Letter to the editor: Is a fair process too much to hope for when filling vacant council position?

Editor:

It is disconcerting that Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas “liked” an op-ed posted on My Edmonds News Facebook page on Dec. 30, 2019, promoting Alicia Crank to fill the open council seat prior to the interviews that will be used to select a person to that seat.

Applications for the open seat were not even due until the evening of Dec. 31, 2019. Note the date. She “liked” the candidate before all applications had to be submitted. If one is pushing for support for a particular applicant before any interviews, then how is that any different than the “business as usual” administration you sought to defeat? How then can it be a fair and impartial process?

In a small community such as Edmonds, it is understandable that there are friendships, biases and political causes, but is it too much to hope that the process with the council and new mayor will give all the applicants a “fair shake”? Will the sitting council and mayor have the integrity to interview and assess fairly all of the candidates equally?

There is talk that Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas will be adding her name for a second term as council president.   There is precedent for a rotating president on council, as is common practice in all other boards and commissions in Edmonds. This brings a fresh face and new perspective every year.

The main goal of Tuesday night’s city council meeting is to pick a new council president for 2020. Council is encouraged to elect, following precedent, a new president. Normally, the council president pro tem is elected as the next president, which in 2019 was Councilmember Diane Buckshnis. She is highly qualified and received the most votes of any candidate in this last election by far. Edmonds would be well-served with her leadership.

Lynne Chelius
Edmonds

5 Replies to “Letter to the editor: Is a fair process too much to hope for when filling vacant council position?”

  1. A process for appointing a Councilmember to the open seat has yet to be established. Although there is significant historical precedent from past Council appointments in Edmonds, the process should be deliberated and approved by a majority of existing Councilmembers. I presume the process will allow all candidates to present themselves publicly, as has been done previously.

    I supported Alicia Crank in the past election and believe her to be a viable candidate (among others) for the appointment. But any Councilmember publicly indicating bias or impartiality prior to the process being approved and the candidates presenting themselves publicly should recuse themselves from the appointment process.

    Ignored

  2. Read the minutes for the last council meeting, they are in the council packet for tonight’s meeting. One has to wonder how the council became so dysfunctional? What was said between council members was a disgrace to our leadership. Hopefully the new council members will step up and do the city’s business with a fresh look at what is right. Hopefully they will not look at their various endorsements but rather the folks who voted for them to set the course for 2020 for Edmonds. People above politics!

    Ignored

  3. Darrol –

    I’m assuming you are referring to this (among other similarly comments)?

    “…Councilmember Buckshnis said she generally prefers to keep disputes out of the public’s eye. However,
    last week at an agenda meeting with City Clerk Scott Passey, Mayor Earling, Council Legislative Assistant
    Maureen Judge and Council President Fraley-Monillas, Mayor Earling asked why two agenda items had
    been pulled. Since both agenda items had come to the Finance Committee, she offered to get the four votes
    to get them on the agenda. Council President exploded, pointed her finger at her, stomped her foot and
    called her a name and said you go and get your [dirty word] votes. Councilmember Buckshnis said she told
    Council President Fraley-Monillas she was sorry she was having a bad day and Council President FraleyMonillas repeated her actions, pointing her finger, calling her a name and said go get your votes. This went
    on 3-4 times where she would say something and Council President Fraley-Monillas would point her finger.
    Councilmember Buckshnis said this was not the first time she had been treated this way but it was the first
    time it had occurred publicly in front of staff and citizens. It was inappropriate and felt she was mistreated
    like other Councilmembers have been. Although she tries to take the high road, she felt next year would be
    problematic with a new grudge on her back. No Councilmember should ever be treated that way. She was
    thoroughly mind boggled that it happened in front of staff and the Council’s legislative assistant. She was
    sorry she had to bring it up in public, but everyone is human, everyone has disagreements but they do not
    deserve finger pointing or name calling. She hoped in the new year with a new Council everyone will calm
    down and learn to interact in a professional manner. She wished everyone a Happy Holiday”

    http://edmondswa.iqm2.com/Citizens/FileOpen.aspx?Type=1&ID=2513&Inline=True

    I’m frankly speechless that a council member – let along the council president – would act in such an unprofessional, erratic and disrespectful manner. Edmonds politics are non-partisan for a reason. This behavior is Washington DC 101. Sad and disgraceful. Then again, what do I know. I must just be “mansplaining”

    Ignored

  4. The Edmonds taxpayers/voters deserve a fair, transparent and open process. It seems to me that some investigative reporting needs to be done regarding current Edmonds City Council members being involved with some of the applicant’s for City Council vacant position #2. A majority of the 2020 councilmembers have made cash donations in the Edmonds City Council 2019 primary and the 2019 general election races for Edmonds City Council positions to some applicants. See the following link to the Public Disclosure Commission. https://www.pdc.wa.gov/browse/more-ways-to-follow-the-money/candidates/municipal?election_year=2019&category=Candidates
    Some of the sitting Edmonds City councilmembers have publicly supported applicants in press releases, campaigned for them at campaign kickoffs parties and endorsed them in 2019 election mailers. To be a fair and transparent process every councilmember should state to the public any monetary donations and how much or any in kind contributions that were made to any applicant that has put their name in to be appointed to the City Council. The question should be asked; Should a councilmember recuse themselves for impartiality or financial ties to a particular applicant for position #2? This can then be a transparent, fair and impartial process to appoint the best qualified Edmonds citizen to position #2. Or is the fix already in for position #2?

    Fred Gouge

    Ignored

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