Edmonds city councilmembers covered a range of topics during their committee meetings on Tuesday, Among the highlights:
In the Public Safety, Personnel and Planning Committee, the council heard updates from Human Resources Director Jessica Neill Hoyson regarding hiring for the city’s two open director positions — Community Services and Economic Development and Public Works. A total of 41 applications were received for the community services/economic development director job and 18 applications for public works. After narrowing the field of applicants for each position, interviews are likely to be conducted in late March for community services/economic development and in early April for public works, Neill Hoyson said.
Also in that committee, there was a discussion about a proposal from Councilmembers Will Chen and Vivian Olson that came up during the 2022 budget amendment process: to conduct a study on the feasibility of moving the Public Safety Complex from downtown Edmonds to Highway 99. Chen said that having a police station closer to Highway 99 makes sense due to the prevalence of crime in the area. Committee members Laura Johnson and Susan Paine expressed skepticism about the idea, stating it needed more research before any type of committee recommendation to the full council could be made. Edmonds Police Chief Michelle Bennett was asked to weigh in on whether she could see benefits from such a move. Bennett said she is concentrating on getting the police department’s space inside a new satellite office on Highway 99 ready to use, and that she’d have to do more data analysis regarding crime on Highway 99 to determine the benefits of having the entire police station on the highway. Committee members noted that the lease on the satellite office in the Safeway Marketplace Shopping Center runs for three years, so the council has time to think more about the idea.
In the Parks and Public Works Committee, councilmembers heard a presentation from Deputy Parks Director Shannon Burley regarding three city contracts for summer events in 2022: The Edmonds Museum Market, Edmonds Spring Fest, and the Edmonds Arts Festival. In previous years, the Historical Museum sponsored a smaller Garden Market starting in early May, with a larger Summer Market from mid-June through October. This year, the full-size Summer Market will run every Saturday from May 7 – Oct. 8. The Spring Fest, sponsored by Urban Craft Uprising, will be on the Saturday before Mother’s Day (May 7) at the Frances Anderson Center playfield. The Edmonds Arts Festival will be held on Father’s Day weekend (June 17-19) at the Frances Anderson Center. The event encompass the field, bandshell, Frances Anderson Center, Edmonds Library Plaza and Library Plaza room. Committee members Neil Tibbott and Kristiana Johnson agreed to move all three contracts to the council’s March 15 consent agenda for approval.
Also in that committee, councilmembers heard about two public art projects, both of which will be the subject of public hearings at the March 15 council meeting: One is a project by Clark Wiegman for the new Civic Park, highlighted during a recent Edmonds Arts Commission public meeting. The other is from Edmonds Floretum Garden Club, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and wanted to commemorate it by donating an artwork to the city. Edmonds Arts and Culture Manager Frances Chapin told committee members that the garden club worked with the Edmonds Arts Commission on the artist selection process, and also to identify an appropriate downtown location for the work. That location is at the southeast corner of the Public Safety Complex at the corner of Bell Street and 6th Avenue North. The selected artist is Jennifer Kuhns, and her work is a mosaic piece consisting of three flower forms coming out of the ground. The forms will be between 30 and 36 inches high and made of durable material that is easy to maintain and clean, Chapin said.
In addition, the Parks and Public Works Committee had a lengthy discussion about the 2022 Parks, Recreation & Open Space (PROS) Plan capital program, which will be coming to the full council for discussion in the coming weeks.
— By Teresa Wippel