Edmonds supports higher/lower building heights

By Tim Raetzloff | Nov 20, 2013

The results of the 2013 election are not yet certified, but on the Edmonds City Council the winners are reasonably certain. Adrienne Fraley-Monillas, who opposes higher building heights, has been re-elected to position 3. Strom Peterson, who supports higher building heights, has been re-elected to position 2. Kristiana Johnson, who believes there is some room for compromise on building heights, was elected to position 1.

Edmonds voters have given clear direction that they support/oppose/are willing to talk about raising building height limits.

Of course, that probably isn't what the voters were saying at all. I learned in 1980 that voters more often vote against than for. That year I ran a survey for a successful candidate for the Washington State Legislature.

Our candidate had been expected to lose, and various PACs and others sent a great deal of money to the campaign after the election. We needed money during the campaign, but after had no use for it, and decided to do a poll to find out why our candidate had been elected.

The biggest percentage of voters for our candidate had actually been voting against her opponent. His biggest bloc of voters had been people voting against our candidate. People actually voting for either candidate was less than 1/4 of the total votes.

Since then I have looked at elections differently. If you look at the most recent election backwards, it probably makes much more sense.

In position 1, Kristiana Johnson out-polled Randy Hayden by close to 2 to 1. I could say nice things about Kristiana (I did endorse her), but I think the reality is that Randy made entirely too clear his Tea Party ambitions to use the Edmonds City Council as a stepping stone to the Legislature or Congress. Many of us in Edmonds may be right-of-center, but not that far right.

In position 2, Strom Peterson out-polled Al Rutledge by 3 to 1. Anyone who has watched the public input of a City Council meeting understands why, and it isn't support for taller buildings.

Position 3 was the closest race, and one which could have been won by either candidate. It seemed to me that both candidates went out of their way to offend potential supporters.

I voted for the winner, as I remarkably did in all three races (supporting all winners is a rarity for me), but it was a vote against rather than a vote for. I suspect that much of Edmonds did the same.

I am not certain that there were any Edmonds winners from election 2013, but there were certainly losers. Height limits? The argument will go on. Nobody won. I hope all the elected realize that.

The biggest loser doesn't live in Edmonds these days. The effort to sway Edmonds elections from Magnolia clearly didn't pay any dividends.

Comments (1)
Posted by: john dolan | Nov 21, 2013 15:11

What in the H**l are you talking about?

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