Kristiana Johnson: ‘I think I have a good shot at moving forward’

Mayoral candidate clarifies vote on Waterfront Connector
By Brian Soergel | Jun 27, 2019
Photo by: Brian Soergel Mayoral candidate Kristiana Johnson held her campaign kickoff at Anthony’s HomePort in Edmonds.

Kristiana Johnson had a moment of clarity while laid up in her hotel room in Hawaii earlier this year after breaking her hip. She decided to run for mayor of Edmonds.

“I thought, well, why not?” the 66-year-old told supporters last week during her campaign kickoff at Anthony’s HomePort in Edmonds.

“Because these are the things I care about. It was kind of a clarifying event because when you're facing adversity, everything just becomes very simple and you think, well sure, I can do that.”

Johnson, a member of the Edmonds City Council, defeated Josh Thompson in 2017 to win a four-year term through 2021. She was appointed to council in 2012 after the departure of Michael Plunkett. She won a four-year seat the following year, defeating Randy Hayden.

Johnson’s kickoff was sparsely attended, with only a few family members and supporters on hand.

“I may be a long shot, but with your help, I think I have a good shot of moving ahead in this campaign.”

Johnson will face councilmembers Mike Nelson and Neil Tibbott, along with City Planner Brad Shipley, in the Aug. 6 primary.

“There are really three things I care about with Edmonds,” she said. “First of all, as a taxpayer, I want to protect the taxpayers. I think we're seeing increases in Sound Transit taxes. We're seeing increases in property taxes and utility taxes, and I want to make sure that we make good decisions for the taxpayers.

“Secondly, it's really important to me that we protect the things that I care about in Edmonds: our historic resources, our natural resources, and our cultural resources.

“Finally, as a transportation planner, I really think I'm uniquely qualified to help revitalize the Highway 99 corridor, as I was a transportation planner for the state of New Jersey.”

Johnson was also a transportation planner in charge of growth management in King County.

As councilmember, she is a member of the Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, Snohomish County Tomorrow, and is a Community Transit alternate. She is also chair of the Snohomish County Parks and Public Works Committee.

“I'm the only City Council member that's been on the finance committee,” she said. “I've been on the long-range financial planning committee, and I'm the only city councilmember running who has experience working with large financial budgets.

“I think this is important. The most important thing we do every year is the budget. And that's when very few people show up. But that's our most important decision making time. In the past, we've made a lot of decisions that includes one-time expenditures, but we didn't always know what we were buying.”

Waterfront Connector decision

On the same day as her kickoff, Johnson released a statement on her decision, two days earlier, to vote to move forward on the controversial Edmonds Street Waterfront Connector. She was in the minority.

“This would have provided a complete evaluation of the controversial project that would have provided emergency access from the downtown Edmonds fire station to the west side of the railroad tracks,” she said in the release.

“Instead, a room full of citizens protested the planned project. The state Legislature had earmarked over $8 million for this project. Only $1.5 million would have been spent for the preliminary 30% design and complete environmental assessment. Now, those hard-won funds will have to be returned.

“The planned project had been adopted into the City’s Capital Improvement Plan following a two-year comprehensive evaluation of 51 alternatives and an exhaustive public process. The emergency access would be used once or twice per week to provide basic and advanced life support.

“It would also provide a permanent pedestrian and bicycle access from Sunset Avenue to the Brackett’s Landing jetty.”


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