Leadership Letter

August 2021

Dear Members and Friends of Edmonds Civic Roundtable (ECR),

This is the inaugural edition of our monthly Leadership Letter.  Each month I will spotlight issues and concerns facing our local city government; and will also provide upcoming programs and opportunities at ECR as well as opportunities to engage with the city in decisions that affect you.

We Believe Nonpartisan Good Government is Possible.  We strive to organize and frame relevant information in an unbiased manner to allow citizens to evaluate their options, especially when there are opposing perspectives and approaches.  We want ECR to be a resource for all of Edmonds.

We have just finished our primary elections and the candidates moving forward into the general election are:

City Council Position #1:

  • Alicia Crank
  • Kristiana Johnson

City Council Position #2:

  • Janelle Cass
  • Will Chen

City Council Position #3:

  • Adrienne Fraley-Monillas
  • Neil Tibbott

We encourage all eligible individuals to register and then to vote.  We also encourage voters to be informed on the candidates’ background and positions on the variety of issues facing our city.  During July we co-sponsored, with My Edmonds News and others, the candidate forum for the Primary Election.  Looking ahead to the general election, we will be doing this again.  On our website www.edmondscivicroundtable.org you can read about these candidates.

It was encouraging to see that 41% of the eligible voters in Edmonds participated in the primary election compared to a 26.7% turnout countywide.  However, I would be more encouraged if we had 50%, 60% or more participating.  ECR will work to inform voters of the issues our city faces and encourage candidates to speak to these issues so each of us can make informed choices and encourage others to vote.

Here are some issues the city council candidates should be prepared to address in the coming weeks leading up to the General Election:

  1. The process to select a new Chief of Police:
  • I won’t take the time to review the missteps and failed process that happened during the first half of 2020, nor will I review the current process underway.  Candidates should be familiar with both and be able to answer questions regarding them.
  1. A divided City Council:
  • What steps will candidates personally take to ensure all voices are heard and respected, and that outcomes will be driven by facts and collaboration?
  1. Listening to Community Concerns:
  • With the raise of the pandemic and with Council meetings online, public input has been stymied.  When the Council began to convene in person, public comment overwhelmed the initial meeting agenda.  Returning the meetings to a virtual platform in lieu of in-person meetings is currently on the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting.  What steps will they take to ensure that actionable input is received and accurately reflects the community rather than the loudest, most frequent or most well-known voices?
  1. The new Portal to Report incidents of Discrimination:
  • The city introduced a new portal allowing residents to report non-criminal incidents of bias, discrimination and hate anonymously.  Candidates should be questioned about the pros and cons of such a program and their recommendations for any changes.
  1. Traffic Safety Concerns on Dayton Street:
  • During the public comment period at a recent City Council meeting a large number of citizens expressed concerns regarding traffic safety on Dayton Street.  Candidates should share their positions on these concerns.
  1. Citywide Bike Lane Project:

A considerable number of citizens believe they do not have satisfactory to four questions:

  1. Why do the proposed new bike lanes, funded by a Sound Transit grant, not connect to any public transportation stations?
  2. How will the affect traffic on the 9th/100th Avenue corridor?
  3. Would the city be better served if the bike lanes followed a different route?
  4. Will calming traffic effect of bike lanes on 9th/100th Avenue corridor drive more traffic down Dayton Street (or other thru streets) exacerbating current safety concerns?

Candidates should be able to discuss these issues.

  1. Housing Commission Report:
  • The Citizen’s Housing Commission began its work during 2019 and delivered its report during the winter months of 2021.  There are 13 recommendations from the Commission.  Candidates should share their perspective on housing issues facing the city, their positions on the 13 recommendations and the process that followed by the Commission.

The next three months prior to election day will allow us to learn and discover.  ECR is here to help.  To learn more about us and to join our efforts to ensure sound decision making through a non-partisan approach please see our home page on this website

We have two up-coming meetings on the Citizen’s Housing Commission Report:

  1. August 23, 2021 at 4:00 pm – A members meeting in Beck’s Community Room on 5th in Edmonds
  2. September 27, 2021 at 4:00 pm – The location will be announced. This meeting will be a Civic Roundtable on the Housing Commission’s Report seeking comments and questions from community members in Edmonds.

I am looking forward to hearing from others in our community regarding our city, our future and the direction we are heading.  Please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]

Sincerely,

Tom Mesaros

Chair

Edmonds Civic Roundtable