Edmonds governmental functionality in 2020 | Guest View
Last updated 1/14/2021 at 10:08am
There's been so much that has gone on in Edmonds this past year that it's hard to know where to start.
For the record, at one time or another, I've supported all currently elected councilmembers and the mayor, except for Councilmember Vivian Olson. And in my opinion, Olson has been the best performing of the newer councilmembers.
When this council and mayor were elected, I was thrilled because I thought it would be the most cohesive and productive council in the 25 years I've lived here. But it has been anything but that.
And IMHO, former Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas is the root cause of all the dissension. She spreads misinformation and lies. She does not address issues with objectivity. Rather, for Fraley-Monillas, it's all about emotion and pursuing her personal agenda and, to that end, she formed a cabal with the mayor and three councilmembers.
Frankly, I don't know who's the mayor and who's the sidekick. She bullies, shames, threatens, and treats councilmembers that she believes do not support her agenda in full with contempt.
In fact, in a recent published interview referring to Olson's email containing a packet of information pertaining to the police chief confirmation, Fraley-Monillas stated, "I did not read it because we had probably 200 emails sent to us about Chief Pruitt. If this was sent from the city or from HR, I would have given priority to it."
A time-sensitive email from a fellow councilmember containing an attachment including important information doesn't warrant her priority, let alone her attention?
Importantly, Fraley-Monillas doesn't understand that the council president is not an elected position of power. Rather, it is a council-appointed position of trust. The trust being that the council president has the sole role of representing the collective council priorities when negotiating council meeting agendas with the mayor (and ensuring all councilmembers get a fair hearing regarding their individual issues and concerns).
In this way, the council president is an administrative role, not one of power. Fraley-Monillas abused the position of council president, setting a horrible example for the newer councilmembers.
Throughout this year, Fraley-Monillas demonstrated her lack of leadership by not even attempting to move the council beyond a simple majority on many issues. Instead, she was only concerned with her "four votes," and disregarded viewpoints and research brought forward by other councilmembers.
Fraley-Monillas fails to recognize that when the council is divided, the community will be divided. This is especially destructive during a crisis/emergency, when our elected officials need the citizens to accept and follow their actions and initiatives.
My hope for the 2021 council is that the three councilmembers who followed her down the rabbit hole (especially the next council president and pro-tem) recognize their folly as they try to claw their way out, however difficult that may be.
Richard Senderoff is a member of Save Our Marsh and the Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds (ACE). He is a former member of the Edmonds Citizens Economic Development Commission, Community Backyard Habitat of Edmonds, Hazel Miller Plaza Design Team, and Save the Rose House.