Update on Edmonds
Nelson headshot

When I started my term as Mayor at the beginning of the year I could never have imagined the situation we find ourselves in now.

In January I spent time connecting and visiting staff at each department and even spent time out in the field with some of our staff members. February brought so much snow that we closed City buildings for half a day, we hired new Parks Director Angie Feser, and I held my first neighborhood meeting. By early March I was activating a COVID-19 Response Group, declaring an emergency due to the outbreak, closing public access to city facilities, and issuing a stay-at-home order, to protect the health and safety of our residents.

The past seven months we have been navigating our way through this worldwide pandemic. During that time we have continued to provide the essential services our community relies on: police, sewer, water, permitting, and street overlays, along with other services that help keep up our town’s spirit up during these challenging times, like our beautiful corner gardens and hanging flower baskets.

Besides the essentials, several other important things have happened during this time.

We hired new Communications/PIO Manager Jamie Holter in March and she went right to work disseminating information about the City’s response to COVID-19. You can read more about Jamie here.

In April, I made it our priority to help local businesses and community members affected by the pandemic through a Community Economic Relief Fund which included local small business-to-business grants administered through the Edmonds Chamber Foundation WISH Fund. Up to fifty Edmonds businesses will have received grants for up to $1,000 to use for Marketing and Advertising, Legal Services, Financial Planning, Web Design and eCommerce, Media Services, Graphic Design and Signage, and Professional Development and Leadership. Those businesses are then matched with service provider businesses in that field allowing the City’s initial investment to go twice as far.

On Earth Day, April 22, I announced the formation of the Mayor’s Conservation Advisory Committee. I formed this group to help me fulfill my goal of protecting and preserving our environment. Due to the pandemic the committee hasn’t met as much as they would like to but they are diligently working behind the scenes on issues. For more information and a list of members click here.

New Human Services Manager Mindy Woods came onboard in May and hit the ground running assisting those most in need impacted by COVID-19. This new position was proposed by City Councilmembers and was included in the 2020 budget. For more on Mindy please see the related article in this newsletter.

In early June I announced the formation of the Equity and Justice Advisory Task Force and asked community members to apply. We were fortunate to receive applications from many interested individuals. The Task Force has met a couple of times and have more meetings scheduled throughout the summer. Please see this related article for more information.

That same month I also announced the creation of a pedestrian friendly Main Street to provide more safe places for our pedestrians to walk, shop, and dine while maintaining their social distancing. It has received strong support from our residents and will continue through the summer. See related article in this newsletter.

As we move forward, I am greatly interested in resuming my “Neighborhood Meeting” program virtually. If you are interested in scheduling a meeting for your neighborhood please contact Carolyn LaFave in my office.

I want to leave you with one important call to action. We may be done with this virus, but it is not done with us. Unfortunately, the Snohomish Health District is now seeing COVID-19 cases significantly increase again throughout Snohomish County. The good news is your actions can have a dramatic impact on the spread of this virus. Yakima County, which had been leading the state in cases, has now reversed this trend thanks to 95% of their population wearing masks. You can directly help keep all of our community-members safe by continuing to mask up, practice socially distancing, and wash your hands.

With your help, our community will pull through these extraordinary times.

Mayor Mike Nelson

 

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