertains to the office, the primary, and the election. It does NOT restrict the affiliation, partisan or otherwise, of any candidate or officeholder. If it did, it would be a clear violation of the First Amendment.

      The office of mayor is also a nonreligious office, but that does not, and should not, preclude a minister from seeking or holding office. If affiliations with political and religious organizations were prohibited, then both mayoral candidates would be disqualified.

      Now, of course, you and other voters are free to vote against any candidate for these or any reasons, but there is nothing illegal or unethical going on with regard to RCW 29A.52.231.

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  3. All I’m saying is do your homework before making this very important decision!
    Check PDC’s and websites of candidates!

    It will explain it all……..

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    1. Adrienne why did mike leave the room, as you say, when SEIU business was on the table? I send you this question via email, you said youd forward on the city attorney. I’ve double-tapped and have not heard back. :/

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  4. I totally agree that folks should do their homework before casting their ballots. Unfortunately, Ms. Fraley-Monillas has not done hers. There is not one statement in her description of Edmonds Good Government, EGG, that is correct. Not one.

    I’m happy to meet with anyone personally to share the origins, work and tenets of this small group of diverse residents whose official mission is: “To advocate for good government decision making processes that begin by asking and getting agreement on “What’s the problem we’re trying to solve?” vs. “Here’s the solution we need to implement.” As individuals (not as a group), some of us support candidates who are committed to that decision-making process – one that is inclusive and fact based.

    Sadly, this kind of undocumented, truly “made-up” campaign mud-slinging is meant to stifle involvement and debate – the opposite of democracy which welcomes dissent. We will only solve our problems by listening to each other, by committing to getting the facts and figures before pushing any policy or budget item and by not making people choose sides. Please don’t tune out but do tune in to this election. Talk to the candidates, find out their actual track records – what have they done, not just what they say they want to do.

    And…here is my email if you would like more information and the truth about Edmonds Good Government: mfimia@zipcon.com

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    1. Maggie, you met with me and I’m young and broke. I’m white but my family isnt. People from the gay community met with me too, I’ve pushed the marriage agenda, so dont know where Adrienne’s prejudice is coming from. EGG is a big tent.

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      1. Thanks Mr. Richardson for your comments. Yes, EGG, Edmonds Good Government – still really in the early stages of becoming a citizen/community organization is a big tent. What brings us together is the belief that good government is not about parties or platforms but about process – how do we make decisions. Once you start talking about problems rather than automatically talking about solutions, the artificial barriers between reasonable people come down and work can be accomplished.

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  5. Mr. Wambolt conveniently neglects the fact that the Supreme Court of our land has determined that Corporations are people in the Citizens United ruling and can advocate on behalf of and financially support political candidates. Not a position advocated by the left (Democratic Party) but greatly advocated by the right (Republican Party) and passed by the judges on the court appointed by Republican Presidents. The Democratic party is a public non profit corporation and can by federal law support any state political candidate they like, partisan or not. The RCW is only violated if Nelson put a D behind his name on the ballot which the County would not allow him to do, even if he wanted to, which he wouldn’t. I don’t care who Mr Wambolt or Mr Haakenson is for, nor who the Democrats are for, and neither should anyone else. Base your opinion of their advice on how much you paid for it and you can’t go wrong. It’s your vote and that’s a beautiful thing.

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      1. Not saying you altered anything about the RCW. I’m saying federal law makes it perfectly legal for the Democratic Party (or Republican Party) to support candidates in non partisan elections. You are accusing Mike and the Dems of breaking the law which they definitely aren’t based on current federal law which by the Constitution supercedes state law. You don’t like it, which is fine, but that doesn’t make it illegal. You say, “where there’s smoke there’s fire. There is no smoke here except your desire to impune Mike’s character. You do Neil no favors here.in my opinion.

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  6. Is anyone tired of this as a scare tactic “…they are known as the old guard — predominately white, wealthy and connected to others of the same.”. Where are these cigar smoking, railroad/shingle factory owning barons? Everyone of every background and stripe is here because Edmonds has been and is a great town. Whether you like it or not, I think past (and current) mayors get some credit for the great town we all live in. Of course we all have to work together, of course we need to listen to all citizens in the town and most of all we need to work with those that disagree with us. Let’s not further divide everyone by constantly stating there is some Old Guard nobility manipulating the masses when we are just trying to figure out who to vote for in our town surrounded by crazy growth in the region. I’d hope a currently elected and sitting councilmember wouldn’t write a letter about how nasty the election is and then pour gasoline on the fire.

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    1. Yeah, EGG is whites-only cabal. Adrienne is on the City Council, which isnt just an older whiter group of people.

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  7. Personally I’m tired of endorsements in general, particularly from former Mayors and Council Members who seem to think they have some vast insight into who us mere mortals should vote for. Same goes for current politicians.and their endorsements. I’m tired of character assasination and accusations of law breaking and general unfitness for the position. I’m voting for positive people only who have no need to personally denigrate their opponents and only discuss issues.

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  8. Adrienne,
    You referenced a piece of campaign literature you received showing the “endorsement of three Republican Councilmembers.” Care to name those Councilmembers?

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  9. Ms Fraley-Monillas – I took your advice and looked up the contributions for Mr Nelson and Mr Tibbott and what I saw was very telling indeed. Nearly all of Mr Tibbott’s contributors are individuals from Edmonds, where Mr Nelson has received several contributions from people who live outside Edmonds and many are out of state, and from unions as well as other agencies. Based just on the pattern of contributions, I would say Mr Tibbott is the peoples choice. I wonder why so many people from out of state would donate so much money to Mr Nelson.

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  10. I agree with Adrienne do your homework. I did plenty of research on Edmonds races and it has helped me know who I am voting for. Looking into the Mayor’s race I found that Mr. Nelson’s renewable energy accomplishment wasn’t even his own ordinance it was written by Councilmember Teitzel. Mr. Nelson just pushed it to a vote with other Councilmembers making it a reality. Also doing my homework has brought up some interesting information about the position 4 race. It seems early in Councilmember Buckshnis first term she was for using the emergency fund to purchase property in Edmonds rather than using it for an emergency like it was supposed to. Furthermore, it appears Ms hite and Ms hardie are not the first to be on the receiving end of negativity from the council. It seems also early in her term as Councilmember two finance directors had the same experiences with her. This has really shaped my ballot and I encourage all of you to research as well as I am sure it will shape yours.

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  11. I’m urging all Edmonds voters to join me in voting for Jenna Nand to replace Diane Buckshnis on our city council. Nand is a newcomer to our politics, but we know enough about her and Buckshnis to have confidence that she’ll be a positive change.
    Buckshnis having been a “bank regulator” makes her believe that her financial skills are superior to most anyone else in our city – including city finance directors. That belief has contributed to her causing the departure of two or three finance directors. I must question how financially competent she really is. In 2009 when city council was deliberating joining Fire District 1, and prior to her being appointed to city council in 2010, she often spoke about the wisdom of our city making such a move – she stated that it wouldn’t be a good financial move for us. The truth is that since the deal took effect in 2010 our city’s expenses have been reduced between $1 million and $2 million every year. To put that reduction into perspective, had those savings not been taken advantage of city services would have had to be cut, or the city’s financial reserves would have gradually been eliminated over the past ten years. Good thing Buckshnis was not on council in 2009 as she may have caused us not to join the fire district.
    Our city lost two department heads this past summer and some citizens believe that Buckshnis contributed to those departures. In an interview a couple of weeks ago Buckshnis said that the HR director, one of the two who departed, had been looking for a new job as early as February. That HR director recently contacted an other council member to tell him that wasn’t true; she only started looking immediately after city council did not accept a salary study that she conducted. We get more than enough untruths from Olympia and D.C.; we don’t need them from our local politicians.
    Buckshnis is completing her tenth year as a city council member. Her attendance record is reflecting that her enthusiasm for the job is waning. Thus far in 2019 she has missed 7 council meetings. The other six council members have missed only an average of 3 meetings.
    Prior to this election cycle I was not acquainted with Jenna Nand. Initially I was apprehensive about how much Nand knows about the workings of our city. After monitoring her performance at the different election events during the past several weeks it became obvious that she knows quite a bit about the various issues. I am confident that her extensive formal education, intelligence, and superior interpersonal skills would very quickly bring added value to our city council.
    Position 4 needs a change. Please vote for Jenna Nand.

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    1. In recent weeks city council has spent considerable time discussing if they should renew the contract with the city attorney – the Lighthouse Group – since there has been some dissatisfaction with the legal services they’ve been providing. Two council members, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas and Diane Buckshnis, remain from when the Lighthouse Group was selected. Fraley-Monillas voted against their selection, but Buckshnis strongly supported their selection. The vote of Buckshnis caused the departure of Scott Synder who had been our city’s highly respected attorney for more than 20 years.

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