Letter to the editor

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  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:25am


People and place make Edmonds

I have been in 46 states and six foreign countries and I can proudly say “there is no place like Edmonds.”

The beautiful hanging baskets and flowers that are maintained by the city really makes people feel good. Maybe that’s why the Edmonds people are so friendly. The view of the sound with the ferries crossing over it, gives thousands of visitors a view they rarely see.



Tree protection

Property owners need protection, too

Once again, the Lynnwood City Council is trying to “protect trees” from property owners.

Who is pushing for these laws? I didn’t even know that there was a problem. Is government now going to keep people from developing their own property and extort money if someone wants to build a business or home on his own property? Are the “usual suspects” trying to “protect trees” or attack free market choices?

Lynnwood is a city, with residential areas and commercial areas. Lynnwood is not a national park. If the City Council really wants to “protect trees” then let them buy the properties in question at market value and create more green belts. But please, don’t use extortion to steal property rights.



Trees nice, so are property rights

Preserving trees from wanton destruction by developers has been a long-held desire of many people in Lynnwood. However, the City Council, Mayor McKinnon, and Lynnwood’s City staff need to send a message that it does not wish to run roughshod over residents and their property rights.

Under the proposal presented to the Council at its March 24 hearing, healthy trees more than 6 inches in diameter would clearly be esteemed more valuable than the property rights of all residents, would require residents to pay costly arborist fees just to take down a tree or a number of trees on their own property, and would force the owner of the property to pay what I call a ‘kill’ fee of $50 – $225 for each tree he chooses not to replant. Now why should someone have to pay money to the City to cut down a tree on his own property? I can understand protecting residents’ trees from the acts of their neighbors, but this?

Further, the proposal presented made it clear one could not build a tree fort in any tree in the City nor could they tack a sign. Why? Because it might “harm” the tree. To top it all off, the proposed ordinance would also assess fines and criminal charges of up to $5,000 per tree and one year in jail for violating any provision of the 15 page ordinance.

I and others testified at the hearing that no tree is worth time in jail and a stiff fine. Because of numerous problems identified in this proposed ordinance the Council wisely sent it back to staff to make changes. There will be another hearing, 7 p.m., May 27. Residents, please be there. I hope the new proposal is more resident friendly.




Shoreline Council losing sight of goal

There is a controversy in Shoreline. It began with incorporation, nearly eight years ago, and revolves around the issue of rights of citizens to directly participate in the legislative process vs. only commenting on the decisions made by the controlling members of the City Council.

In 1994-95, many citizens saw incorporation as an opportunity to establish a higher level of representative government wherein the citizens would have the right to directly participate in the legislative process rather than perpetuating the existing county style government, wherein citizens can only offer comment on the decisions made by elected officials.

To ensure the right of direct involvement in the legislative process, we established three city institutions, i.e., City Council committees, the Council of Neighborhoods and mini city halls.

In City Council committees, individual citizens could work side by side with Council and staff members in creating proposed legislation to be brought before the City Council.

Mini city halls brought to the citizen an opportunity to work directly with Council and staff members in creating proposed legislation relative to inter-jurisdictional issues, ie. other city, county, state and federal issues.

Much headway was made during the first year of incorporation in implementing direct citizen involvement in the decision making process of the City Council; even to the point where candidates for our second city manager were interviewed by citizens and business leaders and their input was given to Council.

However, all of that came to an abrupt end in spring of 1996, when former Mayor Connie King proclaimed, “We were elected by the people to make all the decisions, and that is exactly what we are going to do.”

From that point on, the Council committees were disbanded, the Council of Neighborhoods has largely been ignored, it’s members being looked upon by some Council members as potential political rivals.

Mini city halls have never become more than local police offices.

In recent Council meetings, Mayor Scott Jepsen defended the Council’s position by stating that the Council offers more opportunity to citizens for public comment than other jurisdictions, like the state. To this feeble defense, a former staunch supporter of former Mayor King simply replied, “…we still have the right of franchise.”

This reply echo’s the feelings of many Shoreline citizens, myself included, who feel it is past time we elect fellow citizens to our City Council who will help us raise our government to a higher level of representative government.

A form of government wherein elected officials, as servants of the people, will work with the citizens to re-establish the above mentioned city institutions through which citizens are provided on-going opportunities to directly participate in the legislative process.

A form of government where the laws and ordinances, by which we are governed, are those which, we, the citizens of Shoreline, have created through the service of our elected officials.


Former Council Member





Each day brings new revelations of the unspeakable atrocities of Saddam Hussein. The latest being mass graves of innocent victims of the brutal Iraqui dictator. Thankfully, these sadistic atrocities are now ended. An end made possible by the courage and resolve of an extraordinary president. None of the other proffered scenarios could, or would have accomplished this. Liberals such as Rick Steves, in their hatred for Mr. Bush, cannot bring themselves to acknowledge this.

So what do we get here in Edmonds? We get Rick Steves, the travel “guru,” using the leverage of his prominence to remove American flags from our streets. Steves decided that flag displays indicate approval of our president. Therefore we must remove them. The ensuing events have been previously reported in the pages of “The Enterprise”.

The Lions Club, which put the flags in place, capitulates and removes them. Objections fly. A “compromise” is reached. Now we have flags in front of some businesses but not others.

Way to go, Rick.



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