Commentary: Why is the 2022 budget being rushed?

Diane Buckshnis

Do citizens realize that the budgeting process is being aggressively rushed this year? Why is this budget being rushed and why is this scheduling not typical or appropriate?

For decades, the administration’s timeline has extended into December to allow citizens adequate time to comment, allow councilmembers adequate time to review with citizens, and lastly to allow thoughtful review of the budgetary implications in matters relating to our city’s coffers.  Remember, the budget is council’s responsibility, while the mayor is responsible for spending taxpayers’ money.

The proposed budget will be presented on Nov. 1. Also at the Nov. 1 council meeting, three public hearings are scheduled on: 1) The proposed budget, 2) the Capital Improvement Plan/Capital Facilities Plan (CIP/CFP), and 3) property tax ordinances. Each of these very important budgetary documents impacting citizens’ taxes and how our money is being spent. And they are all being handled at one meeting to accommodate the rushed schedule! How can citizens provide useful feedback with limited time to hear the presentation and review the supporting documents?

Council is holding a second budget deliberation meeting on Thursday, Nov. 4 — surprisingly during election week, when citizens will learn who is in the lead for city council position #2 held by Luke Distelhorst. Citizens may not be aware that appointed Councilmember Distelhorst will not be finishing out the year as he lost in the primary: appointed councilmembers that lose the subsequent election are replaced by the winner when the election is certified as opposed to elected councilmembers that are replaced the following year. The election will likely be certified after Thanksgiving. The administration has scheduled Nov. 16 for council deliberations and adoption of the 2022 budget.

Some councilmembers even asked to have “drop dead dates” for amendments to meet this aggressive budgetary schedule. Considering the public already voted out the appointed councilmember, it would be respectful to voters and beneficial that the newly elected councilmember provides his/her comments, opinions, amendments and vote on the budget.

So, please write to council and demand extending the budget schedule, to allow the newly seated member to provide input and participate in the budgetary process. With virtual meetings, numerous transparency issues, communication issues, and just plain listening to what citizens are saying regarding their participation, it remains important to slow this process down to allow all citizens to participate and understand the administration’s financial presentations, which should provide reasons for all the 100-plus decision packets that are part of the budget.

So, please, tune in, turn up and stay connected to understanding how imperative it is for financial transparency and understanding. And let
councilmembers know what you think!

— By Diane Buckshnis
Edmonds City Council Position 4

49 Replies to “Commentary: Why is the 2022 budget being rushed?”

  1. Thanks Diane!
    This is truly concerning and I feel that the motives are indeed questionable.

    It’s not prudent that so many information-rich and important hearings jammed into one meeting. This definitely appears to be a rush-job.

    I will be emailing today and joining on Tuesday night to share my thoughts & concerns with this and other issues with the Council.

    Who else is joining? Let your voices be heard!

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    1. It seems obvious that the budget schedule has been accelerated in order to allow a mayor-friendly vote from councilmember Distelhorst and dis-allow a possible unsupportive vote from the new councilmember. Business as usual by Mayor Nelson – doing what’s good for him and not necessarily good for the citizens of Edmonds..

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  2. Thanks Diane for letting us Edmonds residents know what is going on. This is yet another example of unethical behavior on the part of the Mayor and certain of our council members. This applies especially to Luke–Luke the honorable thing to do is to recommend that the budget be postponed until the new council member replacing you is seated. Luke do the honorable thing!!!!

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  3. I just spent 20 minutes searching the City of Edmonds website and FaceBook page, and I found no information about the Budget schedule for this year. Nothing at all. Not the original schedule, nor the revised schedule referenced by Diane.

    Why does this City Hall have such difficulty with Transparency?

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    1. Thanks Joan. I did get some help from City Hall contacts, how to navigate the City’s website to locate the council’s Extended Agenda~ only six clicks deep!

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  4. Thanks Diane.

    I thought it was stated that the public hearing on the stormwater code was being rushed to avoid conflicting with the budget hearings.

    Now that we are rushing the budget instead, can we please spend some time on the stormwater code?

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  5. I encourage all to read the following article that indicates the 2021 budget was adopted on December 16, 2020:

    https://myedmondsnews.com/2020/12/edmonds-city-council-approves-2021-budget-and-outdoor-dining-rules-elects-new-officers/

    The Edmonds City Council Extended Agenda updated October 8, 2021, indicated that Budget Deliberation and Adoption of the 2022 City Budget would take place on November 23, 2021.

    Something changed a week later. The Edmonds City Council Extended Agenda updated October 15, 2021, indicated that Budget Deliberation and Adoption of the 2022 City Budget would now take place on November 16, 2021.

    November 16, 2021, is also the night the following is scheduled:

    Resolution thanking Luke Distelhorst for Service on the City Council

    The Edmonds City Council Extended Agenda updated October 16, 2020 is worth reviewing as a comparison to the Edmonds City Council Extended Agenda updated October 15, 2021. It is available on the City’s website.

    On a side note, the December 16, 2020 article linked to above contains the following:

    Other requirements for streateries include:
    – Meeting state and county health district standards, including COVID-19 protections.
    – Providing reflective lights for night time.
    – Applicants pay for platforms, safety barriers, liability insurance and cover other costs.
    The ordinance, which will be effective for one year, allows for a total of 20 streateries citywide. A public hearing on the ordinance is planned for Feb. 2.

    I’ve brought this to the attention of City Officials numerous times. The public hearing on the Streateries Ordinance was never held. Despite this, nothing changes. As the public hearing was never held, are the permits for streateries valid?

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    1. These ridiculous “streateries” is in essence giving taxpayer land (public use streets) to the benefit of a few businesses at the expense of taxpayers. Some businesses have doubled in seating size. There is no longer any emergency proclamation in effect on any level. Since these “streateries” do not “further the fundamental purpose of government”, and the intent is to “donate” public land (again, streets we all pay for), this is by definition “Gift of public funds” and therefore illegal.

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  6. If the budget is being presented on 11/1 and deliberation extended to 11/4, when is it currently scheduled to be voted on? Is there an example somewhere of what the budget present > approval timeline typically actually looks like, including what systems have been used for citizens to review and provide input?

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    1. Chris,

      See Ken Reidy’s comment. Typically, the budget is approved in mid-December. This year, for the first time to my knowledge, the budget is being approved in mid-November, a full month early. The adoption of the budget this year coincides with appointed Council member Distelhorst’s last Council meeting. This is especially concerning given that the newly elected Council member in position #2 will thus not have any opportunity to provide input to the 2021 budget.

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      1. i did see that comment about the 2021 budget being voted on in December, but I would like to understand what the timeline usually would be since 2020 wasn’t a typical year in many ways. Does anyone know if the budget approval timeline is in a code or policy somewhere? What has that timeline been in any year other than 2020 and what methods has council used in the past to get public input?

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        1. The 2020 Budget was adopted December 10, 2019.
          The 2019 Budget was adopted December 11, 2018.
          The 2018 Budget was adopted December 5, 2017.

          A little budget history for those interested:

          Former City Attorney Scott Snyder stated in his November, 2007 City Attorney annual report that the biggest issue at the start of 2007 was the Code Rewrite. Mr. Snyder stated the intent was to begin the Rewrite last year and finish it this year (2007). Mr. Snyder summarized that the Code Rewrite was approximately a year behind schedule as of November, 2007.

          The 2009-2010 Budget included the following:

          Major 2009-2010 Budget Issues
          Completion of the City’s Shoreline Master Plan update and the Edmonds Community Development Code rewrite will occur in 2009-2010.

          Completion of the Code rewrite did NOT occur.

          In late 2012, during the PUBLIC HEARING ON the 2013 BUDGET, I made public comment that five years had passed since Mr. Snyder stated the intent and I questioned why the Code Rewrite had still not been completed. I urged the Council to include the proper amount in the 2013 budget to complete the long overdue Code Rewrite from start to finish.

          Over the years, hundreds of thousands of dollars have been budgeted yet here we sit with a Code that is still flawed and has been for at least 21 years.

          Budgeting is one task. Executing the budget is another task.

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  7. Agree, this should be delayed and not change the normal procedure. I hope all read and follow your recommendations

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  8. As long as we stick with strong man/woman mayoral control, this is what we are going to get in Edmonds. We will just keep switching brands of control; but the problems will persist short of electing some sort of paragon of virtue to be our mayor every time around. Buckshnis, Olson and K. Johnson have had the courage to call out and challenge this highly flawed system of doing things here. I applaud their courage in doing so.

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    1. I thought the council president set the council agenda not the mayor as she appears to do as told besure to email her. What is hidden in the budget that the mayor doesnt want the public to know

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      1. Yes Don,
        The Council President controls and manages the agenda and I did send her an email this week about the concerns I have with the aggressive and rushed schedule and specifically the CIP/CFP in mind.

        Many folks don’t realize that the HUGE budgetary tool of the City’s capital improvement plan and the capital facility plans (CIP/CFP) has millions of dollars of projects that citizens are concerned about (sidewalks, streets, parks, marsh restoration) and your utility rates are predicated on many of these large Storm, Sewer, Transportation and Water projects.

        The CIP/CFP is scheduled to be reviewed with the Planning Board on 10/27 along with a public hearing. The agenda shows that on 10/26 Council will be reviewing the CIP/CFP the day before???

        Doesn’t this seem like a disrespect to the long established City’s Planning Board which serves as the advisory board to the Council and ALL the hard-working Planning Board Members?

        Regardless if someone thinks that the Planning Board will be a rubber stamp of this document (which I don’t believe), the pragmatic approach of allowing the Planning Board to do their job: review, listen to citizens at the public hearing and then recommend should be followed Such a marginalization of the process is plain wrong.

        More importantly, it is a WASTE of City Council’s time (and our citizens) for the 90 minutes set aside for the CIP/CFP presentation noted on the extended agenda, and again remember this is a draft. What happened to the very important Stormwater Code updates? Or even allowing questions and answers from the Administration’s presentation last week where Council was NOT allowed to ask questions.

        So, please stay involved and continue to comment.

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        1. As I recall, the Council President sets the preliminary meeting agenda.

          I assume that any individual Councimember could move to amend (rather than approve) the agenda.

          If the motion was seconded, the ensuing discussion could be very interesting, regardless of how the vote comes out.

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    2. I do too, integrity and honestly are our best friends…This should show you who the ones are who are more interested in doing things the expected and correct way instead of trying to rush and rush. Of course the council can after Jan 1st not vote with the MAYOR and then problem solved. I mean sometimes we will vote for his ideals but not every single time…I want Bi Partisan. Enough of this. Sometimes we need a more Liberal approach and sometimes we need a more conservative approach… It would be weird if we didn’t. That is my logic in all of this. Ido prefer the not rushing any votes until they are ready. When we do look what happens… things not signed etc… things done incorrectly therefore really making them VOID…such as the Streateries issue.. That to me is a voided contract.. But I am not an attorney. I just think that is what it should be. They wanted it fast and they messed up. This time it would require new vote to ever do that again.

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    3. It would be great to move to a City Manager form of management and we looked at this back in 2010 or 11 before Michael Plunkett left. It would be great to look at this change in management style but I believe it has to come forth as a petition? Or I am not sure. But, I will gladly pursue it next year if given the necessary guidance. I know the League of Women Voters are huge proponents of a City Manager.

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  9. It is obvious why the budget is being rushed. One of Mayor Nelson’s block is being voted out. This puts things at risk for him. It also speaks to his mechanics and gaming the system. He knows that the budget will not be delayed by Council, can pretty much do anything, past practice be damned.

    Not the first time he and AFM have pushed to rush a decision, and just think of where that great idea got us. A year long fiasco, another expense for a nationwide search, and lost faith in Council.

    Let’s hope Pastor Mike sees the light and makes the budget process equitable and inclusive for newly elected council members and the citizens who voted them into office.

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  10. Please send your concerns to the City Council!!

    General email:
    council@edmondswa.gov

    CM President Susan Paine
    Susan.paine@edmondswa.gov
    She sets the meeting agenda. We know why she is rushing the budget process and its not ethical or fair to the constituents she serves. Demand that the budget process be given more time. Last year the budget was approved in mid-December.
    She moved the vote on the 22 Budget up one week from the originally scheduled date in order to accommodate Luke’s departure- his last meeting is on 11/16 and they need his vote. Despicable!!

    CM Luke Distelhorst:
    luke.distelhorst@edmondswa.gov
    He should step aside and be ethical. He should not vote on the 2022 budget as an out-going CM.

    Mayor Nelson:
    Carolyn.lafave@edmondswa.gov
    His tactics are shifty and lack ethics. The 2022 budget should have input from the incoming CM, not the outgoing one. There should be more careful consideration of how our tax $$ are spent. Delay the vote until after the new CM is
    announced/in place!

    IMPORTANT!!
    Take the time to call in to tonight’s Council meeting and take your 3 minutes to share your disappointment and demand they stop railroading the budget process and vote.

    Calling in is very easy. You can do it from your cell phone!
    Call (253)-215-8782
    When public comments portion starts, press *9 on your phone to let them know you are interested in commenting.
    When your phone # (last 4 digits) is called out by the mayor it is your turn. Follow the verbal instructions to unmute your phone.

    The only way we can stop this is to run out the clock!! The “4” aren’t going to listen.

    All hands on deck!

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  11. Just a reminder another reason to vote AMF out and not vote for any candidate who is for the mayor. The Mayor and council are responsible to the people .

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  12. Indignation is the best that can be offered?
    There will always be issues of conflict. What is necessary is to look at the issue for what it means for the well being of the community and its stability, or its lack of oversight, or its concern for thorough research.
    Elected representatives are supposed to represent the people in their district. They should have local meetings to discuss the input of the communities and clarify misunderstandings.
    Obviously covid-19 has been a constant focus for good reason. We had a Presidential election. Budgets need to be clearly defined, not for just the city council and the Mayor, but for the community. It would be great to have open presentations that are not to sell ideas, but to provide understanding of need and the rating of how important the project is on the totem pole of issues to be resolved with good intentions.

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  13. As Ms. Olson pointed out Tues. night, it may not be bad, but it sure looks bad. The only obvious conclusion one can make is that the sure vote in favor of whatever the Mayor/Staff wants is lost the minute the winner of the election is declared. This is due to the fact that L.D. was appointed and never elected by the people he supposedly represents (he’s done a great job of representing the mayor/staff and the bicycle lobby for sure) and he is gone the minute an “elected” is available. Shilling for the mayor and staff has been the M.O. of Ms. Paine and L.D. for two years now and they are clinging to it, to the bitter end it APPEARS.

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  14. I’m definitely in tune with Diane Buckshnis’ idea about another look at going to Strong Council/City Manager style of government in Edmonds. I’ll be one of the first citizen volunteers to try to join any advocacy group she might try to get going in that direction. I’m sure it would involve an initiative to the people and a public vote of some sort; but a lawyer would have to give advice on how to proceed on that. D.B.s idea of approaching the League of Women Voters for ideas on this would be a great place to start I would think.

    My ideal model would be something along the lines of a full-time Council of persons elected from six specific geographical areas of the town and one full-time Council person running as, and elected at large as, Council President and Ceremonial (only) Mayor. The six full-time Council persons could have shared executive responsibility with the City Manager over individual City departments on a rotating basis (say annual change so dynasties don’t develop). This would produce a situation where everyone is watching everyone else for honesty and integrity in simply serving the public in each critical service area. Also every citizen will have at least two Council Persons, with actual executive power to act, who answer to them and their specific geographical needs for city services at the ballot box.

    I think this system would tend to stop some of the “special people” with “special interests” controlling so much of what goes on here. Perhaps an end to questionable outcomes like, tree cutting fines, walkable mainstreet plans, hate reporting portals and multi-purpose concrete bridges to the beach.

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    1. I always appreciate Clinton’s discussion of the pros and cons of the different forms of government. However, he does frequently present what is sort of a false choice option—a mayor-council versus a council-manager form of government. He also talks a lot about geographically oriented council districts. I am just writing to address the first point he makes.

      Washington cities (with populations of 10,000 or more) are generally a mix of the two primary forms of government—in fact slightly more (55%) tend to be mayor-council forms of government. That said many cities in Washington operating with a mayor-council form of government have a professional city manager or administrator. This holds true in other communities across the country. For example, we work with the cities of Renton and Kent here in Washington as well as the City of Boise (ID), all of which have mayor-council form of government but have a city manager or a similar role. In these cities, the mayor is more like the CEO of a company—providing the strategic vision and direction of the city—while the city manager / administrator provides the expertise for budgeting and day-to-day management of staff and operations to make sure that work is completed on-time and on-budget. Few mayors elected to office have the skills and experience that come from running what is essentially a business. City managers / administrators often have degrees in public administration and have received specific training and are active in professional associations such as ICMA. Department staff report to the city manager / administrator rather than the mayor.

      This division of expertise and labor seems to work well and may be a more realistic solution for the City of Edmonds than going through the effort of getting citizens or Council on-board with changing a long-standing form of government. Perhaps this is something that future (as in 2022) councils might want to investigate / pursue.

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      1. Point well taken Ms. Yalch, but I don’t think your approach would be much of a solution to what seems to be the problem in Edmonds. Your approach would basically just be adding another layer of administration that we already basically have in the various department heads. Phil Williams, for example, is a highly competent individual who runs his specific functions extremely well. He, or someone like him, would make a great over all City Manager. His interest is just efficiently running a city, not making a political name for himself with political party identification for future higher office. That’s the problem we seem to be having right now in Edmonds. Our past problems stemmed from Mayors who were dabbling in other regional quasi government functions and trying to use Edmonds as a force to solve some basically regional problems. There is just too much ego involved in the strong mayor concept. The fact that most cities are mayor/ council is more a factor of that is just how it has been done for three hundred years, rather than it being a particularly good system of government. Most newer cities seem to be going more toward the Council / manager concept. A few towns have changed and then switched back to strong mayor/weak council but they are mostly more rural and Eastern WA. in location which would suggest more conservative and traditional viewpoints getting re-asserted in those towns. Anyway, it sure seems to me that what we have now in Edmonds doesn’t serve the average citizen very well.

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      2. Rebecca is good to point out a refinement to the mayor/council form of city government, where a strong mayor is supplemented or helped by a city administrator. In her example of Renton, the mayor is still the boss but has some help, a Chief Administrative Officer working under the mayor.

        According to the Renton website, the mayor is the “chief executive officer of the city…in charge of all departments and employees, with authority to designate assistants and department heads. The mayor is responsible for general supervision of the administration of city government and all city interest, ensuring all laws and ordinances are faithfully enforced…”

        In Renton “the chief administrative officer reports to the mayor and serves as a liaison between the administration and city council. His administrative duties involve directing, coordinating and facilitating city projects, programs and policies, and reviewing and making recommendations on complex personnel and performance issues, policy interpretations and resource allocation.”

        Edmonds city government might run more smoothly with a Chief Administrative Officer, or perhaps a Deputy Mayor or Chief of Staff, assisting the mayor.

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        1. An additional manager is not needed when there’s a competent mayor. Edmonds does not currently have a competent mayor.

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  15. Clinton,

    Please research the process to accomplish what you have been advocating and write your own LTE. This LTE by Council member Buckshnis is about rushing the budget, a critical issue to discuss at this time.

    To help with your research, here is a portion of my response to you about these same issues on myedmondsnews in March of 2021:

    I did some quick research on the Municipal Science Research Center website about election by districts and Council/Manager form of government. For Edmonds to elect council members by district, our Council would have to vote to do so:

    http://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Governance/Offices-and-Officers/Council-Election-by-Wards-or-Districts.aspx

    A change to a Council/Manager form of government (like Shoreline) could be initiated “by resolution adopted by city Council or by a petition process” followed by an election regarding the reorganization.

    http://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Governance/Forms-of-Government-and-Organization/City-and-Town-Forms-of-Government.aspx

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  16. Joan, thanks for correcting my erroneous assumption that the city council could not initiate such a change to Council Manager form on it’s own volition. That is good news I think. I read the posts you included in your comment above and it still seems like some sort of public vote would have to be taken after the council’s initiation of the process to actually get it implemented. I’m considering your idea of me writing an LTE about proposing such a change but not sure that will accomplish much more than just commenting does. Maybe it would drive some more interest and discussion though.

    Looking at the limited history of changes back to mayor/council from mayor/manager, I notice that those cities tended to be either rather rural and/or located in Eastern WA. and that would lead me to believe that there may have been deposed power bases that took back their power in some of those localities. I realize there is no perfect system, but the trend sure seems to be more toward council/manager; away from council/mayor in the newer cities. Some places definitely prefer less democracy over more democracy and usually for economic reasons of one sort or another.

    As to your point about Diane’s LTE being her concern about the “rush” to approve the budget I certainly get it. I would not have digressed to the potential form of government issue had she not done so, too, in her comment on the thread. I’m hoping we get new council people who will be amenable to joining her in looking at a possible change in governmental form.

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  17. Clinton,

    Now how about doing what Council member Buckshnis asked in this LTE:

    “So, please write to council and demand extending the budget schedule, to allow the newly seated member to provide input and participate in the budgetary process.”

    Send to:
    Council@edmondswa.gov
    Publiccomment@edmondswa.gov

    You inaccurately assume that all Councilmembers read every word you write on myedmondsnews. They don’t. Your words will have more effect if you take the time to write an email to Council which then becomes part of the public record.

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  18. Joan, I just completed the task of emailing each council member individually requesting that they delay all budget work until we have a new elected, rather than appointed, city council person. I doubt I changed any minds, but rest assured, your request of me has been fulfilled. Baby steps, as the old saying goes. Yours for better city government. Clint

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  19. Clint,

    Excellent! In this case it would also help to send your comment addressed to Council President Paine and Mayor Nelson, since they are responsible for the rush on the budget schedule. Then copy Council@edmondswa.gov, and publiccomment@edmondswa.gov, so that your comment will be documented in Council minutes.

    Susan.paine@edmondswa.gov
    Mike.nelson@edmondswa.gov
    Publiccomment@edmondswa.gov

    The more of us who do this, the more difficult it will be for them to ignore our request.

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  20. Joan, as per your advice I have contacted both the mayor and Council President and the public comment address and join you in urging other frequent flyers here to do the same. Clint

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  21. Mr. Wambolt hit’s the nail right on the head here in terms of “when we have a competent mayor.” My next question is when have we had a “competent mayor” anytime recently? We’ve had nice people, smart people, talented people, well meaning people, people trying to solve other people’s problems and people selling us programs to save money, that end up costing us a bunch more money later on, and at least one outright political opportunist. Competent people? Not so much, perhaps. It’s past time to try a new approach in Edmonds and take a good hard look at how this strong mayor/weak council system is serving us (meaning all of us, not just some of us). Having a mayor you happen to like or agree with, doesn’t make him or her competent to enforce city codes, make good public policy and run things as efficiently as possible.

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  22. I am suggesting that we have a somewhat more open mind to alternatives. As Roger pointed out, Kent has a strong Mayor Council system but their CAO Derek Matheson has been there for years, providing continuity of management of city operations, distinct from that of the mayor. It also clearly separates the reporting of staff, including HR, from the direct control of the mayor. They are often directly responsible for ensuring that processes and procedures are followed.

    Nearly all businesses differentiate between a CEO — strategic leader — and a COO — operations. And there is absolutely no reason to think that a city with a multi-million dollar budget shouldn’t act like a responsible and sustainable business enterprise.

    In many instances the city manager reports to both the Mayor and the City Council–for example in Monroe WA, both the Mayor and City Council conduct an annual performance review.

    It is interesting to note that in the current budget proposal, Decision Packet #1 regarding the appointment of a Race, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (REDI) Manager calls out on page 39 of the budget that the Mayor acts as full-time Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer. It further acknowledges on page 40 that in most cities with a strong Mayor-Council form of government, an City Administrator is designated the COO. It would seem to me that the $111K put for salaries for a REDI manager might be better put toward an experienced City Manager and existing staff assume responsibility for some or different aspects of the REDI position.

    Getting agreement for a City Manager position may be a lot easier than the process of changing the form of government in a non–code city and may go a long way (at least partially) there to a viable solution.

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  23. I don’t believe that we need more bureaucrats in our city government because we elected too many of the wrong people two years ago. Had Neil Tibbott been elected Mayor much of this discussion would not be happening. We simply need more elected officials who are competent and driven to do what our citizens want and need as opposed to existing to oblige the wishes of their political party affiliation. We can get headed in the right direction on Nov. 2nd by electing the right councilmembers, then in two years we can fix the remainder of the council and vote in a competent Mayor.

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  24. City Managers / Administrators are NOT typically bureaucrats. They are typically experienced and highly trained professionals. They frequently start with smaller cities and work their way as they gain experience. One of the main functions they serve is to represent the needs expectations of the city (residents and employees) and the impact of decisions on operations in the discussion of policies. Just like what occurs in the business world. And possibly getting a business perspective in local government operations is a good thing.

    We work directly with City Managers (and various sundry other titles) across the United States and can’t say enough about their professionalism, experience, and caring about the city for whom they work.

    What is not constructive is shutting down dialogue on any and new ideas without any kind of discussion.

    We have no idea what would be happening now if someone else is the Mayor. What is probably an accurate assumption is that there would be a different discussion.

    I agree that November 2nd will be indicative of the direction the majority of citizens think we should be taking. And we all must be willing to accept these results whether we agree or disagree. What this doesn’t mean is that residents can’t address systemic issues such as form of government with suggestions, outreach to council, and more direct action.

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    1. Highly trained professionals are not excluded from being bureaucrats.

      Over the years the city manager form of government has been discussed many times in Edmonds, and it appears will be discussed much more again.

      You may not know Neil Tibbott as well as I do. I can confidently say that had he been elected Mayor we would not have had the police chief fiasco, citizens communications to him would not be routinely unanswered, etc.

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  25. Personally, I’m tired of watching incompetent mayors appoint incompetent legal advisors to give them and the city incompetent legal advice oriented toward what their particular agenda is for the city that really belongs to everyone living here. I’d like to have a full time city council person I could call my own who actually lives somewhere near me and has some real power to get things done that might need to happen in my particular neighborhood. Our citizen boards and commissions are basically window dressing to give the impression that citizen involvement is wanted and appreciated. Our city council generally functions as a part-time, ill paid rubber stamp for whatever the elected mayor at the time wants for us. As I recall, it wasn’t under the Nelson Administration that we got the RFA to save money; that will soon cost us at least what we saved and probably double in the end. I’m tired of smoke and mirrors masquerading as good government here. We have crappy, special interest oriented government now and in the past and it will continue as long as we accept it.

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  26. Without any real information at hand to determine whether it is a good or bad idea to do as Clinton suggests, this is actually the time to do this as drawing the boundaries needs to be based on real population data and no matter what you think of how the Census was conducted, it is the most current data we have at hand and would be the best data to use.

    There are about 281 cities in the State of Washington. According to MRSC, only 27 have representation by district. Four cities have abandoned this idea.

    It would be very interesting to do some case studies with cities that are similar in size to Edmonds and maybe form of government some with representation by district and some without and see what they think about the way their system works. And whether some of those who don’t currently have representation by district have considered it and what their thoughts are. And it might be interesting to see why the four cities abandoned this idea–they are Bonney Lake, Snohomish, Prosser, and Ellensburg. None have done this recently so might not be relevant. Bonney Lake was the most recent (2011) so they might have some memory of the rationale. On the other hand it might be more interesting to talk to the cities who have representation and see if any have gone through the process recently and get their insights.

    Just suggesting that having more information might help people determine if this is a good or bad idea. For sure the council would need to have this data before making such a significant decision.

    Ignored

  27. The only way any change like this will ever happen in Edmonds is if we get a city council majority to vote in favor of initiating a study of such a possible switch with a broad group of citizens who are fed up with status quo (like myself) to get behind it . At least two of the people now running in this election are actually running for the mayor position by positioning themselves as C.P.s first. As Bill Mahar would say, ” we can’t prove this, we just know it.” These two people are not likely to go along with proposing such a change, if elected.

    As to your point, Rebecca, about four cities having it and going back, I know one of the Eastern WA. cities went back because the highly Hispanic populated districts were perceived by the past power structure as getting too much say in what was happening and got it voted back out. I remember reading something or hearing something about this on an NPR venue; but I can’t recall the details. It is definitely something I will try to help research if we ever get a city council that is amenable to taking another stab at this thing. I’m not holding my breath though. I’m 76 this year and it looks to me like what the young people want for Edmonds has little to do with what looks good to me and lots of other people like me in age and length of time of living here.

    Ignored

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