Diane Buckshnis makes it official: ‘I’m running for mayor!’

Diane Buckshnis officially announced her run for Edmonds mayor on Sunday afternoon.

At a Sunday afternoon event, 13-year city councilmember Diane Buckshnis confirmed what many have known for weeks, as she formally threw her hat in the ring to be Edmonds’ next mayor.

“This is an announcement, and I’m announcing that I’m running for mayor!” she began, eliciting cheers and applause from the estimated 50 supporters gathered at Edmonds’ Café Louvre. “I know this won’t come as a surprise to many of you since my name has been on the Public Disclosure Commission website ever since I opened a checking account for the campaign. But tonight it’s official!”

Buckshnis with former Edmonds city councilmember, supporter and mentor Jack Bevan.

Several attendees offered their comments and support, the first of whom was former Edmonds City Councilmember Jack Bevan.

“I got into politics because of Jack,” Buckshnis explained, adding he encouraged her to run for council “and became my mentor. Next week he celebrates his 100th birthday. I asked him to speak for me tonight, but he’ll need to leave early because he tells me he has another party to attend. And he loves Edmonds like I love Edmonds,” she added.

“When you live in a lovely city like this, you want to contribute,” Bevan said.  “Diane has a proven record of being a contributor – she serves in office, she volunteers for innumerable causes, she’s a Rotarian.  She’ll make a great mayor.”

Returning to the podium, Buckshnis introduced the next speaker, retired fisheries biologist and longtime Edmonds resident Joe Scordino. Describing him as “the smartest guy I know in science, a worker and a treasure for Edmonds,” she explained how Scordino is her go-to person for advice on all things scientific. That’s especially true on issues that involve Edmonds creeks, watersheds, and environmental stewardship, she said.

Fisheries biologist Joe Scordino will continue to be Buckshnis’ go-to scientist, advising her on environmental and other issues.

“My background is in finance,” Buckshnis explained, “but I also am the city’s representative on the Watershed Restoration Inventory Area Salmon Recovery Council (WRIA 8) and the Puget Sound Partnerships’ (PSP) Salmon Recovery Council.  When they ask me questions, I tell them I have my own scientist, and that’s when I go to Joe to get the necessary background and information.”

Scordino explained that he meet Buckshnis nine years ago when the city was developing the critical areas ordinance aimed at protecting creeks, streams, and other environmentally sensitive areas. “In examining it, I noted that in several areas it was out of sync with the city’s best available science report, and I went to council and provided public testimony about this,” Scordino recalled.  “There were no questions from the council that evening, but the next morning Diane called me, woke me up, and asked me to help her understand what didn’t fit. This quickly became a trend.  Every time the council was considering something along these lines, I’d get a call from Diane asking me to help her understand it.

“I really appreciate that Diane listens, cares, and takes the time to fully understand the issues,” he concluded. “There are many deaf ears in our city government, but with Diane you never have a deaf ear. This lady cares.”

Former City of Edmonds Finance Director Scott James described Buckshnis as someone who lives Edmonds, loves Edmonds, and leads Edmonds.

Another source of advice for Buckshnis is former City of Edmonds Finance Director Scott James, who was the next speaker.

“As finance director I had a front-row seat for six years,” he began. “During that time I watched Diane dive into financial issues and apply her deep knowledge of the subject to her work on council.  She’s hands down the best council president I’ve ever worked with, and was critical in earning our city a Triple-A bond rating. Simply stated, Diane lives Edmonds, loves Edmonds, and leads Edmonds. Now she’s running to lead Edmonds as mayor. I urge you to support her.”

Thanking James for his comments, Buckshnis stressed that under her administration the city would move to budgeting by priorities, and that this will be a very public process. Calling the recent city audits “a mess,” she pledged to prioritize cleaning up the audit as part of a retooling of city finances.

Also commenting was past Edmonds Rotary Club President Carol Kinney, who praised Buckshnis’ spirit of volunteerism, energy and focus, saying that “she’s serious – take her seriously and vote for her. Rotarian Kathy Prewitt called Buckshnis “a good steward of other peoples’ money, who wrings every dollar out of money she’s trusted with.”

Buckshnis shares a laugh with former Edmonds Rotary Club president and supporter Carol Kinney.

In conclusion, Buckshnis promised a bigger speech at her formal kickoff event set for 6 p.m. April 24 at Gallagher’s Where U Brew. “The public is invited, and the campaign will provide pizza and your first beer!” she added.

She then outlined her main campaign themes and the priorities of her administration:

  • Community interests come first
  • Ensuring your taxpayer dollars are spent wisely
  • Environmental stewardship, including protecting and restoring our watersheds
  • Community safety and well-being
  • Making sure that every day remains an “Edmonds Kind of Day”

“Currently we have serious issues with zoning,” she added. “This coupled with the need to protect our watersheds and environmentally sensitive areas means we need to be really conscientious and there’s no time to lose. I plan to immediately implement task forces comprised of citizen experts and city staff.  There’s no need to spend $150,000 on a consultant to tell us to go buy a piece of property. We’ve spent lots of money on consultants and we’re still in a mess.”

Her next comments were directed at her opponents, current Mayor Mike Nelson and challenger Mike Rosen.

An estimated 50 supporters turned out on Sunday afternoon to hear Diane Buckshnis announce her candidacy for mayor.

“Mike Nelson hasn’t changed since he was on council,” she said. “We both have public records, you can see them, and I think they speak for themselves.”

She went on to address Mike Rosen’s candidacy, acknowledging his five years on the planning board and experience with private sector corporate finance and administration.

“But corporate finance is very different from municipal finance, and if he’s elected the citizens will have to have a honeymoon with him to bring him up to speed on municipal finance,” Buckshnis said. “I know municipal finance, I understand it already, and that makes me uniquely qualified in this area.”

In conclusion, she stressed the importance of having all the bases covered and access to knowledgeable, committed advisors.

“I have my scientists, I have my finance experts, and I have all of you – the citizens of Edmonds,” she said. “I ask for your support and your vote.”

Learn more at dianebuckshnis.com.

— Story and photos by Larry Vogel

  1. Diane is the one Council person who always answers her email, and she has consistently done it for years and years. Her responses are always her honest opinion and they are NEVER the “thanks for your thoughts” canned response. She may not agree with you, but she will respectfully tell you where she stands.
    Good luck with your campaign Diane, you have always worked really hard…responding to all those emails for example. Thanks for doing what you do.

    1. You are correct on answering email. She is excellent and one could set the time clock the next day when it was coming. Always impressed by that and good luck in your campaign.

  2. Diane T Good point about open to the public for dialogue. Diane is non partisan, which is what we need for town business. Diane has stayed focused on City business, and stayed strong during a tremendously difficult time on council. I wish Diane the best on her run!

  3. Dear Haifa,
    Thank you for the perfect venue for the perfect day and a perfect group of friends! The space was spotless and full of good energy as you glow with pride of your small business. The desserts and breads were delicious and it just made for a perfect day in my tapestry of life.

    A heartfelt thank you to a wonderful woman and friend.

    1. Diane,
      It was pleasure hosting your announcement party, you are a wonderful person, and I’m so proud to know you.

  4. I appreciate that Diane cares about how our Edmonds taxpayer dollars are spent and she has the expertise to be discerning and mindful about “our” money. We often talk about “government spending” but it should always include, “government spending of taxpayer money”! Its never government money. Many “leaders” get into office and completely ignore this fact and it becomes a free-for-all with spending. Diane has a proven track record regarding budgeting in the interest of citizens. In my opinion I believe her competitor, won’t be as interested in what we think and that concerns me. Thanks Diane for caring about Edmonds enough to run for mayor.

  5. This is very good news! Diane has consistently been a force on Council, working to protect our environment and making sure tax dollars are spent wisely. Edmonds very much needs a mayor like Diane Buckshnis, someone who will actually listen to citizens.

  6. Diane is a wonderful candidate for Mayor! Thank you for running for this position and we need you to win.
    You are the most consistent person for listening to our concerns and have the knowledge to answer questions over many years of living here and your involvement is thorough. We can also trust you. We have been through the past 3+ years and need to move on with someone who cares for Edmonds with no political agenda other than the City of Edmonds and Citizens of Edmonds.

  7. Diane will be the best mayor for Edmonds! She has shown time and time again her commitment to Edmonds. She understands budgeting and the impact on taxpayers, she is careful about maintaining the budget that was set, and is thoughtful to the needs of all areas of Edmonds. She always responds to any call or email she receives from citizens, you can count on her to ask questions and take time to understand. Her commitment to Edmonds is undeniable, she shows it by her actions. As we know actions speak louder than words!

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