Commentary: Council budget cuts will make Edmonds unsafe, polluted and uninformed

Mayor Mike Nelson

In a time when our local economy is strong with record revenue and stable city finances, some of our city councilmembers want to cut critical city services taking Edmonds backwards 30 years. Their threats of cuts to the 2022 city budget (which was passed last year after months and months of review) has already delayed implementation of these projects.

These council cuts will make Edmonds unsafe, polluted and make our residents uninformed.

They wish to cut the replacement of our worn-out police vehicles, which will result in them being in the shop for constant repair. Is the expectation that our officers respond to our residents’ emergencies by calling an Uber? Relying on older vehicles will delay the emergency response of our police officers to our residents, exposing our residents to harm and risk that is completely preventable.

They want to cut a new pedestrian safety barrier at the police parking lot designed to protect our residents from being struck by police cars responding to emergency calls. There have been too many close calls and it is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. This barrier will also protect our officers who have had over 50 cases of vandalism and damage to their personal vehicles over the years with no action taken from previous mayors or councils.

Additionally, they wish to cut funding to our new Human Services Department. Cutting $200,000 will send a clear signal that the Edmonds City Council does not feel that there is a homelessness problem in Edmonds and that it is acceptable for our unsheltered residents that we have now to remain living on our streets and parking in our neighborhoods since it is unconstitutional to remove an unhoused person without providing shelter. The city’s current collaboration with Snohomish County and neighboring cities to expand shelter and behavioral health treatment for our chronically unhoused residents will be put on hold if these cuts are passed.

It is clear from their amendments they don’t think it is our city’s responsibility to help ensure you have clean air and water. Removing green streets and rain garden programs will create more flooding of our roadways and pollution of our streams. Their removal of the filtration system used to clean polluted water entering the Edmonds Marsh will allow toxic chemicals to harm salmon and wildlife in our city and Puget Sound.

They want to cut upgrading solar panels on city buildings, eliminate electric city vehicles and delete adding electric charging stations  which will increase our use of dirty fossil fuels, thereby increasing harmful air pollution and more extreme weather. What’s their alternative? Build a wall that shields Edmonds from the impacts of the climate crisis?

These cuts will waste taxpayer dollars on higher utility and gasoline bills. This will take us backwards at a time when every U.S. auto manufacturer has already begun phasing out manufacturing gasoline-powered vehicles and is moving forward to only produce electric vehicles in the near future.

For the first time ever, this year our city has a full time public information officer (PIO). They are working to improve our engagement with our residents on topics of interest, to quickly respond to press inquiries on a 24/7 basis, and enhance our transparency on city initiatives and projects. In times of emergency, we will improve public safety by providing timely and critical information to the public.

In fact, this just occurred with the recent tsunami advisory. Our PIO was called upon at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning to attend county and city disaster calls to gather pertinent information and was able to communicate to our residents and media throughout the day to avoid our beaches and stay safe.

However, some councilmembers wish us to go backwards and cut the position from full-time to half-time. Our residents will not be able to be kept abreast of developing issues in a timely manner and will be unaware of actions their local government is doing in their communities. Is this what these councilmembers want? I hope that is not true.

You can stop these cuts. These cuts will require a super majority of five votes. Speak out at the public hearing scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. during the regular council meeting. You can find more information here: http://edmondswa.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=3747.

Another way is to share your concerns is to email council directly at: council@edmondswa.gov.

Here is link to entire 2022 budget that was already passed in 2021: tinyurl.com/2p9ym9d8

Here is the link to the Decision Packages that were passed in 2021: tinyurl.com/265yt2cw, The items they wish to cut are the decision packages #1,11,13,14,16, 20, 21, 22, 33, 34, 35, 37,38,40,41,47,48,51,55,60,61,70,71, and 72.

— By Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson

 

45 Replies to “Commentary: Council budget cuts will make Edmonds unsafe, polluted and uninformed”

  1. ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️ the Mayor Nelson’s Bloated Budget ✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️✂️ especially the Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity position….not needed; Consultant will suffice!

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    1. I think that getting a few electric police cars would be a great idea….and keeping the marsh clean is important, but what happened to the idea of actually opening up the creek for fish passage?
      Oooh, let me guess. The dog park would have to move south a bit….just a bit.
      And a city wide camera system that would help make our city safer. As well as new mobile cameras in bad problem areas.We need a better police presence on hwy 99 area….and 2 more plain undercover vehicles. A new drone , and a mental health officer to do timely evaluations.

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  2. Mayor Mike,
    This is how city government works. You lost your majority in the last election and now you have to learn to work with people. I know this is going to be hard but you can do it. Start with something small that both sides can agree upon and build from there. Shaming city council members on a website shows your lack of leadership skills and makes you look more like a bully. Call the city council members and find items you do agree upon and go from there.

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  3. I have submitted written or oral public comments for almost every City Council Meeting since Mike Nelson became Mayor of Edmonds. I have emailed Mayor Mike Nelson hundreds of times since he has been Mayor. I have tried hard to engage with my City Government.

    Despite having an Executive Assistant and despite the City having a PIO, I have never received an email reply from Mayor Nelson, his Executive Assistant or the PIO. He and his team have refused to engage with me on a wide range of topics of interest.

    For example, I have emailed Mayor Nelson and asked: Does the City of Edmonds have a functional Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan? Mayor Nelson has refused to answer this question involving public health and safety.

    Mayor Nelson blocked certain citizens from participating in the November 16, 2021 Public Hearing on the 2022 Budget. I was in attendance on Zoom with my hand raised and he refused to let me speak.

    In my strong opinion, citizen confidence in City government has fallen to a very low level since Mayor Nelson was sworn in as Mayor.

    This City desperately needs leadership. Instead, our Mayor makes allegations against certain Councilmembers without having the integrity to name exactly who he is talking about. He claims “some” of our Councilmembers want to cut critical city services taking Edmonds backwards 30 years. He provides no details about how he established that 30 years is the number of years they want to take us backwards.

    He asks the following ridiculous, sensational question: “Is the expectation that our officers respond to our residents’ emergencies by calling an Uber?”

    Mayor Nelson, I encourage you to apologize for this emotional outburst. Please read City Code and please perform your duties. Please let City Council do what we elected them to do. Thank you.

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      1. Thanks Melissa,

        Concerns about whether the CEMP was functional were expressed by City Council during the December 15, 2015 City Council Meeting. Those concerns may have been forgotten about by the time City Council approved the CEMP via Resolution 1386 on April 18, 2017.

        Resolution 1386 states:
        WHEREAS, Washington State law requires the CEMP to be reviewed and updated at least once every two calendar years;

        Our CEMP hasn’t been updated every two calendar years. It also must be tested annually, but I can find no evidence that has been done.

        The April 18, 2017 CEMP updated the December 2015 version and removed references to ESCA.

        ESCA (Emergency services coordinating agency) was a local government agency created pursuant to Chapter 38.52 RCW that provided local emergency disaster management functions for Edmonds and other jurisdictions.

        ESCA disbanded in 2015.

        On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Edmonds City Council held a Special Meeting after Mayor Mike Nelson requested such.

        A review of the March 22, 2020 City Council Meeting Minutes indicates ESCA was mentioned 7 times even though ESCA had not existed since December 31, 2015. For example:

        Mr. Taraday said that sentence simply provides permission for the ESCA plan to designate the ESCA director as a co-chair.

        A review of the March 24, 2020 City Council Meeting Minutes indicate I mentioned the following:

        -In addition, new Ordinance No. 4177 refers to something called the “Emergency services coordinating agency (ESCA)”. I suspect such does not exist. If one clicks on the link to such on the City’s website, it takes you to a website about getting a license to drive in the state of Texas.

        Many messes here.

        Despite all my efforts at the City, County and State Level, the City of Edmonds still has not updated the CEMP and our City Code still contains references to ESCA, references that were added in March of 2020, over four (4) years after ESCA disbanded on December 31, 2015.

        Mayor Nelson – Does the City of Edmonds have a functional Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan?

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      1. I most heartly agree, Ken. Mayor Nelson has issues with following city and state laws. The citizens need to vote for a change our form of government and support the change to a council and professional city manager. This action would be best way to stop the foolish and reckless spending of the city reserve fund and our tax dollars.

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        1. I totally agree with you Mr. Tupper. This Strong mayor/weak part-time and “hobby job” council system has been a bad idea since long before Mayor Nelson and the Democratic Party four were ever on the scene here. (And no I’m not a Republican). My vision would be to make the City Council job a full time position elected out of specific zones of the city. The Council Persons could have their own office and office hours in their own zone of the city. People would actually have a representative elected from where they live. The council would hire and fire the city manager at will and the manager and staff would truly answer to the people about how, why and when things are done. I know this would cost money and take time to perfect but the discussion needs to begin. Where are you at on this idea ECR? Do you really want to have an open and unbiased discussion about this idea or something similar?

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    1. Read what you wrote. Read it again. The city needs to hire a full time person to deal with your incessant needs.

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  4. Mayor Nelson the people elected a council that would be a voice for all of the people. The people of Edmonds removed your wall of 4. I have complete faith in Council members Vivian, Diane, Neil and Will. I know they will do their best, to make good decisions for our community. Grand Standing, bullying and rushing budgets, to keep incoming Council from having a vote was wrong and dirty. The right action is to review the budget, with a team of diverse backgrounds, who are not a voting block but critical independent thinkers. I am so thankful for all of the hard work they have done so far!

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  5. Mayor Nelson has been the most ideological, unresponsive, and out of touch Mayor in the history of Edmonds.
    Now that the “Gang of Four” supporters – AFM, Will, Susan Paine and Laura Johnson has been reduced to Nelson and a “Gang of Two”, our Mayor whines that the bloated and wasteful budget he rammed through early before new council member Chen was seated is going to get the fat cut out of it.
    That is the way elections work Mr. Mayor – you push an unpopular, ideological agenda and those CM’s that support it get voted out, and “poof”, there goes your agenda.

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  6. Mayor Nelson presented his 2022 Proposed Budget to City Council on October 4, 2021. The targeted date for adoption was November 23, 2021. Despite this, four Councilmembers voted to adopt the budget on November 17, 2021.

    Forty-four (44) days isn’t even 2 months. Forty-four (44) days is better described as weeks and weeks, not months and months.

    November 17, 2021 was the last Council Meeting held before newly elected Councilmember Will Chen took office. The vote to approve the budget was 4-1. Councilmembers Diane Buckshnis and Kristiana Johnson were absent from the November 17, 2021 City Council Meeting. One of the four (4) votes to approve was made by former Councilmember Luke Distelhorst, who voters had not supported well enough to even advance through the primary election to the general election.

    The following comments by 2021 City Council President Susan Paine are taken from the Approved City Council Meeting Minutes for November 23, 2021:

    “Regarding moving the budget timeline, she explained Councilmember Distelhorst has been involved in all the projects with a level of diligence and appreciation for the finetuned needs the budget deserves. Councilmember Chen is certainly a very bright man and she had no doubt he would be a strong performer on the Council, but moving the timeline a bit was the right thing to do because the right people were in place who understood all the projects.”

    Mayor Mike Nelson advertises:

    “You can stop these cuts. These cuts will require a super majority of five votes.”

    I think Mayor Nelson is talking about Proposed Amendments to the 2022 Adopted City Budget when he uses the word “cuts”. Mayor Nelson’s statement that a super majority vote is required is interesting. I suspect it is more complicated than that. For example, Packet Pg. 91 claims: “A super-majority vote (five votes) is needed in order for any amendment to be moved to the budget ordinance.” Packet Pages 106-107 states: “Any preliminary motions made as part of the perfecting or finalizing of the ordinance would only need a majority for passage.” Which is it? Hopefully clarity will be provided.

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  7. I appreciated the Mayor outlining exactly the cuts that the new City Council is trying to make.
    They are all in areas that make Edmonds the kind of place it is known for: safety, support for the environment, and support for ALL citizens. Support in these areas make Edmonds so different than surrounding cities. Just look around.
    I hope the council gets this point and supports Edmonds as it should be with the budget that was approved previously.

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  8. I believe that the Mayor neglected to mention that:
    1) the budget that was passed was not fiscally flush. It requires the city to spend into the reserves during a time when we should be
    Taking a fiscally conservative approach.
    2) the budget that was passed was rushed through to ensure that the former “4 pack” on the Council could shut down any amendments being proposed during the negotiation process.
    3) Former President/Council-member Paine acted unethically in revising the budget calendar to achieve #2 (above) exactly after Luke Distelhorst lost in the Primary, and disallowed residents from exercising their right to speech at the 11/16 council meeting, then called a “special surprise “ meeting for 11/17 when 2 council members were unable to attend so as to ensure the budget would be passed without discussion or consideration of amendments before Luke left his council member post. That’s poor governance!
    4) While there was a lot of resident feedback on the budget that was being presented, there was virtually nothing changed before it was passed. The pack of 4 gave the Mayor his full ask.
    5) There are other means to fund some of the projects mentioned. There will need to be compromises and hard choices- but that’s what we are all facing right now. For example, “Green Projects” were funded through the Federal Care Act and a huge portion of those funds were allocated to environmental projects. Where did that money go? Do we need to buy all of those Electric Vehicles this year? Is the government’s place to subsidize private solar projects?
    6) The budget is funded with the tax payers’ money not the Mayor’s, and as such, I’d appreciate the Mayor taking a more prudent and appreciative stance rather than stomping his feet and taking his predictable partisan and hyperbolic “the sky is falling “ approach to this topic.
    We need a leader, not an instigator, Mr Mayor.
    I encourage residents to get involved in this discussion b/c it’s not only about the $$, it’s about demanding better representation and governance from this City Council and Administration.

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  9. The mayor is trying to negate the recent election with hyperbole and scorched-earth politics. Having a city council that is free thinking must be inconvenient for Mayor Nelson, preferring they act like his employees. I guess it will come down to how much the newly-elected council persons decide they want to have their votes and opinions counted.

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  10. An Uber, really? Did I read that correctly? After much reflection I truly appreciate our council members. In my opinion, they are our local voices who listen, respond, and most important to our city. All current members have responded to questions via email or phone. Some are much better than others at communication. We may not always agree but they respond. Some are really good. Thank you for listening.

    In previous administrations, the mayor was available to talk on the street or to say hello, or send an email response in return to an inquiry. I realize Covid has impacted in person communication but their is still a computer keyboard. I do miss those days perhaps we could return sometime. That would be a great positive step.

    I would like to hear all council members, and let each have the ability to debate the amendments, present their views and vote.

    Thank you council members for your service to the community. An Uber really?

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  11. Thank you to our City Council for making wise decisions for all Edmonds residents. Council President Vivian Olson is demonstrating great leadership and Edmonds future is bright with her leadership.

    Mayor Mike you are now in minority position, please get over it and work with the council going forward.

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  12. I think there is a lot to be said for returning to the Edmonds of 30 years ago. For example, we didn’t have to dodge ugly eating shacks or navigate around a fountain park in the middle of main street. Thirty years ago our streets were considered only streets, not plazas to put on nightly and weekly carnivals and make life difficult for our non instant entertainment retail business’. Just think, it was a time when all business was considered important and the town was mostly for the benefit of people who actually live here. It wasn’t paradise then, but it’s important to realize that all change isn’t necessarily progress.

    As citizens our biggest current problem is the way we allow our city to be run from the top down instead of the bottom up – with Council Persons representing our needs and wants instead of just rubber stamping the supposed great wisdom of the mayor, his staff and the city attorney. There will be a public hearing and input from all current Council Members on this rushed thru budget and that is exactly how it should be.

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  13. Mayor Nelson,
    You are not giving the respect to Edmonds Council members that has been given them by the voters of Edmonds.

    During meetings, it was painful to watch you allow certain CM’s to repeat themselves for ten minutes, interrupt, insult and personally slander other CM’s who are there to consider what is best for the citizens of Edmonds – not solely your agenda.

    I am amused that you are using lines like ‘build a wall’ and ‘officers using Ubers for emergency calls’ in an attempt to trigger folks.

    I am surprised that you are using the US constitution to get your Human Services budget – which in all likelihood will not go to help homeless but to further your woke agendas.

    You have purposely devalued all undeveloped single family zoned properties by requiring payment for the inflated worth of the owner’s trees before allowing division.

    Forcing them to buy their property twice.

    This is an unconstitutional governmental taking without just compensation. Shameful!

    Nearly all homes in Edmonds required trees removed before they were built – they were not charged $3,000 to $12,000 for each tree.

    No one can build homes without the city’s $100,000’s of fees and no one is buying the properties if they know what they have to go through.

    You now plan to purchase properties at a steep discount – causing owners more loss.

    I hope the city is paying the landowners for the land plus the same worth of each tree on their property the city was charging them before they allowed property divided or homes built.

    Home prices have skyrocketed because of low inventory while single family zoned undeveloped properties prices have stagnated & dropped because builders can’t afford to deal with the city of Edmonds

    Give land owners back the right to build affordable single family homes on their properties without charging them for their own trees.

    If you want trees, legally compensate or incentivize owners rather than illegally taking the worth of their property from them.

    Please let us downsize and build our accessible homes in Edmonds without takings.

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  14. I don’t look at this as much about majority/minority alliances within the City Council as I do looking for councilmembers who are independent and critical thinkers who are not aligned to any one individual. Looking for those who listen to the community with an open mind. We’re not all always going to agree with the ultimate outcome of a Council vote on any particular topic, but at a minimum we want a solid debate after listening to citizen input and votes based on facts and data. I think many on this new council possess these attributes. And under Council President Olson’s leadership, I believe that agendas will start to be set based on city-wide priorities and needs. I’m hopeful.
    As far as Mayor Nelson’s letter, this is indicative of an authoritarian who fails to get what he wants. While he lambasts the City Council, he has never articulated his vision or priorities for the city, yet he expects us to blindly follow him on a journey to places unknown. I believe that he now realizes that he will be a one-term mayor in a lame duck position. At this point he should yield to Mr. OBrien’s advice and reset his approach if he has any ambition to retain his position. But as we’ve seen in others with authoritarian tendencies, it’s unlikely to happen, but I’m hopeful that it will.
    Finally, I agree with most, but not all the budget “cuts” being suggested by various councilmembers. Many of them are proposed for the lack of information from the administration to justify the budget. So many could be reinstated in whole or in part if the administration cooperates with the City Council in a working together approach to find common ground. My overarching concern with the current 2022 budget is that it spends more than projected revenues, hence relies on depleting our reserves to balance it. This needs to change. All of this will take leadership from the mayor and so far he hasn’t demonstrated any, but I’ll remain hopeful.

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  15. Citizens on Edmonds – when you elected Mayor Mike you knew exactly what you were getting. If you recall, just before the election when Mayor Mike essentially commandeered Attorney Taraday in secret to grandstand an ordinance forcing gun owners to lock their firearms in their private homes, and ordnance that was deemed unconstitutional and struck down in court (spending more citizen dollars). Regardless of your feelings on guns, covertly working alone then grandstanding an illegal solution is the anthesis of cooperation and communication. Mayor Mikes failure to work as a team member and failure to communicate is his standard failed management style. Side effects include the unprecedented top turnover of City management forcing the City to spend 10’s of thousands of our dollars recruiting. After all, bad bosses is the number one reason employees leave. I’ve seen more than enough. Next election, it’s time for someone who works with and for the citizenry.

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    1. I only know why I voted for Nelson. To get rid of the previous manipulative, self centered Mayor. I am look forward to getting out of Edmonds in a few years as I the city is really falling apart and I do not see how it can possibly be saved.

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  16. Teresa (our MEN Editor in Chief) asked the mayor candidates what they would cut should there be a recession. All other candidates listed something. Nelson said he’d expand the police department.

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  17. Problematic mayors seem to be a recurring theme here. That should tell us to quit doing the same thing; hoping for different results. None of these mayors, including Mike Nelson, are bad people by nature. We have a position of Strong Mayor that attracts people who like to be important, powerful and controlling by nature. If you don’t want that, you have to create a system and position that attracts people who like to run things as efficiently, honestly, and fairly as possible and don’t, by nature, crave the limelight and/or political advancement. It ain’t going to change until we choose to change it.

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  18. Have to weigh in here…Unfortunately a City Manager form of government (manager is in charge of departments) is NOT a guarantee of good government or freedom from toxic politics. At least the people can elect a different
    leader/administrator if the strong Mayor (where the Mayor oversees the departments) is incompetent or the politics becomes toxic. I’m happy to share more info and perspective. You can contact me at mfimia@zipcon.com

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  19. The discussion about how we (the legal residents of the entire city) needs to take place in a well managed public forum. Vast numbers of people in Edmonds do not feel they are represented or even considered equal partners in how the city is currently run. Will there ever be a perfectly non political city government? Of course not, nothing is ever perfect. In fact, a lot of our problems stem from someone trying to enforce their view of what is perfect. I could see the new ECR as the public forum for this coming discussion. I predict this discussion will happen sooner or later.

    There is an argument to be made, I think, for breaking the city up into geographical zones with a full-time decently paid representative being elected from each zone. In effect, the citizens’ electoral power would be to elect a sort of “mayor” from each zone on a regular basis. That would be the mechanism to keep the system honest in my view. These full-time zone Rep.s could also have a role in managing department heads on a rotating basis along with the hired city Manager. Everyone is watching everyone and keeping everyone in the loop information wise. The zone Rep. is having regular meetings with his/her zone constituents and everyone knows what’s going on and why as much as possible. What we have now is highly biased, unfair and just not working the way it is supposed to.

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  20. Maggie, for once in a very long time I agree with you.
    City managers are hired and fired by the Council.
    Go look at Millcreek per chance to see how many city managers they’ve gone through? Then go look at Shoreline and see how many they have gone through?
    What’s not clearly understood is that the average employment for a city manager is 2 to 3 years in the state.
    because when a city manager makes a decision that’s best for the city and citizens, politically the council doesn’t like it, they just pay off the city manager and get a new one.
    So unfortunately city managers do what the majority of councilmembers want them to do if it makes sense or not in order to protect their job!

    Not democracy in action!

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    1. I think there is a happy medium – the City Manager guidelines would be a good place and learning experience for current and future administrations to follow – I agree the City Manager has its pitfalls and its benefits (as does the strong mayor government).

      There is one approach that I do think is worth exploring – and that is the “districting” or “ward” approach to Council. It may limit the number of candidates that run within those districts, but it does create the ability for specific areas to fight for their specific group of constituents. It is difficult with all at-large positions to know who supports what.

      On full-time council positions – seems to be a little bit of a waste of money that shifts away from other projects. In the grand scheme of things, Edmonds has done an effective job of governing with the current council make-up. Perhaps the addition of one full-time council position could have the role of handling and following up on Council Business, serve as a Council Liaison to the citizens, and assist in greater full-time cooperation/collaboration with City Administration. Who knows.

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      1. In terms of the cost of a full-time council there are all kinds of ways to mitigate that cost. For example, you don’t have to have seven districts; you could just as easily have only five. Full time council people could function as the various department heads on a rotating basis, just as they now serve on council committees on a rotating basis. The point being, that the city council job should be something financially rewarding as well as being a public service. We will need to elect high quality capable people who really want to do this job which won’t be easy. We don’t expect mayors to work for $5.00/hr.; why do we expect council members to do that?

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  21. In the interest of full disclosure, I see that Ms. Fimia, commenting above used to be a King County Councilmember and a Puget Sound Regional Council Transportation Policy Board member. I’m just an ordinary long term (been around the Fountain more than a few times) citizen who’s never held public office or had political friends in high places.

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  22. The city manager is supposed to do what the majority of the city council tells them to do. That’s the point.

    AFM, when you were on the city council you expected the Mayor to do what the majority of the council voted for. In reality the mayor and his staff told you what they wanted and you and your three pals rubber stamped it 99% of the time for two years. That may be why you are now on the outside looking in.

    What is good for the entire city is always a matter of opinion. I’m not saying Council /Mgr. would be perfect; just possibly better if done right.

    I see the LWV’s favored Council/mgr for Richland WA. as a better form of government over strong Mayor/ weak Council. LWV is a pretty neutral organization in terms of party politics. Their views on the subject would be worth looking at I think, when we really get to the job of weighing the pros and cons. We aren’t there yet, but it’s coming.

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    1. Clint, i’m so sorry I forgot you were the final authority on all things Edmonds. I worked under three other mayors also. The mayor before Mike served for eight years and always had his vote of four or five council members the last four years. Ever Heard a single word from you then did we? Can we Say freeway offramp on the the beach to benefit the ferry system at the cost of $30-$40 million of taxpayer money? Not a word from the final authority in Edmonds!

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      1. A brilliant exhibition of the reasons many of us voted against A F-M. Biting, sarcastic rejoinders rather than reasoned replies, (willful?) ignorance of the of Mr Wright’s actual words and actions (see Mr. Wright’s response).. No attempt at building bridges, listening, or trying for consensus An exemplar of negative behavior that should disqualify a person from holding public office, not least in a small community such as Edmonds.

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  23. Nobody stood up more for Edmonds during the waterfront connector debacle more than council person AFM as my memory recalls. Simple fact.

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  24. My favorite author has some pretty good quotes – “the worst thing,” he told me, “is bitterness, people end up so
    bitter.”

    This is a pretty bitter editorial. Council has the right and the will of the people to revisit these issues. It also seems to me that there is a general electorate feeling that these may be the areas of focus. I do not agree with cutting the Body Cams, not sure we need a Commander versus additional in-field police officers, am not sure what the Public Information Officer will do besides strengthen government fiefdoms, and still argue that the Seattle area spends a disproportionate amount of money on DEI, Human Services, and social programs, yet finds little or no measurable returns, and that a consultant serves the purpose. For the Arts District Investment, the 100K seems like a bit of a stretch – the EDBID could see what the additional interest is from the downtown core and maybe have the opportunity to create addl public private partnerships to fund that project. Downtown is already a huge draw, for me, as people pass through the 99 corridor and get a “what the heck” moment from its appearance is more important.

    Finally, does anyone see the irony of building a fence around the police station versus hiring a police officer that polices that facility? I wonder how many other cases of vandalism and crime are reported against personal property for those of us who cannot build a fence around our property…fencing out the problem does not cure the problem…

    On the other hand, I agree that the diplomatic approach of some offer of funding is a good sign.

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  25. Adrianne, thank you for so beautifully making my point regarding the previous mayor too. If you took the time to do some research (old MEN comments) instead of just retaliating at me over nothing, you would see that I was as critical of our previous mayor as I am of this one. Also, I still have my Save Our Beach button and I was in the crowd on the lawn that evening protesting. In MEN I complimented a city employee who was running for mayor at the time for having the courage to be part of the protest. I thank you very much for your active role in defeating something that would have been very bad for our city. That is not the issue here, however.

    I have nothing personal against you, Mayor Earling or Mayor Nelson. I’m simply a part of a growing group of people who think our city government is poorly run for many years and we are not being served well by the current system. You make that point unintentionally by calling out Mayor Earling and his block votes on many things he was in favor of but didn’t necessarily publicly advocate for. Earling is just much better at being a politician than Nelson is, in my view. Nelson will most likely be a one term mayor, if he runs again. They function very similarly, however they probably have a much different constituent base around town.

    Edmonds is run backwards. The mayor and staff tell the people what they should want and what’s good for them and the various councils go along with it. It should be just the opposite in my view. If we ever went to a full-time district council system I could certainly see you as a candidate for the zone you live in. Good luck in your future endeavors.

    Ignored

  26. I believe this Commentary is inflammatory. I believe the title to the Commentary makes great exaggerations. I believe some of the comments are unprofessional, for example the uber comment and the comment about taking Edmonds backwards 30 years.

    I wonder how the Mayor defines “engagement” with residents.

    I find this Commentary very concerning and I think it promotes further division between elected officials. Did a Mayor of Edmonds conclude it wise to write this and release it to the public? Yes, he did.

    The Mayor attacks “councilmembers” without having the integrity to identify who he is talking about. I am disappointed the Mayor did not apologize for writing this and releasing it to the public.

    After writing this, Mayor Mike Nelson said the following during City Council’s Meeting on Tuesday night:

    Councilmembers, you know, I’m the Moderator here, so if you’re going to be making attacks on me, I’m not going to tolerate that. So, if we want to sit here and have a professional discussion on items before us, that’s great. But if we’re going to use examples where we’re making personal remarks about members, particularly those who as the Moderator can’t defend themselves because I’m the Moderator. Please refrain from doing that. Thank you.

    Ignored

  27. It might be a good start at some minor reform to figure out a way to take the mayor out of the role of city council meeting moderator. In my view, the mayor’s proper role would be, to be available to answer any and all questions, just like staff members. The moderator role should be played by an impartial person who knows, and knows how to manage, Robert’s rules of order.

    The way the meetings are run now, they often devolve into a childish turf war with everyone restating their position as long as the usually highly biased mayor allows it. The mayor often intervenes to protect his staff from the difficult questions. He/She encourages positions he/she agrees with and discourages those he/she doesn’t. No one who votes or has the potential to vote to break ties should be in the moderator role or, more accurately, the thinly disguised leadership role as it now exists. The council member role should at least be equal to the mayoral role in the interest of serving ALL the citizens and the basic needs of running OUR town.

    Ignored

    1. Clint, Edmonds is a non-charter code city, and as such follows state law as spelled out in RCW Title 35A, the Optional Municipal Code. Secton 35A.12.100 reads in part “The mayor shall preside over all meetings of the city council, when present…”

      What you say makes sense. Under the separation of powers doctrine, the mayor is the head of the Executive Branch, and should not be presiding over the Legislative Branch~ that responsibility properly belongs to the president of the City Council. But until state law is changed, we live with what we’ve got under RCW 35A as written.

      Ignored

  28. There is a fix for that if majority council wants to pursue becoming a charter city in which case they can set up government as they want. Any city over 10000 pop. can do this as I understand. It looks to me like we could make changes incrementally under that approach, making gradual changes instead of drastic ones that might backfire. The main thing is to make the tail quit wagging the dog all the time. I think people have had it with that approach here.

    Ignored

  29. During Tuesday night’s Council Meeting, Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson interrupted City Council President Vivian Olson mid-sentence while she had the floor and was discussing the budget. Mayor Nelson made his “I’m the Moderator here” comments.

    Mayor Nelson’s interruption impacted the flow of Council’s budget amendment deliberations. After the interruption, Council President Olson said: “I guess I’m just asking about whether it’s appropriate for the PIO to be used to undermine other electeds, and on Council, and for the City”.

    Mayor Nelson again interrupted Council President Olson and said:

    “Again, obviously I can’t answer that question. Just as a refresher for those who are confused, Mayor is in charge of the day-to-day operations and running of the City the day to day. Council is in charge for legislation and policy and budget.

    I encourage all citizens to watch this portion of the City Council Meeting, starting at roughly the 1:53:00 mark of the City Council meeting. Council Meetings are the Council’s meeting, not the Mayor’s meeting. Council Meetings allow City Council to openly perform their duties related to legislation, policies and the budget.

    I have submitted a Public Record Request to try and determine what role, if any, the PIO played in the preparation and release of this Commentary dated June 28, 2022 by Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson.

    Ignored

  30. “Commentary dated June 28, 2022” should say “Commentary dated January 28, 2022”. I’ll post a follow up comment after my Public Records Request is responded to.

    In addition to that, I encourage the Mayor and the PIO to communicate and engage with citizens by posting a comment to this My Edmonds News thread disclosing what role, if any, the PIO played in the preparation and release of this Commentary dated January 28, 2022 by Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson. Thank you for your consideration.

    I seek clarity because Councilmember Kristiana Johnson stated during the February 1, 2022 Council Meeting that the PIO played a role related to this Commentary. As the PIO is paid with taxpayer money PLUS the fact the Commentary makes allegations about unnamed Councilmembers such as “they don’t think it is our city’s responsibility to help ensure you have clean air and water”, I believe citizens deserve to know all details related to this Commentary.

    Ignored

  31. Our city government is like a long term bad marriage between unequal partners. The only way to fix that kind of bad marriage is to end it and both parties start over with a new plan. The partner with the most power will cling to the bad marriage as long as possible, using whatever power play it takes to maintain it. The party with the least power will submit and take the inequity just to survive until it just can’t stand it anymore.

    Edmonds city is facing a whole bunch of coming problems, conflicts and situations that will need good answers. The question is, is a broken marriage up to task of doing the job. Broken marriages tend to lurch from crisis to crisis, applying band-aids here and there to try to hold it all together. It usually doesn’t work in the long run and the marriage fails. I think I’m done trying to figure this all out and ready to just have fun doing some things I like to do for awhile. Good luck little city, you will need it.

    I

    Ignored

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