Letter to the editor: Representative government — let’s build on that


There was consensus at the Edmonds City Council meeting last night that we have representative government. That we are entitled to representation.

Maybe we can build on that.

Are we represented when our councilmembers (CMs) assign ugly motives to the council president (CP) on Twitter over a proposed policy — while at the same time having no contact with her and the others they are elected to work with to improve it?

Then on the dais, a Q-and-A approach that may have actually gotten us to solutions to problems was cast aside in favor of prepared speeches casting the CP as an authoritarian….

Were we represented then?

Are we represented by those in seats who spend the time we taxpayers pay for engaged in political warfare instead of doing the work? This, when the closest election is over a year away?

Or do we have an image of those we elect having conversation and debate behind the scenes and working together to create policy?

“They didn’t like the policy at all,” one might pose; “It was a scrapper, and there was nothing to talk about.”

I am sure the council president has felt like that before, but she has always stayed in the proverbial room and had conversation and debate. In the end she would vote against it. That is the democratic process. Not the refusal to engage and the undermining of peers on the public airways along the way.

Yes. Our council has a code of conduct, but today’s performance politic players just twist enforcement, saying that the enforcement act is partisan and an attempt to limit free speech.

Does this kind of free speech, where elected representatives publicly bad talk their peers—and residents—does that represent us?

If that is not who we are, and that is not what we want done on our behalf, let the perpetrators know that. Privately. In the moment when it is happening.

And next time they roll out the political circus, don’t go.

Eventually they will get the idea that team sports are more to our liking.

Denise Cooper

  1. It’s infuriating when two council members make derogatory tweets about fellow councilmembers.
    Ironically or nor, it seems like a rules for thee and not for me attitude usually by L Johnson and Paine. Attacking councilmembers while they know the code of ethics doesn’t allow this! Where are the sanctions?! They are not supposed to attack other councilmembers or reflect negatively on Edmonds! How many times do we have to go through this? How many times does this have to be stated! You have the hate portal for citizens to report bias and hate, and yet a couple members openly show their distaste for others. Stop pandering to your base and making Edmonds look bad! I appreciate the article to let us know about the trash talk going on, on their social platforms. Council will be hearing from me directly.
    This garbage must be sanctioned!

  2. Thanks Denise, could not agree with you more.
    Shame on those whom we pay to represent us to do the work of good Government on our behalf, only to have them descend into the muck of politics – in the Council – and on social or other media.
    How many council members actually get out into our city and meet with, talk with or otherwise engage residents and visitors alike in forums or open discussions to find out what we care about and what we are thinking?
    Our city and our country are sick and tired of “divisive blame politics”. It has no place in our City Government – period!
    Come on Edmond’s, let our city council members know what you think. Let them know that social media bashing is wrong and despicable – and above all unprofessional, uncivil, and unrepresentative of Edmonds!!

  3. Huh. I’m confused. The resolution as presented in the agenda packet had language that multiple CMs objected to. How is it a problem for CMs to address a major red flag first?

    Personally I wish this had been brought up in a different way. At least to me it seemed like the council president was presenting a specific motion to debate rather than a general topic for discussion. I don’t fault any of the CMs for addressing it as such, either at the meeting or on Twitter.

  4. Denise, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    It is possible that in my naive way of thinking the position of city councilmember brings with it a certain degree of respect and integrity. It is a position where CMs serve their constituents – not where they serve themselves and use their position to represent or share their personal views. At a time when our nation is so divided, in dire need of our leaders to seek to unify, not divide, and at a time when the temperature of civil discourse is incendiary, and at times in the mud and vulgar, it is incumbent on our CM to be, in a sense, role models. To model what it looks like to be civil, to compromise, to listen to all sides of an issue, to seek common ground. CMs were elected to do the will of the people and to promote and protect public safety – not to tear down and incite.

    Dennis Landry, you mention the act of our CMs meeting with Edmonds residents to ask their thoughts and opinions ,and thoughts on certain city issues. Council President Olson and CM Buckshnis have done that on several occasions. I and many other of my neighbors and folks from Edmonds have attended and given input on issues. And we asked many questions, all of which they responded to. At one of those meetings CM Neil Tibbott was present as well and contributed to the conversation.

    CMs, please consider taking the high road. Listen, think first, and then speak.

  5. Seems 2 council members and the mayor are bitter because we all haven’t bought into their plans and voted out their rubber stamp majority. Looking forward to voting out these 3 also. I don’t expect relations to get any better in the mean time but we can hope.

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