City Council mistake; dangerous traffic | Letters to the Editor
Last updated 6/24/2021 at 8:30am
Former mayor: Dumping Salary Commission a mistake
Re: "Council nixes commission that sets their pay" (June 17):
As a 14-year City of Edmonds elected official, I can testify through my experience that the salary process was always political, inefficient, arbitrary, flawed, and non-objective.
The Salary Commission finally resolved that problem.
For over 100 years, the main reason someone ran for public office was for their love of the city and their desire to preserve, promote, and improve the quality of life for Edmonds and for its citizens.
Their motivation certainly was not salary: There should be an Edmonds mission statement that states those values.
Keep the Salary Commission; it's objective, efficient, and nonpolitical. Remember the old saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Keep it simple.
Las Vegas, NV>br>(Edmonds mayor, 1983-1992)
Car people: Pedestrians have rights
Dear readers, drivers and walkers:
In the last week, I have experienced the following: drivers rolling through STOP signs, speeding down the streets in town, failure to acknowledge us pedestrians have crossing rights – especially on Fifth and Walnut and Maple streets – and driving through the marked blinking lights on SR 104 by City Park and Third and Bell.
If I count the number of times of nearly being struck and nearly killed, it's four. I feel outraged and targeted.
The flags on corners are in ugly condition. Walking three to four miles a day is my exercise and communication with friends. Wake up, you guys!
I am not a target. Get the message.
Liberalism and racism in Edmonds
This is to address Mike Shaw's comments ("No one 'worms their way' onto City Council," June 3) about my letter in the May 27 edition of the Beacon ("Time to open up council meetings again.")
I'm fully aware that our councilmembers were elected. In fact, they were elected into positions that are supposed to be nonpartisan, as defined by the Public Disclosure Commission. Instead, the campaigns of Mayor Mike Nelson and Councilmembers Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, Laura Johnson, and Susan Paine were all managed by Blue Wave, an affiliate of the Democratic party.
Check out their client list. I don't see any Republicans. Also, check the C1 filing with the PDC. I'm not so sure our voters were aware of that. Hence, the word "wormed." At least half of Fraley-Monillas' contributions are from outside of Edmonds, including unions – usually, a sure sign of party politics.
FYI, I'm actually an Independent and, before that, what they used to call a "Blue Dog" Democrat. I left the Democratic party when it made a hard left turn.
However, you talk about Republicans as if they are somehow evil. Trump fast-tracked the COVID vaccine and rebuilt our economy before this pandemic – what has Biden done?
I guess that's what the left does these days when someone disagrees with them; right away they're evil. Either that or they refer to their opponents as racist. And FYI: Children at our Southern border are still in cages. And who's in charge now? A two-party system provides balance, as long as each side is willing to compromise.
Like most people who live in Edmonds, I care very much about equal treatment for all people; however, at the same time I have no use for any elected official who characterizes Edmonds as racist, or goes on local TV news and suggest the city is full of racism.
I mean, what the heck? And no, I don't want that kind of a person sitting on our City Council or anyone who agrees with her. What happened last Dec. 8, when our mayor put skin color over qualifications, was a disgrace.
The four councilmembers who followed the mayor's lead should be ashamed of themselves.
You will not find one incident of racial profiling by the Edmonds Police Department, or its officers. Check the archives yourself with all the local news outlets. The only incidents of hate are citizen-on-citizen, which can be expected in a city with a population of 43,000.
Yet there were only eight incidents in 2020, and those were filed with the FBI. That's 0.00186%, hardly, a trend that would warrant running out into the streets to wave signs.
Simply put, the message Fraley-Monillas and her Democratic friends are preaching is a falsehood. Our mayor's actions since he first took office had one purpose – to step up to a higher office with the Democratic party and, in the process, he's willing to step on and over the city of Edmonds to do it.
He has made our city a laughing stock.
Of course, what happened to George Floyd is criminal. However, those problems do not exist in the city of Edmonds; they are happening elsewhere. I have no problem standing in solidarity with everyone against this barbaric treatment, but not to pretend it's happening here when it is clearly not.
The EPD had a reputation as a model for best practices in the entire area. To trash it is wrong.
In my firm opinion, both Fraley-Monillas and our mayor should apologize for the division they have caused.
Housing plan would create density, environmental damage
We are deeply concerned that the Edmonds Citizen Housing Commission (CHC) recommendation to up-zone all single-family neighborhoods will increase neighborhood density with serious environmental consequences.
This one-size-fits-all proposal is the wrong way to address the housing needs of Edmonds.
Increasing housing density will harm livability and the quality of life if it is permitted without careful analysis of the various neighborhoods and watersheds in Edmonds.
Up-zoning single-family neighborhoods will add concrete and expensive (clearly not "affordable") housing, to the detriment of the tree canopy, native vegetation, wildlife, and our streams and wetlands used by salmon.
One of the 15 CHC policy recommendations proposes to establish a new zoning type of single-family housing that allows for construction of zero-lot line duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes of only one- or two-story height located in specified areas of Edmonds that are:
– Contiguous to or along high-volume transit routes;
– Sited next to neighborhood business (BN) zoning districts; or
– Close to schools or medical complexes
Constructing zero-lot line duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes would result in zero open space, zero trees, zero vegetation in the "specified areas," and increased runoff and flooding. The destruction of the Perrinville Creek watershed is a prime example of what happens when development exceeds infrastructure capacity.
Edmonds' stormwater infrastructure is inadequate and antiquated, and the continuing damage to the health of the environment will only get worse with additional development.
It is absolutely critical that our housing policies honor the unique environmental features of Edmonds: steep slopes, tree-covered creeks flowing into the Puget Sound, wetlands, the Edmonds Marsh, greenbelts and wildlife, and essential habitats for protecting salmon and recovering killer whales.
It is critical that we be committed stewards of our environment and protect it for future generations.
Edmonds' infrastructure, the environment, and diversity of housing must be dealt with holistically, not in isolated silos as proposed by the CHC. Council and citizen deliberations should focus on identifying pocket forests (as proposed by CHC commissioner Mike McMurray), preserving tree canopy, addressing stormwater issues, and maintaining quality of life for current residents and home owners.
Any zoning changes must be done carefully and with respect for the environment and for the specific neighborhoods and undefined "specified" areas.
Up-zoning and thereby eliminating single-family neighborhoods would have serious negative repercussions for our tree canopy and wildlife habitat, and for our quality of life. It is possible to develop policies that will protect both.
We do not support bringing Seattle-style, ticky-tacky townhouses that all look the same to Edmonds. We must preserve the environmental values that Edmonds residents cherish.
The Community Sustainability Element of the Edmonds Comprehensive Plan clearly lays out the value of the environment to the citizens of Edmonds and how environmental consequences must be taken into consideration in any zoning changes in Edmonds.
Council and the administration should be required to adhere to the Community Sustainability Element before even considering code changes that will seriously impact the environment.
We urge Edmonds' residents to review the CHC policy recommendations and take an active part in our community's deliberations.
CHC policy recommendations: http://www.bit.ly/3cZhOYn
Comprehensive Plan: http://www.bit.ly/3qkHQe7
Dr. Michelle Dotsch
On behalf of the Alliance of Citizens for Edmonds
On behalf of Save Our Marsh