Public comments: Budget review, long-term care; Rick Steves' idea
Last updated 5/26/2020 at 9:19am
Public comment has always been a chance for regular citizens to give their opinions (three minutes only!) on City matters – and other things – during City Council meetings.
As council meeting are now temporarily conducted via Zoom, and citizens are not allowed in council chambers to voice their concerns, their comments are only available to place on City Council agendas.
As part of regular feature, the Beacon will be shedding light on select comments, delivered to councilmembers. There are minor edits for grammar and style.
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5/19/20: Lori Rasmussen, Subject: Public Comment for Tonight
During this extremely challenging time impacting Edmonds citizens in so many ways, councilmembers and the public request more open government of the first quarter budget review and the ongoing budget during City Council meetings.
Keep the public in on the discussions. COVID-19 drives the agenda.
5/19/20: Michelle Dotsch, Subject: Fwd: Idea on the formation of a Liason Group or Task Force to help our local long-term care facilities
This email below was originally sent on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. I received no response, so I am urging councilmembers to have a meaningful discussion, at a minimum, on the reality of this COVID-19 outbreak on our most vulnerable Edmonds residents and their dedicated caregivers.
Councilmember Kristiana Johnson had briefly made mention of this topic at the end of the last council meeting. In having our own Life Care Center-type of coronavirus outbreak right here in Edmonds at Rosewood Courte Memory Care, where it sped through the 45-bed facility with 46 staff members, hitting it almost six weeks after the Life Care outbreak in Kirkland.
Forty-seven residents and staff tested positive (second-most most of any LTC facility in the county) and 12 Edmonds residents died there, a full 25% of all residents at this facility. This testing came much too late for Rosewood Courte on April 13, 2020, and only after the outbreak started killing residents, so it was able to spread rapidly.
With so many of the staff also testing positive (not knowing themselves they were infected), some working at multiple LTC facilities, rapid testing of staff is extremely critical, as well as any new residents.
I am not blaming anyone at Rosewood Courte, as the facts on the ground is that a memory care facility is incredibly difficult to manage residents who cannot follow instructions, so testing should have absolutely been prioritized sooner along with other LTC facilities.
Another memory care facility in Edmonds, Cedar Creek up by Edmonds-Woodway High School, high school, had 22 test positive and 1 resident die of the virus. So 13 of the 24 residents of Edmonds who have died from COVID-19 are from just these two memory care facilities located within the city of Edmonds.
Currently, a full 61% of Washington state's coronavirus cases, from the state's own data, are linked to long-term care facilities. This includes both residents and staff. If you had an outbreak of 61% of your residents, let's say they all lived on Fifth Avenue in condos and 25% of them died, would you do something ... anything?
I want our residents and staff of these LTC facilities in our town to be afforded a sense of urgency and not be left in the shadows any longer. Thank you all for your continued desire to help during this crisis.
I hope this topic (absolutely related to COVID-19 under the governor's meeting orders) can be added to tonight's agenda and start the conversation. Your most at-risk residents to this pandemic without a voice will thank you.
5/17/20: Kevin Oliver, Subject: Pedestrianize Parts of Downtown Edmonds
I recently read with interest a column in the Edmonds Beacon written by Rick Steves about closing down parts of downtown Edmonds to auto traffic. I could not agree more with Mr. Steves.
What sets Edmonds apart from nearby towns such as Lynnwood is that we have a beautiful downtown area that should not only be a safe zone for pedestrians but also a place that invites citizens to linger, sit, and relax.
I choose Edmonds as a place to live because it seemed like the only place in the Seattle area that was remotely pedestrian-friendly. Let's be bold and make it more so. Perhaps we can experiment with closing parts of downtown to cars on weekends first and then take it from there?
5/16/20: Maureen Rivelle, Subject: Please consider Rick Steves' Idea!
Hello! I live and work here in Edmonds, and I just finished reading Rick Steve's article in the Beacon about closing some of the streets in downtown Edmonds, around the fountain, to through traffic.
The goal is to allow more foot traffic in our beautiful downtown area, and this idea has lots of side benefits! I am sure that it would make Edmonds much more user friendly, would draw more people to our merchants in Edmonds, and would help the surrounding restaurants and businesses deal with the need for more space due to the pandemic.
Making the fountain a park-like area, with benches around it, and maybe even replacing the asphalt roads with pavers or cobblestones, would really enhance the feeling of hominess in our downtown area a hundred-fold.
Please seriously consider this change. Everyone I've spoken to here in Edmonds thinks it's a grand idea!
This season, I sponsored a corner park right by the fountain, so I am really psyched about beautification and access for everyone to our great little town. Thank you.