Letter to the editor: Cass the best candidate to address disaster preparedness in Edmonds

Dear editor,

in October of 2014, as a Disaster Medicine planner and responder, I posted an article in MyEdmondsNews regarding Ebola and the potential for a future catastrophic and devastating worldwide contagion. In that script, I stated the unpopular notion that our health care system nationally and locally was not prepared; inadequately trained, inadequately staffed and inadequately supplied.

Now, as we begin to slowly emerge from our homes and from under the darkness of COVID, we see where this lack of foresight and attention to planning has taken us. What also comes to my mind is the nasty four-letter word emergency response planners disdain: That word is wait.

Frankly, I am tired of waiting. I am tired of waiting for serious time and properly focused attention to reality-based, not “it-could-never-happen-here in Edmonds”-based, disaster planning. As we have experienced, even sleepy little Edmonds is not immune to disaster. This last year has demonstrated it is time for someone, a leader, to step up and recognize we cannot afford to WAIT for the county, the state or the federal government to race to our rescue in a complex disaster. The bureaucratic “shell game” of who-is-responsible-for-what must end.

We finally have a qualified candidate in Janelle Cass running for Edmonds City Council who recognizes the need for an “E-CEMP”, an “Edmonds-focused”-Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan, that addresses multiple potential hazards, from fires to windstorms, to earthquakes and tsunamis, to train derailments and power failures, and even to evacuation. Janelle possesses the know-how through her Air Force Academy Civil Engineering degree, her training and her hazardous materials experience to address our woefully neglected Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan (CEMP). It is out of date, unpracticed, references a non-existing agency and is lacking oversight and regulatory accountability.

As a longtime resident of Edmonds with a studied understanding of disaster planning, response and community-based resilience and recovery, I urge you to vote for Janelle Cass. Of the candidates, only Janelle recognizes the urgent need for a practical, well-thought-out, collaborative Edmonds CEMP with the multi-agency training and practice necessary to enable Edmonds residents and businesses to return to normal post-emergency as efficiently and rapidly as possible.

Robert Mitchell, MD
Director, Disaster Medicine Project

  1. Thank you Robert Mitchell for a totally new and different perspective on a qualification Janelle Cass has that will help Edmonds with disaster preparedness. Her Civil/environmental engineering degree and background will be helpful not only for disaster preparedness but also for the Marsh, Trees, and Housing planning and policy. A critical thinking engineer is exactly what we need on the council.

    1. Totally agree my mind is made up on this one now. I like her she has much to offer. And she is a professional. I like that. Her knowledge we need very badly and she is the type to teach and not just comfort. Yes, I listened twice to that debate and clearly she was the one. I am a Dem too. I am a Centrist as I do see both sides when I can. In her case I don’t even care that is how good she would be for Edmonds.

  2. Clearly Janelle Cass is the most qualified candidate for the city council. I second Mr. Mitchell’s recommendation and urge the citizens of Edmonds to vote for her.

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