Commentary: In review of 2020, Edmonds City Council president addresses COVID challenges, TV comments

Edmonds City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas

What a year 2020 has been–starting right after the first of the year with four new councilmembers and a new mayor. With that, the mayor broke a tie during the council president election. All three veteran councilmembers were interested in leadership that would best move our city forward. I believed my long, extensive career in government supervision, HR, facilitation, leadership skills and how training would best fit our new members and Administration would be the best fit. The year did not start out well because of hurt feelings among senior councilmembers including the raw loss of a mayor’s race. 

Our retreat was held as soon as possible including training in Robert’s Rules of Order, finance, and collective goals and objectives. It was held with administration and the council to heal some of the unfortunate interactions from 2019. One big, early win for council was the successful assignment of new and senior councilmembers to the many council committees as well as outside boards and commissions. Each councilmember took to their new roles and did a stellar job all year long. 

2020 was on its way…then COVID hit…our world was turned upside down. For us it meant meeting virtually and communicating with each other became a difficult process. This was about the time we saw our new councilmembers reaching out to find their way during a pandemic. It wasn’t without growing pains as it is very difficult to understand the role of council as legislative and the role of administration as administrative. We have continued to have some misunderstandings this year regarding council’s role with staff and the city. For those who may not know, council drafts legislation and the city leaders implement it. It is not the council’s job to tell the staff what or how to do it, nor is it the council’s duty to do the work itself–It certainly sent mixed messages to staff. 

We watched the city respond to the health crisis and provided much needed financial support for businesses and citizens. I was very appreciative of Mayor Nelson and his directors–always thinking of our citizens and businesses first during this period. Along with COVID, we also had to continue the smooth running of the City of Edmonds. Council assisted the administration by approving much of the funding for these projects. 

This past summer we organized a budget retreat with an amazing trainer, Mike Bailey; although it was on Zoom we were able to get a number of things out of it. We all listed our budget priorities and attempted to put them in order of importance. Those were passed along to the administration and some were included in the mayor’s budget. 

Sadly, this year also brought unfortunate and inappropriate incidents to our citizens of color. I marched in two rallies supporting our citizens of color in Edmonds, one was organized by the young people of Edmonds. They are our future. 

I‘d like to take moment to discuss an interview that I gave to a local television station regarding the mayor’s interview and the appointment of a new police chief. So people understand city policy: the mayor brings to council up to three names of individuals for appointment at the director level. The mayor also makes his recommendation with whom he wishes to work. The council’s job is to confirm or not confirm and we may not pick the director of the mayor’s choosing. We either approve or we do not approve. This year our new mayor filled a Parks and Recreation Director and a Finance Director this way with very little controversy. I spent about 10 minutes being interviewed by a local TV station. They asked me a number of questions about the police chief position. From that ten-minute interview, two lines were used in the final story. In no way did I say that all Edmonds citizens were racist–that is silly. I did indicate we had some incidents occur in Edmonds such as the noose hanging at a construction site where citizens of color were working, the threatening of two black youths of color with a baseball bat and racial slurs, the tagging of a minority-owned business with racist comments, the defacing of an authorized art work on city property because it said “I can’t breathe,” and the racist comments shouted at a man walking with his children along sunset. This year we even had incidents on the Edmonds City Council which appeared to be racist in nature. These are examples that were covered by the local press; these incidents were reported to the police and some were moved to a higher authority. These are the incidents I referred to in the TV interview. We should all be standing up against this sort of racist behavior in Edmonds. 

I also never indicated that I was in favor of appointing one or the other candidate because of their ethnicity. When asked about the benefits of appointing a particular person, I indicated that hiring a person of color may help the healing of Edmonds from recent racist events. I also talked about his friendliness and how community groups liked his personality. 

Edmonds is a great place to live most of the time, and like all cities, we have some citizens that want everything to remain the same. I see change in our population as making our city a better place to live for everyone; differences and diversity make us who we are and make life interesting. Because of the mischaracterization of my interview, I have had to tolerate tremendous bullying and harassment without individuals contacting me for an explanation first. I have been the subject of posters on telephone poles–posted by unknown individuals–and last weekend I was the subject of flyers handed out at the Holiday market. I was fortunate enough to be able to speak to the gentleman who was handing them out and we had a great conversation about what had happened. In the end, I thanked him. 

We ended this council year dealing with the budget. The four new councilmembers did all their work in advance and submitted it for review. We had the mayor’s budget for seven weeks and I want to congratulate the new members for getting the hard work done in a very timely manner. I would also like to thank the Directors and their staff for having the budget ready for council review. 

I have been honored to serve as Council President for the last two years, we have accomplished some wonderful things, and I wish the new council president, Susan Paine, and the new council president pro-tem, Laura Johnson, all the best for a successful and healthy 2021. Happy holidays everyone! 

— By Adrienne Fraley-Monillas
2020 Edmonds City Council President

  1. The biggest racist issue in Edmonds to-date is a black man was appointed to be Chief of Police, but it was rescinded because he didn’t disclose a job application with Lake Stevens 10 years ago. That is unfair to Chief Pruitt.

    The mayor was once appointed to the Council and he didn’t disclose that he was a Lobbyist to the SEIU, or that his political activity was under investigation with the Deputy Attorney General. The City even has an ordinance that prevents lobbyists from being appointed to the Council… but the mayor is white and was not only appointed, but made Council President.

    Why is Mike Nelson holding chief Pruitt to a =ne ethical standard that he couldn’t pass? For reasons of color?

  2. AFM said in her King 5 interview: “With all of the racism in Edmonds”. Now she says in her commentary above: “In no way did I say that all Edmonds citizens were racist–that is silly”. It is not relevant how much of her interview was televised. She said what she said.

    1. Ron,
      Recently there has been a lot of material released that explains why pointing out racism is different than accusing individuals of being racism. I encourage everyone to seek out these more modern understandings to help keep these conversations focused on real solutions.

  3. Please resign Adrienne your “puppet show is over” and the other three councilmembers in your hip pocket realize your efforts and direction have dragged the three of them through the dirt. Your claim that your spoken words on the King5 interview were not taken out of context is baseless. In fact, you clearly conveyed your motives in moving the Police Chief Selection agenda item up one week.

    Tell us of your many accomplishments, I’ve seen none. You allowed the Mayor to fire Police Chief. You allowed the Hearing Examiner contract to expired but still allowed him to conduct hearings. You allowed the Mayor exceed his spending authority to purchase a truck instead of food for the hungry. You allowed the Acting Police appointment to expire without continuing the appointment. You violated the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation and the Open Public Meetings Act. You allowed the Mayor to falsely proclaim to public the purpose of a Executive Session was for discussion of a litigation matter. When there was no potential lawsuit pending. The Executive Session was about a signed Settlement Agreement. You allowed the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan to expire without review and updating. You allowed the Municipal Public Parking Lot lease to expire without any city re-negotiation of the lease.

    Quoting Councilmember Olson, Edmonds needs to follow “Best Practices”, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”, “No more (Expensive) Consultants”, and “Quit wasting (Taxpayer) money”.

    2021 will be a lot better without you. Merry Christmas.

  4. Adrienne, you are the “silly” one to think we believe anything you say. BTW the “racial incidents” you bring up were never proven, you just decided to call the noose incident racist with ZERO proof, but it cost a construction super his job, just because he was in charge. Well you have been “in charge” by being president of the council and you need to take responsibility.
    Let me tell you the future of Edmonds is, with honest, respectable, well spoken council members and a mayor without an agenda. The “future of Edmonds does not include you Ms Farley-Monillas. I pledge to get involved in a big way when you are up for re-election to make sure we never have to listen to you as a representative of Edmonds. Or you could do the “right” thing and resign today.

  5. It will be very important for all of the folks in Edmonds to get rid of the Bully behind the pulpit, and to bring more rational leadership to Edmonds. Remember, City Council is the Oversight Committee for all of us, and it seems that this council member will continue to fail to accept that the wrong thing was done, the wrong thing was said, and that it rests squarely on her shoulders.

  6. Adrienne Fraley-Monillas! You are a bully. You are incompetent. You are openly racist, advocating for a man solely on the color of his skin. You represent the worst in public leadership and you have completely failed the greatest test of leadership in recent memory.

    Leave. Resign. Had you any honor you would leave and never again be seen in the public sphere. Let Edmonds move forward under competent leadership. Mike Nelson, Luke Distelhorst, Laura Johnson, Susan Paine – the same applies to you. Leave.

    I will do everything in my power to see you replaced and I know that many others will do the same. Resign now and leave with the little grace still allowed to you.

  7. Adrienne has a reputation of being a bully in Edmonds and the health board. Ironic that when the tables are turned, she plays victim.

  8. There is racism in Edmonds.
    There is racism in Washington.

    Racism is very real and is even reflected in white supremacist views creeping into the comments section right here. We should not still have to argue over this reality, but we still have neighbors who have a hard time hearing it and feeling like they are being personally called racists which distracts them from understanding the very real issues to be tackled in themselves and our community.

    Thank you, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, for your service to the City Council. It’s been a bumpy year for the city, the Mayor, and the council for many reasons and hopefully all have learned from mistakes made and will start 2021 in a stronger place.

    1. “White Supremacist Views creeping into the comments section right here”? Christine, your delusion knows no bounds. I’m surprised MEN printed your unfounded accusation.
      Merry Christmas!

      1. Theresa, my thoughts exactly! From two minority women, we know delusional. I have lived in Europe, Cuba and Panama; those who do not understand or appreciate free thought and think that if someone does not agree with them are racist are surely “delusional”, at best.

        1. Grace,
          I did not call anyone racist. In fact, my goal is to help clarify the differences in racists and racism. We must all stop being so worried about being called or considered racist because it is keeping us from addressing the systems of racism all around us.

          Also, I don’t call people names just because they disagree with me. I don’t find it to be effective or persuasive. Has it been working well for you?

        2. Grace speaks her mind and truth. The question is, how your racism detection got so fouled up. Argue for the sake of argument?

    2. Christine,

      You and I have excellent dialigue, and although I don’t always agree with the premise, we seem to find agreement in the end. I really do want passionate council members. I want to believe that Council will learn from the past mistakes that have created more polarity and less productive dialogue. Unfortunately, I am not as optimistic.

      Happy New Year and Merry Christmas to you! I have certainly enjoyed our sometimes heated, but always mindful and respectful debates!

      1. Thank you, George! I think we should have our own web series where we discuss local issues and talk about all the different viewpoints. Meanwhile, for sure I am not usually an optimist and I don’t assume the city will have perfect leadership but I think it will be better than 2020.

        A huge issue I see on the council and the mayor’s office (and across the country) is people who seem to base decisions out of fear of being viewed as or labeled a “racist”. If they could just set aside their white fragility for a moment and re-channel as much energy into being ANTI-racist, versus the energy they spend being afraid of being called “racist” we might actually be able to get some real work done around here!!!

        1. Posting this on behalf of reader Rich Senderoff, as he’s been having trouble commenting:

          There’s been so much that has gone on in Edmonds this year, it’s hard to know where to start. For the record, at one time or another I’ve supported all elected Councilmembers and the Mayor except for Councilmember Olsen. And in my opinion, Ms. Olsen has been the best performing of the newer Councilmembers. When this Council & Mayor were elected, I was thrilled because I thought it would be the most cohesive and productive Council in the 25 years I’ve lived here; but it has been anything but that. And IMHO, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas is the root cause of all the dissension. She spreads misinformation and lies. She does not address issues with objectivity. Rather, for Adrienne it’s all about emotion and pursuing her personal agenda; and to that end, she formed a cabal with the Mayor. Frankly, I don’t know who’s the sidekick or the Mayor! She bullies, shames, threatens, and treats Councilmembers that she believes do not support her agenda with contempt. She doesn’t understand that the Council President is NOT an elected position of power; rather it is a Council appointed position of trust. The trust being that the Council President has the sole role of representing the collective Council priorities when negotiating council meeting agendas with the Mayor (and ensuring all Councilmembers get a fair hearing regarding their individual priorities and concerns). In this way, the Council President is an administrative position; not one of power. Adrienne has abused the role of Council President, setting a horrible example for the newer Councilmembers. My hope for the 2021 Council is that the three Councilmembers (especially the next Council President & pro-tem) that followed her down the rabbit hole, recognize their folly as they try to claw their way out; however difficult that may be.

          Rich

        2. Christine, great point. I am neither fragile or qny other term that they have now. I really don’t try to take q defensive position (much like some Council members are doing, and the Mayor seems to gravitate towards). My position is “Okay, so I screwed up. How do I not do that again”. In other words, did I learn or did i not learn. I think there are huge generational differences in how things are expressed, and with dialog, those differences seemed to get ironed out. It comes down to transparency.

    3. The poster is correct in that the language that is used makes it difficult to have real conversations about the issues that face the BIPOC community. Language like this polarizes a discussion that should be open and on a wide range of issues into a single problem “racism”.

      Unfortunately the posters response has chosen to polarize rather then discuss.

    4. Christine, you are very brave to post your perspectives on here! I’m sorry in advance for any abuse you may experience.
      I don’t believe there is any place on earth that is racist free! We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge, so thank you for having the courage to speak the truth!
      I’ve spent decades confronting the racism within my own heart, as I grew up in Edmonds and didn’t ever have exposure to other races.
      I believe Edmonds is on the path to coming out of denial about this issue, but old habits die hard.
      You are NOT deluded, quite the contrary. You are speaking truth.

  9. I am SHOCKED! SHOCKED to hear that the news media will twist and contort the statements of a politician to support the narrative of the story! Doesn’t happen ever.. Right?

    Putting aside the Council Presidents statement to KING-5, She and 3 other council members chose to move the vote up one week. I am still waiting for a satisfactory answer to the reasons behind that move.

    In coming Council president Susan Paine was part of the group that voted to move the confirmation date from 14 December to 7 December. As of now she has not provided a satisfactory reason as to why she voted how she did.

    For this she must step aside as council president.

  10. I too agree with Rich that councilmember Olson was the most concise and dignified when attempting to question Chief Pruitt’s background history. It is my understanding that each member at the 12/7 meeting had in there possession his domestic violence report and while questioning such was quickly chastized by the Mayor for questioning the HR director’s knowledge of it. She will be a person I will closely follow as we continue to come to a resolution regarding a new chief. Please conduct a search without gender or race as the determining factor. The comments of Edmonds being a racist community are without merit although we must not be naive enough to believe on ocassion it may happen…………but that is the world we are in. Edmonds is a place I am proud to call my home.

  11. In most incidences it is prudent to take a moment when forming a statement that will be thoughtful and informative and above all be truthful. That did not happen with AFM. Plus for a public figure to naively believe that the media will not try and slant a statement to serve it’s viewers is ‘silly’. And dangerous.

    We definitely need total transparency from our Mayor and City Council which we are not getting. They bandy this word around so much these days but rarely is is followed as evidenced in the City of Edmonds governance right now.

  12. I hesitate to write this, but as a Councilmember from 2015 through 2019 who served with current Council president, I’m aware of an incident that occurred in late 2019 voters should know about. In an agenda setting meeting with the mayor, members of his staff, a female Councilmember and the Council assistant, Adrienne directed a vulgarity several times at the female Councilmember. The term used was one of the most offensive vulgarities one woman can direct at another. I won’t state the particular term, but suffice it to say it contained an adjective and a noun. If anyone wishes to know what was said, you may consider asking Adrienne about it. In any event, this is absolutely inappropriate and unacceptable behavior for a Council president and should be considered by Edmonds voters in 2021.

    1. Thank you, Dave for explaining just one example of her bullying tirades off camera as she was responding to my statement that I had four votes to put an issue on the agenda which she refused to add as it was not her platform; this is a common trait of hers and we have many examples just this years and contrary to the the role of a Council President.

      Yes, we should have sanctioned her last year and had all votes except Nelson for her vulgar abusive comments with finger pointing and foot stomping that occurred in front of the Mayor and two staff members. But I took the high road as it was the last Council meeting of the year (12/17). That evening, she also criticized you (“thank you for mansplaining, Mr Teitzel”) after your statement of her inappropriate op ed about you and Tom’s transparent and detailed process over the attorney contract renewals.

      So – after 10 years – maybe her private persona has caught up with her public persona?

      1. And wasn’t AFM responsible for the departure of the HR Director, Mary Ann Hardy? And probably others.

      2. This is disheartening to say the least.

        Mayor Nelson broke the tie vote for Council President in January 2020, giving Fraley-Monillas another term as council president.

        One of the more outrageous things I have witnessed over the years was what happened the night City Council adopted the Code of Ethics. For those interested in more details, please read the following article, and please read the related comments to the article:

        https://myedmondsnews.com/2015/06/bloom-leaves-meeting-after-council-bypasses-discussion-on-code-of-ethics-revisions-approved-original-draft/

        I recommend watching the video of that June 2, 2015 meeting also.

        Elected officials are supposed to be dedicated to the concepts of effective and democratic government.

        I believe this means that elected officials shall:
        1. Uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the state of Washington;
        2. Support the laws of the city of Edmonds and the state of Washington;
        3. Comply with applicable laws regulating conduct. The people of the state of Washington do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them. The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created;
        4. Fulfill all applicable training requirements;
        5. Inform themselves on public issues, listen attentively to public discussions before the body, and focus on the business at hand.
        6. Make decisions based upon the merits and substance of the matter before them, and;
        7. Publicly share substantive information that is relevant to a matter under consideration that they have received from sources outside of the public decision-making process with all other city officials and the public PRIOR to acting on the matter.

  13. White fragility? There you go again. Maybe, just maybe, it could be because taking a position contrary to what certain people have pushed for (no matter the valid reasons) has had them labeled as racist. I stongly suggest you look in the mirror.

      1. Ron Wambolt:

        It was directed to Christine Cossu in response to her 24 Dec post. Not sure why it didn’t show up that way as I hit the “Reply” button. Hope this clears it up.

  14. I am that concerned citizen who was standing on the street corner outside the market handing out the flyer.

    Adrienne told me that in the 10-minute interview with King 5 they only focused on her comment about racism in Edmonds and that her words were taken out of context. I asked her if she called King 5 to get a copy of the full interview to prove her statement. She said she tried but they did not have a copy anymore. She told me that Edmonds is not a racist town, but there is racism.

    I asked her why they moved the vote up for COP by a week. She said with all the controversy and both Pruitt and Lawless being trashed it was the right thing to do. She told me that moving it up a week made no difference to the outcome of the vote. I asked her what about the information that was presented to the council on Mr. Pruitt’s Domestic Violence issues and she said they never received any information and the article in MEN stating this was false.

    I asked her why she voted for Mr. Pruitt and not Mr. Lawless. She told me it was not about race, that Mr. Pruitt gave a good interview, was friendly and well qualified. She also told me that Mr. Lawless was also well qualified and that she liked him and had known him for 11 years but he had some issues that came up. I asked her multiple times, what those issues were and she told me that she could not disclose them. She left me feeling that there was negative info on Mr. Lawless but would not tell me what it was. I told her if that’s the case we should know what those issues are.

    1. Rod, the Mayor said that he pulled Pruitt’s appointment because he didn’t [forgot to] disclose that he had applied to a job in the Lake Stevens PD **10 years** ago. This was the official reason. There certainly seems to be information off-line and off to the side of all this. Other reasons matter, but even if we get to the bottom of it, we might be worse off.

      Like I point out at the top of this thread, pulling the appointment due to the omission of the Lake Stevens application is even worse than pulling it because he had a warrant for domestic violence reasons. The later was known in the background checks. Rescinding the appointment due to an un-disclosed job application is clearly contrived.

      Mayor Nelson (a white man) omitted his own conflicts of interest when he got involved in Edmonds politics. Pruitt (a black man) is held to an unfair standard. If this is the reason our Mayor is putting on record, we should accept it and hold him to it too.

    2. Adrienne continues to allege that King 5 took her words out of context. That would of course be possible if King 5 was a newspaper, but Adrienne’s spoken words cannot be taken out of context. She said what she said.

      Adrienne continues to state that the city council meeting was moved up one week because Pruitt and Lawless were being trashed. I witnessed neither one of them being trashed; negative comments were made about Pruitt because negative issues existed.

      Adrienne said that she preferred Pruitt because he was a smooth talker in his interview. Apparently a candidate’s qualifications are not relevant to her.

    3. My Edmonds News stands by its story that councilmembers received documents regarding Chief Pruitt’s domestic violence incidents prior to the Dec. 8 meeting.

  15. Rod,
    I applaud you for speaking with Adrienne directly and getting her perspective. There are obviously some issues with Mr. Lawless that are not being disclosed. Perhaps it would be hurtful to him if they were exposed?

    On another note, I have to wonder what the motive was for the badmouthing on here regarding what was allegedly said to Diane at the meeting. Was the public notified about this when it happened, or is it just coming out now when emotions are raw? We are only receiving the perspectives of two people. Has anyone contacted Adrienne and the mayor for their response to the allegations? No matter how flat you make a pancake there are always two sides.

    When I read Diane’s post, I was curious about what else has happened that the public wasn’t privy to? What has Diane ever said to Adrienne behind closed doors that hasn’t been exposed? Mud slinging is never productive and gets both parties very dirty.

    It seems to me that the exchange of hurtful words is something that should be resolved by direct confrontation. It appears that Diane hasn’t moved on from this experience, based upon her allegations toward Adrienne. What can the readers on here do when we read about this altercation, other than choose a side? That also isn’t productive and only results in division.

    How can we promote unity and working together toward common goals? We don’t have to agree with each other to work together. Unity is not uniformity.

    1. “There are obviously some issues with Mr. Lawless that are not being disclosed.” According to who? Adrienne? If you believe everything that Adrienne says I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

      1. Right on, Ron! Please Adrienne tell us what big issues there are with lawless. Attacking someone’s character with nothing to back it up makes you the bully

      2. Ron,
        I’m wondering if you possibly have some animosity towards Adrienne because she won the council seat you wanted? Or could it also be that she voted for Diane in 2010 and you lost that seat as well? Your postings about her appear to be rooted in anger?

        Is it possible that you are carrying a huge grudge that could be distorting your perspectives about these issues? For the record, this is a rhetorical question.

        Learning how to “lose” gracefully is a lost art and requires incredible maturity.

        1. Seems like you have now confirmed that you are Adrienne’s agent and that she is the source of your comments. All that I’m stating is facts; nothing but the facts. I am not making up stories because of any resentment.

        2. I sorta agree with Dorian. I think conservative politicians are not capable of keeping up with AFM or Mayor Nelson. Each plays by different rules, and there’s no point in getting bitter. Like I said to EGG folks, Mike Nelson came up with the Edmonds Connector idea while in committee. It was his plan. The community eventually organized against the Connector. Brad Shipley joined the town in a protest, which is why I supported Shipley for mayor. Mike Nelson’s plan was to build a concrete bridge on Bracket’s Landing. Because of the protests Mike came out against his own idea and claimed credit for being against it during the mayoral debates. We must protest in order to get rid of Mike and AFM. The new rule is -> riot like a baby on the street corner, or there is no issue. It’s the only thing that affects change now. Ron, organize a protest, or else make way for a new generation of politicians.

        3. Dorian, your posts are the angriest of any posted, yjey certainly contain dishonest attacks on anyone who calls you out. I smell a rat, and I suspect you, Adrienne, and the very “dishonorable” Mike Nelson are behind your continued posts of trying to slander people, with no facts. You even attack MEN; perhaps you should come clean and stop with this game you are playing.

  16. Dorian, the key point is there is no unity among the 5 that did this. They represented themselves and some political agenda not us. They, by their actions, created the lack of unity. They are not supposed to be political, their job is to run the city. They did this for a political statement and not what was best for our community. They embarrassed our amazing town and made a mockery of a very important process. This was an easy decision and they made it difficult. It’s ironic that the people that caused the lack of unity now want unity and just want to move forward (this always seems to be the case as they want to deflect from what they did and just burry it and move one).

    Everyone knows why they did this and since the article below describes it much better than I can I will post a link to it so everyone who wants to read it can…..

    https://mynorthwest.com/2375415/rantz-police-chief-out-mike-nelson-mayor-racism-edmonds/

    1. Rod- to clarify, the link you provided is not to an “article” by a journalist but an opinion piece from an entertainer with no more weight behind it than most of the comments on this thread. That said, I share your skepticism over the motives behind some of the actions taken by our mayor and council members.

      I believe a lot of language across these comments about people and their “agendas” is meant to somehow indicate sketchy behavior but the whole point of elected officials is to vote for people and their agendas, so I’m unclear on why so many commenters reference that word like it’s scandalous.

      I also disagree with your statement that the job of the council is the “run the city” because if we learned anything from this mess it is that trouble comes when council attempts to undermine the city employees whose actual job it is to “run” the city. Council sets policies (hence they are “politicians” who work in “politics”… all dirty worlds according to most comments here).

      Additionally, I now turn my attention to all of the references to problematic items in Chief Lawless’ record… if this is the case, why is he still employed? On the one hand, it’s not productive or polite to keep repeating such gossip without evidence or support but on the other hand, because our leadership has lost our trust, we are in the unfortunate position of having the community pursue these questions until they are answered. It’s quite a horrid position we have been put in. I hate it. What proper course of action do we have as community members to demand these answers without having to wait until the next city council election?

      1. We elect a politician to “run the city”. The failure of an elected politician to consistently perform the clearly defined duties of Mayor can cause problems:

        “The mayor shall be the chief executive and administrative officer of the city, in charge of all departments and employees, with authority to designate assistants and department heads. The mayor shall see that all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced and that law and order is maintained in the city, and shall have general supervision of the administration of city government and all city interest.” [Ord. 2349 § 2, 1983].

        One reason I think it prudent to periodically review our form of city government is that there may come a time when citizens conclude it is better that a non-politician “run the city”. Perhaps a City Manager trained extensively on how to “run the city”.

        For example, would we have adopted the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) we adopted in April of 2017 if we had a City Manager? Would we have failed to review and update the CEMP at least once every two calendar years as required under WAC 118-30-060 if we had a City Manager? Would we have refused to answer a citizen request for a status update on the review and update of the CEMP during 2020 if we had a City Manager?

        Would we have missed the expiration of the Hearing Examiner Contract two consecutive times if we had a City Manager?

        Would we have made a major mess of the Police Chief appointment process if we had a City Manager?

        I am not saying City Manager is better. I am simply saying it is time to conduct a detailed review of our form of City Government.

        1. Ken,
          As always a great presentation. The problem with a City Manager is that person serves at the pleasure of the City Council. If that could be changed and we could have a permanent professional City Manager, that would be a great solution.
          It also seems to me that the Mayor and Council have forgotten that City governance is not about national issues, their own personal “vision quests”, or whatever it is they are doing now. It is about using revenue to keep the lights on, the water flowing, the streets repaired and the really boring stuff. That is why it is non-partisan ( in theory). The City is at the end of the line for government. But the role of the Mayor is to run the City day to day, and the Council to deal with land use, public works, police and fire. That seems forgotten totally. Granted it isn’t exciting stuff, but it is basic and what they are really there to do. Non partisan stuff.

        2. Thanks Diane. I appreciate your solid points about local government and non-partisan responsibilities. MRSC has an excellent webpage that discusses this. It can be found by searching mrsc.org for “Roles and Responsibilities of Local Government Leaders”.
          I hear you loud and clear about the problems with the City Manager form of government. Nevertheless, I think a detailed review and community discussion will help. I sense confidence in our City government waning, and I think it prudent to engage the public before confidence decreases even further. Review and discussion might result in improved City Government, whether we stay Strong Mayor or change to City Manager. I am not sure of the best path forward, but I think it obvious there are major problems that need to be addressed.

          For example, would we have executed the Code Rewrite by now if we had a City Manager?

          City Council allocated $140,000 in the 2006 budget for a rewrite of the Edmonds Community Development Code (ECDC) which staff projected would be a two -year process.

          The 2009-2010 Budget represented that completion of the Edmonds Community Development Code rewrite will occur in 2009-2010.

          The 2013 Budget provided $75,000 for the beginning of a re-write of the City’s code.

          The 2015 budget included $85,000 for the development code update.

          I will stop the timeline here, so I don’t run over the 300-word limit.

          Over the years I have requested disclosure of public funds spent on the Code Rewrite since 2006 and asked the Mayor to make sure all citizens know what percentage of the Code Rewrite has been completed.

          My requests have not been responded to.

          My Edmonds News reported on December 11, 2020 that a budget amendment hiring a three-year temporary position — at $140,000 annually — to rewrite the city’s code was approved.

        3. Ken, I am not sure the form of government is the current problem. In my opinion this mayor and 4 council members with this type of leadership skills would not represent Edmonds citizens anymore effectively in any form of government. One is part of the solution or part of the problem. One appointed and four elected mayor and council members are the current problem. The solution is a concerted effort by citizens keep voicing concerns and to study candidates and vote them out in my opinion.

        4. Thanks Mike. I am not sure either, just trying to encourage discussion. Following is more food for thought, excerpts from my May 5, 2020 public comments:

          Woodinville was another City Member of the Emergency Services Coordinating Agency (ESCA). Woodinville utilizes a City Manager who oversees the day-to-day operations of the City.

          Recognizing that the ESCA had dissolved December 31,2015, Woodinville immediately focused on rewriting its Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP) to better reflect current resources and practices without the inclusion of ESCA resources.

          In early 2016, Woodinville hired a consultant to conduct a gap analysis of its Emergency Management Program. Based off the conclusions of that analysis, in August of 2016, Woodinville solicited proposals for an emergency management consultant to update the City’s CEMP and provide a roadmap for emergency management.

          On March 21, 2017, the Woodinville City Council received an introduction to the rewritten CEMP where documents were 90% complete. These documents were reviewed by the King County Office of Emergency Management and were submitted to the State of Washington Emergency Management Division (EMD) for review on April 10, 2017.

          Following the point of 90% completion, the Woodinville City Council was tasked with the responsibility of incorporating the CEMP and related plans/documents into the City Code via the Resolution and Ordinance process. This effort resulted in City of Woodinville Ordinance No. 648 effective June 19, 2017, an Ordinance that Edmonds City Council might want to review for guidance.

          As a contrast, Edmonds did adopt an updated CEMP in April of 2017 but then proceeded to adopt highly flawed Ordinance No. 4177 on a Sunday afternoon, March 22, 2020. The highly flawed Ordinance references the ESCA even though it was dissolved years earlier on December 31, 2015. Why does stuff like this happen with Edmonds City Government?

    2. “It’s ironic that the people that caused the lack of unity now want unity […]” <- ain't that the truth.
      I gotta point out that even though we're all complaining about this, it doesn't matter. We aren't the Mayor's or AFM's main constituents anymore. There is a new voting base. Highway 99, the Seattle expats, and anyone who's going to get evicted starting in January as the protections end… that is the new Edmonds. They've managed to organize anyone white collar who wants free college education with anyone no-collar who just wants to smoke and play a PS5 all day. There's a new type of politics and Edmonds "with it's nice water fountain" [as one caller put it] "thinks everything isn't racist" – we're going to be reminded that there is a new order to things. What greater signal do we need than Chief Best being forced out in Seattle or Chief Lawless being forced out in Edmonds? 2021, as the stock market turns and the real estate market turns and retiring becomes harder and things get redistributed to the new constituency, our Mayor will likely be in Olympia, bragging about how he didn't explain to the status-quo why he put Pruitt forward over Lawless. Where's Marco Liias? Where's Strom Peterson? Our mayor is doing bold things, like the Safe Storage Law and the EPD Chief stunt, to get noticed, and I think it's working for him.

  17. Our problems seem to be engulfing us while we argue over the best ideology to try to solve them. The only “winners” in all this end up being the amoral chaos peddlers who profit from all the confusion and fear.

    We are becoming a dumbed down nation of fools who think pro-wrestling is the real deal. Yesterday I listened to a group of young people talking about what they believe to be true off the internet and it literally terrifies me to think where we may be headed.

  18. Right on, Ron! Please Adrienne tell us what big issues there are with lawless. Attacking someone’s character with nothing to back it up makes you the bully

  19. Well…timing is everything. This was posted on Christmas Eve while all were busy getting ready for the holidays and had there focus elsewhere. No doubt that was AFM’s plan.
    Would like to see it reposted after the first of the year, along with the Mayor’s and 3 Councilmembers previous posts. This process needs further review and examination. All we have heard from these players is excuses, falsehoods, blaming, and accusations toward the citizens of Edmonds.
    MEN has a Public Disclosure request pending, so am looking forward to there review of the process also.
    To the Mayor and AFM, what we know of the process at this point stinks of poor decisions based on your political agenda and not what benefits our community.
    Please resign.

  20. It’s hard for me to think our form of government isn’t at least part of the problem because it is pretty obvious that at least half the people don’t feel represented at any given time in Edmonds. That’s why we got what we have now. Slightly over half the people in town wanted a change and they got it. When “your” guy is in it’s all just wonderful but, when he isn’t in, everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

    I don’t think City Manager would work unless we change to an elected out of district system. People want representation by someone they think of as sharing their problems with what the city is or isn’t doing. People also want a government that is interested in making Edmonds livable for all in it’s boundary, not just the chosen few. The last thing the people want is a city government that is trying to solve all the world’s problems. We want people who are just interested in running the city efficiently and providing a space where ALL city citizens feel safe and comfortable.

  21. Grace,

    I have not “attacked” or “slandered” anyone, yet you seem to be extremely angry and accusatory. I find it disheartening that you believe that anyone who speaks out against Mr. Lawless is somehow connected to city government? Believe it or not, there are citizens who can think for themselves and are not placing anyone on a pedestal as some on here have done. The truth will come out and you will eat your words.

    How about you stop trying to bully anyone who shares a perspective that you disagree with.

    1. Dorian, please give us evidence that lawless has done anything wrong. What are your accusations about?

    2. When someone attacks someone like the way that you have attacked Chief Lawless without any facts or evidence to back up your attacks just to get a rise out of people, that is called “trolling.”

      You have repeated your attacks many times against Chief Lawless, but have refused everytime to provide any evidence. It neither helps your case or credibility to make unfounded character attacks, but I suspect that the point is to deflect attention away from calls for the Mayor and Council President to resign, and other aspects that you may not agree with without having to actually address the concerns of the people making those arguments.

      This is an important issue that has an important impact on our society. I would encourage you to make fact based arguments so that they can be taken seriously.

      I would also encourage others to not allow tactics like unfounded attacks to detail or shut down this important source of public information for our community. If the main discussion and exchange of information gets shut down from a purposefully detail, than the trolling wins.

  22. Dorian – I’d love to discuss over coffee. Being face-to-face with others allows us to go past what we may have heard about someone and get to know them on a personal level. I presented qualifications on both individuals. Issues were raised about Chief Pruitt and those were presented. Please present your “truth” so this can be evaluated.

  23. In response to Sam and Michael, I’m just a lowly citizen. The people who have the power to decide who will be the next chief, have spoken.
    My experiences and perspectives deserve to be respected and voiced without going into more detail. We all have the same freedom to speak and no one should be silenced. I shouldn’t be forced to say more than what feels safe for me and my family.
    As I’ve shared before on here, diverse opinions don’t appear to be welcomed and that is concerning.
    The word “racism” is about exclusion and discrimination in terms of diversity. Isn’t that what happens on here if anyone has “issues” with Lawless? My comments are different from every other citizen on here and seem to incite distrust and even hostility.
    I’m shocked at the triggered reactions when anyone dares to say that Mr. Lawless is flawed.

    1. Dorian:

      You are 100% entitled to your opinion as is anyone on this site and I encourage you to keep letting us know how you feel about these issues (it’s healthy to have divergent opinions so we can discuss and learn).

      I think the point you are missing here is that when someone says there are issues with Mr. Lawless, which have been said by you, Adrienne and another person on here, that we would like proof of that. Otherwise it’s just hearsay and a form of name calling and no one believes it. We would hold the same standard for anyone. It’s easy to say there are issues or someone is a racist, etc, etc, without having to prove those statements. One becomes more credible and believable when their accusations or statements are backed up by facts and evidence otherwise it’s just a form of name calling and slander.

      Therefore if you know of any issues with Mr. Lawless please let us know what those are or tell someone you trust and have them tell us so you are not the one delivering this information as I know that can be a tricky situation with announcing these types of things in a public forum.

      1. Thank you, Rod, for your respectful response. There is no one I trust, so we will just let that go for now.
        It is fine if no one believes me, I still have the same freedom to express myself. I’m saddened about the distrust that comes with differing experiences and expressions.
        Thanks again for validating my voice without trying to silence me.

        1. You have stated unspecific and negative comments about Jim Lawless. Several writers have requested that you fully elaborate on your accusations; you repeatedly refuse to do so. A sample of your responses from above: “It is fine if no one believes me, I still have the same freedom to express myself.”

        2. Dorian,
          You certainly have the right to express yourself as long as your comments comply with the MEN guidelines. And I hope you continue to offer your opinions for the sake of robust discussion. One comment: you have suggested others on the board have attacked you for saying Chief Lawless may have flaws. I don’t think that perception is accurate, as no candidate is without flaws and I’d be surprised if any commenter believes otherwise. The concern of folks commenting about this topic is that the selection process has been handled very poorly. A dozen candidates were apparently fully vetted, were considered by the mayor, the field of qualified candidates was narrowed to two, and the mayor apparently decided Chief Pruitt’s flaws were more minor than Chief Lawless’ flaws (even though some pretty damning information about Chief Pruitt was known by the mayor and council prior to the confirmation vote). Yet, the public has not been given any insight into the mayor’s reasoning. That utter lack of transparency has created suspicion and anger, as it is clear based on available information Chief Lawless is better qualified.

    2. Dorian, your observation that people are attacking you when you say anything to indicate Chief Lawless isn’t the best candidate is spot on. It’s a concerted group effort. Many feel the same as you but the loudest yellers (and you’ll notice a pattern and the same names recurring over and over) are the one who dominate this comment section. I’m fairly certain they work in shifts. You are not alone though. Thank you for speaking up.

  24. I would like to start out by thanking you Adrienne Fraley-Monillas for reaching out and communicating your position. There has been a lot of public hurt and anger from your actions, and I am sure you knew that reaching out would have prompted responses from the significant number of citizens who have called on you to resign.

    However, your letter did not address most of the core issues that have many people have raised.

    1) It looks as though you knew important disqualifying information, and pushed up the confirmation based on the pushback that you and the Mayor were receiving. That was both wrong and unethical. What steps should be taken to ensure that this and future Council’s do not make the same mistakes?

    2) It appears that the selection process ignored most of the major qualifications and strengths that would have clearly shown Chief Lawless to be the best candidate. Will there be any effort to include those as part of the next selection process?

    3) There has been a lot of lost trust and public confidence in your ability and the Mayor’s ability to do your jobs. You expressed shock and sadness that you have experienced pushback, but not much of an action plan on how you plan on addressing it. Is there any plan to address the loss in trust? If not, is there any plan to address it in the future?

    Thank you for your time and service

  25. Dorian Leigh, unless Teresa makes an editorial comment here to the effect that she met you personally, looked you in the eye and says she believes you are the real deal, I’m going to just assume that you do not really exist and nothing you say means much of anything. (She knows I exist because I just sent her a signed check).

    I enjoy words, and jokes, and playful banter a lot, but I’m smart enough to know that, in the end, actions tell you all you need to know about anyone and spoken words and claimed virtues really tell you nothing except what a person wants you to think. DJT is the perfect example of that – the master of telling the big lie, with no evidence to back it up. Sound familiar, Dorian (if you really exist)?

    1. I have not looked anyone in the eye lately — other than on Zoom — but I did have an email conversation with Dorian (like I do all new commenters) and she provided an address and other details to confirm her identity. That said, my system is never 100 percent foolproof and the only readers I can completely vouch for are those I have met at past events, had coffee with, seen at City Council or other public meetings, and/or who are regular contributors (with canceled checks). I want to be clear that in saying this, I am not singling out Dorian or any other reader here. I’m just saying it’s a fact that I don’t know for sure that all commenters are really who they say they are.

  26. MyEdmondsNews,
    I’m happy to meet with you and/or FaceTime so you can “look me in the eye.” You have been respectful, kind and supportive so I have no fear in proving to you that I do exist. Please email me if you would like to see my eyes.
    On another note, I’m interested in any feedback about whether or not anyone believes this thread has become an echo chamber. See:https://theconversation.com/the-problem-of-living-inside-echo-chambers-110486
    Lastly, cancelled checks? Do people still pay with writing checks? I haven’t written a check in decades! LOL

    1. Just two notes on recent comments because I think they are important: First, Freedom of Speech is a constitutional right but not on a privately-owned website. I’m the final arbiter of all comments here and I can and will remove comments if they violate our standards. Second, I completely agree that it’s a bad idea to comment in an echo chamber. Facebook, in my opinion, is the worst echo chamber there is. You only listen to your friends and you attack those who aren’t in your bubble of agreement. I don’t want to be Facebook — that’s why I don’t censor controversial comments for the most part and do my best to allow people to speak their minds within our guidelines. What I am disappointed to see, as I have in this thread, is personal attacks — not on the topic at hand — but on someone’s character when someone doesn’t like what another person says. I think I’ve had about enough of that, in fact, and am closing this thread.

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