Residents offer ideas on 2021 city budget priorities

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Edmonds residents begin gathering in Pine Ridge Park on Saturday to give their thoughts on the city’s budget. (Photo courtesy of Vivian Olson)

Edmonds residents gathered outside on Saturday to share their thoughts on the 2022 budget priorities for the City of Edmonds.

Hosted by board member Vivian Olson, Saturday’s meetings were held at three city parks – Pine Ridge Park, Mathay-Ballinger Park and Frances Anderson Center Amphitheater.

Edmonds Mayor Mike Nelson will present the City of Edmonds budget to City Council in the coming weeks. Next, it is up to the council to review the budget with a legislative eye and make decisions based on legislative priorities.

The final meeting of the day, held at the Frances Anderson Center, opened with Olson asking to hear what people had to say, noting that budget priorities differed from neighborhood to neighborhood in Edmonds and that the council therefore had to hear what residents prefer.

Resident Judy Hardesty said she wanted to make sure City Council pays attention to the following:

  • Portable scales to keep large trucks off residential streets. Hardesty says many large trucks try to avoid the lights by using residential streets.
  • A dive team for safety in the Edmonds Underwater Park.
  • A cycling team for Edmonds, which Hardesty says will encourage community engagement.

Board member Diane Buckshnis, who was also in attendance, questioned the need for a dive team without accident data in the underwater park. But several other participants agreed that truck traffic needs to be better regulated.

There was a question about the new task force on the homeless, appointed by the mayor, which excludes any citizen in general. Board member Olson said she was happy to be a part of this working group, but agreed citizen participation would be preferred. Council member Buckshnis said an ordinance banning camping in public parks was needed and council member Olson mentioned a ban on begging. “We are in a state-wide mess with state-level changes in policing.” But Olson is hoping for “practical, down-to-earth solutions” to a growing problem in Edmonds and everywhere. Buckshnis pointed out that there is currently no actual data on homelessness in Edmonds.

Resident Joe Scordino recommended that council members write legislative priority statements in the budget before approving it, so staff are clear about what council wants when they actually spend their budget throughout the year. year.

Scordino also told council members that it is difficult for citizens to have open access to the city’s budget since budget decision records are not available online. The city administration told him that it had decided not to offer them online to citizens, which led another participant to complain that the council simply could not provide adequate oversight of the mayor’s budget.

Buckshnis said she was frustrated with the “struggle” and difficulties with city council and management, but urged the public to pay close attention to the city’s capital plan and improvement program. of the capital, because they had to be carefully “revised” by the council.

These and other documents can be viewed online at https://edmondswa.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=16495016&pageId=17275126

Olson has scheduled additional budget meetings as follows:

Thursday 23 September

6 p.m. Haines Wharf Park – 16121 75th Pl. W.

Saturday September 25

10:30 am Seaview Park – 80th Avenue West and 186th Street Southwest

Thursday September 30

6 p.m. Hickman Park – 23700 104th Ave. W.

If you have any questions, contact Vivian Olson at vivian.olson@edmondswa.gov or 425-361-8176.

– By Mauri Shuler


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