Letter to the editor: What Janelle Cass will bring to city council


Without question, Janelle has the bona fides and the temperament to best serve on Edmonds City Council, Position 2.

First, let’s get the argument out of the way that because her competitor, Will Chen, is a CPA he is best equipped to be the best steward of our tax dollars. Wrong assumption. Councilmembers are not responsible for auditing the city’s books. We hire an auditor to do that. In addition, Janelle is a small business owner. She is well aware of the challenges of managing her business finances and how those dollars are to be spent. She is fiscallyresponsible. She will ask the tough questions and will carefully evaluate and research projects requiring tax dollar expenditures.

Secondly, I have been asked why, as a Latina, I’m not supporting a minority — Alicia Crank and Will Chen — for Edmonds City Council. I absolutely do think we need to see some diversity on city council but not at the expense of qualifications and what they support, what their vision is for Edmonds. My issues and concerns do not have an ethnicity or skin color. They are human concerns. I owe it to myself, my children, my grandchildren, to my neighbors and community to vote for the best qualified person for city council. I am concerned with the way our city government is being run, sheer lack of civility and taking our city down a very destructive path. I’m concerned about our streets (potholes), sidewalks, sewers, environment, the marsh, the homeless situation, housing issues – upzoning. I’m concerned about public safety. As a registered nurse working in emergency rooms I’ve seen first hand the tragic and devastating effects domestic violence can have on victims, children, families, and communities. I want to see our police department, our first responders, supported, valued, respected by our city council and mayor to the fullest. This is what I want and look for in deciding whom to vote for — not skin color.

I’ve chosen to support and vote for Janelle for many reasons. She has the work product to prove she knows how to work collaboratively with many organizations from various areas of the job world. I’m particularly impressed with a project she worked on when she was with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). As an environmental engineer for the FAA’s Las Vegas Metroplex Airspace Redesign Project, she experienced the challenges of bringing together the FAA and the National Parks Department to agree on how airplanes should fly over sensitive areas of the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. Initially, the organizations wanted entirely different outcomes. With diplomacy and perseverance she was able to encourage FAA management, FAA unions, and the airlines to develop a collaborative relationship with a wide variety of invested organizations. These included the National Parks Department, Tribal Nations – primarily the Hualapai Tribe, State Historic Preservation Offices, the State Department of Ecology, the Department of Defense at Nellis AFB, elected officials, the public and others. This massive collaborative effort resulted in reducing an average of 100 flights per day over the Grand Canyon and eliminated flights over Zion National Park altogether. Notably, the FAA and the airlines achieved their mission of improved efficiency, safety and fuel emission reduction. The success of this project reflects Janelle’s proficiency to foster effective team work among those with many diverse opinions. She will utilize and carry over these valuable skills when bringing solutions to the challenges facing Edmonds as we go forward into the future.

I have been a lead on her campaign team for the past nine months. I’ve seen her first hand, day in and day out — we’ve been joined at the hip, as they say. She collects pertinent data, is analytical, a critical thinker. You won’t see her jump to conclusions or following the Pied Piper taking Edmonds over the cliff because that’s what the crowd is doing. Janelle is Janelle no matter what day of the week it is. It doesn’t matter who is asking the question, the answer is the same irrespective of who you are, what your title is, or what the politically woke answer of the day is. She does not waver. She is steady, you can count on her.

Unlike her opponent, Will Chen, the majority of her campaign contributions have come from Edmonds. Will Chen has raised $43,000 in campaign contributions to Janelle’s $39,000. Of this, 12% of Janelle’s contributions come from outside Edmonds as compared to 64% of Will’s coming from outside Edmonds. As the saying goes,“follow the money”. Will Will Chen’s outside Edmonds supporters expect something in return for their support? Perhaps, a kind look at a developer’s housing project?

Unlike Will Chen, Janelle has not wavered from her stance against up zoning single family neighborhoods. WithJanelle sitting on council, there won’t be any tearing down of single family homes to be replaced by lot line to lotline structures and multiple cars sitting out in the street, with our environment and water drainage system beingadversely impacted.

Janelle is an Air Force Academy graduate. She is disciplined in her approach to issues requiring serious inquiry. On the outside we see a person who is respectful, poised, and is the personification of civility. Something our city council is in serious need of. On the inside, Janelle has a whole lot of moxie, and a whole lot of grit, and strength of character. Also, something our city council is in dire need of.

Join me in voting for Janelle Cass for Edmonds City Council, Position 2.

Theresa Campa Hutchison

10 Replies to “Letter to the editor: What Janelle Cass will bring to city council”

  1. Cass points out in the debate that Will got most money from outside of Edmomds and WA. Will responds several times, “I can’t help it if I have more friends than you do?” She had complete grace and didn’t roll in the mud by reacting to any weird jabs. I don’t think Will meant it the way he kept saying it, but it proves she is the humble one of the two.


  2. Theresa.

    I always love your perspective. You are very wise and thoughtful in the way you look at issues.

    I too am supporting Janelle, Neil and Kristiana. Let’s give our city back to the people, the people who actually live here, pay taxes and should have a say when it comes to important issues. The Mayor and the 4 council members that vote in line with him are almost authoritarian in nature in how they make decisions. They don’t care what we think or what business owners think or what laws and rules govern them. They do what they want and what looks good to their future partisan political careers. Let’s elect people who want to be an Edmonds leader, who puts Edmonds first, not candidates who have so called bigger aspirations and vote a certain way to promote their political careers.

    This is an important one, so let’s get it right!!! Otherwise we become the next Seattle.


  3. Janelle Cass seems to be the right person at the right time based on experience and character. Real Estate Broker Will Chen, who helps out his “friends and family” with transactions certainly has a lot of friends outside of Edmonds interested in our local election. It makes me wonder how Chen will be helping his “friends” if he’s elected.


  4. Thank you Theresa for the extra facts about Janelle laid out so clearly and further reinforces why she is the exact person for the job. Edmonds needs Janelle. I have not yet seen the online debate yet, need to find it but Matt if in fact Mr. Chen kept pointing that out his friendships in Seattle outweigh those vs. Janelle Cass’s, I’m wondering if he would like to join his friends in Seattle by moving there instead? His policies would be line with Seattle in reality. I think it shows desperation on Mr. Chen’s part regarding this attack on Janelle Cass and it actually sounds rather childish. “I have more friends in Seattle than you do!”. So he thinks that makes him better qualified for the job? Nope, take the schoolyard bullying elsewhere, but not in our Edmonds. Where was his diplomacy in handling this situation? Clearly, this is not someone who can lead by example. Janelle Cass in every interaction I have had with her and watching her with other Edmonds citizens, has shown great regard for our citizens as well as diplomacy. I watched her outside chambers interact with a mentally disabled man who was speaking very loudly and rather than cast him aside or move away, she went towards him and spent time talking with him, getting to know who he was. That is her character and she cares about our community. That’s why I join Theresa in support for Janelle Cass.


  5. I am pleased to read this article and comments. Haven’t had opportunity until now to really hear detail of differences between candidate positions for this position. But I have had my own suspicions without any real solid backing.
    I also am not in favor of large scale property up-zoning. I’ve seen it in Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Lake Forest Park, and beyond …how these new apartment complexes affect the surrounding areas negatively with more crowded street parking, increased crime, denser traffic. Yes, the local city requires upgrades community parks and street beautification. But look at Aurora Avenue in Shoreline. The upgraded planted areas have turned to weeds because after the first year, maintenance of these areas seems to have been reduced. Look at how existing neighboring homes now have to look out their bathroom windows to apartment walls or new apartment windows right across the fence line. I am pretty sure the existing neighboring homes took a hit on property value and desirability from these new structures and included increased housing density. Increasing housing density through these cookie cutter, multi-use apartment complexes isn’t a part of what Edmonds is all about – or is it?
    Do we want this in Edmonds – or not?
    As for my family, we are in Edmonds to live the “Edmonds kind of day” lifestyle, somewhat removed from the Seattle environment.
    I’m sure Janelle Cass will do well for the Edmonds City Council.
    Thank you Theresa for your letter post, and also Matt and Lee for your responses.


  6. Theresa,

    Excellent letter, especially concerning ethnicity as no one controls the body they are born into, so why make an issue of it? Qualifications are controlled by the candidates and therefore worthy of judgment.


  7. I want to add my support for Janelle Cass. I first met her some 15 years ago, when our daughters were in preschool together. And we crossed paths again when her husband, Chris, coached our girls in soccer together. What has always impressed me about Janelle, is that she is a genuine, good person. And that goes for her entire family. Good people. Committed, involved, wanting the best for everyone. I have heard it said that strong families build strong communities. I believe this to be true. After seeing Janelle, and her family, in action during the formative years of our daughters’ lives, I am voting for her. If integrity is what we are looking for on our city council, then I encourage everyone to do the same. Janelle Cass for city council!


  8. Excellent letters, detailing a wealth of attributes that Janelle has, which would be a God-sent on this beleaguered City Council , and on the City of Edmonds, and its future.

    As Edmonds residents, our family consists of four voters, and we will vote for Kristiana due to her track record of accomplishments and vision, Neil for wanting to maintain Edmonds’ atmosphere, and last but not least, Janelle, who embodies the broad and important experience, vision, the character and sensibility our city council so badly needs.

    Bring on the ballots!


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