Edmonds, the region and beyond | Mayor's Corner

By Dave Earling | May 29, 2017

Years ago, when I was first on the Edmonds City Council, I quickly discovered how important it is as an elected official to not only know the jurisdiction you represent, but equally important to know how that jurisdiction fits into the fabric of the surrounding region.

Now, more than ever, how we fit in regionally is of even greater importance. As I have said before, Edmonds is not just a small seaside village; we have a population of around 41,000, and are the third-largest city in the county, behind Everett and Marysville.

My involvement in the surrounding region began innocently enough – taking the assignment by the council to serve on the Community Transit board. Community Transit is governed by nine elected representatives from other Snohomish County cities, as well as the county.

This first countywide body assignment gave me an opportunity to meet other elected officials, begin to learn about the transportation industry and, with a phone call from then-County Executive Bob Drewel, led to an appointment to the Sound Transit board.

Lots of new stuff to learn!

And over the next couple of years, because of those early associations, other important contacts were made with key business leaders, elected officials and their staff at the regional, state and federal levels, with opportunities to grow relationships as far away as Olympia, Washington, D.C., and beyond.

The good news is our current city council members understand that while their primary responsibility is to focus on our community, and they do good work in that regard, they also know we need to work on issues and cause influence outside of our city limits.

In a variety of ways all of our council members have begun to play important roles in organizations that have broad reaches outside of the community. Organizations such as Snohomish County Cities and various Rotary Clubs in and out of the community.

Beyond those affiliations, other important specific regional groups which councilmembers participate in are: Neil Tibbott, the Affordable Housing Alliance; Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, president of Snohomish County Health District; Tom Mesaros, SNOCOM board; Diane Buckshnis, WRIA8 (Water Resource Inventory Area); Dave Teitzel, Edmonds Port Commission; Mike Nelson, SERS Board; and Kristiana Johnson, Snohomish County Tomorrow.

All councilmembers have several other additional responsibilities that keep them engaged within, as well as outside, the community. The point I wish to make is many of the councilmembers are developing contacts and building relationships that, over time, will build credibility and cause influence for Edmonds and the region, benefitting specific programs in which they are involved.

From my years on the City Council, I had opportunity to serve on some of the organizations mentioned above, and have many relationships remaining from those years. I serve on the Community Transit and Sound Transit Boards and I'm a trustee on the Economic Alliance, Snohomish County. In these organizations, I continue to develop important connections that benefit Edmonds, Snohomish County, and the region.

Our current elected councilmembers have learned the importance of doing good work in our community, but also understand our community will benefit from having the city becoming known as a regional player.

Hat's off to them.

 

 

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