Edmonds City Council schedules daylong retreat Feb. 25

A workshop on positive communication, a presentation on representing unheard voices and a council conversation “on an array of topics” will be included in the Edmonds City Council’s daylong virtual retreat this Friday, Feb. 25.

The retreat begins at 9 a.m. and there will be time for audience comments starting at 9:30 a.m.

The council is also scheduled to have a discussion with members of Snohomish County leadership at noon.

The agenda is as follows:

-Call to Order (9 a.m.)
-Audience Comments (9:30 a.m.)
-Council conversation to determine direction and support on an array of topics (10 a.m.)
-Break (11:30 a.m.)
– Lunch/discussion wtih County Leadership (noon)
–  Positive Communication workshop with Debra Rich Gettleman (1-2:30 p.m.)
– Presentations (3 p.m.)
Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) training (3-4:15 p.m.)
Representation of the Unheard Voices video from Ileana Ponce Gonzales, MD, Community Health Worker Coalition for Migrants and Refugees (4:15-5 p.m.)
– Adjournment (5 p.m.)

To join, comment, view, or listen to the retreat via Zoom, paste the following into a web browser using a computer or smart phone:
https://zoom.us/j/95798484261
Or join by phone: US: +1 253 215 8782 Webinar ID: 957 9848 4261

  1. The agenda should include a presentation on “how to listen, understand and deliberate” constituent input during public hearings and public comment periods. For the last two years we’ve seen the Council repeatedly close public hearings and move to vote on an issue without one word of discussion on what was said by the public during the public hearing (let alone any/all written comments).

    Further the Council needs to discuss and “announce” if and how they are considering written comments from the public especially those related to a public hearing. It is obvious that many written comments are not read by some Council members especially those that provide factual information that City staff neglected to mention. This problem also applies to the Planning Board as evidenced by their public hearing last night.

    Maybe a better presentation for the Council, the Planning Board, and the public would be “How to define and implement good governance in Edmonds”

  2. I really wanted to see that zoom with the Planning Board but was unable to be available. IS there anywhere I can see a repeat of this ? Do you know? I would appreciate any info on this. Thank you. I hope you have a lovely weekend.

      1. If the above instructions don’t lead to Planning Board’s Past Meetings and videos, use the scroll in the upper left corner of the page and go to Planning Board. Then look below to Past Meetings.

  3. There is a long history in Edmonds of the mayor and staff telling the citizens of Edmonds what they should want and ignoring much of what boards, commissions, and task forces actually recommend in some cases. Now I see the big plan is for the mayor and staff to hire a bunch of consultants to tell us what we should want and how our dept. heads should do their jobs. Why would you need all these consultants if you have competent dept. heads, which I think we do have for the most part?

    I heard a rumor of a $75,000 consultant to look into how our public spaces should evolve (think permanent streateries and no vehicles downtown). Then there is the mayor hiring a consultant to tell us how to clean our streets of snow.

    As long as we have this part-time hobby job Council Persons and Strong Mayor system working against us, instead of for us, this is not going to change. Our mayor appoints to task forces, commissions and boards while moderating our city council meetings (yes I know that’s the law). What could possibly go wrong with that kind of top down M.O?

    You can’t fix a system with all these built in flaws and I suspect not much will come from this retreat. Hopefully they will at least start being a little more civil, less ideological and more collaborative with each other. There is always hope. A start would be for them to quit inventing problems and issues and try to solve the very real ones that are coming down the Pike like a freight train, (literally and figuratively}.

    1. Maybe its time for Edmonds to start thinking about a City Manager type of local government (which some Cities use) to avoid politics and social agendas that come with an elected Mayor. The Council would oversee the City Managers work and supervision of staff so that there is unity in the operations of the City. The Council size could be increased to nine with 5 geographic area (districts) and 4 at-large positions to ensure better representation of what the citizens of Edmonds want and need. I’m no expert on this stuff, but it is clear to me Edmonds needs better governance and less divisiveness.

      1. The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) is a great resource for anyone who wants to learn about local governments in Washington State. Much is legally driven and there are things residents can do / influence. To be informed about what type of city Edmonds is and what because of this designation we can / cannot do read–note Edmonds is a code city:

        https://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Governance/Classification-of-Washington-Cities/City-and-Town-Classification-Overview.aspx

        To learn more about the different forms of government, read–note Edmonds is a Mayor / Council form of government
        https://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Governance/Forms-of-Government-and-Organization/City-and-Town-Forms-of-Government.aspx

        And here is a quick cheat on pros / cons of each form of government.
        https://mrsc.org/getmedia/0CAB16FB-CCC0-4C8E-85F2-83F958839D8A/common.pdf.aspx

        We can all benefit from being informed when we read these articles and make comments.

  4. I think, with the exception of the mayor position becoming full-time, our city government is constituted just as it was in 1959 when I arrived here with my parents. The population then was 14,000 and downtown was pretty much the center of the universe around here. The “town” was just starting to expand so to speak.

    Is it logical to assume that the basic city government we had then, should still work efficiently and in the best interests of everyone now with population over 42000 and several critical business centers and geographical areas needing proper attention and focus? The only real change in all this time is that the mayor has become full-time and substantially more in a power position than he/she was when it was a part-time job. People have been elected to our mayor and council jobs lately who are simply in over their heads and overly influenced by partisan political party influences. There just has to be a better way going forward. The problems and the stakes are too great for the current government design to handle properly.

    If I’m still around during the next mayor’s race, anyone who runs as a candidate to reform to Strong Council/Weak Mayor system will have a place for signs in my yard. Same goes for Council candidates.

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