Two new commissions serve the city, public | City Corner

By Patrick Doherty, economic development director | Apr 14, 2016
Patrick Doherty, economic development director

Over the past few months a new city commission has been created, the Diversity Commission, and a former commission has been revamped and started anew – the Economic Development Commission.

These new commissions will serve as valuable opportunities for engaging the public and offering recommendations to the City Council on issues of great importance to our community.

Diversity Commission

The Diversity Commission arose out of a Diversity Task Force set up in 2014 after unfortunate incidents of discrimination occurred in our community.

The Task Force recommended creating a permanent commission, and the City Council responded readily, establishing the commission by ordinance and designating a small amount of the budget for support staff and related activities.

Last October, commissioners were appointed, and the commission hit the ground running with several meetings under its belt by year's end that resulted in a 2016 work plan. The plan was presented to council in January.

The plan is ambitious and far-reaching, but represents the commissioners' zeal and dedication.

It seeks to fulfill the commission's codified mission to:

• Promote and embrace diversity through action, education and guidance; foster an understanding that includes, accepts, respects and appreciates each individual member of our community by:

• Providing information, education and communication that facilitates understanding of diversity and to celebrate and respect individual differences;

• Recommend to the mayor and city council opportunities to promote diversity programs, and provide guidance to ensure an accessible, safe, welcoming and inclusive government and community; and

• Support, challenge and guide government and the community to eliminate and prevent all forms of discrimination.

Just last week on April 6, the commission held a Diversity Forum attended by representatives from upwards of 20 different organizations involved in programs and activities associated with diversity and inclusion, all eager to share information about the populations they serve, along with the challenges and opportunities they face.

The Diversity Commission welcomes the public to attend its regular meetings on the third Wednesdays of every month at 6 p.m. at the Edmonds Senior Center, 220 Railroad Ave. For more information, visit its webpage at

Economic Development Commission

From 2009 until the end of 2015, the Citizens' Economic Development Commission existed as a body of 17 appointed commissioners who met monthly to discuss and offer recommendations on issues ranging from economic growth to tourism to business districts to the Strategic Action Plan.

After a sunset provision terminated the former commission at the end of 2015, Mayor Dave Earling took the initiative to reinvent the commission as a leaner, more focused, nine-member body with a retooled mission.

In February, the City Council approved an ordinance establishing this new commission, and new appointees were sought. By early March, the seven new commission members had been appointed, and the commission held its first meeting on March 30.

While the new commission is still in its initial stage, its future work will derive from its codified mission:

The commission is empowered to advise and make recommendations to the mayor and city council, and as appropriate, to other boards or commissions of the city on such matters as may be specifically referred to the commission by the mayor or city council, or matters independently generated by the commission, related to:

Strategies, programs or activities intended to generate economic development and consequently increase jobs and municipal revenue.

The Economic Development Commission is joined by four ex officio members to ensure seamless communication and collaboration: a councilmember, a Port of Edmonds commissioner, a Planning Board member and a representative of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Economic Development Commission also welcomes citizen input and engagement at its monthly meetings on the third Wednesday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Brackett Room on the Third Floor of City Hall (Except this month, when the meeting is this Thursday, April 14, in the same location).

For more information about the Economic Development Commission, visit


Comments (1)
Posted by: Brent Malgarin | Apr 17, 2016 10:07

So everyone can see thru Earlings actions, as always it is the behind the scenes issues that people need to pay attention too.

Stephan Clifton was appointed by Earling to his "Economic Development Commission".

This is the same Stephan Clifton who pushed thru the Edmonds Business Improvement District, when they did not have the legal mandate of 60%, to do so.

This is the same Stephan Clifton who in an e-mail dated July 03, 2012, at 12:02pm, wrote to Shawn Hunstock, when they were discussing how to punish Edmonds  business owners who refused to pay into the illegal Edmonds BID.  In this exchange Clifton shows his total lack of business acumen and displays his total animosity toward business owners in Edmonds.

Clifton stated:  "Yes, but using a collection agency also effects credit and this definitely is an incentive to pay".

Earling appoints a person who's primary thought process is thinking of how to take other peoples money (the BID) and how to punish and harm business owners.  Clifton, a lot of opinion, with no experience. Clifton knows nothing about business, running a business, or owing one.

Earling, as always......fails again.

If you wish to comment, please login.