Remembering Ray Gould; national issues | Letters to the Editor

Aug 09, 2019

Former mayor remembers Ray Gould

I was sorry to hear about the passing of former Edmonds City Councilmember Ray Gould. He was a real friend, and one of my biggest supporters.

Ray’s background was as an engineer. He was very analytical and pragmatic in his deliberations. He and his wife Sue were very special, and made special contributions as elected officials to the benefit of the City of Edmonds and the state of Washington.

He was also very skilled as a fishing-pole maker.

Larry Naughten
Former Edmonds mayor (1984-1991)
Las Vegas


Should the Beacon publish readers’ views on national issues?

The Edmonds Beacon does a masterful job providing information about student accomplishments, political candidates running for local positions, Edmonds history, holiday celebrations, art shows and galleries, prime living, the Saturday market, letters from citizens on various local issues, cartoons, food, flowers, school changes, and current event times and dates.

We are an exceptional community. Besides being a community of many seniors, many living on fixed incomes, and young families living from paycheck to paycheck, we have a high percentage of upper income citizens. We live in a comfortable little bubble that the Beacon has chosen to reinforce in its publication.

Living in our bubble, the Edmonds Beacon has chosen to ignore the national scene, chosen to not print letters pertaining to the crazy political scene fomented by President Trump. We are experiencing a federal government busy changing and eliminating regulations and policies on our land, emissions, water, social security, health insurances, education, and federal monies.

These regulations and policies directly impact Edmonds citizens’ safety, health, and lifestyle, and I would like to hear Edmond's citizens thoughts, opinions, and actions on these issues.

I would like the Beacon to seriously consider publishing a weekly section of Edmonds citizens’ views on the national issues, national issues impacting Edmonds citizens, a section promoting knowledge, facts, and political discussions rather than long sections of ramblings and musings about one person's life.

The Beacon needs to pop the bubble and connect Edmonds to the real world.

Susan Pedersen


Editor’s note: The Beacon’s mission always has been and always will be to report on Edmonds news and to provide context and background to issues that affect residents and visitors. We strive to push beyond news releases; we don’t want to be anybody’s transcriptionist, whether the information is channeled through City Hall, schools, businesses, or publicists.

In today’s go-go internet world where information is shared freely on numerous platforms, and where so-called “news” can pass for truth without verification, Beacon readers expect local news without fear or favor.

Regional, national, and international news certainly affects Edmonds, and we will continue to report on it when it does. But due to lack of space in the weekly paper – and the ubiquity of sources for news outside town – the Beacon must focus on news readers can’t get anywhere else.

Having said that, the Beacon will continue to reap the benefits of social media sites and its own official website. Readers will soon see that the latter is much improved, as the Beacon is transitioning to a more robust and engaging platform. It’s where there will continue to be opportunities for readers to share their opinions – through their blogs or columns – that go beyond Edmonds’ city limits.

Disqualified from Housing Commission

I read with great interest the articles about the City of Edmonds. When I read the one on the desire to form a Housing Commission to address the two areas of homelessness (acute and chronic) in our community, I knew I wanted to be a part of that, and applied.

My qualifications: I have served as a member of the ADB (Architectural Design Board) for over three years and serve as chair this year. I have been involved in housing projects throughout Edmonds as part of my past and present employment, which includes over 40 years of being involved in residential and multifamily housing.

I am currently the chair for the year at Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties (MBAKS) on the Residential Builders Council. This position affords me the opportunity to interact on many other boards within the builder community, including the MBA Housing Commission.

(Editor’s note: Herr is also plans and permit manager for Terrene Homes in Bellevue.)

During my interview with Councilmember Diane Buckshnis, I noticed she had written the word “WOW” in big letters next to my qualifications. We also discovered that my current position on the ADB has now disqualified me from serving on this new board.

Not understanding this qualifier, I told her that I would resign that position, as I thought my qualifications would serve the City of Edmonds far better on a Housing Commission. Diane thought I would be a great addition, but a follow-up email from her to me indicated that for whatever reason, anyone currently serving the City of Edmonds in any other volunteer position disqualifies one from consideration on the new Housing Commission.

I am writing this letter because I think this is misguided, and is not in the City of Edmonds’ best interest. Volunteering and making a difference are passions of mine, and I feel I’m being held back from this opportunity because?

Joe Herr


Councilmember Diane Buckshnis responds: I did say “wow,” and we had a very good conversation regarding this new commission and, since Mr. Herr is in the construction industry, he was very qualified. I did not recall the restriction, and asked the council president for direction. She told me to watch the tape of the evening; she had made the amendment, and indicated that is what the citizens requested.

There were other candidates in my Zone 6 group that I also wrote “wow” or “impressive.” Since the restriction was in the resolution, I notified Mr. Herr that his position on the ADB would disqualify him from this commission.

Having said that, I did indicate I was happy that he was volunteering for the City, as his tenure as a builder gives him good insights on building codes, costs, and housing-mix perspectives.

Important Planning Board meeting on street vacation

The City of Edmonds has initiated an update to its street vacation laws. Property owners may want to research the proposed changes and get involved in this legislative process. If your land is subject to a street and/or alley easement that the City has never used, you may want to pay special attention to what is going on.

If your land is being used by utility companies, you also may want to get involved.

This update was introduced to the City Council Public Safety, Personnel and Planning Committee July 9. It was then introduced to the Planning Board July 10. For those interested, a video of the July 10 Planning Board Meeting is available on the City’s website. I recommend watching that video.

I also recommend watching my public comments made at the beginning of both the July 10 and July 24 Planning Board meetings. I concluded my July 24 public comments with:

  • A request that the Planning Board consider asking City staff to correct information that was provided to the Planning Board on July 10; and
  • A statement that this code section is very, very important, and I believe our citizens should have a chance to be involved in the rewrite.

A public hearing will be held at the Aug. 14 Planning Board at 7 p.m. I encourage those who may be impacted by this code update to attend and be heard.

Ken Reidy


Chuck Sigars’ heartfelt reunion at Black Bart’s

I really enjoyed Chuck Sigars’ great column, “This is how you go home again,” in the Aug. 1 Edmonds Beacon.

In case you missed it, Chuck related how he recently returned to Black Bart’s Steakhouse in Flagstaff, Arizona, where he and his fellow music classmates at Northern Arizona University worked as singing waiters during their long-ago college years.

Chuck shared how he and 20 other NAU singers/waiters from the olds days, including spouses and offspring, returned to Black Bart’s the prior week for a nostalgic reunion.

Especially in this day and age, it was refreshing and quite touching even to hear about folks getting together after more than 30 years to reminisce and renew their friendships.

Thanks for sharing your good memories, Chuck.

Alan Biné






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