We need a multigenerational view of what we do as a city, and how we do it. The impact of our decisions will be around long after we are gone, as happened with our parents and their parents before them. We must prioritize the good of the city over our self-interest. Below are my priorities as mayor and our agenda for shaping our future.
Serving as your mayor, I will partner with the community to navigate the tough decisions we face today and into the future. My agenda is built on five pillars:
Each of these must be addressed through a meaningful and robust public engagement process. There are many important questions that we must answer… together.
Government has a fundamental responsibility to be effective stewards of the taxpayers’ money. Each dollar that comes in is hard-earned and must be used to run the government. But more importantly, to also serve the needs of those that government serves.
During the pandemic we benefited from government stimulus funds and historically low interest rates and the economy responded. However, in 2023 we are expecting higher interest rates, greater inflation, and rising unemployment. As a city are we doing everything we can to prepare for this possible stagflation?
Should the community be more formally engaged in identifying the priority needs they feel are most critical that should be addressed through the budgeting process?
Would going to a biennial budget be better for the city because it could reduce the total amount of time spent in the budgeting process over a two-year period, allowing time for other initiatives, encourage us to think more long-term, and help de-politicize the process because it would only take place during non-election years?
How do we protect and grow our distinctive character through locally owned businesses that will increase jobs and provide community members with the one-of-a-kind experience and charm we cherish?
The city must do everything it can to protect you and your family from acts of crime, health crises, fire, catastrophic events… around the clock and around the city.
One in five adults experience mental health issues each year. It is worse for children and for veterans. If you need medical care of any kind, it is challenging just getting in. And then, there are the ever-increasing costs. What steps can we take to help ensure there are practitioners, access, quality care and that we can afford it?
Does our current contracting for services provide the right amount of control, level of service and value?
The number of people working and visiting the waterfront is growing. In the future we will have twice the number of trains and more ferries arriving. How do we protect individuals facing crime, medical and fire emergencies in the critical minutes needed to save lives?
There are many reasons a family or an individual can find themselves without housing. As a region how can we better leverage our combined resources to help prevent this tragedy and be ready to help when it happens?
We must do more. Nearly one out of every three students in our schools qualifies for reduced or free lunches. Our food banks need more help. We are not in it alone as a city, but we do need to meet this growing and critical regional need.
We are overdue for a catastrophic event in the region. Are we prepared to help our community members with evacuation, food, water, housing, medical needs, communication and rebuilding?
For years this has been a top priority for community members. Can we prioritize the most critical areas of need and then do a few each year? We also need to make sure that our existing sidewalks are safe and that we reduce the number impact of human-powered and motor-powered collisions.
How do we prepare for more frequent and intense storms, flooding, rising sea levels, more fires, and changes to the marine life?
Can we identify opportunities to remove snow and increase safety, manage cost, and minimize environmental impact?
The best way to address crises is to prevent it in the first place. What else can we do to take steps that will prevent these types of emergencies, or at least minimize their impacts should they occur?
Snohomish County is expected to add an additional 308,000 people by 2044. Edmonds has one of the most unique characteristics in the country. Creating a common vision for the future is critical for us to retain the things we love, the ability to face the challenges we want to address, and identify the things we would like to see become a part of our community fabric.
This plan will regulate our policies on transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing. We must ensure that our community members have a genuine and meaningful voice in shaping our comp plan and that it accurately reflects our aspirations, values, preferences, and desired future.
Over the centuries, building codes have evolved from regulations stemming from tragic experiences to standards designed to prevent them. Our codes are long overdue for updating. These codes, and their level of enforcement, reflect our expectations for safety, health, and well-being from both natural and man-made hazards. These codes must be the result of many different views coming together and achieving consensus about what is essential and what is not.
How do we build the best, most livable, and most equitable neighborhood possible?
Zoning is a local issue and should stay in the hands of our community. Edmonds historic approach to single-family residential has provided the charm and character of the city that community members love. Any changes our single-family residential zoning, including building heights, must only be done after significant public engagement and only under local control.
We need to better define what we mean by equitable investments throughout the city and then determine how we prioritize our limited financial resources to obtain that vision.
If the city can acquire this property, can we use this once in a generation opportunity to safely create a tidal estuary, a wildlife sanctuary and community park, and restore watershed creeks… and maybe even more?
Can we find a way to be one city while supporting and celebrating distinctive neighborhoods reflecting the livability desired by those who live here?
Is it time to change our relationship with this neighborhood we surround?
Are they the right buildings? Are they safe and do they serve their functional needs? Are they located in the right place? Are they cost-efficient?
More population means more water generated from rainwater runoff and human activity. Do we have the capacity we need, and for how long?
How do we do a better job of engaging our younger community members in participating in appointed and elected positions?
How do we prepare for future technologies that impact are transportation choices, how we communicate and how we work?
We each chose Edmonds as our home. Even if our weeks are filled with work or play outside our city limits, Edmonds is where we start and end each day. It is the community and the sense of community that we share with our family, our friends, and our neighbors. Edmonds touches us, and we want to protect, nurture, and enrich it for the future.
What is it we love so much about this place and how do we protect it?
The waterfront contributes to our ecosystem and our quality of life. What is our common vision for the future for this precious Edmonds resource?
What is the right balance of property rights, environmental impacts, and views?
Is there more than one solution and how do we advance solving this ever-growing problem?
How do we create more parks in more places with more amenities for all?
The charm of Edmonds isn’t just the trees and the water, it is how we interact with our built environment. What is the scale and what are the aesthetics that preserve our distinctive charm?
Are they established where they should be? Do we have clear regulations that protect our community’s charm and that support “smart” development as it is needed?
What is the right mix of infrastructure and transportation options to keep people and goods moving frequently, reliably, and safely?
How do we balance and connect human powered transportation like walking and bikes with personal motor vehicles and mass transit?
What is the best way for the city to collaborate with schools and colleges to give every child the opportunity to reach their full potential?
Trust must be earned. It is the foundation upon which all government institutions and actions rest. Trust in government by the community is the only thing that allows government to work.
How do we create a better partnership approach among these groups?
How do we do a better job of ensuring everyone has a seat at the table and is empowered and respected? How do we use our differences to unleash our imaginations and create an even better community?
How can we do a better job at collaborating regionally to leverage resources and have a greater impact on issues related to crime, health, environment, transportation, food insecurity and housing insecurity?
How do we create the kind of environment where the best in the country want to work here?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Is there a compelling reason to change our structure?
What tools can we use to better allow community members to track what government is doing and the status is in real time?
Would it be better for individual council members to be elected by and represent a specific neighborhood, or the city as a whole?
Will an internal attorney or a contracted service better serve our needs??
How can elected and appointed officials and community members, communicate more productively?
How do we do a better job of ensuring the community is aware of issues that impact them, has a convenient way to participate, and are heard and their opinions considered?