Edmonds can be a culture center… if you’re willing to pay for it
Tim Raetzloff wrote a great article (Dec. 12) about the future of Edmonds and how that future could be directed.
He correctly asserts that the current City Council will dictate much of what Edmonds will look like as we move forward.
Are we going to look more like Carmel, Calif., with its wide-open spaces featuring the arts, sculptors, writers, actors, musicians, singers and artists?
Or are we going to be like Kirkland, with its too-tall buildings right downtown and on the waterfront? (Yikes, nobody likes that idea.)
As Tim correctly points out, the Carmelites now control the council and will probably add another Carmelite to replace Frank Yamamoto who had to resign for health reasons.
So Edmonds, it's Carmel we will emulate. More parks, more open space, less density, more bicycle paths, more culture. Artists in the park, singing minstrels, more flower baskets, less congestion.
And Christmas every day. Santa Claus will give us whatever we want. That is, until we have to pay for it.
In Carmel, the average home sells for just over a million dollars, The average home owner’s salary is $180,000 per year, and the city of 4,100 residents has 71 full-time employees to take care of their every need.
Edmonds has under 200 employees who take care of over 40,000 people.
Yes, the Carmelites have a beautiful city, and the rich residents there are willing to pay big time to keep it that way.
Edmonds’ average household income is under $80,000 per year. My experience in living here since 1984 is that Edmonds citizens are reluctant taxpayers.
We have many prominent residents who still remember the great recession. Edmonds is just not excited about paying taxes.
Many citizens don't equate that the services received are a direct result of the amount of taxes they are willing to pay. That's how it is, folks, we are just not excited about paying taxes.
Here is what you can expect with the appointment and election of more Carmelites. More parks, less building, and ever-increasing taxes. Your council recently passed a $3,200 parks impact fee on builders, which makes Edmonds the most expensive place in the county to get a building permit.
We also have almost twice as many parks as any other city in the county, plus we have about 2 miles of beach to take care of.
Tim Raetzloff can afford it, I can afford it, Ron Wambolt who believes in reasonable growth can afford it.
The decision you must make is can you afford to be a Carmelite, and are you willing to embrace the cost that insures we remain that quaint little town down by the water with no growth. Think about it as you pay your ever-increasing sewer water and utility bills.
Please, if you are a willing Carmelite, embrace it and step boldly to the front of the line – the line that leads to higher taxes.
Oh, Edmonds will never be another Kirkland. I don't know a single person who would vote for that. It will not happen.