Letter to the editor: Supporting Roger Pence for Edmonds City Council


In all likelihood, you already know Roger Pence, who is running for Edmonds City Council Position #1. As a political person he has an affinity for building bridges. While we served on the City of Edmonds Citizens Planning Board, he took the time to reach out to folks on the issues at hand. He wanted to hear your thoughts, take in the research done by city staff, and discuss city councilmembers’ positions.

Several years ago we campaigned together for Kristiana Johnson, my friend, for Position #1 on city council. Through it all she felt the support from the city. She was particularly pleased her sense of humor brought the laughs. She connected with others who treasured Edmonds — as does Roger Pence.

Roger is also serious about stewarding a connection with the community. He is available through phone, email and attendance at public events, city council meetings and the local coffee shop. Hopefully, with your vote, he will serve as your city councilman in the well-served Position #1.

Careen Rubenkonig

  1. I also support Roger. He is a long time Edmonds resident who has served us on the Planning Board until Mayor Nelson decided to not reappoint him. He knows this City, and is the kind of person that we need on the Council to help steward us through the growing pains certain to come. Roger is very interested in listening to the ideas of others, and honestly express his beliefs.

  2. Roger has the experience, knowledge and long standing care for Edmonds that I want in my council member. He goes back a long time in serving our dear city well and will be thoughtful in looking at what’s best for Edmonds. Roger Pence has my vote.

  3. I very much hope that we have the collective wisdom to put Roger on our City Council. Roger and I butted heads over something in MEN (now long forgotten, by me anyway), and he reached out to have coffee with me and agree about some things and agree to disagree about others. I don’t always agree with Roger on stuff, but I’ve gotten to know him enough to know that he is not a rigid man of the political Left or Right which is a crucial attribute to have for our supposed to be non-partisan city government positions.

    All I know for sure about Roger’s opponent is that she has lived in Edmonds for a couple years or less and recently ran for Lynnwood City Council and lost. In contrast, Roger has lived in Edmond’s for about a decade and has served on our planning board which is an unpaid position that requires attendance at frequent meetings and some good knowledge about how decisions actually get made in our town. These two facts alone make him the obvious superior candidate for the position in my view.

    1. I got to chat with Roger I think he would make a council member. His opponents playbook is the same as the mayor’s and frankly not my cup of tea.

      1. Long-term resident. Experienced planning board member. Nonpartisan, putting the citizens of Edmonds first. Roger Pence seems like the right choice.

  4. I have gotten to know Roger rather well over the last few years. He is ALWAYS interested to hear and consider alternative opinions on any topic having to do with Edmonds. He brings a refreshing perspective about community outreach and how to best harness the collective wisdom of our community. Roger is not pretentious and brings down-to-earth values to the job. Aside from his years of civic involvement, you’ll see him attending Council, Board and Committee meetings so as to be ready on day one of his election to Council. No learning curve needed with Roger. Roger will make a great council member.

  5. I’m super excited to vote for Chris Eck for position 1! Chris is just the type of leader we need in Edmonds and brings energy and passion I have yet to see from many others running this year. Chris has incredible experience she’ll bring to the council that we will all benefit from. She is a true gem that we’ll be lucky to have serving this beautiful city and I’m glad I get the chance to vote for her for position 1!

  6. Yep Roger Pence has our votes here. I think he will do a great job on our City Council. Ms. Eck is I am sure nice, but she hasn’t lived here very long at all, and I do think she is not maybe as Non-Partisan as Roger will be. It’s better I believe to elect candidates that are Non-Partisan whenever possible in today’s political climate especially. I looked at our Boards and Appointed and hired employes of Mayor Nelson adm. I think everyone should take a look at it. I am hoping our next Mayor will make sure the board members and all of it is equal and diverse and as Non-Partisan as possible. Then we won’t need to argue so much. BTW I concede my negativity about Lake Ballinger Park. It seems that the majority like this and Council All loved it so. I think I was wrong. Have fun.

  7. I am voting for Chris Eck. She has a wealth of experience spanning corporate and non profit, doing work related to policy, planning, housing, and development. She is a complex thinker, creative problem solver, and someone ready to work hard for and with everyone in Edmonds.

    1. Julie, thanks for the information about Chris Eck, “doing work related to policy, planning, housing and development.” That confirms my suspicion that she is not really that interested in representing the best interests of EVERYONE in Edmonds.

      Based on a recent picture and article right here in MEN, Chris is seen at a totally political event with not only the current Mayor but also, Susan Paine, a current Council Member, and Mindy Woods, a current city employee. Actions always speak louder than words, and this all tells me that Chris is probably pretty biased in terms of political party preference and the affordable housing cause. That doesn’t make her unfit for the office, of course, but the fact that she recently tried to get on the Lynnwood City Council and then moved to Edmonds and is now trying to get on our City Council, with little to no experience in the problems Edmonds is having to deal with, outside of the affordable housing issue, makes me think Roger Pence is by far the better choice for ALL of us. He too is a, “complex thinker, creative problem solver, and someone ready to work hard for and with everyone in Edmonds.”

  8. I firmly believe Roger Pence has superior qualifications for City Council. He has served well on our Edmonds Planning Board and has thereby been deeply involved in critical issues facing Edmonds, is a regular attendee of Council and Board/Commission meetings and is fully current on issues and procedures, has proven experience as a community advocate, has been an Edmonds resident for a long period and has a deep understanding of our community, is a very good listener and actively seeks out community input, is collegial/collaborative and has a non-partisan approach to local government—which is an approach best suited to finding the best solutions to the problems we face. These are the attributes we truly need in our Councilmembers.

  9. Candidate Eck is endorsed by dozens of elected Democrats and associated organizations. City Council positions are non-partisan positions, but Eck is obviously deeply involved in the Democrat party. When push comes to shove she will do what the party wants and not necessarily what the citizens of Edmonds want. We have seen this in the past and are still seeing this with a few council members. Enough is enough; Pence is clearly the better candidate.

    1. Respectfully, this is a weird splitting of hairs. Roger has been involved with the Dem party and has served on the 21st LD and as a PCO for the Dems. I see nothing wrong with this, but let’s keep facts straight and not vilify one person for their associations while turning a blind eye to someone who has done the same thing. Keep it fair and not be revisionist.

      1. Good point Alicia I thought Roger was a little left of center, nothing wrong with that. I think his opponent is considerably left of him. I would say the majority Democrat party is left of Roger. Here we have been under pretty much Democrat control for decades, so when people might talk Republican they are really talking about what used to be moderate Democrats at least around here.

      2. Chris Eck received the endorsement of WA 32nd District Democrats because they want to stick their nose in a nonpartisan election. This a factual, not revisionist.

        1. Further, according to disclosures one of Eck largest donors is the Washington State Democrats. As of the last reporting Pence has not received any direct money from any political parties.

      3. Alicia:
        I always believe in being fair in whatever I do. My posting was fair. It seems like you are talking about the past when it comes to Roger, while my comments about Chris refer to the present. As I have stated, her reported endorsements are replete with elected Democrats. Roger’s endorsements are a mixture and include three current Edmonds council members while only one Edmonds member supports Chris.

      4. Since my partisan history is at issue here, I do need to weigh in. Yes, I’m a Democrat but I’ve not been active in the party for a few years now. Our local party organizations (Democrat and Republican) focus on state and national issues and have little interest in our town. As I got busier with Edmonds’ civic and political life, I chose to back away from party activities to focus on those more important things.

        When I began this campaign for City Council, I made a conscious decision to not seek any party endorsements~ local elections are non-partisan, and I know Edmonds voters prefer it that way. I’ve said from the beginning, if elected I’ll make decisions based on what’s best for the City of Edmonds and its people, not on any partisan agenda. That’s my promise, and I’m sticking with it.

        1. Thank you Roger Pence for your honestly and caring about Edmonds. I am a registered independent but usually vote Dem. I am a moderate. To me extremes don’t work and all one needs to do is look all around our country right now to see this is true Locally, Statewide and Federally. I sure hope you win and I think you will. I really like it that you didn’t seek party endorsements. That says a lot about you. I am anxious to see you on our City Council.

      5. Alicia,

        No one is being vilified. Edmonds leans towards the Democratic Party so voters often have to choose between Democrats. In order to win election in Edmonds, you seek support from both parties. This is a good thing. There should be no place in local non partisan elections for someone who toes a party line.

        Roger Pence has demonstrated that he listens to the opinions of others. Through years of volunteering his time, he has become extremely well informed about issues facing Edmonds, and will represent the citizens of Edmonds in a non partisan manner. His “Goals and Planning for Edmonds’ Future” https://www.rogerforedmonds.com starts with “I opposed the recent state takeover of city zoning.” Everything in his list reflects what I wish for Edmonds’ future. I have endorsed and will vote for Roger Pence.

  10. We are in times of great challenge and opportunity. We need local leadership which is experienced, tested and community focused. These are times which will permanently shape our district and community of Edmonds. The effect on our communities resulting from recent housing and development legislation across our region is difficult for much of our community to visualize. We need leadership on our city council with a track record in our city and the community experience to help us guide the future for our beautiful city of Edmonds. We want leadership which prioritizes the needs of the citizens and neighborhoods of our community. Our city should elect Roger Pence for city council to ensure the attributes and goals of our community are properly maintained for the future of Edmonds.

  11. Thanks for writing this Letter to the Editor, Careen. I am a citizen who engages often with City Government. I first learned of Roger Pence when I spoke in front of Planning Board on July 10, 2019.

    Since that time, I have received 284 emails from Roger Pence, and we have discussed a wide range of City issues. We have not always agreed but I have enjoyed and benefited from our conversations. As a contrast, I have not received a single email reply from Councilmember/Mayor Mike Nelson since April 6, 2018.

    When one interacts with Roger, he listens, contemplates, and responds. I believe he has an excellent grasp of city government and that he will be a solid contributor once elected to City Council.

    I know very little about Chris Eck. She accepted endorsements from Mayor Mike Nelson and Councilmember Susan Paine. I find that alarming. Per my research, Chris Eck was on the Citizen’s Tree Board for roughly a year before resigning prior to the July 6, 2023 Tree Board Meeting. During that time, she attended 8 of Tree Board’s 14 Meetings.

  12. I don’t know anything much about Lynnwood City politics but I have to wonder why we would bend over backwards to vote for someone who just ran for City Council there and lost so recently. Lynnwood citizens either really liked her opponent or they really didn’t like her for some reason. She doesn’t show much dedication to Lynnwood and it’s citizens by so quickly deciding to move to Edmonds and run for our city council right off the bat, after losing there.

    Is this a case of, “I just have to be on a city council; any city council; anywhere to fulfill my destiny?” Seriously, what is the real driving force for someone to seek out a position as demanding (if done right) as our part-time City Council with such little compensation? Electing Ms. Eck so Susan Paine has a Pal sitting next to her on the Dias might be a good reason for you to vote for her, but it doesn’t work for me. Vote for Pence , Fagerstrom and Dotsch, if you really hope to see some much needed improvement in our most local and critical government agent.

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