Edmonds City Council July 14 candidate debate: What you need to know

Candidates, clockwise from upper left: Alicia Crank, Pos. 1; Kristiana Johnson, Pos. 1; Janelle Cass, Pos. 2; Lora Petso, Pos. 2; Luke Distelhorst, Pos. 2 and Will Chen, Pos. 2. No photo available for Brian Hartman, Pos. 1)

Here are details about the Edmonds City Council primary election debate planned for Wednesday, July 14, at the Edmonds Center for the Arts:

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., with the debate beginning at 6 p.m. at the Edmonds Center for the Arts, located at 410 4th Ave. N., downtown Edmonds. Immediately following the debate, an informal meet-and-greet event — where primary election candidates can meet one-on-one with voters — will be held in the ECA lobby.

According to ECA policy, masks are not required for fully vaccinated people attending the event, but are strongly encouraged. The ECA will also have the bar and concessions open, and those refreshments can be taken into the auditorium.

For those who want to watch from home, we will also be live-streaming the debate via YouTube. Please check My Edmonds News shortly before the debate begins to find the link to that live-streamed broadcast.

Candidates will appear in the order of council positions on the primary ballot — Position 1 candidates followed by those running for Position 2. To be fair to all candidates, we will sequester those running for Position 2 so they can’t hear the questions in advance.

Both Positions 1 and 2 have three or more candidates on the primary ballot. The top two vote-getters will advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

This debate will be similar in format to the Edmonds Mayoral Debate that My Edmonds News sponsored in 2019. Each candidate will get a one-minute opening statement. They will then take turns answering a series of questions developed by debate moderator and My Edmonds News Publisher Teresa Wippel, based on suggestions from readers and from the following Edmonds civic organizations that are collaborating with us: the Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds (ACE), the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce, the Edmonds Civic Roundtable and the Edmonds Neighborhood Action Coalition (ENAC). The candidates will also get a one-minute closing statement.

Candidates who have confirmed so far for the July 14 debate are:

Position 1: Alicia Crank and Kristiana Johnson. Candidate Brian Hartman has not yet replied.

Position 2: Janelle Cass, Will Chen, Luke Distelhorst and Lora Petso

And thanks to our Election 2021 event sponsors: Edmonds College, James Russell, PLLC certified public accountants and business advisors, and Office Tech.

  1. I am excited to see this debate tonight. We have a lot of great candidates, and this has a lot of potential to be a very fruitful debate.

    I certainly have had a lot of voters remorse over Mayor Nelson. I thought that he would really be a champion for thoughtful and open consideration of the issues. However, I was unfortunately incredibly wrong on my assumptions, and all of Edmonds has suffered pretty badly from the Mayor’s toxic workplace and intransigence of the issues.

    I certainly was left wondering how I got my assumption of his performance so wrong and how to do better next time. I hope to learn more tonight that will help prevent a repeat of the Mayor Nelson’s problem of a lack of civil discourse and open consideration that we have now.

    Here is what I am hoping to learn more about tonight:

    “What processes will each of the candidates take to critically think through the issues without unquestioningly following a party line?”

    1. Did you attend any of the mayoral debates prior to the election in which Mike Nelson was elected? Just wondering. And also could you provide direct facts about the “toxic workplace”? I have never been to the workplace for the mayor & his staff. I have read the interviews and articles & letters about the police chief situation but it sounds like perhaps you know more directly about the workplace toxicity. Be interested to hear about that. I attended city council and mayoral debates and then made my choices and I will be watching the debate tonight via live stream. I hope to learn a few things for sure. If there are questions submitted by the audience, I hope you get to submit your question and receive answers.

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