City council Dec. 1 to hold public hearing on subdivision moratorium, revisit mayor’s request for additional authority

The Edmonds City Council will hold two public hearings at its Tuesday, Dec. 1 business meeting — one on the proposed 2021-2026 capital improvements program/capital facilities plan and the other on an ordinance that established a four-month moratorium on subdivision applications that contain eight or more “significant” trees per 10,000 square feet of lot size. The council will also revisit a request by Mayor Mike Nelson for temporary authority to make rapid decisions aimed at helping local businesses weather COVID-19 impacts. That measure had been tabled last week after nearly all councilmembers expressed reservations that the mayor’s request — which covers nine areas of city code — was too broad.

Also on the council agenda for Dec. 1:

– Proposed modifications to the contingent loan agreement with the Edmonds Public Facilities District, which oversees operations for Edmonds Center for the Arts.

– Confirmation of two executive-level appointments recommended by Mayor Nelson  — Whitney Rivera as Edmonds Municipal Court judge and Dave Turley as the city’s finance director.

– Continued deliberation on the proposed 2021 city budget.

The council meeting will start at 7 p.m. virtually using the Zoom meeting platform. To join, comment, view, or listen to the Edmonds City Council Meeting in its entirety, visit To join by phone: US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 999 0334 3431

Those wishing to provide audience comments using a computer or smart phone are instructed to raise a virtual hand to be recognized. Persons wishing to provide audience comments by dial-up phone are instructed to press *9 to raise a hand. When prompted, press *6 to unmute.

In addition to Zoom, regular council meetings are streamed live on the Council Meeting webpage (where you can see the full agenda), and on cable TV at Comcast channel 21, and Ziply channel 39.

12 Replies to “City council Dec. 1 to hold public hearing on subdivision moratorium, revisit mayor’s request for additional authority”

  1. Don’t know for sure, but I think the status is deplorable, failure of leadership. That type of thing. I could be wrong.


  2. In fairness to the mayor and the council, I think this is more about working around the Covid situation and allegations that proper processes weren’t followed in completing this critical placement. I think it was a frequent contributor here who brought out this failure of process to begin with.

    We might want to keep in mind that the mayor and many council members are really new in their respective roles and have the further complication of difficult communications thru no fault of their own right now. Deplorable actions and failure of leadership are pretty heavy accusations when all things are considered. I also recognize that I could be wrong, but I don’t think so. Cutting people some slack and giving the benefit of the doubt are frequently a good way to proceed to get the better or best outcomes.


  3. Clinton – we (most) often fail to cut our elected officials slack because we expect them to live up to the office. While I tend to agree that it is better to operate with grace, it is even better to perform the tasks one is elected to perform. I’m not sure if our current mayor has a council of advisors – previous mayors or council members – whom he can gain perspective and insight from, but that would seem to be prudent…gaining wisdom from others who have gone before is a true sign of leadership.


    1. Mike, I”m curious to know what Mayor Nelson hasn’t done to “live up to the office” or how he hasn’t tried to “perform the tasks he was elected to perform,” as you put it? He announced the permanent appointment of Chief Lawless as experienced past elected people in this forum urged him to do; and then other people in this forum and on the council, called him to task for not following the process as it is laid out in code.

      So, in a further attempt to perform the task he was elected to do, properly, he had to back track and do the process as per code as much as possible. This change was forced on him by others – a no win situation so to speak. It wasn’t because he was not trying to do what he was elected to do as you insinuate in your comment.

      He was publicly urged in this forum to not follow code by experienced former city officials to appoint the Chief; and then knocked down for those very actions by other citizens and current council members. I would submit that too many “rookies” were involved in this and the “rookies” were given some bad advice by some veterans (who should have known better) and that advice came back to haunt the mayor and some on council.

      I say, let’s try to help the Mayor and Council do their jobs; not blow smoke every time we don’t agree about something. Tell them how you feel and why, about any given issue, then let the chips fall where they may without accusing them of being bad people because you don’t agree with them about how to run the office. Election time is for that.


      1. Clinton – I believe you projected a different interpretation than what I intended. I am suggesting that few ever cut any elected official grace because they have their perceived expectation of that office. It can truly be a thankless job. I commend Mike for running – and being elected. Do I agree with him on all fronts. Nope. Does he care? Not likely. He works for the good of the city – not just me – so he has to do what is in the best interest of the city as a collective whole…not a party (the office is non-partisan) or political bias. I am also suggesting he would gain valuable insight from those who have gone before him – as he may already be doing…

        Sir, I find it always best to dig deeper on intent instead of reading into something that may not be there…I think you know me well enough to know that my interest is in seeing this city thrive – and that can be done through individuals from all walks of life and political standings.


      2. Clinton:
        I believe that the sequence of events that you’ve stated regarding the police chief misses one event that’s caused this issue to drag on. What I’m referring to is the mayor’s hiring of a consultant (head hunter) to seek candidates for the appointment. Later he concluded that in Jim Lawless he already had his man; too bad that, like everyone else, he hadn’t realized that right at day one. To the mayor’s credit he did change his mind when he realized he did not need a head hunter.


        1. Ron, your point here is well taken but I think it further supports my point too, that some of this is just the result of being a rookie on the job and perhaps a bit of trying to make everyone happy when that isn’t possible. Hiring the “head hunter” initially was an indication that Mayor Mike knew there was a process he should follow for new hires based on process but after observing the Chief on the job and seeing the views of veterans of city government, like yourself, he reversed himself and then the Council exerted itself and what happened, happened. I would submit that this says he is just a new leader, not necessarily a bad leader.

          Based on Mike’s further comments in response to mine, the subject of political party was mentioned by Mike. I’m further curious to know what is the point of even mentioning this, if you are not implying that Mayor Nelson is functioning in the interest of the Democratic Party rather than the interests of the city? Personally, I don’t see this, and I don’t see any point in bringing it up in the context of this discussion unless one’s purpose is to plant doubts in people’s minds about the mayor’s motivations in regards to the city. I definitely don’t agree with Mike on everything either (trees for example) but I’m not going to accuse him of bad leadership over it, or towing some sort of “political party” line.


  4. We don’t want to give him more power. Covid has a lot of regulations to it and growing. I think it’s a big mistake to give him this power. We have a council elected for a reason.


  5. Well, it all worked out as it should. Just as I predicted, the city executive branch could present no real meaningful need for the mayor having “emergency” powers and the issue was dropped; and rightly so in my opinion. The mayor was politely informed about the limits of his powers. The council found it’s collective voice and stepped up to the plate to assist the mayor as needed; and promised to act quickly, should any need arise to help the mayor quickly respond to citizen’s needs.

    C.P. AFM (and I) lost on the tree issue; but I would say stay tuned. Before this one is all played out, I predict that the Mayor and Council will come to see this for the legal mine field that it is and will come around to AFM’s thinking on it. Last night was only the beginning of the citizen backlash, in my opinion.

    I watched most of the meeting last night and my take away is that small town democracy is a beautiful thing. The mayor, council members and staff are all well meaning and beautiful people and we are lucky to have them working for us. I thank them all for their great service and wish them happy holidays and a much, much better 2021. Clint


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