Letter to the editor: A message to candidates and their supporters

Editor:

Okay, I’ll admit it. This is really a letter to the candidates for Edmonds City Council.

It comes as no surprise to anyone that our upcoming elections/campaigns have become quite divisive. And instead of outlining my rationale behind the “whys” I will just state my message:

  1. Please talk about your position on the many issues that will affect our fair city in the upcoming days, weeks, months, and even years.
  2. Please talk about your credentials for being able to address these issues.
  3. Please don’t talk about your opponent’s shortcomings.
  4. Please don’t talk about your opponent’s past mistakes, perceived or actual.

And to those who avidly support one candidate or another, while I admire your interest in achieving the best outcome for Edmonds, please know that exhaustively enumerating the opposing candidate’s shortcomings hoping to influence the vote, actually achieves the opposite result.

Yes, I expect pushback from some, as, unfortunately, we have come to a place in time where one would get disagreement even from stating that water is wet.

Samm Jaenicke
Edmonds

25 Replies to “Letter to the editor: A message to candidates and their supporters”

  1. I agree to the point of telling us why we should vote for you..and your achievements. But…I want to hear comparisons between you and what is currently being done by whatever current leadership is doing. Great way to keep informed. Many people do not know these things or maybe they just moved to our area..if they don’t compare they would have no idea.

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  2. Samm, While I generally agree with your sentiments, there is a sitting Councilmember up for reelection whose behavior has been so egregious, anti-democratic and nasty that it simply had to be addressed. Her behavior toward her fellow Edmonds’ City Councilmembers and the citizens here has even resulted in a call for her to censured by Council. Yes, the effort narrowly failed, but the action itself was certainly warranted due to her behavior.

    Lynne Chelius

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  3. Samm, your questions of candidates are fair and I hope many of those were addressed during debates. When you have a city government where 4 participants Paine, Laura, Monillas, Luke, have perpetually out- voted the other three in favor of the desires of the mayor and NO citizens voices matter, you bet the community is outraged. Any possibility of candidates getting in to continue this behavior and most likely to align with mayor are disastrous for citizens. The actions of the 4 have not served this community or its citizens and have repeatedly violated the code of conduct, code of ethics, violated ordinances etc. If anyone has been divisive, it’s the 4 including the mayor with their decisions to ignore the people. Most of us I believe want to protect the greater good of our city. Monillas reelection would be continued disaster for our City. She is a train wreck, when you look at her conduct. Re: others, more of the politics of Seattle brought here with Crank and Chen will further divide this community. Not a difficult concept to understand because both candidates will change our zoning in favor of more density. Is that what edmonds needs, more alignment with our mayor to destroy the fabric of edmonds. Hardly. Conversely then, their opponents are interested in keeping the integrity of the Growth Management Act. Cass, Kristiana, and Tibbott plan to respect the integrity of the document since Edmonds has already met the requirements for density. On this point alone there are huge ramifications in violating the GMA. To upset the balance of nature would be a Gross violation of trust to the environment first and the people second. Anyone who would violate this trust based on what “their opinion is” and override this consideration is not right for this city from my viewpoint.

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    1. Cynthia, Samm doesn’t have questions FOR the candidates, he has requests OF the candidates:

      1. Please tell us what you bring to the table.

      2. Please, PLEASE stop attacking your opponent.

      Give us your strengths, be civil, take the high road.

      And for those in the community who continue to point out all the negative things about certain members of the council: Enough already. What those who keep regurgitating the past don’t seem to understand is that you’re basically shooting yourselves in the foot. It starts to sound like you’re a bit unhinged and you turn people off to the message you hold, even if it’s valid. And I’m quite sure that the candidates you’re supporting would really appreciate being “supported” as opposed to being “better than fill-in-the-blank”.

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  4. I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in this letter! Enough with anonymous accusations of people’s personal life or past actions. Please campaign on what you will do, not just what you will obstruct. Does the divisiveness of national politics need to plague our local issues, too? We will achieve more without that.

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  5. This is a fine letter. It sparks a nerve in my body that involved the discussion of issues that should be resolved by non-partisan support in non-partisan elections. Partisan statements are inappropriate. Political personalities should be required to support independent non-political election as a the majority of private citizens do; place a sign in on or in their own property. Hopefully, we as a community can decide upon a method to police those who violate this system without violating their rights. I know voting them out of office is a remedy, however, the damage has been done to a non-partisan candidate if we have to wait until the next voting cycle.

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  6. Thanks to Samm for saying what I think needs to be said in every election cycle!
    I was surprised and disappointed to receive a flyer in the mail this weekend from the “Citizens of Edmonds for Good Government”. In my opinion, this type of committee is never up to any good, and play a large role in increasing divisiveness in the very community they claim to care about. Their animous is directed toward any who choose to have different idealogical beliefs and opinions from their own.
    This particular group encourages voters to “dig into the past of each candidate”, yet they focus all their own digging toward one candidate in particular. I do my own research, thank you very much, and encourage others to do the same. There’s enough disinformation out there already, and I am very careful about who and what I choose to believe.
    I don’t see anything in the flyer (nor in the constant flow of letters to editors) about the deceptive business practices of a certain candidate who they do support, one who has made potentially harmful, misleading claims and testimonials on their business’ website, only to conveniently remove them as the election draws near. My gut tells me that, if people are deceptive in business, they’re very likely deceptive in their campaign promises.
    To those committee members, I say “There but for the grace of God”. Please don’t talk about voters making a list of candidate “criteria such as their values, personal behaviors”, etc without looking hard in the mirror first.

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  7. Hmm, interesting comments from Cindy. I on the other hand liked the letter from Citizens of Edmonds for Good Government because they listed their names, they offered evidence for people to look at, and encouraged people to come to their own conclusion. To me, that’s how disagreement works effectively. You show evidence, you are transparent, and then people reach a conclusion. On the other hand, Cindy had good comments as well, but I’m not that involved and don’t know about the failings of the other candidate. All candidates have failings, and the thing we do is try to figure out who can do the most for the community where we live.

    I liked Will Chan’s letter about what he has accomplished, found it personal, and found that it made much sense to me. He also saved money in mailing a letter rather than printing a full color card, and that made me feel that he practices what he says. Thanks Will Chan, you’re an inspiration to me by realizing that actions mean SO much more than words.

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  8. I received an ugly hit piece in the mail that pretended to be from a disinterested third party, a committee, whose name I’d never heard before. The hit piece attacked only one Edmonds City Counsel candidate, so I assume the hit piece was the work of that candidate’s opponent.

    I will not vote for any candidates who rely upon anonymous hit pieces to advance their campaigns.

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  9. Samm: I’m with you. I’ve been struck by the calling out of opponents in debates. Any of the candidates who sink to this lost my vote. It’s insulting to the intelligence of voters. Stand on your own ideas, merits, and passion for the position.

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  10. I am all for candidates telling the voters what they stand for and what they want to accomplish but, I disagree with Samm when it comes to a candidates actual conduct. All incumbants run on and should be judged on their record, performance and behavior as well as for what they advocate. Disrespectfull egregious conduct by any candidate should ber pointed out and judged by the electorate to detrermine if that person deserves their vote. I think that is true for anyone you want to hire; your doctor, your lawyer, your accountant or your home builder. You want to know their record of conduct, achievements or discipline and their behavior towards clients and patients. Same should apply to those you are hiring to run your local government. Character counts, as does past conduct, whether good or bad.

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  11. Anyone who has been engaged in City Council meetings and has witnessed first hand what actually has been occurring with their elected leaders should come to the conclusion (no matter what side of politics you’re on) that there has been numerous violations to our city code of conduct and ethics by a council member up for re-election. You need to wake up if you don’t know who this is as AFM has no business being in any elected position in Edmonds again. Neil Tibbot hasn’t put anyone up to these comments. He has purposely stayed out of this as the campaign against AFM has nothing to do with him. It’s all about her bad judgement, immature and unprofessional abuse of her position.

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  12. Kim and Mark, great rebuttal. It is ridiculous to even suggest that an opponents, especially an incumbent opponents, record, actions or words cannot/should not be brought up in this campaign. It is imperative that ones “track record” be reviewed as part of the vetting process for voters. Many don’t read My Edmonds News every day unfortunately, and if they work they do not have time to always follow the very informative “comments”. Therefore it certainly is not “attacking” an opponent it is bring light to the behaviors of one’s past. They are not “hit pieces” if there is video and audio to serve as proof.
    Those that don’t like to hear negative things about a candidate have either already made up their mind as to who they are voting, or live in an alternative universe. You would think that you would want to be informed of proven behavior problems. Again not everyone is retired reading newspapers all day or on-line news, so to only mention something a few times does not get to the general public.
    Of course every opponent should give their own position on issues. But to imagine a political race based on “promises and dreams” alone without calling out the missteps, affiliations, and behavior of your opponent is EXACTLY why we are in the situation we currently are in today in Edmonds.

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  13. Grace, Kim and Mark, thank you for all your comments, they are spot on!! People who want to pretend to vote based on niceties are living in a world that doesn’t exist. It’s not even sane how some decide to vote!! A mailer, NOT sent out by Neil but through an assumption, the person is going with the council person with an inebriation problem!! Oh dear! I wish that mentality would leave Edmonds!!!

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  14. This is where a “chicken in every pot” saying came from in history. A politician running for a office would guarantee free this, free that, for everyone but no way to pay for it. That same thing is happening now. We are in a huge debt and increasing daily. As a grandparent I hate that my grandkids will to strapped with such debt. We absolutely need to know what a politician stands for and where they plan on taking Edmonds in the future. And how they intend to pay for it. I would want to know if someone’s history. Otherwise how could you make a sound judgement? If people don’t know anything about each applicant..they shouldn’t vote.

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  15. The businesses on the HWY 99 corridor provide the majority of Edmonds sales tax revenue and also contribute enormous amounts of property taxes to the City of Edmonds. The use of these taxes are public policy issues to discuss — instead of bashing Councilmember Fraley-Monillas. Residents of the area have been watching to see if this area of town is treated equitably with the rest of Edmonds. It is not.

    Those attacking Councilwoman Fraley-Monillas want a city council member who will vote to support their displacement agenda as they expect this neighborhood to absorb the population growth expected in the next 20 years. They like high rise buildings and super highways barreling through the neighborhoods on their way to I-5 but they seem not to care for Adrienne’s advocacy for equity in the development of parks, recreation amenities, safety and public services.

    They like Adrienne’s support for the environmental needs of the Edmonds Marsh and neighborhoods across the city, but refuse to engage in support, discussion, or respect, for the Environmental Justice needs of the HWY 99 neighborhood. They have more fun making personal attacks against candidates than engaging in principled, democratic dialogue on the issues requiring some intellectual discipline on issues impacting the lives of our residents.

    However, residents of HWY 99 Neighborhood, along with all other Edmonds residents, have public policy issues to discuss: the allocation of city revenue across the city, parks, tree canopy, sidewalks, and a beautiful fountain in a public plaza would also be lovely in the HWY 99 part of town. Perhaps Esperance should become a town and then annex HWY 99 along with all its tax revenue.

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    1. I looked into and worked with Neil on the Economic Development Commission. My impression, as a non-resident of the Bowl, was that Neil took everything we said and discussed it openly and honestly with Council. Highway 99 is one of the most important corridors for our City. He took my radical ideas and there were plenty of heated dialogs. In turn, he pushed for pocket parks, mixed use, and safety along the corridor. In my opinion and experience, he agreed that access to all along Highway 99 and the surrounding communities was extremely important. Granted, sales taxes from car lots are great for the City coffers, but Neil heard my voice when transit, safety, increases in public services and investment, and more ability for people to live AND work in Edmonds were important to me and to the neighbors I talked with in our neighborhood.

      The largest improvement project that has ever taken place in Edmonds is about to get started, and a long time coming for the Highway 99 corridor. I can attest, whether it matters or not, that Neil’s work included views from us that lived there. Again, I supported AFM in the past, but too much is just too much.

      It is a long time coming. Now, it’s time to move City Hall to that corridor (and if possible, the majority of City Services with substations in other areas).

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    2. “Those attacking Councilwoman Fraley-Monillas want a city council member who will vote to support their displacement agenda… They like high rise buildings and super highways barreling through the neighborhoods on their way to I-5.”

      It is arrogant to pretend to know what motivates others. I want neither of these things, yet I am appalled at Fraley-Monillas’ behavior. Please don’t tell me what I want or like, or what you may like to think my “agenda” is; you simply do not know, and in this case you are completely wrong. Community cannot thrive on hyperbole or sweeping and uninformed judgements of others.

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      1. Well said, Nathaniel. And Ms. Chase, keep your broad brush away from me; you don’t know what you’re talking about. Character matters to many here in Edmonds. We all know what happened on a national level in 2016 when enough people ignored bad behavior.

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  16. Ms. Chase,

    Please understand that the so-called “attacks” on Councilmember Fraely-Monillas center around her behavior and lack of civility to Council colleagues and the citizens of Edmonds. The evidence of her unprofessional behavior is abundant culminating in a push by Council to censure her, only narrowly defeated. The discussion has not been criticism of her ideas and advocacy for underserved neighborhoods. It is my belief that citizens here are excited to discuss options for these burgeoning areas of Edmonds.

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  17. This is pretty simple for me. I don’t vote for people who call me names and disparage me because I happen to live in a certain part of town vs. another part of town. I don’t give a damn what political party any of the candidates prefer. I don’t live in the Bowl because I’m an old rich white guy. I did not inherit the house we live in. My first wife and I worked our fannies off for years so we could afford to buy it when my Mom had to sell it. I also voted for Mr. Tibbott because he has done an excellent job of taking the high road in this and talking about the issues, rather than the personality of his opponent. I appreciate that fact and I hope he wins big in the election.

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