Letter to the editor: Time to elect ‘real non-partisan candidates’


Is the Edmonds City Council non-partisan?

The answer at present is no! And yet city councils are set up by state law to be non-partisan. Edmonds City Council has not functioned in the past year as a non-partisan body as evidenced by the four person voting block (some people call it “The Wall”), which has prevented responsible give-and-take discussions, and rational decisions being made regarding important issues that affect the welfare of the City of Edmonds. We need council persons who love this city, whose first priority is the welfare of the city of Edmonds, and are not influenced by outside sources — of any sort — whether political, financial, or otherwise.

I have been an Edmonds resident since the 1960s, a close observer of the political scene since the 1970s, and an active participant and supporter of the arts and other community activities in Edmonds. It’s time to “Tear Down The Wall” and elect the real non-partisan candidates: Kristiana Johnson, Janelle Cass and Neil Tibbott.

JoAnne Nelson

  1. We received a political mailer with those three candidates names together…Tibbott, Cass and Johnson, as if they are running together as a slate or as if they are from the same political party. I also noted that the street signs for Tibbott, Cass and Johnson are grouped together around town. These three candidates seem to be Caucasian. Their opponents seem to be from different “minority” groups. What is going on here? This approach has created the impression that the “white” candidates are banding together against the person of color, Latina and Asian. I thought we were voting for candidates individually. I haven’t decided who I am going to vote for yet but I found this approach striking.

    1. Susan this is not about race. This is about a person’s character and their abilities. If you continue to look through the lens of racism truth will always evade you.

    2. Susan, I think if you do some research you’ll come to understand why people are supporting the candidates you named and find that it has nothing to do with skin color. In fact, some support Tibbott, Chen and Johnson. But one thing I’m missing, who is Latina?

    3. Susan, I can add that the effort to create candidates that are truly serving Edmonds, is another way to say that “they are not like us”. Cass has pushed this line against her opponent so hard, that it feels Trumpian.

    4. It is interesting that a person’s racial makeup can often be wrongly assumed using only the eye of the beholder. If you watch the MEN debate between Janelle Cass and Will Chen, Janelle speaks with great respect and admiration about her Japanese/African-American/Hawaiian grandmother. She speaks to her overcoming racism and how she served as a role model to Janelle with her educational achievements and as a leader in her Civics club in Hawaii, setting up a long-standing exchange program between native Hawaiians and native Alaskans.

      Janelle’s comments about her grandmother starts just after 1hr:19 min into the debate:

      America is a melting pot of countless races and cultures. This is a great reminder that assumptions may often be incorrect and even biased in their narrow-mindedness from a partisan single-party or groupthink perspective. The synonyms of non-partisan include independent, fair, uninfluenced and even unbigoted.

      The last census understood how prevalent multiple racial makeups are in America and finally counted multi-racial backgrounds as a category unto itself, instead of a single race. Interesting that by doing so, many more people of diverse cultural and racial backgrounds in Edmonds, like Janelle Cass, can now be more accurately counted despite what a person may assume looking only at the color of their skin.

  2. How many city council votes in the last 2 years have had a 4-3 result? What assurances do you have that your voting recommendation is not another “wall” just aligned with your vision which may also be considered “partisan”? How did the “state” set up city councils to be “non-partisan” or did they just not force the primaries into having only one candidate from a particular party affiliation?

  3. Anybody else think it’s time to go to representation by District, Strong Council, Weak Mayor, City Manager type government? Sure don’t see or hear of all these problems and personality conflicts we have from places like Mountlake Terrace and Shoreline. Shoreline actually takes a poll on a regular basis, asking citizens to rate how the city management is doing and the results tend to run around 75 to 80% favorable which is pretty high. Personally, I just don’t see anything short of this approach fixing whatever is wrong with how Edmonds is doing things. Our current elections just devolve into personality contests, similar to what we did in Junior High School student government – the Jocks vs. the Nerds so to speak (the Jocks usually won).

  4. As a past business owner, I agree Edmonds has not been voting as the constituents in Edmonds want. I also agree That Tibbot and K. Johnson would be excellent choices. I do not know Cass. RE: Susan F. Many times like minded people run signs together for the very simple reason…it’s Cheaper. Who cares if they are white, black, and any other color.?? To me ,living in Edmonds for years, is assuming Edmonds is racist.. rediculous.. That statement tells me you don’t know Edmonds..

    1. What if those three represent my best interest even know we disagree on a lot of things. I just disagre with the other 3 more. Sometimes you can’t win for losing.

  5. All three of these candidates…Tibbott, Cass and Johnson, are endorsed by the Snohomish County Republican Party. Look up its website, and go to the sample ballot to see for yourself. The website links to recommended news sources including Breitbart, Parler, and Gab and calls itself The America First Party. I find it interesting that we keep seeing letters to the editor claiming these three candidates are non-partisan. Yet, they behave as if they are running together as a slate, dropping off political flyers asking us to vote for them together. I wish our local politics were really non-partisan.

  6. I haven’t looked it up..but maybe the Republican Party likes some of their views? And do not like the left leaning views…does that make them Republican? I’m confused. Many people who run for a position in Edmonds have different ideas. Some may be Republican and some may be Democrat. Susan, you sound very angry about so many things when you are the various strings. Usually what happens for anyone, is you pick the candidates that you most agree with. I would hate to think they ONLY a vote the party. I have voted many times for both sides.

  7. I endorsed Janelle Cass after reading her impressive credentials as an environmental engineer in her LTE https://myedmondsnews.com/2021/09/letter-to-the-editor-im-prepared-to-serve-city-on-day-one/, and after listening to her comment to Council at the 9-28 public hearing on the Stormwater Management Code. When I spoke to Janelle, she talked of having toured a portion of Perrinville Creek (where serious flooding of properties occurs) and lamented not having had time to walk the entire creek. I laughed, but she was serious! As an environmental engineer, that’s what she does.

    I believe what Janelle said in her LTE: “I will seek winning solutions that balance environmental stewardship and infrastructure needs by creating cooperative relationships between all stakeholders.” In my opinion, that is exactly what Edmonds needs right now.

    I don’t care what party a candidate belongs to. I want Council members who most reflect what I would like to see for the future of Edmonds.

    I hope Janelle wins.

    Joan Bloom
    Former Edmonds City Council member

  8. Speaking of being non-partisan, was anyone else on this thread (or currently reading this comment) inspired by the mailer about a certain council member running for re-election? It arrived with my ballot on Saturday.

    The one page mailer listed out specific comments and actions (with cited sources) about the named council member which are concering to this group of residents. The mailer encouraged the reader to carefully vet the candidate when deciding who to vote for in that specific council race.

    This mailer was extremely encouraging to me as it shows that residents can come together regardless of polictial affiliation for the good of Edmonds. Kudos!

  9. I found the “Two Candidates but only One Real Leader” mailer from the Will Chen campaign really, really disappointing. It is full of unsupported statements about Janelle Cass while referring to his own statements about solutions to problems which as far as I can tell lack any details–after spending some time looking at firendsofwell.org. In addition, Will has never made his position clear on single-family upzoning. I have directly asked this question of Will on two separate occasions and always get an answer that is hedged similar to what is in the mailer “Voted to protect Single-Family Zoning .. where it makes sense.” Does this mean it makes sense in your neighborhood Will but not mine. I will vote for Janelle and hope you carefully look at the two candidates rather than listen to Will’s misleading mailer.

    1. In an other publication Will Chen said that anyone who wants to live in Edmonds should be able to live in Edmonds.
      He doesn’t think that they should be shut out by relatively high housing costs.
      I’ve already voted for Janelle Cass.

  10. This is in response to Susan Ferguson’s two comments about certain candidates for City Council.
    Susan, it is sad that you ” wish our local politics were really non-partisan” in such a partisan manner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.