Edmonds City Council Aug. 23 set to discuss appointment process for Position 1 vacancy

Discussing the process that the Edmonds City Council will follow in filling its vacant Position 1 seat is on the agenda for the council’s Tuesday, Aug. 23 business meeting. Councilmembers are also scheduled to hear the annual report from the city attorney, and also consider updates to city code governing the city attorney.

Seventeen candidates have applied for appointmen to the Position 1 council seat left vacant by the July 18 death of Councilmember Kristiana Johnson.  Those who want to review those applications can access them via the council agenda here.

The current proposal before the council calls for the 17 applicants to be interviewed virtually via Zoom both on Saturday, Aug. 27 and on an additional date to be determined. Each candidate will be allocated 25 minutes, with two-and-a-half minutes for opening and closing comments. Each councilmember will have three minutes to ask the same question to each applicant; follow-up questions will be allowed if possible within the time limits. Since the interviews will be open and viewable over Zoom, in fairness to the first applicant to interview, the councilmembers’ questions will be included in the agenda memo for the special meeting.

According to the council agenda, the appointment selection may take place after interviews are completed. The proposed date for making the appointment is during the Tuesday, Sept. 6 council meeting. It’s also been proposed that the council use the same process for voting as it did in 2020: Councilmembers are given the nomination and ballot forms and the city clerk collects each round and tabulates them. The first nominee to get a majority of councilmembers’ votes is the winner.

The last time the council appointed someone to fill a vacant seat was in January 2020, when it selected Luke Distelhorst out of 12 applicants to fill Position 2. That process took five rounds of nominations and 44 ballots. In 2014, it took the council 59 ballots to select Tom Mesaros — one of 14 applicants — to fill the vacant Position 6 seat.





  1. Does anybody know if the City Attorney provided an Annual Report for 2020? I’ve searched for such and cannot find the Report. Any help would be appreciated.

    Per the respective City Attorney Annual Reports, hours spent on the Ebb Tide easement issue were as follows for 2017 – 2019:

    2017 – 280 hours
    2018 – 1,430 hours
    2019 – 1,081 hours

    I haven’t been able to find the 2020 City Attorney Annual Report and the City Attorney Annual Report in the Agenda Packet for the August 23, 2022 Council Meeting doesn’t disclose hours worked. The 2017, 2018 and 2019 City Attorney Annual Reports did disclose hours worked on matters. Hopefully City Council will request this information be provided.

    More hours have been spent on the Ebb Tide Easement issue in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The information in the August 23, 2022 Agenda Packet indicates that the Ebb Tide case is schedule to go to trial this October.

    2017 – 280 hours
    2018 – 1,430 hours
    2019 – 1,081 hours
    2020 – ??? hours
    2021 – ??? hours
    2022 – ??? hours

  2. It should perhaps be noted that these hours that Ken is referring to regarding the Ebb Tide is time and money being used by your city government to take some of your fellow citizens to court to try to take away what they perceive to be their property rights when they purchased a property built right on the shore of Puget Sound in the 1960’s. This is all in an attempt to gain a narrow path of right away for the public to use as a walking path along the beach. The walking path was conceived well after the then apartments, now condos, was built.

  3. Yes Clint – quite the thank you by Edmonds City government to these property owners who were kind enough to grant a ten food wide easement for the public to walk across their private beach back in 1983. That kindness opened the door to this nightmare.

    I want to know the total legal hours spent on this so far and why such enormous priority was granted to this pursuit.

    Our City Code has needed to be updated since 2000 and City officials have decided to spend thousands of legal hours on an easement argument. Why? How much City Code could have been updated if those hours had been spent on the Code rewrite instead?

  4. I would like to thank the City Council for making all of these applications available to the citizens of Edmonds. Easy to access and I read every one of them thoroughly. Although I have them I will not make any suggestions on who and why I would choose any of these candidates for this very important Edmonds decision.

  5. Hi Darrol,

    For consideration of $1, an Access Easement was granted to the City of Edmonds on November 4, 1983. The sign at the beach indicates the “public crossover” is 10 feet away from the Ebb Tide’s wall.

    As it relates to structures or improvements, the intent of the Grantor is documented in the Access Easement as follows:

    The Grantee, its successors, agents, or assigns, shall construct, install, or erect no structures or improvements upon or within the above described right of way, whereby any portion thereof extends above a horizontal plane having an elevation of 17.00 as referred to City of Edmonds Datum (Mean Lower Low Water).

    I believe the City is arguing that construction of an overwater walkway in front of the Ebb Tide Condominium is consistent with the intent of the Grantor.

    One question I have is: Why did the 2017 City Council approve design on May 2, 2017 ($203,510) prior to knowing if such a walkway was consistent with the intent of the grantor?

    Another question I have is: Would citizens have supported this had they known the huge legal expense that both the City and our neighbors at the Ebb Tide would have been exposed to?

    More information can be found at:


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