Letter to the editor: Action vs. attack


As we see in national level politics, it is much easier to denounce the incumbent than to propose better solutions. The Edmonds mayor election seems to follow the same pattern, with a very well orchestrated program maligning the current mayor, Mike Nelson.

Nelson’s many important accomplishments need to be acknowledged to better inform voters. One of his first jobs was to get the city through COVID. He played an important role in protecting our citizens and in supporting local businesses. I was particularly impressed with his support of minority-owned business. Mayor Nelson’s leadership in recreating the Highway 99 corridor will make a positive difference in the future of Edmonds. As the initial organizer of the Native Plant Demonstration Garden, I am especially pleased to see that native plants are being used in that project. Among Mayor Nelson’s other contributions is requiring inclusive playground upgrades so that people of all abilities and ages can enjoy our playgrounds. Because of these and many more ways that Mayor Nelson has made a positive difference in Edmonds, I urge everyone to vote to retain Mayor Nelson.

I have lived in Edmonds since the early ’80s when I bought my small house here. I love this city and I am confident that Mayor Nelson shares my vision of keeping it a city we are proud of.

Susie Schaefer

  1. It must be “Lets try to save Mike Nelson week” in the letters to MEN. My proposed “better solution” is Mike Rosen, who i don’t know and have never met. I know 4 years of Mike Nelson as Mayor was a disaster and embarrassment. So my better solution is Mike Rosen but if that was not an available option I would vote whoever is behind door No.3 before knowingly voting 4 more years of the current incompetence.

  2. It seems to me that most if not all of the editorial letters in My Edmonds News over the past few weeks have been pro Mike Nelson and maligning Mike Rosen.

    1. Desperate people do desperate things. If a candidate can’t stand on his/her own merits, the “win at all costs playbook” says “get nasty, go negative and find/make up dirt”. Mayor Nelson does not have a good record to stand on. One doesn’t need to dig up or make up dirt on him, it’s been there in plain view for all to see for the entire tenure of his (hopefully short) term
      In office. It’s time for a change. Rosen has my vote!

  3. Mayor Nelsin’s record is exactly what voters need to see.

    Edmonds is in a financial crisis.
    Until the voting block in Council was disrupted, we had dysfunctional local government with limited to no reins on rhetoric.
    We endured multiple embarrassing episodes with staff hires.
    WA State had some if the most restrictive COVID mandates in the Country, but thankfully, the industries in Washington experienced financial growth (texhnology sector).
    Edmonds squandered recovery funds.

    Pandering to regional, State, and National interests in a partisan way hurt Edmonds. The sidewalks still need fixing, the sewers still need to work, and safety is still paramount. Mayor Nelson chose to make Edmonds partisan.

    Again, there are very few successes that Mayor Nelson should claim (but does) that were not well underway prior to his tenure.

    If anything, the mass exodus of highly regarded City staff did nothing but delay improvements, add costs to projects, and slow progress.

    I like to look at Mayor Nelson’s recotd of rhetoric and alienation. It makes it easier to vote for future Mayor Mike Rosen.

    He had his opportunity and thankfully was not a complete fiasco – but methinks that was due to the elimination of the Council voting block.

    Edmonds tried the Nelson experiment, I am just glad the hard work of previous Mayors, Staff, and Councils was not completely ruined.

  4. My biggest problem with Mayor Nelson and his chief cheer leader and assistant on the Council (Susan Paine) is that they are totally biased against an imaginary bad guy (implied, old, rich white guy who is protecting his turf) living all over in “the Bowl.” Nelson and friends are promoting this alleged social disconnect with terms like “the under served” and “Neighborhood Champions ( who he and his Economic Planning Director want to pay for their opinions so they can be heard).” When a town and it’s neighborhoods drastically need to be brought together to solve real problems, these people are promoting the old tired conflict between “the Bowl” and “not the Bowl.” As the old white guy living in the Bowl, I resent the implications and the put downs. That’s why I first supported Diane Buckshnis who was by far the most qualified and ready for the difficult job that lies ahead as Mayor. Just for the record, this old white guy living in “the Bowl”, did not particularly want nor appreciates the Civic Park Field project and thinks that money would have been better devoted to parks and recreation outside “the Bowl.”

    1. I live in the “bowl,” and, perhaps in a bubble, but the only criticism I have heard about Mike Nelson that may be true, is that he doesn’t answer emails. His track record, as Susie Schaefer said, has been one of protecting and preserving Edmonds, while expanding amenities to a broader spectrum of residents. His opponent is a professional communicator, but what else does he offer. Susie said it well: “…it is much easier to denounce the incumbent than to propose better solutions.” I will vote to retain Mayor Nelson.

      1. Susan, I’m trying to wrap my head around the idea that a Mayor who tries to hire an unqualified person to be police chief after first approving a qualified person because the qualified person was not acceptable to his four Democratic Party Loyalists on the Council; has been a great protector and preserver of and for all the people of Edmonds. His managerial incompetence and bias in this matter insulted the qualified applicant and embarrassed the unqualified applicant; resulting in a possible lawsuit. If your assertion is that his ONLY possible fault is not answering emails of constituents (you know, the people he serves), I’d say your bar is pretty low. Nothing ever happens without communication and those skills do matter. For the record, I’m now an Independent; but I usually vote Democratic Party – just not in non-partisan city politics.

      2. I am still waiting on that track record. My party affiliation has nothing to do with the cold hard facts.

        The numbers do not.lie, the mjstakes cannot be hidden, and the credit for the work needs to go where it belongs.

        I do not live in the bowl, on the water, or belong ti any of the local establishment groups on either side. I am good with maths and metrics.

      3. Susan, He certainly hasn’t protected or preserved Shell Creek or Perrinville Creek or their salmon, which have significantly been degraded during his tenure. He won’t let his staff meet with Joe Scordino, the mentor of the Edmonds Stream Team, and champion of local streams and the marsh. And by the way, Mike Rosen is much more than a professional communicator.

  5. I have subscribed to MEN for awhile & often read the comments. It seems there are a few pretty “loud” voices denouncing (ie., perhaps bashing would be a better word) certain folks in local gov’t & then some of those same loud voices writing in favor of their candidates of choice while continuing to “denounce” those currently serving (or running). So here’s what happens: I watched part of last night’s candidate conversations (will watch the rest later). Then come the “loud” voices here, liking one council candidate over another, but just can’t say why they like one without saying what’s so terribly wrong with the other. Those loud voices make me suspicious of a candidate I might have favored prior to their bashing of the other candidate. When folks say things like “if this candidate wins it’s because dems voted” or continue to bash some candidates, or other such comments, it doesn’t help the conversation. Why don’t folks try advocating on behalf of THEIR choice without bashing the OTHER choice(s)? The bashing turns me against YOUR choices.

    1. Welcome to “charming” Edmonds politics. Where did that “We Choose Kindness” campaign go? I so agree with you. I was excited the last election cycle to watch the debates. I immediately became a hard no to two very well promoted candidates because of their glee at bashing their opponents. It’s disturbing and a character flaw.

  6. Pamela, I totally respect that you disagree with me, but if you are choosing your preferred candidates based on not liking me or what I’m saying here, you need to raise your standards a bit and broaden your horizons of research.. You are confusing my being concerned and outspoken with being “loud.” I have spent hours and hours watching the actions of these people in meetings and being amazed by – over and over – four to three votes with a certain four people always going along with little argument or real analysis of what the Mayor and his staff want. This is not communication, nor is it in anyway good city government. Then someone try’s to tell me communication is no big deal and I need to be “nicer.” Politics ain’t tiddlywinks, and we’ve had enough of non transparency and hidden agendas to cover over problems and mistakes.

    1. Thank you SO much Clinton for your response but I don’t need your advice as to my standards and horizon. You seem to make a lot of assumptions. I used NO names in my comment if you noticed. Why do you think my comments were about you? Let’s just say I’m suspicious and I well know that politics is hardball. I’m making observations. When you say “we’ve” had enough, who’s the “we”. See what I mean? If you are speaking of yourself, then it’s “I’ve” had enough unless you have a mouse in your pocket. It sounds like someone told you to be “nicer” at some point. That’s on them. I prefer that lobbying for a candidate be about the candidate and why. I have seen several comments and letters that do just that–uphold their candidate & tell us why they do so. I also do not like national negative campaign ads on any side of the aisle or on any side of the tiddlywinks. Cheers!

      1. Pamela, you make some good points and I apologize for assuming you were referring to just me. I will now assume I was in the group you were referring to. I do not care if you take my advice or not. I apologize for saying “we’ve” instead of “I” and you were right to point that out. I choose to name names and refer to actual events because that contributes to honest communication and transparency. If that makes me a bad guy, then I’m a bad guy and I can live with that and sleep fine at night. I’m not accusing Susan P. of being a bad person; just a biased person who doesn’t understand what her role is supposed to be. You disagree and that’s a beautiful thing.

        1. Thanks Clint and once again, please do not assume anything. Assumptions are not facts.

  7. Old lady on the Hill (71). There as you say have been no improvements in fact just the opposite here in this area. What has been done to help the Hill? I see no parks even though years back a property was given to Edmonds for a Park here. The children and families here have no park, no sidewalks for the most part, heaving sidewalks which force strollers into the narrow one lane streets. I have stopped traffic to help those walkers. The hill is proudly a very diverse area. We have many who pay a lot of property taxes and utility taxes and new people who have paid a million $ for homes. We have multi family here. Civic Park has cost all of Edmonds. Every playground in the Bowl has been improved and yet nothing up here at all for these kids and families. No Art, No Vegetable markets, so Bike lanes here folks. This Mayor has not listened or been present unless it’s something he and developers want. We were ridiculed and suggested we move into assisted living while most are able bodied and doing fine! Curious are the people here supporting Nelson Prog. Dems? If so, where is your compassion for those less fortunate? Need a new perspective. Mike Rosen is that New Perspective. Voting Rosen for Mayor of Edmonds.

  8. I believe one problem with Mayor Mike Nelson’s conduct is his disrespect for law and the city’s Code of Ethics. I see examples of this disrespect by simply participating with city government from week to week.

    Not responding to citizen emails is not friendly or courteous. The Code of Ethics says elected officials shall “Keep the community informed on municipal affairs and encourage communications between the citizens and all municipal officers. Emphasize friendly and courteous service to the public and each other; seek to improve the quality of public service, and confidence of citizens.”

    As for disrespect of law, please recall when Mayor Nelson called a unanimous decision by our State Supreme Court “barbaric”.

    Yesterday, city staff proposed acquisition of more parkland. Our City Code says the Planning Board shall advise the mayor and city council on all matters relating to the acquisition and development of all city parks and recreation facilities.

    Eleven days ago, we witnessed the mayor propose a budget that asks for funding to purchase Red-Light Cameras at intersections. Our City Code currently does not allow this.

    Communications BETWEEN the citizens and the mayor are important. Laws are important and court decisions are important. I believe Edmonds citizens deserve a mayor who respects citizens that email a mayor, who respects laws and who respects our State Supreme Court.

  9. The lesser of 2 evils in the case of the mayoral race we really only know the evil of the current mayor he has a record. Do I need to review it again? I don’t know the success of failures of Rosen because he hasn’t been mayor. Nelson has and his record isn’t pretty. From failure as a leader to putting us in a financial bind during a period of record revenues. Nelson is the evil we know, could it be worse sure could it be better absolutely. I feel this mayor doesn’t belong in the role of mayor, a council person pushing for destroying one of our beaches maybe. But he is no leader that is why my vote goes to Rosen. Maybe SEIU will hire him back but I doubt it.

  10. A couple questions about some comments here. How is accusing people you don’t know and have no personal interaction with of having a “character flaw” not a form of bashing someone? Are you a psychiatrist or a MSW to have that knowledge about people you don’t even know? Who are the candidates that have allegedly taken glee in “bashing their opponents? Have I missed something? Seems like some examples should be given if this is at all a credible claim. Also, how does not voting for someone you think might be the better choice because you don’t like or agree with other people that support him or her any kind of good idea? Guilt by association or just a general lack of being rational and objective?” I just don’t buy that claim at all. When does “choosing kindness” become more important than standing up for yourself and others, taken for granted, or being sold a bunch of hoop- la?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.

By commenting here you agree to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please read our code at the bottom of this page before commenting.