The following letter was sent to Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson and members of the Edmonds City Council on Jan. 3, 2020. It is being published here at the letter writers’ request:
Dear Mayor Nelson and Edmonds City Council Members,
Thank you all for serving and congratulations to those who prevailed in the November election. We the undersigned are writing to you regarding two imminent and critical decisions: (1) Electing a new Council President and (2) Appointing a new City Councilmember.
We urge you to strive to reach a unanimous vote on both of these critical decisions and also hope you continue to rotate the council president on an annual basis.
We believe that a healthy and effective council will work together to identify and resolve legislation in a cooperative, fact-based, respectful process based as much on consensus as possible. Differing opinions should be seen as a strength that, when listened to, provides the outcome that is most likely to actually resolve problems than a process that depends strictly on getting a majority of votes.
An analysis of this election outcome (pg. 6) shows us that while voter turnout was “OK”:
- The races had relatively larger margins but none demonstrate any clear mandate.
- Forty-three percent of registered Edmonds voters did not vote.
- For instance, only 29% of all registered voters chose Mike Nelson and 25% chose Neil Tibbott.
We do not want to model the division happening at the Federal level but want our Edmonds City Council to model one that works together and with the public and city staff. We don’t know for sure why so many people did not vote, but if we truly want to engage the community, ideally the Council and Mayor will instead, model the behavior we want in our community.
There is a large pool of applicants for the open position. We believe it is critical to the future of Edmonds to choose someone who has the following qualifications and attributes and ask that you appoint someone who:
1. Commits to coming to the table with an open mind and willingness to do the homework to identify problems and analyze solutions.
2. Has the requisite knowledge and experience to augment the abilities of other members of Council, particularly regarding works involving significant expenditures.
3. Has a track record in Edmonds for working well with others, showing up and getting things done. As with any job applicant, reliable references would be expected.
4. Has a track record for being civil, accurate and accountable.
5. Understands that they represent all the people and businesses in Edmonds no matter their race, ethnicity, income, age, sex, sexual orientation or political persuasion.
Rebecca Anderson, Maplewood neighborhood
Gerald Bernstein, MD,MBA Meadowdale neighborhood
Joseph Callazo, Edmonds resident, WA State ferries employee
Ron Clyborne, business owner, US Veteran, long time Edmonds community volunteer
Patty Farmer, retired career counselor and 9 year resident
Maggie Fimia, community volunteer, former elected official, avid genealogist
Julaine Fleetwood, 23 year Edmonds resident, businesswoman, community volunteer
Rozanne Grunig, north Edmonds
Darrol Haug, 45 year Edmonds resident
Erling Hesla, semi-retired professional engineer, 3 yr. Edmonds resident
Jennifer Higgins,17-year resident, businesswoman, volunteer
Theresa Hutchinson, Democrat, Hispanic, registered nurse
Laurie Napa, Edmonds native
Gary Nelson, former elected office holder, 57 year resident
Julie Reymore, business person
Mike Schindler, business owner, US Veteran
Wendy Shaw, Edmonds resident, Swedish RN
Karen Shiveley, community advocate
Darlene Stern-Rapp, retired
Jim Van Tighem, business person, Westgate neighborhood
Donald Moe, MD