Letter to the editor: Give us sidewalks

Editor:
I  listen to our elected officials try to justify buying the Burlington complex almost daily. I live on 236th Street Southwest. This will supposedly improve our neighborhoods and quality of life.  No thank you.
We NEED sidewalks. That will improve our way of life.
Give us a place to teach a child to ride a bike. Give us a safe way to walk to our public or school bus stops. Give us a buffer between our bodies and the passing traffic.
Thank you.
Louis P. Dyjak Sr.
Edmonds
  1. I agree sidewalks and street lights before a extra 37 million dollar land purchase for a yet undefined purpose wasting more of our tax dollars. Grand plans take much needed resources from just doing the basic things. Sometimes I wonder if our city leaders aren’t high on mushrooms all the time, because it seems they live in fantasy land.

  2. I must agree with Jim. It’s wonderful to purchase and expand open spaces and parks, but getting to them safely is far more important.
    It’s usually to rainy and slick, not to mention too dark, to safely travel to them.

    It’s so disappointing trying to walk Olympic View Drive, especially when raining. Dodging slick or icy areas. I can’t believe how many young school children navigate the road during the dark, rainy days of winter.

  3. I agree with Jim, stick to the basics, repair our roads, and we desperately need a bicycle lane on Olympic View Dr from Perrinville to Edmonds. The bicyclists continue to hold up traffic!!
    What about buying some snowplows, I am a nurse and I can’t get to work when it snows because none of our side streets are plowed and hospitals depend on us.

  4. Hear, hear Louis. According to the city council, money was moved forward by one fiscal year to build sidewalks on 84th Avenue W. No sign of anything happening. I have brought up the issue for both 84th and 236th Street numerous times. I refuse to walk on 236th Street west of 84th because of how dangerous it is. I believe that sidewalks are budgeted for 236th, but it could take years.

  5. Seeing children, motorized wheel chairs , and unsafe bus stops for school aged kids is ridiculous. sidewalks are a necessity.

    Sue Pool

  6. The sidewalk along the south side of Lake Ballinger Way (route 104) is in a terrible state; overgrown, uneven and positively dangerous.

    I have downloaded the new Fix it Edmonds app and plan to submit a request to address this problem and I would encourage other residents to do the same for the sidewalks in their area.

  7. It is obvious: Sidewalks should be a priority over purchasing a piece of property for a purpose with little or no value for improving the quality of life for residents.

  8. I totally agree with making sidewalks a priority for our neighborhoods. We live one block away from 84th St and cannot safely walk our grandkids over existing potholes and gravel paths, all the while dodging traffic.
    We prefer smaller neighborhood parks over these grandiose projects being planned by the City.
    Thank you,

  9. Sidewalks throughout Edmonds need to become a top priority for our city council and Mayor (whoever that turns out to be in November). No, they aren’t sexy and they don’t provide the visionary excitement that come from property purchases but they would go so much further in making all Edmonds inclusive and accessible – not to mention address a lingering issue most citizens are unaware of: the city is not in compliance with ADA rules and regulations and could (probably rightfully) be sued on these grounds. Which of course would be even more expensive for our city.

  10. Lets not also forget that up for vote tomorrow is raising the fees on car tabs to pay for infrastructure because there is supposedly not enough money coming in to even keep up with current needs, let alone additional needs. But, we’ve got money magically for every other project in town that makes headlines, even though multiple people have asked HOW we are going to fund a $37mil. project with no answer. I live in the Lake Ballinger neighborhood and with the exception of 76th and possibly a few minor areas around 228th with apartments, there are literally no sidewalks. During the school year kids are standing in the roadway, and add on top of that we have one of the darkest neighborhoods in all of the city (add that to the list, please). I would never walk around the neighborhood unless I really had to. If you are as confused by all this as I am, start asking questions.

  11. It looks like upcoming home/ apt construction in that area. What’s the permitting status? When will construction begin? I see no signs for the lot build design / layout. Lots of digging & piping before sidewalks are added for these new bldg sites. I suspect that’s when extensive sidewalks will be built.
    1. mid-block between 88th & 84th (the old green house)
    2. 261 units on corner of 84th & 236th
    3. mid-block on 84th between 236th & 238th (house w/big trees on rectangular lot)

    1. Thanks for your submission Christine. My understanding is that the apartment building permit expired and has not been reissued. The sidewalk plans I have seen are for one sidewalk on the east side of 84th ending at 234th (the Esperance boundary). My expectation may be wrong, but I think the developer will install sidewalks on 84th and 236th to the Safeway driveway sidewalk.

  12. The opinions ring loud and clear! And lets add 84th to 76th on 218th! Listen to the voters!

  13. I agree with the need for sidewalks and road repairs. There is no need for the Burlington property. As usual the city will ignore the public.

  14. I absolutely agree. Street lights and Sidewalks for the safety of all. The Purchase of Burlington is ridiculous.

  15. Sidewalks are badly needed. But I remember when the sidewalk from the bottom of 196th to 3rd Ave was bult some years ago. It took FOREVER. A friend and I ran the numbers: to have built a sidewalk from Boston to Edmonds at the same rate, work would have needed to begin in 1757.

    It took the Corps of Engineers nine months to build the entire 1,500 miles of the Alaskan Highway. Governor Shapiro fixed I-95 bridge collapse in 12 days.

    We need sidewalks. But can someone PLEASE commit to getting them done in a genuinely reasonable time frame?

  16. Sidewalks are desperately needed in these neighborhoods. The 37-million-dollar Burlington property purchase does not include developmental costs or financing costs which will add tens of millions of dollars more to the true cost. This property proposal is local politicians selling a “fake future” trying to sucker people into voting for them. I guess there will be some partisan or naive lemmings that go for the mirage but, anybody with any common sense knows the impracticality and poor value of the proposal.

    1. Brian, I like your style and common sense. Our Planning Director went before the City Council; basically told them (paraphrasing here) that the property was hard to get to for retail purposes and a bit of a dog in that context, but it’s available for sale, so lets get started acting before the high demand hits; to be sure to pay the current owner a set value for more than it’s worth. Oh, and we don’t dare tell the people (taxpayers) what the bank appraised value is. I could not believe what I was hearing, watching that meeting. At least make a good argument for doing a bad or questionable thing. Same for the MOU for the Unical property. Let’s agree to purchase it even if we don’t really know what cleaning it up will involve or what Chevron’s economic liability will be for the clean up if we go ahead and buy it. What negotiation school did these people attend?

      1. Putting things in perspective, based on County tax records, it appears that the current owner of the “landmark site” paid about $3.7 million for the 10 acres in two separate purchases (2014 and 2016). That would mean the $37M purchase agreement is a 10X profit for them in a little over seven years! I hope your investments are doing as well. Mine certainly have not.

  17. Why is the city getting into development that is usually done by private companies? Hope this is tabled soon. Use the to money to make improvement where needed.

  18. Absolutely wonderful to see so many of our citizes commenting on the need to fix sidewalks, etc. If the incumbent mayor does not get the message, and make this a real, funded, solveable issue, we need to vote him and his failing city government cronies out of office.
    Listen up mayor. Your job is on the line on this major citizen concern!

  19. It’s amazing. At enormous expense, Planter boxes are put down the middle of 99, which have to be maintained year-round to keep leaves and debris out of the drain and branches out of the path of motor vehicles at major tax payer expense and yet we don’t have the funds to put in sidewalks to keep our pedestrians safe

  20. Edmonds City Code states the duty, burden, and expense of constructing or repairing a sidewalk shall be upon the property owner directly abutting the sidewalk zone. The abutting property owner is sometimes called the servient estate, the party that typically owns the fee title to rights-of-way.

    That doesn’t mean that the public taxpayer dollars cannot be used from time to time to construct or repair sidewalks. City Council has the authority to vote to do so. I imagine doing so in an equitable fashion may be a challenge. But shouldn’t figuring this out have been made a priority long, long ago?

    I encourage City Officials to provide clarity, so citizens know what the process is to request public dollars be used for construction of sidewalks. Is there an application process or some other way to initiate consideration of sidewalks paid for with public dollars?

  21. This is a perfect topic (along with several others) for the mayoral debates. I am going to send a communication to My Edmonds News (assuming they will be conducting future debates), asking for this topic to be included in questions asked of each candidate.

  22. I agree sidewalks are important. I’m taking a wait-and-see approach before I form an opinion about the Burlington purchase. If they could move the police station to 99, where most of the “action” is, while at the same time developing retail property to rent out and earn money for the city coffers, that would be wonderful.

  23. If only 1950’s construction standards were in place, where it was legal to pour a 3-foot wide, unreinforced concrete sidewalk strips with curb cuts only at driveways would we even be close to making progress on completing our sidewalk networks. Now we must incorporate accessibility standards, landscape buffers, stormwater gutter curbs, and reinforcement with expansion joints; all important components, but it comes with a hefty price tag. It’s about $1 million per block to construct sidewalks to current standards and that does not include any curb cuts, corner ramps, grading, or utility mods. Add a multiplier of 3 for those things. Edmonds has a few hundred blocks that are worthy of completed sidewalks and at the current market rate would net around $300-$400 million to finish them. With the city’s current budget and other competing interests factored in, and bias towards development where impact fees would cover some of this, we’re still a hundred years out before we make any real progress on completing these. Our best bet while we wait is to look into “woonerf” principles of urban design and implement traffic calming strategies so peds and vehicles can share the roads we currently have in place.

    1. JM, yes older standards would cost less. But your current estimates seem high. We should ask the city to give us some ranges. We sometimes spend to bring sidewalks up to current ADA standards, when we have a functioning ADA curb cut in place. Many of the older sidewalks are now in need of repair for trip hazards. Will the new standards build them in a way to eliminate or greatly reduce future safety issues?

      1. Good question, Darrol. One would hope so. It is a piece of infrustructure, just like any, that regardless of how well you engineer and install it, there’s always going to be maintenance and repairs. The big thing is trying to balance creating long-term liability infrustructure with a current tax base that can only afford so much to maintain it.

        The per block figures is hard to put a singular metric to because not all blocks are created equal. Some will require more work than others and the metric increases when the blocks are already developed and not a clean slate to work from, like most of Edmonds. I like to plan high, come in low, that way you’re not having to go back to the well to ask for more funding to finish something. Having the city provide a low-to-high rough order of magnitude range is a good start for long range planning and communicating expectations to the general public, mind you that it may be heavily caveated due to the site anomalies from block-to-block.

        Always good to have this type of dialogue with stakeholders and elected officials to put things into perspective and consider alternatives.

  24. Tonight, Council will discuss car tab increase of $20 that would raise $700k. Those added funds would provide more dedicated funding or things like sidewalks. They will no doubt talk about tax fairness. We have more people than cars and more cars than households.

    Just for illustration these “what if” ideas shows how we could raise $700k.
    Per household it would be $38. Per resident it would be $16. And if we use our assessed home values and used standard property tax it would be $4 for each $100k of home value. $500k=$20, $750k=$30, and $1m=$40.

    It is a good thing to consider raising revenue for roads and sidewalks. The added $700k will be helpful but not meet the full expectations of the comments above. We already have tab money AND we have general fund money budgeted for roads and sidewalks.

    Our expectation should be that all currently budgeted GF money and tabs stay in place and the added tab money fully adds to roads and sidewalk.

    Soon Council will consider how to use $8m ARPA funding. Repairing and adding to our sidewalks could be considered. Other building maintenance should also be considered.

    Hopefully council will increase car tabs.

    1. Darrol, my good friend, I have no doubt that your wish for Council tonight to increase car tabs will come true. Say, could we get together for you to buy me a beer pretty soon, I need to borrow a couple hundred to pay for some over due truck tab.s. Come to the Meet and Greet Sat. afternoon and I’ll buy you a couple beers and a hot dog that neither of us should probably be eating, now that I think about it.

      1. My concern is that council may vote for the tab increase and the take money out of the roads and sidewalk work and put it back into the GF. Our expectation should be that all currently budgeted GF money and tabs stay in place and the added tab money fully adds to roads and sidewalk. My bet is council will pass the tab tax and at the same time take GF money from that work. That to me boarders on a bait and switch type plan.

  25. Maybe someone should ask Mayoral candidate Mike Rosen what his plan is for sidewalks & his opinion on the Burlington land purchase idea.

  26. Hey, past five mayors, this is what’s known as “the top of the organization chart” speaking out and demanding to be heard for a change.

  27. I just today got a response from Bertrand Hauss with the city engineering department. He says that the planning for the short sidewalk on 84th Avenue W will begin this year with construction early 2024. He says ARPA funds will be devoted to this 600 foot sidewalk from 236th Street to 234th street. Hardly a win for our neighborhood.

  28. Many sidewalks at intersections are being done for the third time the original step off the curb improved cutouts for wheelchairs and now the new improved version in which I see no real benefit especially since they serve so few at great societal expense. But it feels so good knowing that we paid tens of millions to serve 100? people on a very irregular basis except for a few locations. Yes sidewalks can be expensive but have you seen the latest grand plan from the mayor to redevelop 20 miles of road and walks most of which already have sidewalks? This guy needs to go before he puts us all in the poorhouse. I am sure the cost of this far exceeds just adding sidewalks where needed. I am just baffled by the stupidity of this city’s leaders and administrators.

  29. “tens of millions to serve 100”

    Can you give us sources for these numbers?

    As a now handicapped former athlete, I have to say that the newest iteration provides confidences, security and safety, which older forms did not. At least in heavily trafficked areas, the yellow dots, etc. are most welcome. And that goes for a lot more than just wheelchair users; there are a lot of us elderly who are glad to take advantage of the curb cutouts.

    BTW – how many handicapped or mobility challenged would make the curbs worthwhile? Can you give us a number?

    1. I had the same thought Nathaniel when I read the words “tens of millions to serve 100”. Seemed exaggerated. I appreciate your response.

    2. Nathaniel my problem is not with rampped crossings my problem is with redoing ramped crossings for no good reason at great expense to taxpayers, you know the ones who funded not just the first time be the second time that might have been justified but now for a third time. Simple stupidity if you ask me. My grandmother who was handicapped lived in Edmonds for 20 years and not once did we need handicap crossings and yes we have a wheel chair ramp into the house. I have rarely seen a wheel chair on the sidewalks so the need doesn’t justify the expense.. but I know if we spend 50 million to make one persons life better it is money well spent right? Hope your rich because if we keep going like this the taxes you pay or higher rents because of taxes is going to continue to make Edmonds even more unaffordable.

      1. Fifty million for one person!? Can you give us your source for those figures, as per my earlier post? And I will reiterate that the curb cutouts are welcome to more than wheelchair users.

        How many we need, and where is another issue the city should discuss.

        1. Nathaniel the 50 million for one person is a example of great societal expense that serves very few.. do you think we should replace wheelchair cutouts with a new style at great expense when the existing ones work just fine? After we get done replacing all the perfectly good cutouts with new ones and another design comes along do you think we should tear them up and redo them again? At what point is doing things over and over again become ridicules?

  30. One of the more interesting exchanges that took place during last evening’s Council Meeting happened around the 30-minute mark of the Council Meeting when Councilmember Susan Paine asked Public Works Director Oscar Antillon about using Transportation Benefit District (TBD) revenue for sidewalks.

    Mr. Antillon stated “We don’t own the sidewalks on the street. So, we do spend a little bit of money on ADA but the sidewalks, the city does not own all the sidewalks, that’s property owners.”

    Councilmember Paine responded by saying “Thank you for saying that out loud and I get it so thank you for adding that”.

  31. How did most of the sidewalks in the city get there? Did each homeowner contract the section in front of their house? Did they get together with their neighbors and do a section? No the city or county put them in. If sidewalks are a homeowners responsibility how come the city can come and put one in front of my house without my permission? Sidewalks are on roadway right of way areas not personal property areas. The mayor’s new plan would tear up a lot of existing sidewalks and put new in, how is it ok for the city to put in new sidewalks in some areas that have them already but can’t put them in areas that don’t have them?

  32. I agree with Jim. Oscar must be misinformed. It makes no sense that citizens pay for sidewalks adjoining their property. Otherwise,why are millions of dollars in the city budget to build and repair or replace them.

  33. You got your wish on the lic. tabs, Darrol, as I predicted. Interesting meeting last night. Two CM’s (Buckshnis and Nand) voted no and the rest said one thing and did another; hitting the taxpayer ATM one more time (inflation and all that you know). Also, I see the mayor and his merry band of loyal followers came up with another (make Edmonds even better) expensive WANT for us to fund down the road. I know, that loop trail will be funded mostly by transit grants. Never mind those grants are tax money in disguise and, you guessed it, originating from car tabs to a great extent. The tax circle merry-go-round.

    1. Clint,

      The tab fee was only a downpayment on what the city will come at us for. We have more of a financial problem than is being shared with the citizens. Hidden from us by both the administration and the Council. This administration and the past few Councils have proposed and approved deficit spending budgets and have used our reserves to balance them. Now our spendable reserves will, for all practical purposes, be exhausted before the end of this year. We do have emergency reserves which are not spendable under our current circumstances. What happens next is anybody’s guess. I have my own analysis and it’s not pretty.

      Only when the administration and Council can be honest and transparent with us will they regain our trust. Trust they will need if they propose a property tax increase to help maintain our city’s current standard of living.

      1. Hit the nail on the head our 2012 budget was about 33 million 2022 was was about 120 million 4 times as much in just a decade, and they want even greater spending. Greater deficits spending means passing the buck down the road versus paying as we go. How much better is Edmonds over the last decade than it was before? Certainly our population hasn’t increased but by any large percentage. Yes I know revenue and budgets don’t always align, but the path we are on will do nothing but make Edmonds even more unaffordable than it already is.

      2. Jim O- I respectfully disagree with your comment about deficit spending being hidden from the residents. Did you attend any of the recent neighborhood meetings on budget priority setting? At the meeting I went to, the opening comments by a Council person explained the deficit spending and asked for ideas on areas to cut spending next year and provided a handout that summarized the 2023 budget.

        1. Theresa and Jim O. – I think you are both right to a certain extent. We have at least a couple Council Persons who are all about financial transparency and budgeting by priority needs first and frills and extras second. These are the people that insist on having town halls out in the neighborhoods and engaging with all the constituents all the time. The majority over time seem to be just go with the flow and cater to the various executive administrations asks for projects and funding type politicians as usueal. It has been mostly top down government here for years with a lot of grandstanding and/or PR oriented mayors, basically selling Edmonds to tourists anyway possible. It’s time for a change and, if that change doesn’t come, the results will be financial chaos.

        2. If it were so transparent, then how could the Council ever have approved the April budget amendment? That amendment added considerably more expenses than revenue and eroded all of our spendable reserves this year. If they actually knew the ramifications at the time, it was an irresponsible vote at best.

          At the budget priority meeting I attended, no such question was asked.

  34. Short on time – I’ll try to provide more later.

    City Code says:

    9.20.020 Construction or reconstruction of sidewalk – Abutting property – Expenses chargeable.
    The duty, burden, and expense of constructing or repairing a sidewalk shall be upon the property owner directly abutting the sidewalk zone…

  35. Ken point out what I understand as well. It gets complicated when ADA issues are considered. I think there are state and/or feds that require an upgrade to ADA cuts when the street is paved. There are also some fundamental ownership issues of the land from the center of the street. Messy but just for sidewalk and curb cuts the city has done two conflicting things. 1. For someone building or remodeling a home they have “forced not only new and upgraded ada curb cut and sidewalk replacement that is not needing repair. 2. For other sidewalks the city has paid for the sidewalk and curb cuts and upgrades (even when not required by law)

    Not saying anything about the need for and the importance of ADA issues!!

    But we do need some new thinking on how the citizens would like to deal with our current sidewalks and new ones as well.

  36. RCW35.69.02 contradicts the city ordinance.

    (2) An abutting property shall not be charged with any costs of construction or reconstruction under this chapter, or under chapter 35.68 or 35.70 RCW, in excess of fifty percent of the valuation of such abutting property, exclusive of improvements thereon, according to the valuation last placed upon it for purposes of general taxation.
    (3) An abutting property shall not be charged with any costs of reconstruction under this chapter, or under chapter 35.68 or 35.70 RCW, if the reconstruction is required to correct deterioration of or damage to the sidewalk that is the direct result of actions by the city or its agents or to correct deterioration of or damage to the sidewalk that is the direct result of the failure of the city to enforce its ordinances.

  37. Hi Glenn,
    Our City Code includes these two items from the RCW – I tried to post yesterday but the complete code section exceeded the 200 word limit.

    Many sidewalks in Edmonds are paid for by the abutting property owner. If the abutting property owner pays to construct something and if the law requires you to maintain it, I think you own it. The abutting property owner, also known as the servient estate, can own an improvement in the public right of way.

    I think that is what Mr. Antillon was referring to. If the abutting property owner pays for the construction of a sidewalk in the right-of-way, they own it unless ownership of the sidewalk infrastructure is transferred to the city and the city accepts it as public property.

    Lots of things to consider. For example, if the city council decides to pay to construct sidewalks at certain locations, how do they do that fairly? Also, does the city have to maintain sidewalks the city pays for? Or can they somehow transfer maintenance responsibilities to the servient estate?

  38. It has been my experience in investigating the condition of sidewalks in various jurisdictions within Washington state, that most sidewalks are located within the public right-of-way, but the owners of abutting properties are required to maintain them. In general, developers who built the houses or commercial structure have built them to comport with engineering standards adopted by the local jurisdiction at the time they were built. While a city maintains ownership of the right-of-way, the owner or tenant of the abutting property is responsible for maintain the sidewalk. Failing to maintain a sidewalk can be expensive for an owner if someone is injured due to their negligence. Of course, there are exceptions to all of the above.

    Pedestrian ramps at intersections are now required to comport with federal ADA Design Standards; the latter is one of the few instances where the ADA applies to sidewalks.

    In Edmonds the municipal code allows, under certain circumstances, for the city to build new sidewalks with no charge to the abutting property owner. (EMC 9.20.020 Construction or reconstruction of sidewalk – Abutting property – Expenses chargeable.

    As Edmonds grows, my hope is the city will act responsibly and build new sidewalks where they are absent but needed.

    1. Thanks Jeff.

      The Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) has produced an excellent article entitled “What is the Nature of a Public Right-of-Way?” The article is easily found via an internet search. Highlights from the article:

      As a general rule, a city or county right-of-way is an easement for public travel. (An easement is a privilege or a right, distinct from ownership, to use in some way the land of another.) So, typically, a city or county does not own the fee title to the property underlying the public right-of-way; the abutting property owners have that fee title, and that title usually extends to the centerline of the right-of-way.

      If the right-of-way has not been opened and so is not improved, obstruction of public travel is, of course, not an issue, and the property owner is not subject to the same restrictions as when it is open and improved. Typically, property owners can use the unopened, unimproved right-of-way as they can the rest of their property, but subject to the possibility of it being opened and improved at some point in the future.

      1. Ken, I thought in Edmonds when the city abandons a right of way the adjacent property owners have an option to buy it. That would imply the city owns the land originally. Is that not the case here? I’m speaking also about alley ways. Thanks.

        1. Hi Darrell.

          In most cases, the adjacent property owner already owns the fee title. There is nothing for the property owner to BUY when the city vacates its easement rights. A street vacation simply allows a property to become “unencumbered” by a city easement.

          Washington State law allows a city to require some payment for the vacation of its easement rights, but requiring payment is optional. Edmonds has required payment at times but not at other times.

          The city’s street vacation history is incredible – I don’t know that the city does it the same way very often.

          The property owner’s fee title ownership is why I often argue that the property owners have more rights (and responsibilities) when it comes to our streets and alleys. I believe one reason the city can require property owners to construct sidewalks is because the property owner owns the property. I don’t think a city can make a private party construct a sidewalk on property the city owns.

          I have argued that streets and alleys are not public spaces like city owned parks. I argue this because the fee title owners own title to the property, not the public.

        2. Another thing Edmonds City Council (Council) may do during a street vacation is:

          Retain an easement or the right to exercise and grant easements in respect to the vacated land for the construction, repair, and maintenance of public utilities and services. (RCW 35.79.030)

          If Council does so, the Council cannot also condition the Street Vacation on payment of monetary compensation. The Council adopted an Either:Or law years ago. (ECDC 20.70.140)

          Despite this, Council has recently conditioned street vacations on the grant of easements to third parties PLUS the payment of monetary compensation. Certain parties have been made to pay the same amount of monetary compensation that others have paid to get their property unencumbered of all easements.

          It is hard to understand city council’s motivation to act on behalf of third parties during street vacations. Third parties are not the dominant estate or the servient estate.

          Like I said earlier, the street vacation history is incredible – I can tell you some amazing stories if interested.

          One amazing story relates to the former street (4th Avenue South) behind Aces Hardware. This was processed as an amendment to the city’s official street map rather than a street vacation.

  39. Given the number (and wide range) of responses to the initial concern about the need for sidewalks as opposed to the possibility of the city purchasing the Burlington property, I think it is obvious the sentiment leans heavily toward the City Council thinking more deeply about how they spend taxpayer money. Edmonds is attracting a lot of new residents and businesses without some kind of showcase in a questionable location.

  40. To the editor- Please adjust your software to allow paragraphs. Mashing everything in a comment into one run-on paragraph is a disservice to your readers.

    1. Jeff– in your most recent comment I am seeing paragraph breaks. I have heard from readers that when they post a comment, it appears everything is run together on their end but my experience has been that the paragraph breaks show up.

  41. Of further concern, I just learned that the current City Council President has taken it on himself to adjust how the citizens can communicate with their Council Persons via email by doing away with the ability to contact them as a group. I’d like to see a public statement from him as to why this was necessary, what representative purpose that serves, and how he has the right to do this without some open to the public council debate under regular meeting procedure. The “top of the organization chart” has just had it with old time Edmonds City politics. I urge all elected officials to view this whole thing as sort of a virtual “Save Our Beach” program reincarnated.

    1. Mr. Wright – will you be contacting the council president directly to ask about the change in how citizens can communicate with the council? I doubt many of them are reading this 2 mile long (or longer) string regarding the sidewalks so direct communication with that particular council person would be in order, right?

      1. Pamela, I doubt that I’ll be contacting him directly as I’m pretty sure higher profile and more influential people than myself are already doing that.

        I’ll just observe what develops until I feel it’s wise for me to make personal contact for some reason. My feeling is that our best public officials encourage hearing from citizens anyway possible, encourage robust interaction, and follow what is going on in public media like MEN and the Beacon.

  42. Anything one posts comes out in one paragraph when submitted and awaiting approval, but paragraphing reappears when the comment goes up on the comment boards.

    If only more people used paragraphing (and punctuation!).

  43. Apparently I missed the memo..what is a street vacation? Everyone goes on vacation same time???.haha. In laymen terms. I’ve never heard of it before.

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