MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — City Councilwoman Michelle Robles has obtained a court-issued anti-harassment order against another council member, upset with what she called “harassment and intimidation” by Angela Amundson.
Amundson must keep at least 100 feet away from Robles’ house and work place, according to the order approved Aug. 31 in Everett District Court. Amundson is not prohibited from addressing Robles during council meetings.
Robles, a candidate for re-election, said she obtained the order following an Aug. 24 encounter with Amundson, who had asked Robles to come over to her house to see the extent of shadows cast by 50-foot tall trees to illustrate a point about downtown building heights. When Robles didn’t show up, Amundson went to Robles’ house the next day and started an argument with her, Robles said.
Amundson called the court order politically motivated, and said she’s the victim of a set-up by her opponents.
“She had offered to come by my house, so you can see how they have rather trapped me into this,” Amundson said.
The City Council on Aug. 20 gave preliminary approval for a set of ordinances that allow for buildings up to seven stories tall in downtown Mountlake Terrace. Amundson had been critical of the downtown plan. The ordinances received final approval Sept. 4.
According to the court order, Robles said she was backing out of her driveway at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 24 heading for work when Amundson pulled up in a pickup truck.
The document said Robles told Amundson she needed to get to work and Amundson replied that she’d spoken to Robles’ employer and knew she didn’t start work until 1 p.m.
Amundson said the two had discussed Robles coming over to look at the shadows after she got off of work on Aug. 23 and said she waited “for two hours” but Robles didn’t show up.
The next day, Amundson said, she stopped by Robles’ house while running errands. That’s when the two spoke in Robles’ driveway.
“I don’t intentionally hurt people,” Amundson said later. “If I do, I’m not too big to apologize. And if I scheduled an appointment, I’d be there or at least call and say I can’t make it.”
Robles said the court order isn’t a publicity stunt.
“It’s not an attempt to get votes,” she said. “This has nothing to do with anything but (that) I’m not willing to have her harass me at my home or call me at work to get me to change a vote.”
Robles said she told Amundson she cast a vote in February to approve the Town Center plan and didn’t want to discuss the issue further.
“She came to me trying to get me to change what type of building we put in a certain area,” Robles said. “Apparently, ‘no’ wasn’t the right answer.”
Amundson said Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies served her with the order Wednesday afternoon. Robles and Amundson have a court hearing on the order scheduled for Sept. 14.
Oscar Halpert is editor for the Lynnwood-Mountlake Terrace Enterprise.