Sunlight, thanks, Greg Urban and connector | Letters

Oct 10, 2018

Sunlight and nature, not bridges

Re: “Connection disconnection: Two councilmembers change their minds on the Edmonds Street Waterfront Connector,” Sept. 27:

Great article! The picture you used was worth a million words.

Do you want future generations having that monstrosity to look at on our only public beach north of the ferry?

People need open space beaches, sunlight and noises of nature.

Diane Buckshnis
Edmonds

 

Thanks, from the Ken Gaydos family

My mom and family would like to say a very meaningful thank you to you, the citizens of Edmonds and those in leadership in this city.

My dad, Ken Gaydos, longtime Edmonds chaplain, passed away into the presence of Jesus last month, and our family was surrounded by such great support and love from so many in Edmonds. Flowers, phone calls, texts and simple well-wishes as we walked the streets.

In particular, Mayor Dave Earling, for reaching out to us and coming to see my dad in the hospital; Chief Al Compaan and Assistant Chief Don Anderson, who have both sent me numerous text messages simply asking how I was doing and if there was anything they could do; and former Edmonds Mayor Gary Haakenson and Edmonds Beacon Editor Brian Soergel for supporting the family at the viewing.

What a special city Edmonds is, to have such kind and compassionate people living and leading here.

The support was there even from business owners, as my wife and I were eating dinner a few days after my dad’s passing at Salt & Iron. Owner Andrew Leckie extended his condolences and even took care of the meal.

My mom is also telling me that folks keep paying for her Starbucks coffee. All of this wants to make me move back to Edmonds! My dad loved this city and each person who lived here. He will be missed, but it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later.

Thank you, Edmonds.

Tim Gaydos
Seattle

 

Business owner: Change needed at Chamber of Commerce

In response to the article “Edmonds Chamber committee supports President/CEO Greg Urban” on the front page of the Sept. 27 edition of the Beacon, I would like to highlight some additional information.

The article gives the impression that there is collaboration and communication between the Chamber, Edmonds Downtown Alliance (ED!) and the Downtown Merchants Association. In fact, there is a lack of communication and lack of concern on the Chamber’s part under the leadership of Greg Urban.

Greg has caused a great divide with his combative, disinterested and aloof demeanor. He shows no interest or support in Edmonds businesses, which is the mission of a Chamber of Commerce. But alas, the Chamber board supports their president.

Merchants recently expressed concern in a Sept. 13 written letter to the Chamber board. Here is a copy of the letter, signed by many merchants:

“We are writing to let you know of our extreme disappointment that Jan Nicholas and Stephanie Johnstone have left the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce staff. Ms. Nicholas in particular was the heart and soul of the Chamber’s voice to the downtown Edmonds businesses, and her loss will be deeply felt.

“The current CEO of the Chamber has lost the confidence and respect of many of the merchants, as he appears to be uncaring of people and definitely not committed to the success of our businesses or the Chamber.

“Ms. Nicholas, on the other hand, was the ultimate cheerleader for our group; she was positive, supportive, forward-thinking, very energetic and obviously cared about us as individuals and as business owners.

“The Chamber has lost several highly respected and valuable staff members under the current leadership, and we strongly feel a change is warranted. In fact, a person such as Jan Nicholas would be an ideal choice.”

After receiving the letter, three of the executive members of the Chamber invited a group of merchants for a meeting. During the meeting, it was expressed that they are not interested in hearing about any history of the Chamber, blamed the departed Development and Engagement Manager Jan Nicholas for not communicating with the board, and fully supported Greg Urban.

It was an unsatisfactory meeting and could have been laid to rest had the recent article not been so subjectively written in favor of the Chamber CEO.

Petra Rousu
The Savvy Traveler
Edmonds

 

Editor’s note: The Beacon received the letter Sept. 25, which had several business owners names attached. We contacted several of them, who expressed concern about publishing the letter and naming the business owners, which the Beacon wanted to do. We agreed not to publish it after speaking with them.

In the meantime, we emailed Marilla Sargent with the chamber asking about the letter and if she had a comment. When she mentioned the support for Greg Urban we knew this was news, especially as we had run a front-page story on the departure of Jan Nicholas and Stephanie Johnstone Sept. 6. We reached out to Urban, who had no comment.

The Sept. 27 Beacon article was written objectively; it was not an editorial on the business groups, the Chamber or Urban. Although sharp readers might have noticed that, for the second time in a month, we listed all Chamber employees who have resigned since Urban became CEO in May 2014.

Clarification on support for Chamber CEO

Re: “Edmonds Chamber committee supports President/CEO Greg Urban,” Sept. 27:

The board of directors of the Greater Edmonds Chamber of Commerce gave their support to the Chamber CEO and President Greg Urban at their September board meeting during executive session.

It was not just the executive committee supporting Greg. The executive committee met with the downtown merchants. I apologize that I was not clear.

Thank you for clarifying.

Marilla Sargent, chair
Greater Edmonds Chamber of Commerce

 

Edmonds had a waterfront connector

The ongoing brouhaha over the waterfront connector could have easily been avoided years ago.

Union Oil had a vehicle crossover over the tracks, which would have served as a perfectly adequate emergency access to the west side of the railroad tracks. The City couldn't wait to get rid of Union Oil and wanted everything gone.

Too bad.

John Christensen
Edmonds

 

Waterfront Connector not attractive

Regarding the Edmonds Street Waterfront Connector: Both of the two proposed versions (the land bridge or the promenade) look about as attractive as the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

The $30 million cost and monstrous scale dwarf this gem of a waterfront location. I urge the City Council to reconsider some of the conclusions that led to this proposed eyesore. And to those who say “but the majority of the funding might be paid by the federal government,” I think that’s a poor determinant of this project’s suitability.

Dan Furey
Sequim

 

Minimum-wage laws are damaging

City of Edmonds Human Resources Director Mary Ann Hardie wrote Sept. 27 in the Beacon that " … We spend time away from the table working and communicating with our unions to understand concerns … and to address grievance issues" (“Here we go again – collective bargaining!,” City Corner).

Union representatives could be asked point blank: Do they believe the law of supply and demand could work better for young graduates fresh out of school, allowing them easier access to hourly paid work?

Trade existed long before governments. A basic human right. Both sides benefit. Imbalances miraculously corrected, at times lightening fast.

An abundance of young people looking for employment and finding abundant job offers. Wouldn't they--in an unregulated job market?

Minimum-wage laws damage the first rung in the ladder to success.

Gunnar Unneland
Shoreline

 

Dogs should be allowed on walkways

In response to Friederike Armstrong's letter, “Why so many ‘No dogs in park’ notices in Edmonds?” (Sept. 20):

I, too, am very disappointed in the City's ordinances governing where dogs are accepted. I understand the need to protect wildlife at the beach that doesn't allow dogs, but it seems a poor choice not to allow them leashed on paved beach walkways.

I pay property taxes and cannot bring my dog to the paved beach walkways or the Edmonds farmers market nor the summer concerts at City Park. While the intolerance of others is the real issue, rather than enforcement, the city's ordinances empower people to be rude to dog owners.

I never leave dog droppings behind, and my Bernese Mountain Dog is extremely quiet and well behaved.

As someone working full time, it's important to get my dog out exercising when I can, but I avoid the market, the paved path on the beach and the summer concerts because I can't bring my dog with me. It's shame, truly.

People should be empowered to enforce scooping laws, not be rude to those of us just trying to exercise quiet dogs who've been stuck at home all day.

J. Bowhey
Edmonds

 

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