An open email to Edmonds City Councilmembers and Mayor Nelson:
My name is Gary Kindness and I have been a citizen (resident/home owner) of Edmonds for almost 50 years. In the past, both the Edmonds City Council (ECC) and former Edmonds’ mayors have listened to Edmonds citizens and, I believe, acted in their best interests. This appears to have changed.
On June 15, I received a memo from Shane Hope, Edmonds Development Services Director, regarding a special ECC study session to be held on June 24 at 4:30 p.m. to review several housing commission recommendations. The notice stated that the virtual meeting was to be online and open to the public. I assumed that the session would be open to public comment.
Let me be clear, I believe that the housing commission was a joke. It clearly was not an unbiased, independent evaluation of the interest and desires of the citizens of Edmonds. Rather than elect officers to run the commission, it is my understanding that the commission was run by Ms. Hope, a city employee. Apparently she arranged for the multiple surveys that were conducted. Why multiple surveys, all of which covered the same grounds, albeit using different formatting and wording, is perplexing to say the least. My conclusion is that either Ms. Hope and/or at least some of the commissioners did not like the results they received in earlier surveys. The result, multiple surveys all at taxpayer expense. Even so, many of the commission recommendations do not appear to square with the survey results.
Ms. Hope’s memo was strange in a number of areas, two in particular — the 4:30 starting time and the lack of a link to the virtual meeting. Typical bureaucracy — you have the right to attend, but we are going to put roadblocks in your way.
For some unexplained reason, I did not receive an updated memo stating that, because the June 24 session is a study session, it will not be open to public comment. All I can conclude is that the controlling members of the ECC and the mayor have a hidden agenda that, contrary to their frequent positive transparency statements, requires a lack of transparency.
I request that the June 24 study session be cancelled, that the Edmonds Planning and Architectural Boards,as well as, any other pertinent boards, be asked to review the commission recommendations and that the ECC take no further action on the recommendations until the ECC receives reports from these and any other relevant Edmonds boards.