Three City Council positions are contested in the upcoming election. All of the candidates are good people who care about our town. They all recognize that sound financial management, strong police and fire services and infrastructure upgrades and maintenance are “givens” and must be taken into account in all decisions they make and policies they develop. And there’s the rub — what policies represent the best ways to generate economic development, control city costs and increase city revenues? Key in this process are the city’s development and design policies.
Some of the candidates tell us that the downtown building height decision is made and suggest it is a non-issue. Just as this issue has cycled through city politics repeatedly in our recent history, rest assured it will come up again and that it will be sooner rather than later when it does. Preliminary plans put forth by the owners of the property on the waterfront have included buildings with heights ranging from 65 feet up to 105 feet.
Rentable and saleable square footage of an extra floor (or two) downtown and mega-structures on the waterfront would clearly generate significant revenue for the city, but at what price? When those issues reach City Council, I want members on that council who understand what draws residents and visitors to our downtown and waterfront. I want them to make sure we only allow responsible growth and redevelopment that considers and respects the history, character and charm of the city, i.e. on terms set by the citizens, not the development community. And I want to know that they will seek and give serious consideration to input from all the citizens of Edmonds.
I know that Dave Orvis, Steve Bernheim and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas will not compromise on those things that make Edmonds such a great place to live and visit. That is why they will get my vote.