Letter to the editor: Important decisions to be made in November


Your vote for City Council will either help save Edmonds or embolden Mayor Nelson with his elitist squad of four. We have six candidates running for city council – Janelle Cass, Kristiana Johnson, Neil Tibbott, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Alicia Crank, and Will Chen. Who you cast your vote for matters for a safe and vibrant Edmonds for all.

Do you like the direction Edmonds is going? If elected, Alicia Crank will embrace King County policies for Edmonds. Alicia will be a new member of Mayor Nelson’s squad. Look at her Linkedin page and ask yourself: How is it she has time to effectively serve on all those commissions? And what has she actually accomplished while serving on these many boards, and commissions? What does she have to show for? Has she propped herself up in Seattle and moved to Edmonds to be a change agent mimicking Seattle policies? Alicia Crank is a professional activist and opportunist. She has spent her time becoming a professional wordsmith. Listen to her, she will impress you with empty words to make herself sound good. Fluff. Like all political activists, Alicia serves herself.

Will Chen has been a longtime passionate proponent of upzoning until running for city council. He served on the Edmonds Housing Commission from September 2019 to January 2021. At that time the housing commission was proposing zoning changes that would allow for home ownership of two attached single-family homes (duplex) or two-unit townhouses in lieu of one large house in single-family residential areas citywide. Upon announcing his run for city council, he told constituents that his campaign consultant had told him he could not win this election by holding this opinion — so he says he has changed his opinion. But has he really?   

Urban density policies could destroy family-friendly suburban neighborhoods. Squeeze additional homes on top of each other. Encourage zero setbacks allowing for housing right up to your property line. Removing precious trees that act as part of our environment’s natural water filtration system before draining into our beautiful Puget Sound. And think about the additional traffic and street parking! Janelle Cass has not ever, does not, and will not support upzoning – period!  She is the only person running for city council who has been consistent about her stance on upzoning. 

Question: How much money will benefit contractors and others that support upzoning? I’m just wondering.

Go to: www.aceedmonds.org for more information about Urban Density.

My concern about Will Chen is that he puts forth a nice persona. So did Mayor Nelson when he was running for mayor. Look what we got! Always look behind the smile. Will Chen’s financial support comes from a large group of donors outside of Edmonds. Alicia also has many alliances in King County.  Go to www.pdc.wa.gov and see for yourself. At the city council debate, Janelle Cass asked Will “Who is he going to serve?” Will appeared shaken by that question. He stumbled.

City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas is busy defending her actions on July 27, 2021 while being on duty as a city councilmember participating in city business and taking votes concerning the present and future issues of our city. At http://bit.ly/3z7WuYQ go to the 1:10 mark — it will show her drinking on the job while entrusted with the city’s business. I believe this is referred to as “dereliction of duty.” She also has fabricated stories about Edmond’s citizens. Seenty-five Edmonds citizens attended that meeting, I was one of them. People are extremely frustrated with the mayor and his squad. Susan Paine, the City Council president, a part of the squad, did not correct Adrienne. And why does Councilmember Fraley-Monillas consistently take herself off screen during city council meetings? She is supposed to be present, on duty. Just because these meetings are on Zoom doesn’t negate the fact that they are official Edmonds City Council meetings.  Dress and decorum still apply. 

Kristiana Johnson is a native of Edmonds. Not a change agent that moved here from California. Kristiana does not come from a professional political activist background that uses words to manipulate you. Kristiana has years of experience. Her record shows she is a servant, not an opportunist. Edmond’s citizens are her family. She does not support the hate portal. You can look at her record. Kristiana does not change her stands on important Edmonds issues with the political wind.  

Janelle Cass is a business owner in Edmonds. She is an Air Force Academy graduate with a degree in civil and environmental engineering. She is a scientist whose decisions are data based. She will evaluate the issues, read and evaluate the data, bring in stakeholders, and then make an informed decision. This is who we want to represent us on city council. 

Edmonds City Council needs Janelle, Kristiana and Neil to help the other city councilmembers hold Mayor Nelson accountable. The environment we live in causes people to make decisions based on fear. Edmonds needs people of character, experience and quality. 

Your vote decides what the next four years will be in Edmonds.

Deborah Lobe

Publisher’s note: All letters to the editors are the opinion of the author and do not represent the viewpoints of My Edmonds News. To submit yours, email myedmondsnews@gmail.com. No letters regarding political candidates will be accepted after the Nov. 2 general election ballots are mailed Oct. 14.

  1. Thank you Deborah for your referenced comments. Good job. You have made me rethink my backing on one of the candidates.

  2. I read this letter with a bit of amusement. This line: ” Question: How much money will benefit contractors and others that support upzoning? I’m just wondering”. Such a Tucker Carlson-esque move. And Will Chen…how dare you be nice! Do your own research people, and choose who best represents your values.

    1. Maggie, did you know that builders who take on multifamily building won’t pay taxes on those for 12 years. The commercial space will be taxed, but not apartments on Hwy 99. Do you know who is going to absorb those?? I bet not. I spoke with Susan Paine going on 2 weeks ago now and I was informed that “we” and the library, hospital, schools will carry the burden. Well those entities are also covered by the taxpayers too. After 12 years then can turn them into condos and will score again!

      1. Good job. You are right. Just Verdant who are I believe located on 76th and sort of in there with Swedish I read would cost me 4 blocks W 1.5% increase in my property taxes. I do not know if it is true…But it was here in one paper or group or something related. So yeah you are right. And of course builders and contractors benefit or they wouldn’t be building and contracting ha. And throw in some utility increases here and there and yes if we continue like this and never make anything back… that includes your retail businesses. As politicians change so will arrangements I expect…Don’t you?
        It is imperative for all to really think about all of this very carefully. The haves and the havenots… equally. You see I am for something to be proud of for all of our citizens living in Edmonds and also the areas who skirt us. I do not want to judge I want to listen and help and care but not spoil and belittle and feel nothing…what a waste of life that would be to care about nothing….

      2. Cynthia, you’re correct about the taxes, but the upzoning documents were deliberately vague about the taxes. I had a dialogue with someone who had been on the housing commission, she emphatically denied all that the tax break would be shouldered by us, and thought that those taxes would just not be paid for 12 years ‍♀️. This is a person who had been at all the meetings, and had disseminated these “happy facts” to the people she was supposed to inform about upzoning.

    2. Maggie, is Mr Chen “nice”? I don’t know.
      But this I do know, Mr Chen’s political contributions top the charts with over 75% of his money coming from “OUTSIDE” Edmonds, Washington. Who are these people? Why are they supporting him in a city to which they do not even live? Is it because they will gain in some way?
      I want someone who has local “non-partisan” support, you know, people who actually live in Edmonds. This is a no-brainer people. Janelle Cass deserves this council seat for all the reasons Deborah Lobe listed above. Check it out yourself: http://www.pdc.wa.gov

    3. People, We got to be fair! Criticizing certain candidates with no real basis seems to be way too partisan! It reminds one of the 2020 Presidential Election! If you intend to campaign for certain candidates, do so with integrity. Don’t be so vicious! Edmonds people are fair, balanced, intelligent. Let everyone decide for themselves.

      1. Mr. Woo, I assume you are the same Raymond Woo who lives in Hawaii, and you contributed to Will Chen’s campaign like so many others who do not even live in Edmonds. Why do you think it is “vicious” to call out a campaign for having 75% of his campaign contributions coming from people who not only don’t live/vote in Edmonds, but many don’t even live in Washington state? What is not “fair” about questioning this outside money in a local city council campaign?
        Yes, we in Edmonds are “Fair, Balanced, and Intelligent”, and we care very much about our own local elections, and the “integrity” of each candidates campaign which includes who is contributing financially to their campaign.
        Knowing who is financing Will Chen (and everyone else) is indeed a real basis for deciding who to vote for in our local election.
        This very important financial information iS how one decides which candidate deserves your vote.

    4. Maggie,

      From the Master Bulders Association: AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL
      The AHC is a political action committee that works with MBAKS to help make a positive political environment for the homebuilding industry in the Puget Sound region.

      I do not know how this can be misconstrued any other way. Affordable housing is upzoning. You either allow more density or you allow more height. In either case – the construction industry benefits whether nothing changes or if Affordable Housing rhetoric is actually bought into. They just make significantly more money if density is allowed to increase and larger projects (such as 5 story apartment complexes) are approved. Affordable Housing is an undefined and ambiguous term that actually means nothing. Here is a link to the Master Builders Association Legislative Agenda – https://mbaks.com/docs/default-source/documents/advocacy/issue-briefs/mbaks-legislative-agenda.pdf take a look and see what fresh new ideas are coming out of a certain portion of council and our Mayor. Specifically, missing middle housing is defined as two unit condos, fourplex condos, courtyard housing, mid-rise buildings, townhomes, and live-work buildings. All of these are extremely profitable to the construction industry more so than individual homes. In theory, these are all wonderful concepts. In practice – where do you put them? What is the impact on current infrastructure? What is the ability to create generational wealth with this type of housing? No one can answer those questions, but they certainly can repeat what a PAC says (and spin it away from a pure profit motive).

      So representing values is fantastic. Regurgitating and spinning ideas from groups that tell you what is good for everyone is not representing values, it is following the proverbial flavor of the month. You are exactly right – do your own research and then pick the candidate that has actually done theirs for the citizens they represent.

    5. Such a Tucker Carlsonesque move??? No… there’s a question I was taught to always ask in historical/political/business situations : Cui Bono? I.e., Who Profits? Anyone with two brain cells to rub together, should ask themselves that question every time politicians want to do something noble “for our own good”.

  3. Look at your other elected people too. Like the hospital district. they are hoarding our tax levy dollars when all of these should be in the community to serve our people. Don’t let this continue. Look at their budget with over $50 million dollars that they could be using to help people. Two positions on the ballot in November.

  4. Deb, I concur. This could not be a more important time to get this right! Essentially, a vote for those whose large bulk of support comes from outside Edmonds, is a guaranteed vote ‘not’ to care or truly represent Edmonds citizens and what’s best for our community. I could not agree more that going to the PDC website and citizens looking for themselves about where Ms. Monillas, Mr. Chen, Ms. Crank support is coming from….we our guaranteed not to matter! The above mentioned candidates getting onto council is sure to end the Edmonds we have known and loved. Clearly, there are already cracks in our foundation and is sure to be pushed to a chasm as more “wrong for Edmonds” candidates get in. Look at the damage Ms. Monillas has done voting in lockstep with King/Nelson. The spinning of facts about citizens at the 7/27 council meeting, Wine-Gate, violating Edmonds code of conduct ; will this give us more confidence of her judgement on the “homeless” task force? Hardly. How many times has this happened before, will it happen again. Breach of fiduciary duty” while on the job is no small matter as we are talking about passing laws here! Moving on, Mr. Chen is and always will be for eliminating single family zoning. If his “consultant” told him he won’t win…with an up-zone stance (favor of multi-family scattered around Edmonds), then he waivers to what the “people want to hear” you most certainly know what he is going to do with his vote on council! He wants a “trust me” attitude but later we no longer matter after an election! Re: Crank, a vote for her is a vote for the politics of Seattle since she has many supporters from there. No thank you! Again, look to the PDC to see where the support is coming from. That says it all! Keep Edmonds, Edmonds, not “Free-attle”. Vote in Cass, Kristiana, Tibbot.

    1. I definitely agree and am supporting Mr. Tibbot, and of course Ms Kristiana Johnson. I do think that in order to keep Edmonds all of it including the Bowl safe and as you all expect it to be that leaving out the 99 corridor, meaning not new businesses that are special, no upgrades of any real help to Ballinger for the kids I mean… I think if we look we will see that this inadequate situation between Seattle and Edmonds and all points inbetween is a problem. 99 is not going to be satisfied, nor should they, with just a giant apt complex and more tiny little restaurant or coffee etc. I think we go big up there or we go home. If we do take that area and make major night clubs. Nice with security… Many would be pleased. Perhaps a comedy club…Lots could be done to make this part of Edmonds special too. This to me encourages pride in ownership. So here is where I get confused. I need more direct answers from Cass as to her plan for 99….without fixing that we open the whole city up to problems they would probably deserve giving so much preference as they do to all W of 9th Avenue… So Cass or Will… If Wills only gig is housing and no making it special and Cass is for my idea of making it special and then add the trees and all the rest as the accessories… Then I would choose Cass. And Vice Versa.. If Will is for the betterment of the area and not just more housing I would really prefer him as his presence on 99 will be the most accepted. In my opinion.

    2. Cynthia, I have to wholeheartedly agree with you…again. To see where the money comes from is crucial, because it gives us an idea as to which winds move the candidates. The great news however, is that we hold the keys to the outcome: we have the votes. This election is important because we need to impede the Gang of 4 who are trying to assimilate us into a Seattle-like town , and keep the course on what we want Edmonds to be. We don’t need power-hungry politicians to “educate” us and drag us towards a “progress” which results crowded, urban, charmless, noisy , purely functional towns. We all moved here because we liked Edmonds’ atmosphere, the quiet, the small town vibe. If we wanted Seattle, we would have moved there.

  5. I get disgusted by these LTE picking apart candidates while trying to support others. You can slant your candidates all you want and I still won’t vote for them because I actually do my own research instead of being hand fed this garbage. If it takes bad ta!king the opponent to make yours look good then there is something wrong with your candidate!

    1. These sorts of letters have appeared in papers around the country/world since there have been newspapers: people discussing candidates, stating that they will vote sir A for a number of reasons, but not for B, because of a list of other reasons. It’s an old tradition, an offshoot of democracy.

    2. Tina, let’s face it……….if the electeds didn’t give us something to complain about then people wouldn’t be complaining. When you send an email to officials….they seldom reply and to some….they never hear from them. Is that good governance? If we tell our officials how to vote and they vote against the people, is that good governance? So…..M.E.N. is our voice and we are grateful to alert others to what is going on. Do you find it respectful for a candidate Monillas to flash a loser sign to constituents good governance? Don’t add me to your political persuasion. NO THANKS! You do have a choice however, if you don’t like the slant here, you don’t have to read the comments. You have yourself a nice day.

      Thank you Tricia…you are awesome!!!
      Linda Mae…you are spot on!!!
      George Bennet…appreciate your perspective.

  6. Thanks for your point of views. The thing about voting is that we read and make our own meaning. Each person makes their own meaning. I’m grateful that I can have a different point of view, and that one point of view is not the right one or the wrong one. It’s a POINT OF VIEW. I’m getting tired of people giving a point of view as though it is the one and only right one, as though an individual has the answer to what’s good for Edmonds or what the evil others will do when elected. I hear people trying to be divisive, and those are people I don’t trust.

  7. If we feel strongly that the list of supporters and donors indicates exactly how a candidate will make policies once elected, does that also mean that anyone the candidate has supported or voted for ever in their life is even MORE of an indication of how that candidate will vote and make policies once elected? So, do we now look at who each candidate voted for in the last 2 presidential elections and assume the candidate is 100% aligned with that human and their values and party and policies and will bring those policies to Edmonds? No we DO NOT! Truth is, there is absolutely 100% no such thing as “non-partisan.” We have issues that should not be partisan issues, and we have positions we refer to as “non-partisan” but the actual humans we are talking about are NOT non-partisan people. That’s not how people work. What we have is a bunch of candidates on a spectrum and not one LTE or comment has presented a valid reason we should believe that only certain people are capable of doing what’s best for Edmonds regardless of their personal values or the marching orders of whatever political party or group they have supported. Is it not more realistic to assume that they are all capable of viewing each topic on its own and not lock step with some party platform? Instead, so many of these comments presume that supporters have the power to force a candidate to vote a specific way against best interests of the community. Sounds like projecting. Each of you obviously supports someone. Are you all planning to demand that your candidate vote the way you want and what’s best for your personal vision of Edmonds? All 6 candidates have proven they are capable of their own decision calculus and they are all humans, vulnerable to persuasion by others they feel have power, no matter what zip code they attach to their donation. What I do see are six people who have equally demonstrated they care about this town and it’s success.

    1. Chris, in case you don’t know how politics is supposed to work, the government is supposed to simply execute on the needs and wants of their constituents. Does this happen? Sometimes. In edmonds it’s clear we have officials who do what they want, when they want. If this is not clear to YOU, that we don’t want someone voting on laws while drinking then we certainly don’t see eye to eye!!! If this is hard for you to understand, we have nothing more to say. If we want people in office not so quick to ignore our laws and codes, I happen to think that’s a good thing that we want more honest people. If we don’t want officials violating the Code of Conduct that is our right. Have you seen the code? Do you know which laws are getting violated that put us at risk of lawsuits that are happening right now In Our city?? You’re certainly entitled to your opinion but clearly facts are being overlooked and not being confronted. That’s the ONLY side I’m on. I don’t think it’s wise to lump a group of edmonds people and peg them with certain affiliations. I have a right not to disclose how I am affiliated but let’s say I vote the issues even if that’s not your business. There are a lot of people in this town voting the issues right now!!! I assure you!!

      1. Cynthia- Politics and government are not the same thing. And no, I am not having difficulty understanding this or what it means to follow laws and rules. And no, I did not “lump people together”. Are you confusing my post with someone else, perhaps?

      2. Chris………..Politics-“the science or art of political government……….
        The bottom line is you were defending the indefensible, making excuses for people who accept outside support when history tells us those that get elected with loyalty to others NOT in Edmonds, don’t respect constituents in Edmonds. For all I know, you could be a resident of Seattle

    2. I tend to disagree that people cannot separate themselves from their personal beliefs and what the electorate has asked them to represent. Sewers, Streets, Sidewalks, and Services are not partisan – and that is extremely important to remember in LOCAL elections. It has nothing to do with partisan politics and rhetoric. I am a middle of the road voter. Compromise. We all agree that there are systemic changes that need to be made. When I see donations from PAC’s and influence peddlers versus local donations and local support, I wonder where that candidate is really going to vote. Are they going to vote the will of the people or are they going to vote because they get their money and prestige (and potential future political ambitions) supported by other groups. In theory, all of the ideas from all 6 candidates can be seen as great ideas to help all of us in Edmonds – in practice, not so much.

      As far as projecting goes – just look to our own Mayor and AFM – quote from her page – “Mayor Mike said it best: “Without Adrienne, a lot of the things we want to do to move Edmonds forward will not happen.” – if we could figure out what ” a lot of things we want to do to move Edmonds forward” means, then maybe we can help make them a reality – unfortunately transparency and open plans are not a strong suit currently. But this is pure conjecture, pure prognostication, and tea leaf politically motivated projecting.

    3. Obviously, politicians have long track records of saying one thing while running for office, and doing another, as soon as they win the office of their dreams. Of course in the case of Edmonds, all candidates pledge to do “what’s best for Edmonds”. The views on what’s best are divided drastically in 2 camps: one that saw that getting $$ from the state & feds is like taking candy from a baby if you do what they want, e.g., dramatically increasing population density, building “affordable housing” ( which is actually not affordable in Edmonds, unless you destroy green spaces) and pretty much changing Edmonds into a crowded, noisy, charmless Seattle . The other camp wants Edmonds to stay as it is. It just so happens that the people who want to urbanize and crowd out the charm of Edmonds, have political views more aligned with the Seattle City Council: they use same/similar terms, slogans, empty discourse, while the other side seems to want to live in a beautiful town and protect it from the urban sprawl. The key point is that all around us, we see Seattle and places that decided to increase population density, and anyone who likes that can have it. Tragically, Edmonds, Woodway and to a lesser degree, Mukilteo, are the few left that wanted to keep their towns as they are; once you upzone etc, you can’t go back. So this time, you need to decide whether you want to live in an urbanized Edmonds, or the pretty, charming, artsy place it is now.

    4. Chris, as an old hand in politics I will tell you that the 1st rule is to Follow The Money.
      Then you will know where everyone stands, despite what they may say.
      I hope that everyone in Edmonds votes for local control.

  8. Chris, Just follow the money, it has been a tried and true method of knowing where a candidate stands and has loyalties to, has been this way for generations. If a campaign chest holds more money contributed from “outside” a candidate’s jurisdiction or area that they serve, including Political Action Committees (PACS), it should be duly noted and will become a “fact”, not an opinion. Now it is for each voter to know the facts and base ones vote on the facts that are important to each of us individually,. That is our responsibility as voters, to gather facts.

    We were fooled when Mike Nelson et al followers, were elected, we did not believe that their/his Political Agenda would take precedence over what might be best for Edmonds, the town to which he would be elected Mayor. This has proven true, I wish it wasn’t.
    We are grateful for our Free Press that My Edmonds News represents to our community.

  9. Love this great EW&F Video! Breathing
    Ok…….. ………. after dancing to September!
    Thank you, I think….after I catch my breath!

    1. You’re welcome, Grace! I’ve listened, and danced, at least five times, so far. Then I went down an EW&F worm hole on YouTube….I highly recommend it!

  10. I trust the residents of Edmonds, who are well educated, hard working, thoughtful and who love our community, will see through this kind of attack-dog extremism. I strongly support Will Chen, who I know personally to be level-headed, reasonable, accessible and fair. In addition, I know he loves Edmonds and is dedicated to the cause of democracy, He has excellent financial expertise, having worked as an international auditor for a Fortune 500 company. He would represent our robust International community, which seems neglected. I trust him.
    Words are cheap, so I’ve maxed out my contribution to Will, and I live in Edmonds.

    1. Attack dog extremism? Words are cheap? All because you don’t Agree with a comment? How do you cope with everyday living and events?

    2. Ralph, so those who are stating “facts” regarding Mr Chen’s out-of-area contributions are “attack dog extremists”? But you who calls the fact givers names are “thoughtful”? You have a right to support Mr Chen, but you don’t do his campaign much good by name calling people who are only calling attention/questioning the documented regional disparity of a candidates contributions that is over 75% from people outside of Edmonds. Facts are facts.

  11. I do not see how Alicia Crank’s state of residence before Washington makes any difference to her viability as a candidate. It’s not a point to argue about! Lots of people used to live somewhere else.

    Moreover, she’s super accomplished!! What more could you want in a candidate for public office? She’s put herself out there in our community for many years.

    Crank is extremely qualified and the way she’s taken down in these LTE’s is gross.

  12. I agree with Mary that all of our candidates would benefit from a bit more love. Every one of them has great value as community members and I want to thank them all for running.

    I had an epiphany a few months ago about the ramping up of party agendas in our Edmonds government. It used to be that most candidates were just involved citizens who loved the community and wanted to contribute in this way.

    These days, the parties are working hard to get their involved partisans to participate in elections at every level for the sake of promoting their party agenda. When candidates of this origin win, they are way more likely to be coming to the table to serve the party and to perpetuate party agendas (versus the community first). Those things are not always in conflict, but when they are, I want to know that my representatives will come down on the side of Edmonds, quickly, easily, and every time.

    I don’t know if there are takeaways from this per se, but it sheds a little light on the subject.

    1. Vivian, I am truly offended about what you are saying to your constituents that this is “party agendas”. That could not be further from the truth. You support people who support the upzone and that is not the majority of what people in Edmonds want. So you want those people in, who want what you want so……..will you listen to the people as the majority don’t want more density or will you do what you want?? So many damn politicians get into office for power, and then become power hungry. I think your responsibilities are in conflict with the true nature of governance and that is to uphold the trust of the people and to execute on the desires of the majority of constituents. Frankly, I wish “officials” were not allowed to publicly state who they are for, it seems a conflict of interest. You want people who will vote your agenda and not what is good for Edmonds. Our Edmonds government has violated so many laws most people’s heads would spin so do you want all of us to accept your viewpoint. Are you going to make sure some volunteer public gets on the “homeless” task force? Are you going to ensure that an agenda item is added so the constituents have a formal complaint process in this city???? I’m going to push this issue until yours and the councils ears hurt. Lastly, do not criticize your constituents on a media platform because you are still a council member and are still subject to the code of conduct. I am clearly not okay with your criticisms of citizens and making false accusations of “party agenda”. We are not sheep and will not blindly follow the lawbreaking activities of our current government.

      1. I am friendly with Ron Wambolt (who I have known for a long time). I said here what I would have said joking with him face-to-face.

        I accept the criticism that this wasn’t the right place.

        I won’t accept the criticism about the party agendas comment as it assumes context for that comment that was never there. I think people have every right (and even a responsibility) to weigh in with their opinions no matter what the influences are for their opinions.

        I was making a much more general statement that when candidates (and ultimately electeds) identify as members of a party more strongly than they do as members of the community that their decisions will reflect that (and are less likely to serve our community as a whole).

        My remaining budget town halls are at Seaview Park at 1030 am tomorrow, Sat Sep 25, and Hickman Park on Thur, Sep 30 at 6pm. If anyone has more questions, please join me there or get my contact info from the City website; I am signing off of this thread.

  13. I met Will Chen when he was a newly appointed housing commissioner excitedly sharing at the Chamber of Commerce meeting that he would be bringing information to his peers there and bringing their feedback back to the commission. I asked him if he had received instruction from the commission to do that. He said no, they hadn’t met yet. It was his idea. Will is a natural born collaborator.

    I had the privilege of reading resumes and interviewing 14 candidates for the appointed seat for City Council a few months later. Will’s recommendation letters stood out. His endorsers (many of the same people who contributed to his campaign I am sure) were people who had served with him on philanthropic boards or who were clients of his in Seattle, where he used to live and run a CPA business. Other endorsers were leaders in Edmonds (some of whom I met through him after this initial contact), many from our Hispanic and Asian communities where he is known and beloved. Will developed these Edmonds relationships after relocating family, home and office to Edmonds around 9 years ago. His wife Lisa is a science teacher and they have a 9 year old son.

    I think the world of Will Chen’s character, work ethic, thought process, education, experience and the population he brings to the table. So much so that if he ran against me that I would vote for him and go enjoy a vacation. And so much so that I have supported him unwaveringly in spite of another highly qualified candidate entering that race, fellow USAFA alum (Go Falcons!) Janelle Cass.

    Good luck to all candidates in this and every race. I have given careful consideration to all of them and my personal choices are Kristiana Johnson, Will Chen and Neil Tibbot. If you are open to influence, I just ask that you trust your gut when you ask it if that person will put Edmonds over any other agendas when the two agendas collide.

    Any of those choices you get a “yes” to will be good choices.

    1. In recent weeks I have read how Mr. Chen is allegedly strongly tied to Edmonds, yet his business is in Esperance and banking for his campaign is done in Mountlake Terrace.

      1. Good job finding dirt, Ron. That is really damaging stuff! Lol.

        I for one am happy to claim Esperance. They are right in the heart of our City for goodness sake!

        1. Esperance may be located in the heart of Edmonds, but it is not part of Edmonds; it is in unincorporated Snohomish county. Several times the citizens of Esperance turned down votes that would make them part of Edmonds.

        2. Vivian Olson- weren’t you in the 4th of July parade supporting Will Chen? I am confused by your actions here.

        3. Vivian, is this a joke? Are you serious? Will Chen lives in Edmonds…… but his Business and his Banking are NOT in Edmonds. Over 75% of his Financial Contributions are from people who do NOT even Live or Vote in Edmonds. His explanations regarding Up Zoning are ambiguous at the very least. If you consider this “dirt”, you are sadly mistaken. These are Facts, nothing made up, but true Facts, that are quite pertinent to the decision of who to vote for City Council. Janelle Cass is not only the most qualified but her business is located in Edmonds, a Proud Veteran, and she is very clear in her comments on Up Zoning.

      2. So, let me see if I understand this correctly…..if a candidate lives in Edmonds, but they’re, I don’t know, a named partner in an Everett law firm (that does its banking at a bank in Everett because it’s close to the firm), or, if someone holds a high managerial position at a large, global manufacturing company in Snohomish county (NOT in Edmonds), they can’t possibly be a good candidate for an Edmonds city council position?

        1. Annon, No, that is not what is being said, read it again. This is Will Chen’s own business, not a managerial position at a large company, law firm, global company etc. Will says he has close ties to Edmonds. Not his campaign banking, nor his business is in Edmonds. Also 75% of his campaign contributions come from outside of Edmonds, and some even out of WA state. He also has not taken a firm stand on Up-zoning. If all this is okay with you then vote for him.

          For quite a few of us it is not okay and not the prerequisite we are looking for in a candidate. Lots of talk, no commitments to support our single family housing zoning. Follow the money…… is being repeated over and over, for good reason.

          This is exactly how Mike Nelson got in and people voted for him, they did not scrutinize his positions on local issues, nor his liaison with a political party that is pushing “Up-Zoning” across the country. We all now know where this got us, and many now are doing more in depth research.

        2. Theresa, so unless a business owner has a business IN Edmonds (I did say a NAMED partner, which to me means they own a stake in the firm), they cannot be a good candidate for Edmonds city council? (My other example was for a particular person.) I was responding to what was reported by Mr. Wambolt, which was about where a business was located and where banking is done. I have no problem with people taking issue with issues (for instance: up zoning), or where campaign contributions come from, but to start picking apart where someone chooses to locate their business (or can afford to lease) seems petty and detracts from any meaningful opinion being shared. Of course, just my opinion.

  14. It would be interesting if each candidate would state what they think the optimal population for the City of Edmonds should be.
    A simple question and an even a simpler answer but it would sure go along way to clarify what each candidate really wants for Edmonds.
    I wonder how many would give an honest reply?

      1. No you cannot… legally. One of our son’s and a friend of ours still get Edmonds resident mail in ballots sent to our house every election even though they each moved out of state years ago. Of course they don’t cast these votes. Might be a good idea to clean up the voter roles maybe?

    1. Just want to make sure it is clear that Mr. Chen’s OFFICE is in Esperance, but his RESIDENCE is in Edmonds.

  15. I was a member of the Edmonds Housing Commission. As such, I had an opportunity to work with my fellow commissioners to understand their views and ideas. If we do not want to upzone Edmonds, then we should vote for Janelle Cass. She has made her position clearly known. Others haven’t.

    Just saying.

    1. This has been very enlightening. Confirmed that I’ve made the right choices as to who to vote for, and I’m going to go give them some more money now. Thanks, folks. Peace out.

  16. Following the money is critically important in both amount and sources. My big question is why is Mr. Chen spending so much money to get a very low paying, low power, and time consuming position in our city government? In Edmonds City Gov., as currently configured, Mayor is pretty much the whole enchilada.

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