Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson has asked the Edmonds City Council to meet Friday afternoon to consider two items: Removing language related to the possession of firearms now in the city’s Disaster Preparation and Coordination ordinance, and temporarily lifting the city’s plastic bag ban in light of the COVID-10 epidemic.
The meeting will be conducted virtually and live-streamed starting at 3 p.m. Friday on the city’s website and on Channel 21. The council chambers will not be open, in compliance with Gov. Jay Inslee’s temporary suspension of a portion of the Open Public Meetings Act to prevent the gathering of people in a single location.
You can access the live-stream (click the video link once the meeting starts) and the council agenda at this link.
Members of the public are welcome to comment via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The first action on the council agenda will be to revise the amendments to Edmonds City Code (ECC) Chapter 6.60 (“Disaster Preparation, Emergency Coordination, and Civil Emergencies”) approved by city council in a special session March 22. According to a city press release announcing the meeting, “the mayor will specifically ask for council support for an amendment to Section 6.60.090 (which lays out items that could potentially be invoked by order of a mayor in case of emergency) by removing Subsection G related to carrying or possessing firearms with intent to do bodily harm.”
That subsection has generated concerns by citizens who worry about the impact it could have — if ever enacted — on Second Amendment rights, and even prompted tax activist and gubernatorial candidate Tim Eyman to visit the council chambers March 24 with a group of supporters.
In addition, Nelson will ask council to temporarily suspend for 90 days the city’s plastic bag ban, so grocery stores could use light-gauge plastic bags.
The council agenda memo notes that grocers have not been able to keep an adequate supply of heavy-gauge plastic bags or paper bags, due to “the outbreak of COVID-19 and the need to take many precautionary measures to reduce exposure, and the additional demand from shoppers to purchase more food and other grocery store supplies. In addition, due to concerns about the spread of infection, grocery store checkers are reluctant to handle used bags that customers bring for carryout purposes.”