Letter to the editor: Thanks to youth commission coordinator

Editor:

Thank you for your service, Casey Colley. I regret you are being let go by the City of Edmonds.

The city council definitely valued your part-time position as the youth commission coordinator and voted last year to fund it in the 2024 budget. But the mayor unilaterally removed this position. I was saddened by this layoff news that I received, and it might signal a collapse of this commission. I certainly hope not as youth are our future.

Your role as the youth coordinator since 2018 has been invaluable and think how many kids’ lives you have touched and/or changed while working with them these past few years. Your work ethic and time spent with our youth commission went beyond your part-time position and your good work has been noticed by many. Your sensitivity, humor and empathy for all these challenging issues facing our youth will definitely help you in your next job.

The contrast of saving a relatively small amount of wages in this area while the city continues to spend gross amounts of money with the Comp Plan consultants or the Landmark consultants is striking. This stellar, hard-working employee who challenges our youth and has a great track record is laid off because the city cannot afford her estimated $40,000 salary. Casey, maybe you will be better off leaving Edmonds as there are better cities in the region to work for these days. Count me in as a reference and Happy Trails until we meet again!

Diane Buckshnis
Edmonds

  1. Thanks Diane, for bringing this to our attention. We need more people like Casey to work with youth, not less. Young people are our future and deserve our best in helping them to learn, grow, and expand their view of the world. They also need ways to get involved in positive ways. $40,000 with all the millions we spend in our community? Come on Edmonds!

  2. What a shame. My daughter served on the Youth Commission from 2019-2022 while in high school and the experience she gained under Casey was invaluable. Not only did she gain a sense of pride knowing she had helped bring young voices to city government, but she also gained incredibly valuable skills like public speaking in a professional setting, creating and presenting proposals to City Council, organizing events including Mental Health workshops for local youth, and working with a diverse team (young and old) to accomplish City goals. Eliminating Casey’s position (and likely dissolving the Youth Commission) ensures that other young leaders in our community will have fewer opportunities to engage in local politics and have their voices heard. It also ensures that young, fresh, forward thinking input is thwarted. Thank you Casey for your time, effort and service.

  3. Anybody else notice a trend here? When it comes to schools we end music programs, cut alternative schools funding and lay off teachers but keep the expensive pencil pushers and idea debaters. When it comes to the city we cut low level positions like Casey’s and social workers while at the same time using a huge gift of money to perpetually fund hanging flower baskets to hire more full time park employees that add forever expense to the budget, with our Mayor’s blessing, wasting what could have been a forever endowment. (Sorry Jack G., my late friend, I know you didn’t intend your money to be squandered in this manner but “it is what it is”). Free labor volunteers were actually replaced by at least two paid workers. What managerial brilliance! Meanwhile, people who deserve to be let go for wasting our money get bonus’s not to leave. It is indeed a crazy upside down world at Edmond’s City Hall. On top of that we have CC members elected at large representing individual parts of the city. No wonder it’s a hot mess all the time.

  4. I also would like to thank Diane Buckshnis for bringing to my attention that the Youth Commission representative, Casey Colley had been let go. If there is one thing we need in this city and all over this country is more involvement of young people in our government. We need their ideas and input for the future. We should be able to afford $40,000 for what is our future. I would even be willing to pay an additional $5 if I knew it would go to this positiion from the city’s share of my tax money.

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