What the City of Edmonds knew before the police chief vote

Edmonds City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas

The Edmonds mayor, human resources director and at least one city councilmember knew about domestic violence issues in police chief candidate Sherman Pruitt’s past before the council voted to confirm him on Dec. 8 as Edmonds’ new police chief.

My Edmonds News continues to investigate the police chief recruitment process, the confirmation and subsequent move by Mayor Mike Nelson to rescind the job offer. We have asked the mayor repeatedly to explain his actions; he has refused to be interviewed. Now, in response to new questions we wanted to ask Nelson, Human Resources Director Jessica Neill-Hoyson has issued a statement.

And until Wednesday, former City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas had also turned down our interview requests.  She finally agreed to talk to reporter Bob Throndsen. He conducted a one-hour phone interview with her. She did not put any limit on what they discussed; all questions were fair game. Their conversation was on the record.

Bob Throndsen:  In recent public statements, you’ve said that you were”‘not aware” of a packet of information sent by Councilmember Vivian Olson to the mayor, the HR Director and all city councilmembers – two days before the Pruitt confirmation vote that highlighted his involvement in two past domestic violence instances; a no-contact order against him, and his then-Marine Corps commander ordering him to domestic violence counseling. Did you read that information?

Adrienne Fraley-Monilas: “I did not read it because we had probably 200 emails sent to us about Chief Pruitt. If this was sent from the city or from HR, I would have given priority to it. Frankly, whether I read it or not, HR knew about the domestic violence; he (Pruitt) disclosed it.”

Throndsen: How do you know that HR knew?

Fraley-Monillas: “He disclosed anything in his past; I was told by the HR director that he disclosed everything in his background.”

Only after our interview with Fraley-Monillas, did the city, for the first time, confirm those statements to My Edmonds News:

“Chief Pruitt disclosed to the city, before he was appointed, the two situations from his past that he also discussed in his 2009 trial testimony,” said Jessica Neill Hoyson, Edmonds Human Resources Director.

Fraley-Monillas: “Before Vivian (Olson) did the records check, we knew it. It was nothing that was hidden.”

Councilmember Olson has told My Edmonds News that she never knew about the domestic violence issues until she searched for Pruitt’s testimony in a federal court case. In that unrelated case, Pruitt admits to two domestic incidents, to a “no-contact” order against him and to being ordered to 16 weeks of domestic counseling classes when he was in the Marine Corps.

Fraley-Monillas: “I actually read through Vivian’s email; again, I was basing my decision on what HR told me…”

Throndsen: You’re saying you read through the packet?

Fraley-Monillas: “I glimpsed through the packet.”

Throndsen: How did you weigh the domestic violence incidents with Pruitt?

Fraley-Monillas: “That was 20 years ago (that this happened) and seeing that there was no conviction; as long as there wasn’t a pattern. I’m very sympathetic to DV victims. This is something that happened 20 years ago and there were no convictions; people do some silly things when they’re young. I thought about it long and hard. He (Pruitt) did very well with the community groups; they liked him.

“It (the DV incidents) gave me pause, but it didn’t tell me it would disqualify him, for something he was not convicted of, not so much. It should have been up-to somebody to inform us what the disqualifying regulations are.”

The city now says it knew about the domestic violence issues, but did not think they disqualified Pruitt:

 “The city administration did not then, and does not now, understand those situations, that testimony, or any other statement that Chief Pruitt made to the city as part of the application process, to constitute an automatically disqualifying admission of domestic violence,” HR Director Neill Hoyson said.

Pruitt was not charged in those incidents. But, in December, My Edmonds News examined the city’s hiring requirements for police officers. Here is what we found:

According to the Edmonds police webpage profile on the national police career search qualifications website, any domestic violence incident, not just a conviction, is an “automatic disqualifier” for any officer seeking a “lateral” move (in this case, chief-to-chief). “Applicants should not apply to our agency (Edmonds police) if they indicate any of the automatic disqualifiers,” the Edmonds webpage notes. Edmonds police say that means “admission of any act of domestic violence as defined by law, committed as an adult.”

Now, according to the city: “At no time did Mr. Pruitt admit to or classify those events from his past as “domestic violence,” Neill Hoyson said. “In neither instance, was Mr. Pruitt charged with domestic violence. In addition, Mr. Pruitt passed a polygraph test which is a standard test that includes all relevant information about the applicant’s past and passed the criminal history background check.”

Again, the Edmonds Police qualifications job website states “any domestic violence incident, not just a conviction, is an ‘automatic disqualifier’ for any officer…”. Neill Hoyson’s letter indicates the city left it up to Mr. Pruitt to decide whether to admit those instances as domestic violence.

The mayor appointed Pruitt to the chief job Dec. 3. The council set a confirmation vote for Dec. 15, then suddenly moved up the vote to Dec. 8. Fraley-Monillas told us she suggested the change.

Throndsen: Why did you do that?

Fraley-Monillas: “It was absolutely not rushing into confirmation; absolutely not. One of the reasons we had pushed that vote up; every step had been taken, every interview done, every group talked to at that point. There was nothing but horrible comments said about the two candidates on email; career destroying comments in social media. I had a discussion with the mayor about why are we waiting another week? There was no reason; either we vote for it or not; confirm or not confirm.

“Mike (Nelson) and I made that decision based; I’m the one that brought it forward, that there was so much stuff going on in social media that was very inappropriate about both of these candidates. Imagine one more week; we had no reason to wait one more week.”

Thronsen: What about the new information brought forward on the 8th?

Fraley-Monillas: “I felt it was being harmful to both of these men to continue; no reasons to hold it, we already knew.“

Councilmember Olson had sent that packet of federal court testimony to HR, the mayor and all councilmembers on Dec. 6. Two days later — on Dec. 8 — Olson, Diane Buckshnis and Kristiana Johnson tried to discuss the Pruitt domestic issues in the council meeting before the confirmation vote.

Their attempt failed; as did their motion to take this information to an executive session, which the council often uses for personnel discussions.

Fraley-Monillas: “I gave them their fourth vote not to go into executive session.”

Throndsen: Why?

Fraley-Monillas: “Three councilmembers (Luke Distelhorst, Laura Johnson, Susan Paine) refused to go into executive session. They did not want to go into executive session. You can’t force them into anything. lt felt like a witch hunt. There’s this belief that they (other council members) could force the mayor into something.”

Pruitt was confirmed on a 4-3 vote. One week later, Mayor Nelson rescinded the offer. His reason: Pruitt had forgotten or neglected to tell HR investigators about a job he had applied for in Lake Stevens. We investigated and discovered the Lake Stevens application had been for a patrol officer job at least 10 years earlier.

We also asked Fraley-Monillas about an interview she did with KING-5 TV news, in which she says on camera “… with all the racism in Edmonds…”. She says that was taken out of context.

Throndsen: How was that taken out of context?

Fraley-Monillas:  “People think I actually said everybody in Edmonds discriminates.”

Throndsen: You did say “with all the racism in Edmonds…”

Fraley-Monillas:  “That was really; he asked me about what the benefit would be of hiring an African-American chief. He (Pruitt) did very well with citizen groups; he’s very friendly. Edmonds has had a lot of problems with racism.

“People ran with it instead of giving me the benefit of the doubt; that wasn’t very fair to me; I’ve lived in Edmonds for 35 years plus. Not everybody in Edmonds is a racist;  a very small percentage, maybe 1 to 2% are racist. I have received some very nasty comments that are threatening because I support Black Lives Matter.”

During a discussion about institutional bias, we also asked Fraley-Monillas about what she recently wrote on a Facebook group page — something that was mentioned during the Jan. 5 city council meeting’s public comment period. Her Facebook post was among dozens criticizing a group that has been circulating a petition asking Mayor Nelson to resign. In her post, she referred to some of petition signers as “that pack of downtown rich white people.”

Throndsen: How do you explain what you wrote on this Edmonds Facebook page?

Fraley-Monillas: “I don’t believe that saying somebody is a white person is considered institutional racism or bias; but rich, perhaps.”

Throndsen: A “pack of downtown rich white people”?

Fraley-Monillas: “It’s a private Edmonds website, ‘Indivisible Edmonds’; a very private site.”

Our investigation continues. My Edmonds News has filed a public records request with the City of Edmonds for all documents, emails, texts and materials related to the police chief recruiting, nomination and confirmation. Under state open records laws, the city has said it is working on our filing.

— By Bob Throndsen

 

 

60 Replies to “What the City of Edmonds knew before the police chief vote”

  1. Also, I feel like Alicia Crank and the panel of other Black citizens were kept in the dark about what was known. They put up a great video on her facebook page explaining that they were told one cheif was as good as the other on paper. It feels like their name and color was used to ratify the Mayor’s activism. Even with more truth here, it still looks like Pruitt never misrepresented himself. He’s a victim of this too. Who would blame him for looking for a good job, Lake Steven’s or here?

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    1. That was a great in depth article by Mr Throndson. Council member Farley-Monillas comes across as a typical politician who knows better than the people she represents. This was big decision that should have included some public input and not rushed through.

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  2. In reading this interview I thought I was reading an interview with Donald Trump: takes no responsibility, she is the victim, and it is everyone else’s fault. What negative comments were stated about the two candidates that forced her to move the vote up a week? Generalizations just like we see from Trump. And it must be okay to say, “a pack of downtown rich white people” in private, and say other things in public, just like Trump.

    I also understanding the Ms. Fraley-Monillas would not reimbursee Ms. Olsen for the expense of obtaining the federal court information on the domestic abuse issues. The council president approves expense reimbursements for council members. Ms. Olsen did a great service for our city and the city should reimburse her. I anticipate that Council President Payne would now approve this expense so that Ms. Olsen would be made whole.

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    1. It’s interesting that you would bring up this sounding like Trump. Your friend Dave Tietzel used this same line a few weeks ago. Do you take turns coming on here with your ‘concerns’? It is on a schedule? I’ve got to hand it to you guys. You’re very organized.
      But your equivalency is false. What you’re intentionally missing is that the rich white crowd in Edmonds is the loudest and drowns out the rest of us. That’s what she is staying, and it’s not untrue. You’ve been in power here forever, and are trying to cling to it – and don’t care who you ruin to meet that end.
      So. As you all like to say: choose kindness. Or is that only when it applies to hurting rich white people’s feelings?

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      1. It’s not about the “rich white people.” Take a look at the narcissistic council and how many good people they have run out of the city: Mary Ann Hardie, Carrie Hyte, Al Compaan, the recent communications director.

        AFM, others on the council and Nelson have shown no kindness whatsoever. They have exerted power to meet their own agendas and don’t care who they ruin to get what they want. Stop being a hypocrite, Sam.

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        1. My wife and sold our retirement house in Edmonds becuase of the new mayor and the new city council.
          Who knows how many others have left, or are thinking of leaving.
          It is so sad to see the changes in Edmonds.
          Since congratulations to MEN for doing such a great job covering this story.
          Pulitzer Prize work.
          I may leave in Redmond now but my heart is still in Edmonds.

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      2. Equivalency is a loaded word. Yes, there is equivalent behavior in groups that have either: 1. Extreme views or misleading statements that over generalize the population. 2. Similar tactics that are employed to create polarization and drown out dialogue. So, is it more important that your voice be heard, or more important that all voices be heard? I am not one of those rich white people, nor am I a person of color. I am a resident of Edmonds who does not believe political speech (“Should we increase the the Snohomish Tax by .1% to focus on affordable housing) is one thing. Social speech (Are white people bad?) is just that, and reflects on the motives and misunderstandings in the community. Yes, the polarizing tactics used by both Council and elected officials is the oatmeal of the day. It is unfortunate that it has become a staple in the diet of the elected officials throughout this Country, both sides of the fence. AFM has been on council for 12 years. She has been in power for quite a while. She should know better, but is following the crowd by trying to yell the loudest to be heard. There is very little listening. The point of this editorial is to uncover what COuncil and the Mayor knew. What is troubling is that the HR Director AND the Mayor were aware of the issues, but no one INTERNALLY thought to review the qualifications that currently frame our police hiring practices. The will of the people, and the policy of the City departments are intertwined. If we want to reduce the requirements, then do so. If we want elected officials who are unwilling or unable (I am not sure which applies here) to review their own policies, then that is not political speech.

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      3. Sorry, long comment.

        Going back to the policy – that is where systemic bias exists. It is not in the selection of one person. It is in the underlying policies that make it difficult for marginalized groups to be set on a level playing field. Personal preference, unfortunately, comes into play in every decision, policy attempts to eliminate that. (Take Microsoft’s policy of requiring POC’s or disadvantaged interview requirements).

        I do not want to drown out any voice, and I am on the side that the Council, AFM, the Mayor, and Staff failed miserably at the process. They were not transparent (mentioned and detailed by the Diversity Committee), they were inflammatory in their speech without forethought (AFM’s comments, albeit may have been taken out of context, but in public office, one has to be aware of this), they were not diligent in their vetting (either laziness, inability, or social agenda, or a combination), and they did for whatever reason rush this process through. (By AFM’s own words, they moved it up a week during an uproar from Citizens). Hell, they have been studying Highway 99 for god knows how long, and an additional week causes an issue?

        Sam, your voice is important to me. I want to unpack my beliefs and hear yours. I would ask the same. How am I drowning you and others out? How is a citizenry drowning other groups out? How is the City drowning other groups out? It is just not true, and does resemble the administration that currently resides in the White House. Polarization is polarization, and it is not dialogue or solution.

        Doing the wrong things for the right reasons is not good practice.

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        1. Finally, the Mayor and the Council did Mr. Pruitt a huge disservice. One should have foreseen the comments coming, and the facts of the hire getting out. I have three questions posed to Council –

          1. What did it cost to undertake the search, and are we going to use the same process?
          2. What will it cost, in both staff time and consulting time to do a new search?
          3. Where is that coming from in the budget, and what projects/committees/efforts/discretionary spending is going to take the hit on the transfer for a new search?

          I hear the underlying questions of “why” should’nt we do a new search and those questions of why should we do a new search. For me, it comes down to a simple fact that we have a candidate that meets all qualifications. The Mayor and Staff have proven that they probably cannot be trusted with the second search. The City does not have never ending funding to keep dropping into failed efforts.

          That’s enough for this morning, too much coffee, too much emotion about the cowardly acts that took place last night and the lack of inaction by the current administration, and too much time talking about who is the loudest versus how we get in a room and figure out this #*&$show.

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      4. Sam,

        AMEN!! I couldn’t have said it better myself. My brother is one of those “downtown rich white people,” and you’ve described him to a “T.”

        Having a large bank account can distort someone’s perspective. The love of money really is the root of all evil.

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  3. Adrianne’s responses are truly unconscionable. “People do some silly things when they’re young.” We aren’t talking about a 20 year old getting drunk or a teenager committing petty theft here. We’re talking about domestic violence. There is nothing “silly” about that. This situation in some way is analogous to the Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination/confirmation to the Supreme Court. Like Judge Kavanaugh, Chief Pruitt has no convictions on his record. But allegations and sworn testimonies against both are simply inconsistent with a person seeking a position that requires the highest level of public trust. Like the nomination/confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh, Adrianne bullied the confirmation through like a seasoned Mitch McConnell.

    Whether or not Adrianne, the Mayor, or the confirming council members knew about EPD’s policy of automatic disqualifiers is irrelevant. The fact that at least the Mayor and Adrianne did not view the DV history as a disqualifying factor shows that they do not have the judgment necessary to uphold the public trust they’ve been given.

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    1. “But allegations and sworn testimonies against both are simply inconsistent with a person seeking a position that requires the highest level of public trust.” …

      Many declarative statements were made which I don’t feel you have established or explained well at all. I definitely don’t want to live in society where allegations become conclusive and disqualifying, absent additional specific evidence for determination.

      Last, instead of a rote conclusion on ‘disqualifying judgements’, you might have articulated the argument why ‘accusations (or perhaps the degree they were adjudicated) should retain impact’ -contrary to long-established understandings of fairness.

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      1. Avery, I agree. Unfortunately, these went beyond allegations (they were testimony by the candidate in Federal Court), and a Military order to go through training (again, testimony by the candidate). My knowledge of military justice is limited, but someone had to order it, and someone had to approve the order.

        My focus is not on the candidate. My focus is on the disservice to the community and the candidate that was committed by our leadership.

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  4. Basically, what AFM is saying is that it’s OK to hire someone who has a DV record in their background as COP over someone who has served the community for 25 years and has no such instances on his record. This goes to a larger point of how does that decision-making process make any sense and if it makes sense to them, what other important decisions are being made with this same logic??

    Also, AFM, you’re either a racist or you are not. You cannot have selective racism against certain classes or colors of people. A person who proclaims to King 5 TV “with all the racism in Edmonds” and then makes another comment like “a pack of downtown rich white people”, is only really speaking of themselves and their own racism they have. Racism is wrong in all aspects of all things, whether it’s against a person’s color, religion, sexual orientation, financial situation or political ideology. One should be judged by their character and character alone and it’s obvious that you are lacking in that area by the comments you have made.

    My advice to you, the Mayor, Luke Distelhorst, Laura Johnson and Susan Paine is one, do the right thing so we can move on from this, have stability in the police dept and save the city $$$ and put forth a vote and confirm Jim Lawless as COP. Two, do not run for re-election when your term expires. The 5 of you I am sure have good intentions, but you have shown us that you do not know how to run a city and make important decisions that affect the citizens of Edmonds. We also know what you think of the people that you represent, that possibly voted for you!!!

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  5. One more comment, I have sent my request in to be a member of indivisible Edmonds. I wonder what will happen, since I believe we are one community, and have some views on implicit bias and systemic bias, if they let me join.

    Perhaps they are ageist and racist in that a 49 year old white male who believes that an INdivisible Edmonds is an extremely important part of the future of our community. I will keep everyone posted.

    If they don’t let me in, maybe I should request a FOIA release on any social pages, texts, or other private group activity that AFM has carried out on City property (i.e. City owned or financed machines, phones, etc) that way we will see what Indivisible Edmonds really means and what we should do to make sure their “private” voices are heard, and we are not drowning out the perspectives that need to be heard.

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    1. No answer on the request to join. Just as an FYI, the NCN (National Campaigns Network) is an organization that promotes the local development of Indivisible groups across the Country. Indivisible Edmonds, I suspect, is a member of the NCN.

      Still waiting on the invite. Heather Damron and AFM, you can find me on Facebook, I am looking forward to assisting where I can.

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  6. it appears to me that the Mayor and the HR Director and Adrian conspired to keep very relevant information from selected City Council members and the citizens of Edmonds. This is starting to follow a pattern of things happening followed by the Mayor declining to comment. We need a clear explanation from the Mayor of what happened.

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    1. I am not sure if it was a conspiracy or ineptitude. Both are scary. Much like the current federal administration, when one is in over their head, puts a social agenda above the rule of law, and creates an environment that is detrimental to all people as a whole, then “Houston, we have a problem”.

      Let me reiterate that AFM has done good things on the Council (I was a strong supporter of hers behind the issue when we who lived east of the bowl were labeled “those crazies on Highway 99”) and I do not fault her for that. I do not know her personally, and choose to stay away from personal attacks.

      I met Mayor Nelson in person after his election, and found him to be passionate, respectful and mindful with both of us knowing that we were on opposite sides of the progressive political spectrum. (Yes, that is possible). I think being a Mayor of a City with an active and vocal population is a job that does not pay enough, and takes some personal conviction and thick skin.

      What I question is their inability, approach, and lack of transparency. Everything that happens in the dark comes out in the light of day. The Avett Brothers have a great song that puts it into context –

      The weight of lies will bring you down
      And follow you to every town ’cause
      Nothing happens here that doesn’t happen there
      So, when you run make sure you run
      To something and not away from ’cause
      Lies don’t need an aeroplane to chase you anywhere

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  7. Interesting aside here. AFM as Council President assigned each council person one of the seven housing districts created in the current housing study. She gave herself the waterfront/downtown area. She must like all us rich old white guys who live downtown and have run things forever. I plead guilty to old, white and live downtown; rich – not so much.

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  8. Words matter. A Witch Hunt is a search for something that does not exist and you find it anyway. A background Investigation is an invited search for something hidden or unrevealed that actually does exist.

    The process and system short-circuited. We need to ensure that we have an objective process moving forward that identifies the best-fit and best-qualified individuals moving forward. No one will meet perfection, but some will rise to the top as best-fit AND best-qualified.

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  9. “That was 20 years ago (that this happened) and seeing that there was no conviction; as long as there wasn’t a pattern. I’m very sympathetic to DV victims. This is something that happened 20 years ago and there were no convictions; people do some silly things when they’re young. I thought about it long and hard. He (Pruitt) did very well with the community groups; they liked him.”

    This quote is worse the “with all the racism in Edmonds”.

    Let’s make it clear….
    Domestic Violence is not silly ever.
    Domestic Violence is not excusable at any age.
    Domestic Violence is absolutely a disqualifier for any position of trust in a relationship or when working in a position of power or with vulnerable people.

    When we make excuses, we tell perpetrators of violence… men and women… we give implicit permission and room for violence (threats and physical) and then make victims feel guilty for not ‘forgiving’ those who assaulted them.

    We should teach our kids… there is no excuse for domestic violence, and there are lifelong consequences for their actions. Why should the perpetrator be spared? There certainly are lifelong consequences for the victims. If everyone knew there are lifelong consequences for their actions… perhaps they would think twice before committing violence with words or actions.

    More importantly this lesson would empower victims to seek true justice knowing their communities support them, and more of perpetrators would be brought the convictions they deserve… rather than watching their cases abandoned and dismissed due to victims feeling overwhelmed and guilty about not being more ‘forgiving’.

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    1. Thank you Jamie – well said! You are right and DV is NOT SILLY nor is it excusable at any age!
      In the late 70’s, I volunteered as a self-defense instructor for the Portlland Police Department. Because of my size and stature, I had to play the attacker and I can assure you – DV is real and prevalent. The hundreds of stories I heard and the aggression and anger these women unleashed when they were defending themselves was saddening as along with physical abuse – there is the emotional and verbal. So, again – thanks for highlighting this sensitive but very serious issue.

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  10. Once again, the former Council President misrepresents, lies, and abuses the role of Council President. Councilmember Fraley-Monillas simply doesn’t (and probably never will) understand 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 issues and concerns).

    Referring to Councilmember Olson’s email containing a packet of information Ms. Fraley-Monillas states, “I did not read it because we had probably 200 emails sent to us about Chief Pruitt. If this was sent from the city or from HR, I would have given priority to it.” Really?- an email from a fellow Councilmember containing an attachment including important information doesn’t warrant her priority, let alone her attention?

    Well, it’s no secret to Council observers that Ms. Fraley-Monillas doesn’t give respect or “the time of day” to those Councilmembers she believes do not support her agenda in full. Simply, she repeatedly failed in the role entrusted to her and, apparently, continues to do so.

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  11. Coming from a family with 9 children, I imagine my definition of rich is different than the Council member. As to the names on the recall/resign petition I believe you will find some of the same names on the list of citizens who saved our Chamber of Commerce, gave their time, treasure and talent to creating, fund raising and contributed to our Edmonds Veterans Plaza, have their names on the donor wall of ECA, give generously to Edmonds Food Bank, support scholarship at Edmonds College, creation of our new Community Center, and help fund our Historical preservation. How disingenuous!

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  12. “the Council President is NOT an elected position of power; rather it is a Council appointed position of trust.” I want to say that one more time, thank you Rich.
    At a time when so many of the Edmonds people are reaching out and asking for clarifications and an explanation of decisions being made by the city government that will affect them greatly, to say “I skimmed through it and I did not read the emails” shows how little you care to not just hear what the people that appointed you are asking of you but to show any care to respond.

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  13. Jamie Reece – your comments were excellent. So well said. As someone who has researched, advocated for survivors , enforced domestic violence laws, and assisted with updating those DV laws during my law enforcement and academic career, I find Fraley- Monillas comments to be very concerning. They are just wrong- she is uninformed..

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  14. The Health Department puts out reports and there the last one in 2018 talks about youth violence including how to work with Domestic Violence Services to teach healthy dating and dating violence workshops in school. The Health department sees domestic violence as a problem in our county. Edmonds just appointed Adrianne to the health board again. I wonder what they think of her comments that minimize domestic violence. Maybe she can convicne the health department that there isn’t a need for these programs in school because ‘people do silly things when they are young”

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    1. Sam, excellent point. I hope my comment stands. Adrianne is making apologies for DV. I’ve been trying to point it out, but it doesn’t seem to be well taken… Chief Lawless was too perfect. Because he doesn’t have a history of [fill in blank], the new political agenda see’s him as unrelatable. Pruitt’s Domestic Violence in his past is a “Lived Experience” that in a weird way is seen as a qualifying factor which is seen as an aspect that would improve how police operate. Pruitt isn’t hiding his past, and we appreciate redemption. It doesn’t make him the right appointment either. Look at how many times the history of Mayor Ed Murray was overlooked. The ballot box wasn’t a means to get rid of Murray. I don’t think AFM will be voted out. There’s an extreme double-standard.

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  15. Sadly this is obvious the Mayor intends to stay silent. I voted for a transparent public official, One of Character, One that would admit right and wrong and instill Trust. Your time is up and I will not vote for a public official that I can’t Trust.

    Respectively, Barry Johnson

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  16. Yes, well said. Now I hope that the mayor and some on the city council will get “woke” and realize that they do not need to have some kind of guilt because they are white, or feel they are not worthy because they are white. Total nonsense. Do what is best for Edmonds, and not try to get us so much unwanted harmful publicity.

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  17. Thank you My Edmonds News for your continued investigation of this issue and overall excellent reporting. I continue to read that Mayor Nelson refuses to be interviewed. I decided to look back at the dialog that took place on the July 17th 2019 mayoral candidate debate moderated by MEN publisher Teresa Wippel. When then candidate Mike Nelson was asked by a fellow candidate “why when Nelson was council president he was so hard to reach and didn’t return calls or respond to e-mails. Nelson expressed surprise saying that his contact information is on the city website and that he always has and will continue to make himself available.”
    Mayor Nelson, please do as you said during your campaign and make yourself available by answering the questions your constituents are asking.

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  18. I appreciate many of these comments. AFM calling a domestic violence incident as “silly” behavior is so offensive. The idea that just because there were not charges filed or convictions somehow reduces the problem of the behavior is just ridiculous. Many cases of dv were never filed on, especially 20 years ago. Women were told to be quiet, be nicer, he didn’t mean it, he promises not to do it again. Many DV perpetrators are charming, well-spoken, well respected members in the community and so very different at home. The fact that the Council and the Mayor chose to excuse this behavior and not consider it when hiring someone who would be in a position to deal with victims really shows their ineptitude, if not something worse.
    AFM referring to people she represents as a “pack of rich white people” is also offensive, as is her flippant attitude towards actually reading her emails in preparation for an important vote,and her dismissive response to the concerns of residents in Edmonds. All made worse by her lame excuses, especially the one where we should disregard her rude description of residents because they were on a private page of which we should have never been aware. Thoroughly disgusted.

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    1. The part of this episode that gets me most upset is the way AFM moved the vote up a week to try to rush it through. That is the type of underhanded behavior we expect from legislatures in Olympia and WA DC but not here. It’s entirely possible that one more week of public comment and attention would have been enough to change the vote of the other councilmembers.

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  19. Domestic violence speaks to a dangerous point of view as well as an impaired ego. Too many cops are involved in DV. If we want to reform policing we should have someone beyond reproach in leadership.
    Nelson needs to explain what happened.

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    1. So kind of you to write out Domestic Violence from the start. It is then so much easier to find out what DV stands for. Can you imagine immigrants learning English and having to learn abbreviations and idioms also?

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  20. I just wanted to applaud this incredibly through and we’ll written article written by Bob Throndsen. Whatever side of an issue the readers may find themselves on, the articles from My Edmonds News have been very fair and informative. It is a tremendous asset in helping our city be more informed and engaged.

    The dedication to dive deep into the issues is a large reason why I supported My Edmonds News in 2020, and will do so again in 2021.

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  21. Just as an FYI, I am still waiting on AFM’s invitation to Indivisible Edmonds. I am not holding my breath, but am doing the right thing by looking at progressive policies that can shift the tide in current Edmonds vitriolic politics.

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  22. Let us put this issue behind us for a few months. Let us focus on many Covid-19 VACCINE locations well prepared and staffed.

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  23. From what I understand, the vote was moved up because of the inflammatory climate in the city, due to all the emails the council was receiving. The goal was to expedite the process because bullying citizens were getting out of hand.
    If the emails were anything like some of the comments on MEN, I completely understand!

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  24. Wow, Adrienne, you gave an interview to MEN without any limits on what is talked about, all questions were fair game and it was on the record!! You are a BRAVE and COURAGEOUS woman!
    Thank you so much for your transparency and willingness to respond, especially on MEN where the majority of comments are ripping you to shreds! You deserve to be applauded!!
    It is clear to me after growing up in Edmonds as a white person in a white neighborhood and attending all white schools that your voice is going to be twisted and perverted by the echo chamber. The folks in Edmonds are extremely entrenched in a particular way of thinking and will resist anyone who dares to confront the ignorance.
    You dared to expose that there is racism in Edmonds? Does anyone really believe there is a city in the US that is void of racism? Head in the sand much? The fact that citizens took offense to that dirty little secret being exposed speaks volumes! You challenged their DENIAL and they are furious!
    Nothing changes until the truth is spoken. As Dr. Phil says, “we can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.”
    In terms of the word twisting on here about your use of the word, “silly,” it didn’t appear to me that you were referring to domestic violence. In fact you said, “I am sympathetic to DV victims.”
    I’m disgusted by the majority of the comments on here as they condemned you for lack of transparency and then when you became transparent, they attacked your word choices. It appears that you have been placed in a no win situation and for that I sincerely apologize!
    Thanks again, for doing this informative interview, it is deeply appreciated by many!

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    1. Dorian. While you have said some very enlightening things on this site I am unclear what you are saying in regards to your above comments. You have condemned people on this site for name calling etc and rightfully you should. So just to be clear…..Are you saying that Adrienne’s comments about the pack of downtown rich white people is appropriate and warranted? These are some of the people that voted for her. This type of language is divisive and is also a form of racism. Are you saying that you support what Adrienne said?

      It’s your right to say and think as you believe. We all have that right in a democracy. But when you call others out for similar comments but not Adrienne then to me, I have to respectfully say that you are contradicting yourself unless I am missing something and maybe I am :).

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        1. Sam,

          You seem to like the word “hypocrites?” See: “Hypocrisy is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another.”

          How ironic that you are “name calling” people whom you are accusing of “name calling.”

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        2. Rod and Sam, your comments are spot on. I agree with you completely, no contradiction from either of you.

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        3. Dorian: I never accused anybody of “name calling”. Maybe you should get your information correctly attributed to the right comment. And yes, many people on here are hypocrites including you. Read your own definition, dorian.

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    2. There’s a lot to agree with here. We all gotta agree that Councilwoman Adrienne is not afraid of saying how she really feels. We all also gotta admit that Mayor Nelson has conviction to act according to his beliefs. If explaining yourself in an interview is BRAVE and COURAGEOUS, then what’s the opposite of brave or courageous? Our mayor hasn’t explained himself and doesn’t feel like he has to.

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  25. Rod,
    I don’t see where I specified “name calling” in my comment you are referencing? Perhaps you’re referencing previous comments?
    In terms of your accusations regarding Adrienne’s alleged comments on a private website, I haven’t seen the evidence. I did see a photo on this article and she didn’t deny saying them, so I will comment.
    I’m careful not to provide credence to any hearsay, or private comments made off the record without appropriate context.
    Please see: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/edmonds-wa/#demographics and you will understand that defining the demographics of downtown Edmonds in that manner, is factual NOT racist.
    If you are offended by the word, “pack” which generally refers to a group of wild animals and/or wolves, I don’t see that as a racist term. Instead, I see it as a biblical reference to “wolves in sheep’s clothing.” None of us truly know why we all choose particular words and we can’t assign our own meanings to them based upon whether or not we like someone.
    Please remember that Adrienne is also a citizen and is as entitled to her own perspectives, experiences and free speech as the rest of us. Being a member of the council does NOT remove her freedom to speak freely, especially in private.
    Why are white people so offended when they are referred to as “white?” That term is used in “data.usa.”
    How many black people live in downtown? Why or why not? Has anyone ever wanted to know?
    Could it be that citizen Adrienne has had her own personal experiences with racism in Edmonds and is therefore entitled to have her own opinions? Could it be that she has had horrifying experiences dealing with that demographic?

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  26. What’s that noise? Oh, it’s just the echo chamber reverberating again!
    The name calling continues and is redundant as well as ineffective. It seems that people who lack the intelligent and articulate ability to communicate, always resort to name calling.
    The irony continues………
    I do appreciate the people on here who are capable of making legitimate arguments and possess vocabularies that include more than one word.
    I also appreciate Rod’s compliment about my comments on here which speaks to his maturity and ability to keep the focus away from personal attacks.
    Sam, I’m still waiting for your reasoning behind calling people on here you disagree with, “hypocrites.”

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    1. Dorian… I explained to you the comment about hypocrites, if it wasn’t what you wanted , too bad. We are all waiting for something……an apology from AFM and the mayor, a statement from the mayor about the police chief (that he said last week he was going to make), real comments other than your redundant ones.

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    2. Dorian,

      I do not believe it is an echo chamber, the Mayor promised to address the situation. He has not as of yet. AFM deferred, and we have heard little from the other Council members who voted to affirm. You have to hear a voice to create an echo.

      Transparency and Honesty. Two simple things in theory.

      Your comments are eloquent and well-stated, I just wish Council and the Mayor would follow suit.

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