Taking a swipe at incumbent, Tibbott announces he will seek Edmonds City Council Position 3

Neil Tibbott

Pledging “to return integrity to the council,” former Edmonds City Councilmember Neil Tibbott says he will be running for council Position 3, with the goal of unseating longtime council incumbent Adrienne Fraley-Monillas.

“The need for a change on the city council has never been more apparent than it is right now,” said Tibbott, a one-term councilmember who gave up his seat in 2019 in an unsuccessful run for Edmonds mayor. “The citizens of Edmonds have an opportunity to look into their future and ask themselves if they like what they see.”

Taking aim at Fraley-Monillas, who is seeking her fourth council term, Tibbott said that “it is unfortunate that the incumbent has used her position to divide us at the very time we need to be working together.”

Fraley-Monillas drew fire for her actions during Mayor Mike Nelson’s first search for a new police chief, stating during a KING-TV interview that the city would benefit from a police chief of color… “with all the racism in Edmonds,” a quote she later said was taken out of context. She also was criticized for describing — on a private Facebook page — those who signed a petition calling for the mayor’s recall as “a pack of downtown rich white people.”

In announcing his intent to run for Position 3, Tibbott — who lives in Edmonds’ Seaview neighborhood — reiterated his commitment to what he called his top priorities, including “that elderly can afford to remain in their homes and young parents can afford to raise their families here,” preserving the environment, “thoughtful development of neighborhoods around Highway 99,” public safety and “ensuring our police officers have the tools and training they need, transparent government “that allows residents to have a meaningful voice in decisions that affect them,” and “ensuring inclusion and accessibility for all who wish to live, work or visit here.”

“If we are going to thrive together, we need to work together.” Tibbott said.

“I have visited every neighborhood in Edmonds and talked to thousands of families,” he continued. “I understand their frustration over national and local politics and how politicians have divided us. It is through these conversations that I have come to understand and appreciate what we all share; a passion for this community, the desire to protect what we love, and fix what is broken. That is my commitment to the people of Edmonds.”

Three of the council’s seven seats — Positions 1, 2 and 3 — are up for election this year. Kristiana Johnson, who holds Position 1, has been on the council since 2012. She is being challenged by Alicia Crank. Position 2 is held by Luke Distelhorst, who was appointed to the seat in 2020 after Nelson was elected mayor. His opponents are Will Chen and Janelle Cass.

The deadline to file for office is May 21. The primary election, for positions with three or more candidates, is Aug.3 and the general election for the top two candidates will be Nov. 2.


  1. Neil has been a good person to me even at times I weren’t the best person to him. His attitude and leadership abilities are obvious. This is basically a Chief Lawless verse Chief Pruitt decision, except this time the Edmonds people decide.

        1. I met Neil while having a few beers with my pals when he was running for Mayor. Really liked him, but couldn’t get past one of his actions with Earling while on Council. I now regret not voting for him for mayor. I won’t make the same mistake again.

          Party style politics have no place in city government. Live and learn I guess.

          This country desperately needs independent thinking at all levels of government. Extreme ideological thinking and closed minds from either side will destroy our democracy if we don’t move back to Centrist government and a strong middle class soon. There is a logical reason Biden won the Presidency and Trump and Warren did not. Most people want moderation and sensible solutions to problems, not ideological theory and dogma.

  2. Does snarky constitute being civil? Asking for a friend. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to get new ideas into the council? Aren’t people generally tired of the status quo? A representative for the people and not their political cohorts.

  3. I met Neil not long ago. He was out walking his dog. We talked about dogs. You can tell a lot about people who are kind to dogs. I like Neil.

  4. Neil will bring a breath of fresh air and common sense to the council!!! He is an inclusive/collaborative leader who puts Edmonds first. I know many regret not voting for him for Mayor. Please don’t make this mistake again. We all know who AFM is and what she stands for. This one is an easy decision. Vote Tibbott for Council Pos 3!!!!

  5. I came to know Neil well during our time together on Council, and truly appreciate his running again at this particular time in our city’s history. He has deep integrity, is a collaborator and is a unifier. Frankly, I’m tired of divisiveness and partisan politics permeating our country at all levels of government. Neil is committed to working in a non-partisan way for the good of Edmonds. We need more people like Neil leading our city forward. He has my vote!

  6. This is excellent news. Integrity is really the right word to describe Neil Tibbott. We are going to face a lot of important decisions this year, and Tibbott is someone that Edmonds can trust to make rational, informed, and openly honest choices.

    For many reasons, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas has lost the trust of the people off Edmonds. One of these most telling for me was her recent decision to block expenses for court records searches during the Lawless/Pruitt police chief search. Not because the expenses were not valid, but because they uncovered information that AFM was trying to hide from the public while trying to push up the schedule for review. There are a lot of things that AFM did to lose the trust of the public, but that was just an out in the open pointlessly vindictive move that displayed why she is no longer capable of rationally holding office.

    Neil Tibbott on the other hand has a history of being someone that the people off Edmonds respects and trusts. The friendly councilmenber that I will be welcomed back to represent our city.

    1. HE sounds like a breath of fresh air to me. But questions remain for me as I am a Democrat but I am not and do not want to be a Socialist. So I don’t even know Mr. Tibbotts political leaning but I am guessing Republican. OK so he says or these posts do that he want to do this in a bi-partisan way and he wants to encourage a Centrist climate around here and in the City Council and THE Mayors office. THIS is what I want. WE must unite and be reasonable and talk this out and realize that if we continue down this road soon there will be no Edmonds to fight about anymore. It will be a Seattle…A place where no one wants to live, work or go for entertainment. It will be more and more violent if we do not stop it now. Right now. At this point I am leaning toward Mr Tibbett as it seems he has the attitude I am looking for. BUT he also has to be considerate of a few other things that many here on this group are not quite getting. For one Marijuana is legal. Marijuana is no more infact less harmful than copious amounts of hard liquor being consumed constantly around here. Fine with me that people drink their legal also spirits. I don’t lecture them when they drive drunk or when they get liver disorders etc. Or get angry and hostile. We have all probably been drunk in our lives at some time.. So we know right. I am just saying I will not vote for someone who tries to mess with legal marijuana. I would however consider no edibles unless proscribed by a legitimate DR. Same with oils and CBD.

  7. I will support Neil, I did in the mayoral race, but have a question that I hope he will address. During the mayoral election season, July I believe, Neil changed his mind on the waterfront connector from a supporter to a no vote causing it to die, which was a good thing. What caused the change of heart? Was it in response to the significant opposition to the project or to win votes?

    In any event I do believe that Neil has the qualities we need going forward and is a much better option than the incumbent.

  8. Perhaps another candidate will come forward for position three. I am sincerely asking other readers and writers to factually answer the following questions.

    1 . Was Neil one of the former City Council Members who worked behind other City Council Members on a hidden side project and then was under consideration for sanctioning for doing so? My apologies if he is not one of the three Council Members who were involved in this reference.

    2. In the prior Mayoral election was it brought out that Mr. Tibbot is intolerant to gay marriages? If this is true, would he, like anyone, with such a though process, have inherent bias and influence on decision making on the Edmonds LGBTQ citizens.

    3. Based on others comments above, and on Neil’s history, does Neil vote on popular opinion (what he believes will keep him in office)?

    Perhaps another Edmonds Citizen will run for position 3.

    1. Lori:

      I am unsure about your 1st question but I know for a fact that Neil is not against gay marriage. This was a rumor that was started by the current Mayor Mike Nelson’s campaign.

      In regards to your 3rd question, I think Neil votes the way he truly feels/believes. He is very methodical and researches all the issues and talks to his constituents. He is very collaborative and inclusive.

      Neil is a true non-partisan who bases his decisions on what is best for Edmonds.

      Hope this helps.

    2. I really despise this kind of low attack by Lori Rasmussen. Putting baseless statements in question form is just a sly form of attack based on innuendo.
      If she has facts then she should state her facts. What “hidden side project?”

      Neil Tibbott is a fair minded quality person who should not have to respond to this type of attack. It is like asking when did you stop beating your children? The question assumes you were beating your children. Sadly , we can expect more of this kind of trash talk in the campaign to come.

    3. I am one of the co-founders of Pride of Edmonds, and in 2006 I helped start the LGBTQ+ group at Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation. When Mr. Tibbott was asked about gay marriage at the debate, I contacted him to ask if he wanted to clarify his answer. The question he was asked was, “whether he — as an ordained minister — would perform a marriage ceremony for one of his children if they were gay?” (https://myedmondsnews.com/2019/07/edmonds-mayoral-candidates-face-off-in-well-attended-debate/) I asked him whether he would clarify his position so that I could share it to the Pride of Edmonds community. Here is the relevant part of his response: “My Support for Marriage Equality is unwavering. I believe it provides rights and protections along with the privileges and responsibilities for all people who choose to make that commitment to another person whom they love.” His debate answer was honest: his faith tradition would not recognize any ceremony he performed for a same-sex couple, and so he COULD not legitimately perform a legally recognized ceremony in that ordained capacity. In my UU faith, one of our 7 principles is to affirm and promote “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” I cannot, while trying to live that principle, deny him that same freedom.
      I found him to be honest and willing to face and listen to uncomfortable conversations. He offered to meet with Pride members if they wanted further conversation. I feel he has a clear understanding of the distinctions between personal beliefs and civic duty. That sense of civic duty, and respect for process, rather than personal aggrandizement, are the exact traits so many of us found utterly lacking in the last president.

  9. Mark,

    The recollection is from the previous Mayoral run. The current Mayor is one of the past councilors who was involved in the side project. I do not know if Neil was involved. I am sincerely looking at character and integrity of candidates.

    AFM does need to go. During the Mayoral debates, I had thought Neil said he, personally was anti-gay marriage, but video could be pulled to show facts. To be fair I think Mr. Tibbott said something to the effect of he would not block LGBTQ laws. However, at the time of the last Mayoral election, the PR of Neil’s personal stance on gay marriage may have had a large influence on votes for Nelson.

    1. Please explain what you mean by a “side project”. The inference is it is something inappropriate. If so, what?

      Regards gay marriage, my recollection from the prior Mayoral campaign was that another candidate alleged Tibbott was anti-gay marriage. My recollection is he replied he was not anti-gay marriage but, he, as a lay minister did not perform such services. Neither Council members or Mayors perform marriages of any kind. A non-issue. Just an effort to drive wedges between people. Something the current incumbent does with regularity.

  10. I will search for minutes and video. Odds are many are aware of the situation of which I am referring, and instead of continuing to read my banter, someone else who is highly familiar with the case discussed could state Mr. Tibbot was not one of the Council Members involve in “X.” However, if he was, I understand how no one would want to bring that forward.

    The comment may have been brought up by the same Council member of whom you are referencing. In the mean time, as I said, I will search and bring it forward, provided no one else brings it forth.

    Clarifying these confusions now could be to Mr. Tibbott’s favor. Clearing up potential inaccuracies may preempt mis and dis information from potential PR campaign attacks in ugly attempts to confuse more Edmonds Citizens.

  11. Mark,

    I tend to remember concepts, and when the details are needed, records can be brought forward, such as Brian Potter shared.

    I found the following from the MEN July 18, 2019 Mayoral Debate coverage via Facebook video and online summary article.  
    Neil Tibbott was called out on his participation in a letter to the Department of Ecology that he and others did not support the Council Majority vote on the Critical Areas Ordinance. It was also voiced that he and the others could have been sanctioned for their actions. 
    The following is are excerpts from MEN’s summation of the above portion of the debate. 
    …”This led to another series of rebuttals by the other candidates questioning Nelson’s actions of “going around the council” and approaching outside agencies without pre-knowledge of the rest of council, and Tibbott’s sending a minority report to the State Department of Ecology regarding the Edmonds Marsh…
    Tibbott responded by saying to Johnson that he was sorry about sending the minority report, adding that “it was something we didn’t need to do,” to which Johnson replied, “I hope you learned your lesson.”
    For those who missed the event, the debate was streamed live on Facebook and it is archived here. It was also videotaped separately and will be available soon on the My Neighborhood News Network YouTube channel. We will provide the video link as soon as it is available.
    — Story and photos by Larry Vogel”
    If I, Lori, have inaccurately quoted Men, I ask to be corrected.  If I have misrepresented Neil Tibbott, or taken excerpts out of context, I ask others to put this issue within context.  

  12. As I am sitting here at my desk on the eve of leaving for Costa Rica I just happened to go to MY Edmond’s News and I read a bit of great news. Neil Tibbott is once again running for City Council! Way to go! I am a former member of the Edmonds Community but now reside in the “Mean Streets of Stanwood”. Neil has never been a “quitter”. One door closes, another door opens. The passion that Neil has for life everyday will translate to the way he will conduct the City’s business once he is elected. This I know for sure. So, Edmond’s, get behind Neil and support a decent and honest man to make Edmonds great again. The entire Community deserves him.
    Way to go!!

  13. I am done with party politics and no longer can swallow ‘the lesser of two evils’ pill. This city made a mistake of not electing non-partisan Neil Tibbotts for mayor, and after reading the litany of responses above, it seems many others are now coming to that same conclusion. It seems the last bastion of democracy untinged by party special interest and cronyism resides only at the local level.

    1. Greg, Neil said to me after Mayor Nelson got elected that he was really surprised how much national politics affected the Edmonds mayor race. He had a strategy of keeping the mayor race about Edmonds, and he was questioning how effective focusing on our local issues in his platform was [in retrospect]. Neil Tibbot is an Edmonds candidate. Everyone do what you want with that information.

  14. Both Nelson and Tibbot, as C.Ps, read the tea leaves about overwhelming public rejection of the Connector which was sold to us as a necessity to somehow make life safe along the waterfront (suicides by train were referred to as “pedestrian deaths” by staff loyalists). They both tried to cash in on their votes against the fiasco, to become Mayor, and Nelson won the battle with lots of help from the Democratic party. That’s reality.

    I, like many others in town, failed to realize how totally ultra left leaning Nelson and the faithful four were in their concepts of what is best for our town. I’m totally disgusted and mad about what lockstep, politically correct creatures these people have been and will definitely vote for Tibbot this time around. While I really like Alicia, I will vote for K.J. because Alicia is just a little too supported by the local Democratic party to make me think she will think and vote independently from ultra left leaning idealists. If she can convince me of independence from Mayoral influence in the debate ahead, I might change my mind on that contest.

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