Update on Edmonds
Newsletter for Winter 2015

Edmonds Sister City Commissioners are Dedicated!

The Edmonds Sister City Commission has been hard at work over the past couple of months preparing for 2015. This year the Commission will recruit and put forward an Assistant English Teacher (AET) candidate to the Hekinan Board of Education and once again host a student exchange program during July & August with Hekinan, Japan.

The current Commission is made up of eight Commissioners and one student representative – all very dedicated and hardworking individuals. The Sister City Commission is unique as a City of Edmonds Board & Commission because of the programs that is runs. Every year the Commission hosts a student exchange with Hekinan, Japan where Edmonds students travel to Hekinan for a two week stay with a host family and then Hekinan students travel to Edmonds for a reciprocal two week stay. On anniversary years such as the 15th, 20th 25th, etc., the Commission also hosts an adult delegation exchange where City Officials and interested community members from Edmonds travel to Hekinan and vice versa. And, as mentioned above, every two-three years the Commission recruits, interviews and selects an Assistant English Teacher (AET) candidate to put forward to the Hekinan Board of Education for employment by the Board for a 2-3 year term.

While the Hekinan Board of Education pays for the AET’s travel, housing and salary, all student and adult exchange program delegates are responsible for their own travel expenses. For students this usually amounts to their airfare, a few meals and souvenirs; for the adults their expenses can also include housing if they opt to stay in a hotel rather than with a host family.

Whether a student or an adult, American or Japanese, all are provided the unique opportunity of experiencing a different cultural first-hand, which is the core mission of the Commission. This mission requires many hours of fundraising, promoting and planning – which brings us back to our Commissioners and all their hard work… without it, this Commission and its wonderful programs would not be possible!

cherry-blossom-branch-abstract-background-24686399So here’s a big “Thank You” or “Arigatou Gozaimasu” to the Edmonds Sister City Commissioners who make all of the above possible!

Edmonds Sister City Commissioners

Pamela Erickson, Chair — Position #3
Marlene Friend, Secretary — Position #4
Rita Ikeda, Vice Chair — Position #6
Iyoko Okano — Position #7
Michele Fellows — Position #8
Karyn Heinekin — Position #10
Paul Anderson — Position #12
Michelle Rockstead — Student Representative
And a warm welcome to our newest Commissioner — Noriko Tseng who will serve in Position #5 and attend her first meeting of the Commission at the end January!

If you would like more information about how you can be involved with the Edmonds Sister City Commission pelase visit our webpage or checkout our Facebook page.

New Judge Appointment

Linda Coburn - BW 2Mayor Dave Earling is pleased to announce the appointment of Linda W.Y. Coburn to fill the Municipal Court Judge position. The City Council officially confirmed this appointment and conducted the oath of office on Tuesday, January 13, 2015.  Ms. Coburn will begin her work on the bench today, January 14, 2015.

Linda W.Y. Coburn has been serving as a judge pro-tem at the City since 2013 in addition to having worked as an attorney with the Snohomish County Public Defenders Association, where she managed both misdemeanor and felony caseloads.  She also previously served as a law clerk to Court of Appeals Honorable Judge Stephen Dwyer and Snohomish County Superior Court Honorable Judge George Bowden.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Washington, and a master’s of science degree in journalism from Ohio University.  After working as a reporter and editor for the Seattle Times, she returned to law school and graduated with honors from Seattle University, where she also served as Special Edition Editor on Law Review.   Ms. Coburn is a member of the Washington State and Snohomish County Bar Associations as well as the Asian Bar Association of Washington, the Washington Defender Association and the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “I have always devoted my career toward public service, first as a journalist, then as a public defender,” stated Ms. Coburn.  I am looking forward to continuing that role as a Municipal Court Judge.” 

The Mayor was pleased to have a well-qualified pool of candidates for which to select from.  Mayor Earling stated, “We are fortunate to have a quality judge such as Linda Li Coburn to continue the excellent work of Judge Fair.”

The City opened this recruitment after the current Judge, the Honorable Judge Doug Fair, notified the City that he would be resigning in January of 2015 as he was running unopposed in an election for another judicial position in a neighboring jurisdiction.  There were 5 candidates invited from this recruitment process to interview with the City on November 25, 2014.   Each applicant interviewed with a panel which included the Honorable Judge Stephen Dwyer (current Washington State Court of Appeals Judge), retired Honorable Judge Joseph Thibodeau (former Snohomish County Superior Court Judge) and Snohomish County Deputy Executive Mark Ericks (who also served as the former Police Chief for the City of Bothell, and most recently as US Marshall for the Western District of Washington) as well as HR staff. After this interview process, the Mayor interviewed three applicants recommended by the panel.  After careful consideration following the individual interviews, and a complete background and reference check, the Mayor then selected Linda W.Y. Coburn as the number one candidate. The City Council unanimously adopted a resolution on December 16, 2014 demonstrating their intent to confirm Ms. Coburn as the Municipal Court Judge at the January meeting.

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