Edmonds council incumbents hope for 4 more yearsJosh Thompson is the lone challenger, so far, vying for a seat
All three current Edmonds City Councilmembers whose terms expire at the end of the year – Kristiana Johnson, Mike Nelson and Adrienne Fraley-Monillas – have announced they will run for re-election.
As of this week, only one challenger has emerged: Josh Thompson, who seeks to capture Johnson’s Position 1 seat.
The official filing period for candidates is May 15-19. The primary election is Aug. 1, with the general election following on Nov. 7.
The Beacon requested comments from those who have already filed. Here’s a look at the incumbents and the challenger:
Kristina Johnson, incumbent, Position 1:
In 2012, Johnson was appointed to fill the remaining term of Michael Plunkett, who resigned and moved to Seattle. In 2013, she won a four-year term after defeating Randy Hayden.
“I am proud of what we, as a City Council, have accomplished during my five-plus years in office,” she said. “We have protected and enhanced downtown with the creation of the Edmonds Downtown (ED!) improvement district, reconstruction of Main Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, redesign of the Hazel Miller Plaza, and the provision of sidewalk dining.
“During this time, we have studied the SR 104 corridor for needed street improvements. We created new zoning for Westgate's redevelopment, and we are now studying the SR 99 corridor for future redevelopment.
“We have also worked hard to acquire new park land and to protect our environment – especially along the streams, lakes and marsh that drain into our greatest asset, Puget Sound. I would like to continue representing the citizens of Edmonds by working tirelessly on the transportation, land-use and environmental issues of the future.”
Josh Thompson, challenger, Position 1:
Thompson served as legislative aide to Snohomish County Councilmember Stephanie Wright – who represents District 3, which includes Edmonds – for five years. Prior to that, he was general manager at The Ruins, a private dining club in Seattle.
He has a master’s in policy studies and bachelor’s degrees in political science and English from the University of Washington. He has been a community activist for almost 15 years. He served on Mayor Dave Earling’s Climate Protection Committee.
“I believe I have the background and experience to make a real impact as a city councilmember,” Thompson said. “My wife and I have lived in Edmonds for 16 years, purchasing a home that has now been in her family for 53 years. I want to help make Edmonds the best it can be – to keep it a great place to raise a family and open a small business in.
“As a councilmember, I would like to focus on economic development, especially Highway 99 and Westgate redevelopment. We need to support our law enforcement and first responders, while finding comprehensive solutions to end the cycle of homelessness, crime, untreated mental health issues and addiction that have impacted so many of our neighborhoods and families.
“We need to protect our critical areas even as we plan for future growth. As a councilmember, I will focus on policy and good governance in a way that considers the needs of all citizens.”
Mike Nelson, incumbent, Position 2:
In March 2015, Nelson was appointed to the council seat vacated by Strom Peterson, who would go on to win a seat in the state Legislature representing the 21st District.
“I am running for re-election because I believe Edmonds is a special place and I want to keep it that way,” he said. “My priorities are making sure Edmonds is safe, healthy, and welcoming for all. Public safety is a core function of local government, and my number one priority.
"We must have sufficient fire and EMS personnel to respond to the increasing emergency calls of our growing population. We also need to keep our pedestrians safe with enough police officers to enforce our traffic laws.
“We need to keep our city healthy by ensuring we take care of our natural environment, as well as take steps to fight climate change. We should continue our work protecting our streams, our marsh and the wildlife that inhabit them.
"Edmonds should also be investing in ways to reduce, not just accept, the community impacts of climate change. Rising seas and extreme weather are sadly the new normal. Many Washington coastal cities are taking action to implement climate change plans. It is time Edmonds did, as well.
“We can make our city more welcoming with public policies that support inclusion and fight discrimination. We should also explore ways to create additional housing options in Edmonds. We have many folks just starting out in their careers, and young families who simply cannot find an affordable place to live in our wonderful city.”
Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, incumbent, Position 3:
Fraley-Monillas began her term after winning a seat in 2009, defeating Lora Petso. She won a second term in 2013, defeating former Councilmember Ron Wambolt.
“I am running for City Council again because we have so much more to do in our city,” Fraley-Monillas said. “The development of Highway 99 continues to be at the front of my platform. I was able to spend a day in Olympia last week, and was able to speak with Legislative members about the need to fund the redevelopment of 99.
“My concerns going forward are the continuing struggles nationwide and the impact to Edmonds citizens, property owners and our environment.”