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Cowardly package; candidates respond; Taste disappointment | Letters to the Editor


Last updated 7/19/2019 at Noon

Anonymous package a cowardly move

How cowardly of the unknown person who sent an anonymous package to the Beacon containing personal financial information regarding Mike Nelson.

I wonder how "Anonymous" even got that information. I am guessing that "Anonymous" has an agenda – to take down the candidacy of Mike Nelson. It certainly was not sent with any kind of positive or beneficial outcome in mind, was it?

And why send it anonymously? Nelson explained his situation openly in the Beacon even after the Beacon had met with him and decided not to publish the story.

Some letters in last week’s Beacon express strong opinions about Nelson and those letters may or may not contain accurate information. In fact, one of the letters appears to be deliberately misleading.

I do not know Nelson, other than what I have read of him in the news, but I am not willing to base what I know on the repeated words of others who may or may not accurately be reflecting the situation. For example, one letter writer uses several adjectives to describe his experience with Nelson.

I was not at the meeting the writer describes, so I have no way of knowing if those descriptors are accurate. But, the good news is that so far, there are two mayoral candidate events - one held July 17 at Edmonds Center for the Arts and another July 22 at 6:30 p.m. in City of Edmonds Council Chambers.

Hopefully, there will be ample opportunity for Nelson and other candidates to address concerns and issues of the voters directly. Just because a person writes a letter and makes allegations about someone doesn't mean those allegations are true or accurate.

They could be, but they also could not be.

Pamela Clerico Edmonds

How we communicate matters

I am writing in response to Gary Nelson’s recent letter challenging my use of a Seattle firm to help me run a professional election campaign for Edmonds City Council (“Outsiders influence Edmonds’ campaigns,” July 11).

I appreciate the letter writer’s desire for elections that advance the interests of Edmonds – and I share that value completely. As a longtime Edmonds resident, I love our beautiful city.

I am running for Edmonds City Council to help preserve the many features that make Edmonds so special – beginning with our incomparable natural surroundings and vibrant community.

I also share his opinion that Edmonds will suffer with grandiose schemes like, for example, putting a $27 million freeway off-ramp on one of our beaches. Let’s figure out parking and increased traffic safety. Let’s improve our public engagement so we don’t have big policy misfires that divide our community.

What I don’t share is the letter writer’s proposition that using a professional advisory firm and a campaign compliance bookkeeper located 15 miles from Edmonds somehow undermines my sincerity or my mission.

My goal is to provide Edmonds voters with high quality campaign materials, but the messaging in those materials is mine and mine alone. And my most important communication with Edmonds voters has nothing to do with those materials – it is face-to-face.

I have already spent many hours walking the streets of our community, meeting individual residents on their doorsteps, listening to their opinions, and sharing mine. It is a privilege to connect, on a personal level with the people I hope to represent, and I will continue to do so, up until election day.

I believe that Gary Nelson does Edmonds voters a disservice when he says that they cannot exercise “normal thoughtful decision making” because of campaign materials. To the contrary, the voters I am meeting are vitally interested in our city, are asking me great questions, and are carefully considering my answers.

Our community has been having regular conversations about civil discourse and I, for one, want to keep our discussions elevated, focused on our common needs, and aimed at finding responsible solutions. For my part, the democratic process is alive and well in our community, and I am as proud as ever to run for Edmonds City Council.

Susan Paine Edmonds Edmonds City Council Candidate

Second council candidate responds to Gary Nelson letter

In a July 14 letter to the editor, Gary Nelson claimed that hiring a Seattle-based consultant indicates that my campaign may “deviate from the traditional values associated with our community.” I do not personally know Gary, so I cannot speak to his version of “traditional values.” However, I can speak to my values and let the voters of Edmonds decide if I represent what they are looking for in a candidate.

To start, my values lie in telling the truth, not spinning it.

I believe that we must protect the environment for the generations to come. I believe in responsible firearm ownership. I believe that our children should feel safe when they go to school. I believe in reproductive freedom. I believe that diversity is something to celebrate.

I believe that we should engage, welcome, and empower voices from all parts of our community in the policymaking process.

As far as “traditional” goes, it is a subjective term. I will say that in the 12 years previous to my 2012 move to Edmonds, I lived in a town of 10,000. Edmonds is already big city enough for me!

Most Puget Sound area consultants are based in Seattle. Unlike how Nelson attempts to spin it, using services from Seattle does not signal an “invasion.” I take my campaign seriously, and as such, I hired a consultant to make sure that I am compliant with campaign finance rules, I run an organized campaign, and I still have some time to spend with my family.

I have personally put up most of the consultant fees. In fact, my family set aside our summer vacation funds to do so. I am dedicated to serving my community. Edmonds is where I choose to raise my family and is where I hope to grow old.

Laura Johnson Edmonds City Council candidate

Show appreciation for police officers at annual open house

I am the newest member of the board of the Edmonds Police Foundation.

I want to let everyone know that we are having a terrific open house on Thursday, July 25, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the police station. I hope everyone can come and tour the station and meet our wonderful police officers.

There will be something for everyone, and it will be time well spent! There will be fun things for children as well as grown-ups. This is an excellent opportunity to meet police officers in a fun and relaxed atmosphere and perhaps learn a little about the important work they do.

In the past, I have interacted with police officers and deputy sheriffs in other states, and I found it to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. At various events I got to meet celebrities like Martin Milner and Joseph Wambaugh, but to me the real stars were the police officers who serve and protect us every day.

Everybody wants to meet celebrities, so now’s your chance. No, you won’t meet movie stars, but I promise you will meet some real-life action heroes.

Remember, when you hear strange noises at your back door at 2 a.m., you know who you’re going to call, and it’s not the Ghostbusters!

So please come and show your support for our police officers. You will make their day, and how often do you get to do that for anyone?

Celia Valentine Edmonds Police Foundation

To the Taste Edmonds committee

I am a member of the Seafair Boat Club, a nonprofit group that supports one of the largest community festivals in the nation. I would like to express my great disappointment in your committee's actions to our club the year.

For a number of years, we as a group have manned your gates, both the pedestrian and service. We did this, to first off support your festival, as a fundraiser for our group, and because it is a Seafair-sanctioned event.

This year, without any advance notice, we were informed that our services would no longer be needed. We were told that another group was found to be more worthy of the fundraising needs. This was done without any advance discussion or explanation.

While I might understand your wanting to change groups. I do not understand why we were not given the courtesy of some sort of contact, either by phone or email. We have always stepped up to help whenever called upon by your group.

We stepped up when you "lost" your group to man the service gate. Often we have done this at the last minute.

This has been a major fundraiser for our group. It represents a large portion of annual income. We as a group gave your group verbal assurance at the end of last season's event that we would be back again for this year. We put it in our group's schedule for the year.

We have people who have already signed up to work the event. Our people come out to support the City of Edmonds one week after our main event of Seafair Weekend. We do this because we know how difficult it can be to do an event of this size, and we bring with us a vast amount of knowledge and experience in event management.

We as a group have been an advocate for the Taste. We have supported the event to your local citizens. We have talked to many directly and passed on their suggestions for improvement to the committee leadership.

While many of the people of Edmonds don't actually attend this event, it does represent the people of Edmonds.

While our group is disappointed by your decision, we will continue to wish you the best of luck in the future. We hope that in future dealings with other nonprofits, that you will take into consideration the impact your decisions have on groups that have made a commitment to you.

Bill McTaggart Past Commodore Seafair Boat Club

Editor’s note: Edmonds Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Greg Urban responds:

With a loss of organizational knowledge due to changes in the volunteer committee, we have found missing/incomplete information in our planning documents. When the new committee used these documents, relying upon their accuracy, it seems that contact info for some groups was missing.

The committee reached out to all the groups on the list, unaware that anyone was not represented.

With a funding shortfall in the Edmonds School District, we received many requests from groups looking for ways we could help. This seemed a perfect opportunity for Taste Edmonds, and I directed the committee to engage and secure these volunteer groups, unaware that Seafair Boat Club was not in our initial outreach.

At this time, we have committed to work with these groups, with the funds donated helping our Edmonds-area school-age children: Lynnwood High School boys and girls golf teams; Meadowdale PRG; Kiwanis Club, Edmonds-Woodway High School; and Edmonds Boys & Girls Club.

The committee is sorry this error will impact the Seafair Boat Club, but are excited for the opportunity to impact local organizations this year. In all, Taste Edmonds gives back to our local service clubs and nonprofits over $24,000 each year.

Proceeds from Taste Edmonds help fund other community events produced by the Edmonds Chamber, including: An Edmonds Kind of 4th; Edmonds Classic Car & Motorcycle Show; Halloween Trick-or-Treat; and the Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Thank you to all the volunteers, committee members, vendors, and community for supporting Taste Edmonds, now in its 37th year.

Greg Urban Edmonds Chamber of Commerce


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