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Councilmember writes; community group responds | Letter to the Editor


October 24, 2019

Editor's note: Edmonds City Councilmember Adrienne Fraley-Monillas has submitted the following editorial supporting a particular candidate for mayor. She also writes about a local group called EGG – Edmonds Good Governance. Monillas is speaking for herself, and not the Edmonds City Council as a whole.

Following Monillas' letter is a response from EGG member Maggie Fimia.

Follow the money and websites

This time during each election year, people become campaign exhausted. Within Edmonds alone, we have eight people running for council seats and two people running for mayor. You don't know who to believe or what to believe when it comes time to vote. The biggest piece of advice I can give is to do your homework before casting that ballot.

In the city of Edmonds, we have a group that has been pushing for everything to stay the way it is socially and to continue developing our neighborhoods – they have been in existence for about eight years and use to call themselves the Downtown Elections Group.

In this election cycle they are called EGG – Edmonds Good Government. They are known as the old guard, predominately white, wealthy, and connected to others of the same. They are led by a woman by the name of Maggie Fimia, who was eventually voted out as mayor in the city of Shoreline. (Google her name to see what her tactics have cost the City of Shoreline, including attorney fees amounting to $500,000 for her games in government.)

The EGG is also being led by a former mayor of Edmonds. I have seen the work plans of both the downtown elections group and EGG. The same people belong to both and have various campaign duties assigned to each person involved such as fundraising, doorbelling, letter writing (ever wonder why the same people write letters for different candidates?), strategic planning, background investigations and much more.

This year has been a particularly bad election cycle, perhaps because this is a city on the verge of great change. ... I am mystified how the old guard thinks they can keep Edmonds the way it has been for 100 years. It's time to move forward in a careful manner, accepting all who live here.

I have been elected to the City Council three times by the citizens of Edmonds. I was never appointed, so I actually have spent quite a bit of time talking to the citizens of our city to understand their needs. I have also worked with both men running for mayor of Edmonds.

I like them both as people. But I would suggest people look to see what each has accomplished since being elected. Neil Tibbott is kind and friendly, and really tries his best. He was nominated last year to be council president, but the majority of councilmembers believed he wasn't ready for the job.

I am at a loss for what he has stood for except the connecter (over the beach bridge) all the way through until the night of the final vote, Only after the council received 250 plus emails and had 500 people rallying at the council chambers did he change his mind.

He did not understand what we were doing wrong in communicating with the citizens. He tried to stand for hiring a two-person sidewalk crew to hurry up our updated ADA sidewalk process. He proposed it two years ago in a budget but pulled it back at the request of the administration.

This past year, he bought it up again and it passed council budget. By contrast, I have worked with Mike Nelson more than five years and have been impressed with his tenacity for getting things done that benefit our citizens – and protecting our children. ...

A lot has been made about partisan elections. Unfortunately, in this country we have two main parties where the majority of us camp. I had a great laugh at a recent council debate when a candidate told the other candidate they were supported by the "Democrats," and that she wasn't taking PAC support.

This candidate asked the Democrats for their endorsement but was refused. A couple of days later a piece of literature appeared at my door with endorsements of three Republican councilmembers and two Republican mayors, and the next day a PAC endorsed her.

You see, like it or not everyone picks one side or another.

I encourage everyone reading this to do a little home work. Go to the Public Disclosure Commission website and check who is giving money to whom, and how much. Go to the candidates' websites and see who is endorsing who. I promise you will predominately see two parties supporting two different people.

It is clear. Nelson stands up for Edmonds and gets the job done, and that is why I support him for mayor. I want someone leading this great city who represents all of us, listens carefully to the citizens and looks to the future so as not make the same mistakes of the past.

Adrienne Fraley-Monillas

Edmonds City Council member

Response to Adrienne Fraley-Monillas from EGG

We totally agree that folks should do their homework before casting their ballots. Unfortunately, Adrienne Fraley-Monillas has not done hers. We have reviewed her description of Edmonds Good Government, EGG, and all the statements she makes are incorrect.

We are happy to meet with anyone personally to share the origins, work, and tenets of this small group of residents whose official mission is: "To advocate for good government decision-making processes that begin by asking and getting agreement on 'What's the problem we're trying to solve?' " vs. "Here's the solution we need to implement."

As individuals, not as a group, we support candidates who are committed to that decision-making process – one that is inclusive and fact-based.

Sadly, this kind of undocumented, truly "made-up" campaign rhetoric and personal attack is meant to stifle involvement and debate – the opposite of democracy, which welcomes dissent.

We will only solve our problems by listening to each other, not making people choose sides and by committing to getting the facts and figures before pushing any policy or budget item.

Please don't tune out, but do tune in to this election. Our website is under construction, but we are happy to meet with anyone who would like more information. You can contact Maggie Fimia at mfimia@zipcon.com.

Signed by the following members of Edmonds Good Government, a registered nonprofit with the state.

Maggie Fimia, lifelong community activist/advocate, former RN and lamaze teacher, master's in public administration, 12 years in elected office, fiscally conservative Democrat

Rebecca Anderson, Edmonds resident since 2005

Wendy Shaw, Edmonds resident, mom of three, ER charge nurse, independent, informed voter since 1989

Jim Van Tighem, treasurer for EGG, new Edmonds resident and registered voter who values honor, integrity, respect for all, and thoughtful collaboration

Gerald Bernstein, M.D., MBA, and retired

Margaret Safford, Edmonds resident and community volunteer

Karen Shiveley, secretary for EGG, community volunteer, active and involved to increase transparency in local government and "as an older black woman of modest means especially concerned about how tax dollars are spent and wants to keep an eye on where dollars go"

Erling Hesla, chair of EGG, Edmonds resident for about three years, still working as an electrical engineer, and a young 95


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