I am very concerned that the budget process is unnecessarily being rushed. I have sent the following letter to the Edmonds City Council and Mayor, and I would like to share my concerns with you and my Edmonds community.
Many people have been saying that the budget and planning processes are being “expedited” because of the coming election. I hope there is a much better reason than that. Good plans for Edmonds survive elections even if the designers don’t.
How come there is never enough time taken, by the people we have elected, to have constructive discussions with the many knowledgeable people in our community who are willing to volunteer their time and expertise to help the Edmonds community? It appears that even when there is input given, solicited or otherwise, it is rarely considered if it is not in line with and supports where the council or mayor want to go.
Here is a case in point. In December of 2020 the Save Our Marsh (SOM) group of well-informed citizens, wrote a letter to the Edmonds council. In it, they suggested, after much research, a change that needed to be considered to the Capital Facilities Plan (referred to below as the “CFP”). They wrote:
“Restoring the tidal-estuarine functions of the Edmonds Marsh-Estuary and making necessary modifications to Marina Beach Park should NOT be placed under a Stormwater heading in the CFP; the focus of the estuary restoration project must be on ecological processes and benefits to salmon/wildlife as well as public recreation. As the SOM has suggested previously, a future CFP should place the restoration project under “Parks” (since the Edmonds Marsh is a wildlife reserve/sanctuary)”
It saddens me to see wonderful opportunities to create exceptional environmental conditions fall victim to politics and political infighting. our local government seems to be becoming a microcosm of other larger governments, in that the thinking of the people that we elect revolves more around their staying elected or getting what they want rather than taking the time to effectively engage the community, lead a civilized discussion and listen to the needs of the people of Edmonds so that the council can make community centered decisions.
In the case of the marsh/estuary, we actually have time, since WSDOT doesn’t even have the land yet and will not for at least a year, to really plan for the future of the marsh/estuary. Let’s not jump ahead with unfounded and inappropriate decisions. Let’s call on our Edmonds community to bring well thought out plans to the table before we hire outside consultants to tell us what is “right for Edmonds.” Let’s have a dialogue with the city staff and the community they are paid to serve.
Do things right, not just expedite!
Thanks for reading this.