Neil Tibbott will challenge Mike Nelson for mayor of Edmonds

‘I am running to build on the great things that have been accomplished over many decades’
By Brian Soergel | Mar 13, 2019
Neil Tibbott

Edmonds City Councilmember Neil Tibbott, who said in January that he would seek re-election to City Council, has changed his mind.

He’s now running for mayor, challenging fellow councilmember Mike Nelson, who announced at the beginning of the year.

Mayor Dave Earling is not seeking a third four-year term.

Tibbott’s move opens the door for Laura Johnson, who last month said she would challenge Tibbott’s Position 7 seat, up for election this year.

“We all live in Edmonds because it is an extraordinary and exceptional community,” Tibbott said in a news release. “I am running to build on the great things that have been accomplished over many decades, to continue moving forward with all the great projects that we have going on in Edmonds.”

Tibbott won his seat in 2015, defeating incumbent Lora Petso.

“We are in this interesting revisioning time as a city,” he said. “It has an effect on the kind of people we’re attracting to the office.”

Tibbott, 60, lives in the Seaview neighborhood with his wife. They have lived in Edmonds for more than 20 years, and their four children graduated from the Edmonds School District.

“My family and friends have agreed with me that this is the time for me to run for mayor,” Tibbott said. “My wife, Margaret, teaches at Chase Lake Community School with the Edmonds School District and knows firsthand about the increasing diversity and challenges that younger families face as they settle in our community. Her stories inspire me to ensure that we have City services to include new people.”

For the past 10 years, Tibbott said he has served in leadership roles that have put him front and center on issues facing the city.

“I am proud of my record while serving on the City Council, Transportation Committee, Parks, Planning and Public Works Committee, and as chair of the Planning Board.

“I am committed to sound leadership for the ongoing development of current projects like the Waterfront Center and Civic Field. I pledge to continue working with the volunteers and community members who have given so much to build for our future.”

Tibbott said one of the highest priorities of his administration would be to advance plans for developing the Highway 99 corridor.

“The public process our community completed in 2017 continues to gain momentum with preliminary designs,” he said. “Funding from state and federal sources will be essential. I met recently with our local representatives in Olympia, asking them to prioritize funding for planned improvements.”

Away from the council, Tibbott said he has helped organizations implement change at the board level. He runs an organization that provides management and vocational resources.

“Budgeting, hiring and managing personnel are a big part of what goes into my consulting process. In the past, I have written training curriculum on group facilitation and conflict management. I consistently drew on those experiences as chairman of the Planning Board, and they have been particularly useful as a member of the City Council. I know City systems and want to keep them humming.”

Regarding the environment, Tibbott said he worked to get Haines Wharf on the state’s work plan for improvements.

“I also met with a group of county and national leaders to include restoration of habitat at Meadowdale Beach. And as a councilmember, I supported improvements for our marsh.”

Tibbott said he’d continue to promote enhancements for neighborhood business zones in Perrinville, Westgate, and Firdale Village.

“I helped rally support for the roundabout at Five Corners, and will do so again for other large improvements that attract state and federal funding.

“I plan to continue my focus on our community’s ability to provide necessary services for our citizens. For example, public safety, transportation and utilities, in addition to the amenities that make Edmonds such a wonderful community.

“While it will be important for us to budget wisely as we move forward on significant public projects such as building Civic Park, implementing the waterfront connector and improving the health of the Edmonds Marsh, we also need to facilitate important citywide conversations regarding longer range plans. I believe we can be the city that gets growth right.”

Tibbott has the endorsement of former Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson, Mike Schindler, Darlene Stern and Carl Zapora.

“I have known Neil for over 10 years,” said Haakenson, mayor from 2000 to 2010. “I’ve watched as he has generously given his time to the Edmonds community on a variety of boards and commissions. He has served Edmonds residents well during his time on the City Council, and I look forward to his thoughtful, common sense approach as mayor.”

Tibbott said he has friends who visit Edmonds from other parts of the country who marvel at the town.

“We just have a lot of great things happening in Edmonds, and I just want to keep moving it forward. There will be changes, but when we plan for them and involve our residents and business leaders, good things happen.”

Tibbott plans to spend time in the community to find out what’s on people’s minds.

“I enjoy campaigning,” he said. “One of best opportunities I’ve had is to meet people in the street, in all kinds of circumstances. It’s diverse; when I walk around the entire city, I learn stories and hear where the struggles are, and what people are excited about.”

Tibbott’s website is


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