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Diane Buckshnis releases priorities for reelection campaign


Last updated 4/25/2019 at Noon

Edmonds City Council President Pro Tem Diane Buckshnis – at the request of the Beacon – first announced in January that she would seek reelection to her Position 4 seat. She officially filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission a month later.

But she had not made an official announcement to the public. That changed this week, three days after political newcomer Jenna Nand announced she would challenge Buckshnis.

“My nine-year record reflects a consistently strong voice with an effective legislative record for governmental oversight and financial accountability and transparency; working on behalf and for our environment; and community empowerment and retaining our small-town heritage,” she said in a news release.

Buckshnis, 62, said she has three primary goals for the coming year.

  • Continuing governmental oversight to ensure financial accountability and transparency with new policies being developed or reviewed. The purpose is to address aging infrastructure so taxpayers can understand where their tax dollars are being spent, and if they believe the City is budgeting wisely.
  • Continuing economic development that respects community empowerment and Edmonds’ small-town heritage – this should address housing, homelessness, and opioid abuse.
  • Continuing support to saving Edmonds’ environment, open space and parks. “My key focus will remain with the Edmonds Marsh Estuary Restoration and finalizing our Urban Forest Management Program so we can begin work on ways to save our City’s tree canopy,” she said.

Buckshnis was first appointed to council January 2010 after the death of Councilmember Peggy Pritchard Olson, after losing to Strom Peterson in 2009. She defeated Bob Wilcox and Tad Helke in 2011, and in 2015 ran unopposed.

She graduated from Portland State University in 1979 with two bachelor’s degrees, in business administration/finance, and psychology.

Buckshnis is a former banker and banking regulator, spending over three decades in the U.S. and seven years abroad.

According to her release, she assisted the Lithuanian government in rebuilding its banking and regulatory system through post-Soviet economic uncertainty.

She was also a bank regulatory involved in cleaning up the savings and loan crisis during the Charles Keating era.

She has lived in Edmonds for over 20 years with husband Steve and their dog, Spike. She is a founding member of Off-Leash Area Edmonds, which has become the premier dog park in Edmonds.

Buckshnis said she is passionate about the arts, and has volunteered many times for the Edmonds Art Festival; this year, she will manage the Grotto for Edmonds Rotary.

Buckshnis also helps with clubs such as the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club, Students Saving Salmon, Citizens Tree Board, and the Mayors’ Climate Protection Committee.

In 2010, Buckshnis spearheaded financial transparency and accountability, causing completely new formatting for financial reporting, budgeting and budget amendments. New financial policies and procedures and monthly reporting requirements were also implemented.

“The revamped financial statements provided full disclosure of all funds so taxpayers can see where their tax dollars are being spent,” she said. “And some citizens like graphs illustrations or narratives rather than numbers.”

Buckshnis has been on the Water Resource Area Inventory 8 (WRIA 8) Salmon Recovery Council for nine years, and the Salmon Recovery Grant Funding Committee for five.

She was instrumental in listing the Edmonds Marsh daylighting Willow Creek project on a WRIA 8 priority list in 2011, which made the City eligible for competitive grants. She continues to be actively involved with the restoration of this near-shore estuary to provide a safe haven for wildlife and create an urban wildlife habitat.

Buckshnis said she has been cognizant of having the City show monetary support to marsh restoration and, with support from council, $200,000 was set aside in 2012, $100,000 in 2017 and $1 million in 2018.

“Mother Nature is calling, and we need to be consistent in our message that funding should be immediate, considering the scarcity of the near-shore pocket marsh habitats in Puget Sound and the declining status of our salmon and, by extension, our orcas.”

As an Edmonds Senior Center board member, Buckshnis advocated for the future Edmonds Waterfront Center; she and Rose Cantwell were initial co-directors of the capital campaign.

Over the past year, Buckshnis has been on a year-long leave of absence from the Senior Center as she is working on due diligence representing the city on budget review needed for the new building.

Buckshnis does not have a website, but her biography can be found on the City of Edmonds website. Donations to her campaign can be made to Committee to Elect Diane Buckshnis, PO Box 613, Edmonds WA 98020.


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