I want to thank the residents who reached out to me via My Edmonds News, city email and phone, and other media to understand why I support the continuation of exploring the Landmark project. As a fiscal conservative, I was the councilmember who most aggressively and constructively challenged the mayor and staff with financial reporting, investment strategies, and was the first person to publicly voice my concern about the fiscal emergency that our city is facing. Although I was very skeptical about the Landmark project at the beginning, the long-term benefits of this project to the entire city of Edmonds deserve careful examination. Here are some of the reasons I support the continuing exploration of the Landmark project.
First, let’s look around Edmonds. Where in our city can we accommodate the demand for affordable housing and growth? Clearly it is not downtown, at least not in the foreseeable future. It is an understatement to say many of our residents are passionate about protecting and maintaining downtown as a gem of the Puget Sound and the small-town feel. This is evident during the vision statement process. The opportunity lies in SR 99 and other parts of our city. The Landmark project may not be the ultimate answer, but no doubt it presents an opportunity to take pressure off downtown and reduce the crime rate in the Hwy 99 corridor.
Second, it is true that our city’s general fund is experiencing a shortfall; however, other funding sources have been identified to cover the costs of continuing the exploration of Landmark project in 2024 and will not impact general fund.
I can assure you that I will not support the city going alone in acquiring the 10-acre Landmark site. I am hopeful that the council and the community will have the information needed to make an informed decision within the next 15-month window.
— By Will Chen
Will Chen holds Position 2 on the Edmonds City Council.