Edmonds City Council candidates are (from left) Kristiana Johnson, Josh Thompson, Alvin Rutledge and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas.

Edmonds City Council candidates are (from left) Kristiana Johnson, Josh Thompson, Alvin Rutledge and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas.

Highway 99 looms large over Edmonds City Council races

A new waterfront connector and the city’s saltwater marsh also capture candidates’ attention.

EDMONDS — Plans for a new waterfront connector, the city’s saltwater marsh, and redevelopment of the Highway 99 corridor are some of the city’s top issues, say four candidates running for the Edmonds City Council.

In the Position 1 contest, incumbent Kristiana Johnson is being challenged by Josh Thompson, who is running his first campaign for political office.

Johnson said she spent 30 years working as a city and regional planner with training in transportation issues. She said she helped communities solve environmental and land use issues. Now retired, Johnson said she’s able to give her full energy to the council and use that experience to help Edmonds.

Johnson said she thinks that questions over development surrounding Edmonds’ saltwater marsh will be the biggest issue the city faces in the next four years.

“The vegetative buffers are very important to the future of the marsh,” she said.

Thompson said he feels that the city’s biggest issue is emergency access to the waterfront. The area can be blocked for hours by trains when there’s an accident.

Plans call for a $30 million project — a roadway to be used for police and fire that begins at the intersection of Edmonds Street and Sunset Avenue, going above the railroad tracks and leading down to the Brackett’s Landing North parking lot.

Thompson said plans for redevelopment of the Highway 99 corridor was one of the issues that spurred him to run for the City Council.

It’s similar to a decade-long Shoreline project that eliminated two-way center turn lanes and took other steps to improve traffic flow on the highway.

In addition to highway safety improvements, Edmonds is planning for wider sidewalks and marked pedestrian crossings with yellow flashing lights to increase safety.

In the Position 3 race, incumbent Adrienne Fraley-Monillas is being challenged by Al Rutledge, who previously has campaigned unsuccessfully for the City Council and Legislature.

Fraley-Monillas said she, too, thinks that the Highway 99 corridor project is the most important issue the city faces.

She said she thinks the redevelopment that will come will include low-to-moderate income housing and new shopping options.

Growth will bring with it new demands on the city, such as increases in police and fire services, she said.

Rutledge said his interests include development plans surrounding the Edmonds marsh. “Time changes,” he said. “You’ve got to put people somewhere.”

Other interests include working on homelessness and transportation issues.

Rutledge said he is against establishing Edmonds as a sanctuary city. He said he thinks there should be a public vote on the issue.

Fraley-Monillas said the action taken by the City Council in January, which she supported, was to establish Edmonds as a safe city.

The police chief has indicated that officers will not go out searching for undocumented people, but will follow federal law, she said.

“We were the first city in the state to ensure that people living in our city were safe, that they were not going to have people breaking down their doors or stopping them in the street,” Fraley-Monillas said.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; salyer@heraldnet.com.

Council Position 1

Name: Kristiana Johnson

Age: 65

Experience: Served on the City Council since 2012. City council President 2016.

Website: electkristiana.com

Name:Josh Thompson

Age: 41

Experience: Legislative aide to Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright; previously worked as general manager at a Seattle business.

Website: thompsonforedmonds.com/

Council Position 3

Name: Adrienne Fraley-Monillas

Age: 58

Experience: More than seven years on the City Council.

Website: Adriennemonillas.com

Name: Al Rutledge

Age: 77

Job: Retired; formerly ran home delivery business

Website: None

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