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Should Edmonds' Citizens Economic Development Commission Continue?

The City Council will soon vote to decide whether to keep it or not. You can help with your input.

The following was submitted by Maryanne Zagorski of the Citizens Economic Development Commission.

Two and a half years ago, the Edmonds City Council created the Citizens Economic Development Commission with a ending date of Dec. 31, 2010.

Having found the work of the CEDC useful but unfinished, the council extended its life for another year. At the end of 2011, finding itself with inadequate time to consider whether to end or continue the commission, the Council voted to extend its life for another 90 days.

Now, the council will again consider whether to extend the operations of this volunteer citizen group—for one more year or several years—or whether to let it expire.

As we review the CEDC’s accomplishments, we note that we worked with the city to assure a high level of citizen involvement in planning for the future of Five Corners and Westgate. We recommended and the City Council approved development of a citywide strategic plan and participated in the selection of the firm that is providing professional planning assistance.

We worked with the city to develop and expand the sale of the city’s excess fiber optic capacity at a price that benefits both local business and the city’s coffers.

Finally, we are working on several fronts to identify opportunities to increase tourism, and much remains to be done in this area. We think these are significant accomplishments for a volunteer citizens group that operates at no cost to the city other than providing a room for monthly meetings.

If the CEDC’s life is extended, we see the work for the coming year(s) might include keeping the citizenry informed about the progress of the strategic planning process and opportunities for giving input. Work would also include participating along with the council and the Planning Board in oversight of the process, working on challenges to increase tourism to our fair city in many areas, continuing to work on sales of the city’s excess fiber optic capacity.

Certainly, the tremendous need to improve the city’s economic well being continues to be of paramount importance.

We are interested in knowing what the Edmonds public thinks about the future of this commission.

Should it continue, and why? Are there other possibilities for raising city revenues that the commission should explore in the coming year? Should there be changes made to the way commissioners are selected or operate?

What do you think? Please let us know. Stephen Clifton, the city’s director for economic development, has offered to receive your input by phone or e-mail if you wish to give it directly.

He can be reached at Clifton@ci.edmonds.wa.us.

Bob Comer January 30, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Economic Development is not an event, it's a process. Make the CECD permanent with a task of u[dating its strategic plan annually. Bob Comer, Captain US Navy (Ret.) Managing Partner, Sanford Holshouser ED Consulting
Diane B January 30, 2012 at 06:05 PM
I do want to clarify what happened two weeks ago when we were attempting to add eight words to the resolution to refine the role of the EDC. Two weeks ago, (when Ms. Fraley-Monallis came in late), Mr. Clifton had provided the following new language as a result of prior discussions as to the EDC duties: identifying new sources of revenue AS A DIRECT RESULT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS (caps is new language). Mr. Plunkett was concerned in that the EDC brought forth an initiative that would place a fee (tax) on all 911 calls even if there was no transport (current practice is fees are charged if transport occurs). He believes this is non-economic development. I agree. He was not giving out any incorrect information despite what you read on other blogs; nor did I engage in this conversation on camera despite what you will read or hear as a citizen's comment last Tuesday. If we could get the facts straight and take the emotion out of the commentary, we might be able to move forward in this area. Marianne is correct - the area of tourism AND marketing our city has taken a back seat as we wait for the strategic plan. The Mayor recently has joined a county-wide task force specifically for economic development (since toursim was carved out of the state budget). I see this group helping our Mayor and Mr. Clifton who are both part of this larger task force. Thanks MZ for the article. Diane Buckshnis
Brian Soergel January 30, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Bob: I'm sure a lot of people support your position.
Brian Soergel January 30, 2012 at 06:51 PM
Diane B: Thanks for extra info..

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