Winter 2013
Newsletter for Winter 2013

Meet Hekinan, Japan, Edmonds' Sister City

Incorporated April 5, 1948, Hekinan is a city of 73,000 people an hour's train ride south of Nagoya in central Japan. Nearly 4,000 foreigners live there. Like Edmonds, it is a water city, surrounded by a lake, a river and two bays, with access to the port of Kinuura, so it is no surprise that it has one of largest thermal power plants in the world. Fishing is important in the city, and the Hekinan Seaside Aquarium has over 3,000 fish of 300 species from all over Japan.

Hekinan is home to over 400 factories in the automobile (Toyota), biotechnology, sake brewery, soy sauce, metal, roofing tile, and numerous food industries. It has a different flavor than Edmonds but its citizens are as warm and friendly as those here.

One fourth of the city area is farmland, and it's one of the two largest producers of figs in Japan. Being rural, houses are larger than those in cities and the lifestyle a little more relaxed. You can see glimpses of Hekinan in this online microblog.        

Crane Hekinan City HallThe delegation will enjoy seeing the Steve Jensen aluminum sculpture of a crane in front of Hekinan’s City Hall, placed in 1998 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the city, and the 10th year of our Sister City relationship. The crane, a symbol of good luck and long life, was chosen to echo Hekinan's theme, "As in the past, and on into the future, Hekinan walks together with everyone."

The city library seems a sister library to Edmonds, and you can see photos of it and other scenes in Hekinan with English translation here. In the photos on this page are the traditional Japanese-style buildings of the Kokonoe mirin (sweet sake condiment) plant.

The Mayor of Hekinan, Masanobu Negita, gave his 2013 online New Year's greetings to citizens here. Similar to Mayor Earling's new business development initiatives and recent downtown renovation to make the city even more attractive to visitors, Mayor Negita reminded citizens of last September's "Hekinan Economic Restart Declaration." His page, via an Internet translation site, shows an involvement with citizen's lives and plans for the future strong development of the city.

Winter in Hekinan is sunnier and windier than in Edmonds, and everyone looks forward to following the Cherry Blossom Front in late March, as the school and fiscal years are ending, and as they restart April 1st. Another online blog with typical scenes in Hekinan is here. It is easy to see that Hekinan is an ideal Sister City for Edmonds and that the tone of both cities emphasizes citizen involvement, enjoyment of nature in parks and beaches, and economic strengthening for the future.

A Sound Investment

Public Works Installs a New Vehicle Wash Station

After several years of pinching pennies to save the funds necessary to build its very own vehicle wash station at its Operations & Maintenance Center, the Public Works & Utilities Department has completed the project. “This has been a goal of ours for a long time,” says Tod Moles, the City’s Street/Stormwater Manager who oversees the public works equipment yard, “and we made it happen.”

The vehicle wash station serves important purposes as part of the City’s strategic initiative to eliminate storm and surface water drainage pollutant discharges into the Puget Sound. “Not only does it help us to maintain our equipment and compliance with the City’s federal NPDES permit, but the fact that we were able to do it at significant cost savings to the taxpayer by using our own staff labor makes it even better,” Moles explains. Utilizing the corner of an existing equipment storage structure, City crews worked together to construct the vehicle wash station using the professional skills the citizens of Edmonds have learned to rely upon from their public servants.

The runoff from the washing station will flow through the City’s sewer utility system approximately three miles to the Edmonds wastewater treatment plant. This design will help prevent contaminated water from entering the Puget Sound. “Mitigating the adverse environmental impact of the frequent washing of City vehicles is important and we found the most effective and cost-efficient way to achieve that outcome,” says Public Works & Utilities Director Phil Williams. Initial estimates for contract construction of the facility reached up to $200,000 but with a little bit of public works ingenuity the grand total for the vehicle wash station came in at just under $10,000 including man hours.

The Public Works & Utilities Department hopes to improve the station further in the near future with more advanced water recycling technology. “You can definitely count on our staff to come through when it matters most,” says Mayor Earling, “Puget Sound does start here and our whole team works hard to live up to the environmental standards that should be expected of our local government.”
wash station before   wash station after                             Before                                                                                       After

Ukrainian Egg Decorating Class

Ukrainian Easter egg 32Learn the ancient Ukrainian tradition of Easter egg decoration - Pysanky. Using dyes and bees wax techniques, learn the symbolic meaning of colors and designs to create at least 2 eggs. Two class offerings: February 2 or March 9, from 10am-12:30pm, cost $26 resident and $30 non-resident plus $10 supply fee. Youth/adult class combined.  Register in advance at Edmonds Parks & Recreation 425-771-0230 or Class held at the Frances Anderson Center 700 Main Street Edmonds.

Edmonds Egg Hunt

MARCH 30, 2013 @ 10 am

NEW LOCATION: Frances Anderson Center Field

Kids ages 10 and under scramble for chocolate eggs, candy and prizes in age-appropriate hunt areas. Bring a nonperishable food donation for the food bank and your basket. Rain or shine. Kids hunt while parents take pictures! Sponsored by Sound Women’s Care and Edmonds Parks & Recreation with support from Nama’s Candy Store, the Rotary Clubs of Edmonds and Snohomish County Fire District 1. Held at Edmonds City Park, 3rd and Howell.

Hekinan, Japan Assistant English Teacher

escc hekinanThe City of Edmonds has had a 25-year relationship with its Sister City of Hekinan, Japan. One very important element of this relationship is the ongoing presence of an Assistant English Teacher (AET) selected by the Edmonds Sister City Commission and hired by the Hekinan Board of Education. This position assists Japanese language teachers in the Hekinan middle schools and in many ways is Edmond's unofficial "ambassador" to Hekinan. A new AET will begin teaching in September 2013, and applications for the position will be available soon.

Lindsay Donahue is the current AET in Hekinan, Japan. With 6 months left on her contract, she reflects on her stay in Hekinan: Being an AET is more than just teaching English; it's about connecting the Edmonds and Hekinan communities through language, culture, and friendship. Serving as the AET at five middle schools in Hekinan for the past three years has been a crash course in all of these things. Teaching English to energetic teenagers is a new adventure every day that begins with bows and polite greetings and ends with hugs, jokes, and the antics of nefariously clever students who angle for extra credit points with the finest English prowess they can muster. Hekinan is a small town, and I feel connected to almost everyone in it because of their unfailing kindness. There aren't many towns where I could walk down the street and greet half the people I meet by name, but Hekinan is one of them. People here value relationships, even with their friends from their sister city halfway around the world. Whether I am looking for conversation or trying to figure out all of the strange foods at the supermarket, the people of Hekinan have been unfailingly kind. I have loved every minute of my time here, and even extended my contract an extra year! My experience in Hekinan has changed my life, and I hope I can continue my involvement with our sister city for years to come.

Lindsay writes a blog about teaching in Hekinan called "Lessons from Rural Japan," and one of her popular posts is "3 (of the many) Things I Love about My Students." Lindsay describes her blog: "When you're a middle school English teacher in Japan, you learn something new every day. This is a compendium of the lessons I've learned and the oddities I've encountered." Lots of photos, and earliest posts show the middle school where she teaches.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in applying for this very rewarding position, please contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


New Parks & Recreation Event... Daddy & Daughter Dance!

The Edmonds Parks & Recreation Department is excited to bring this new event to the Edmonds community...

JH2N Father Daughter ClipartOn Saturday, February 9th from 6:30 - 8 pm at the Edmonds Senior Center daddies and daughters will get dressed up for a special night out. Enjoy dancing, a live DJ and light refreshments. All ages welcome. Bring your camera for a picture in the photo corner.  Grandpas, uncles or other male role models are welcome to escort. Held at the Edmonds Senior Center Upstairs Ballroom (220 Railroad Avenue). Pre-registration required at Edmonds Parks & Recreation 425.771.0230. Online registration not available. Sales tax included.

  • Saturday, February 9 from 6:30 - 8 pm
  • $25 per couple and $5 for each additional person
  • Edmonds Senior Center upstairs Ballroom ~ 220 Railroad Avenue

Economic Development Commission

At the January 8, 2013 City Council meeting Rich Senderoff, Bruce Witenberg, Evan Pierce, Don Hall, Evelyn Wellington, and Darrol Haug were reappointed to the Economic Development Commission. New appointments were made by Councilmember Kristianna Johnson who appointed Teresa Wippel of, and Mayor Earling who appointed Debbie Madison who is the President of the Snohomish County-Camano Association of Realtors.

Other members of the Commission include:Nathan Proudfoot, Doug Purcell, Gail Sarvis, John Eckert, Marc Knauss, Darlene Stern, John Dewhirst, John Rubenkonig, and Kevin Garrett.

Staff liaisons to the Commission are Economic Development Director Stephen Clifton and his Executive Assistant Cindi Cruz. Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and City Councilmembers with the Mayor appointing 3 positions and each Councilmember appointing 2 positions. The Commission meets as needed in the Brackett Meeting Room of Edmonds City Hall.

For more information on the Economic Development Commission contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. office.

Parks & Recs Registration Dates


Edmonds Parks & Recreation Summer Camp information available February 15. 

Beach Camp registration begins January 15.


Registration begins January 15 for the Meadowdale Preschool 2013-14 school year.

Welcome to the Winter Edition of Update on Edmonds

110514EVCSEARLINGD 31-2Happy New Year!

I hope you had a terrific holiday season. Winding down 2012 was a busy time for the city, with final work and passage of an austere budget in mid-December and staff finishing their year-end projects.

Hopefully our economy will continue to improve. Sales tax in the city has shown modest (and I do mean modest) improvement. Property values have stabilized and shown improvement, which will eventually assist our declined property tax revenue. Those two revenue streams provide about 55% of the city's General Fund.

In early April we will travel to Hekinan, Japan to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our Sister City relationship. I hope to take a large delegation to mark this important event. Many special activities are being planned during our stay and I am looking forward to connecting with the people of Hekinan.

Continuing the celebration, in October, we will host a delegation from Hekinan. The Sister City Commission is busy making plans for their visit and we will be sure and highlight those plans in the 2013 Fall edition of this newsletter. If you are interested in learning more about either delegation, please contact my Executive Assistant, Carolyn LaFave at 425-771-0247.

One of the many fabulous pieces of the fabric in our community is the high level of citizen volunteerism with various organizations, commissions, boards, and committees.The beginning of a new year is a great time to consider being a volunteer in your community. You could contact the Chamber of Commerce, the city, service clubs, your church, public and private schools, or local food banks. We literally have hundreds of actively involved volunteers here in Edmonds, but there is always room for more. I hope you will consider assisting in our community.

Enjoy this issue of "Update on Edmonds" and we'll be back in April with the Spring edition.

Dave Earling


Time to Get Rid of It?

A few good things to remember when clearing the clutter

recyclingAnytime you are faced with unwanted household items, whether its one bulky thing or you are undergoing a clean sweep, you should consider the re-use and recycling opportunities available to you before you simply throw things away. Always ask yourself if the item has more useful life to it. A decision to use the garbage most always is the costliest (to your wallet).

The city’s Recycling Coordinator can help you with available options with just about any household item. Call 425-771-0235, ext. 1603 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Charities are always accepting various items that are still usable. However, they cannot accept items that are broken, torn, ripped or stained.

Hold a garage sale, use the want ads, or check out an abundance of re-use web sites such as and

A few basic things to remember

Here are the county facilities that residents need to know about:

» The Southwest Recycling and Transfer Station (known as the “dump”)

Where: In Mountlake Terrace at 21311 61st Pl. W (turn south off 212th St. SW between Highway 99 and the I-5 overpass)
Hours:   Open 7 days a week
Fees:     Minimum $20 for solid waste disposal
Features: Solid Waste disposal and a separate Recycling Area that accepts many dropped-off items for FREE
More information:   425-388-3425, then press”0”

» The Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Station in Everett

Where:  3434 McDougall Ave. (one block east of Broadway and 35th St.)
Hours:  7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. every Wednesday through Saturday
Fees:  FREE drop-off for all county residents
Features: Drive-through friendly service. Residents can bring unwanted oil paint & stains, pesticides, auto fluids, household cleaners and chemicals. No latex paint is accepted here
More information:   425-388-6050

Also don’t forget that your regular garbage company can be contacted to arrange convenient pickup of various unwanted bulky items right from your curb. Fees and restrictions apply.

Edmonds Historic Calendars Are Here!

HPC cal 3The 2013 Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission's 2013 Edmonds Historic Calendar is on sale now at several locations around town. Last year's calendars went very quickly, so don't delay. Calendars cost $5 each plus tax and you can get one at any of the following locations:

♦  Edmonds City Hall, 121 5th Ave. N. (Cash, Credit Card, Check)
♦  The Edmonds Chamber Of Commerce, 121 5th Ave. N. (Check Only)
♦  The Log Cabin, corner of Fifth and Bell (Check Only)
♦  The Edmonds Historic Museum (Cash, Credit Card, Check)
♦  Businesses displaying an Historic Preservation 2013 Calendar poster in their window (payment method varies by merchant) 

“We on the Commission have worked very hard on this project,” said Larry Vogel, Historic Preservation Commission chair, “and the result exceeds all our expectations. The pictures are stunning, and the text provides an entertaining and informative journey through the history of our community.”

Calendars make perfect gifts, and are a great way to show your civic pride and support for the Edmonds Historic Preservation Commission's work to preserve and enjoy our local heritage.

Cell Phones Can Be Recycled

Sell-old-cell-phoneNearly half a million cell phones are retired every day, just in the US....
unfortunately many people simply toss their unwanted phones into the garbage!

Cell phones happen to be one of the most easily recycled typed of electronics. A number of recycling companies currently reuse and recycle cell phones. There are many opportunities to recycle, donate for reuse (many ways through online offerings) or drop-off unwanted cell phones at participating retail locations (almost all consumer electronics and office supply outlets).

Go to the internet and search for “cell phone recycling” and you’ll discover endless options. To help with local drop-off opportunities you can call the city’s Recycling Coordinator at 425-771-0235, extension 1603.

2014 Student Delegation to Hekinan, Japan

The Edmonds Sister City Commission is looking forward to a middle-school and high-school mixed delegation to Edmonds' sister city, Hekinan, in July 2014. Recruitment will begin in the Fall of 2013, but advance planning is now underway, informing schools and the community of this project. A delegation of 10–15 students is the goal, and interested students who will be between the ages of 14–18 in July 2014 will want to begin deepening their interest in Japanese culture.

It is the mission of the Sister City Commission to promote international communication and understanding through exchanges of people, ideas, and culture. The student delegations we have exchanged with Hekinan since 1987 have created warm ties between Japanese and our American culture. You can see photos of the 2012 delegations to Hekinan and the Japanese students in Edmonds on the Commission's Facebook Page (You do not need to join Facebook to see the photos).

The application for students in 2012 as a sample is on the Commission's website for your reference. In addition, parents will want to think about being a host family in August 2014, bringing Japanese cultural exchange into your home. Questions and requests for advice may be emailed to the Commission at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . We look forward to a large and lively delegation in summer 2014!
Edmonds Student Del 2012 copy

Give Your Home an Energy Exam

Low –cost energy assessments still available for Edmonds households

energy assessmentSustainableWorks is continuing to offer energy assessments in Edmonds and surrounding south county area for a low cost of $95. This offer is possible with support that Sustainable Works receives from the Washington State Jobs Bill.

This is a great deal considering that residential energy assessments generally run around $500 or more. Plus there is an additional offer of up to $2,500 to incentivize energy efficiency improvements, so the more energy your improvement project saves, the more money is offered to buy down the cost. Also, up to $3,000 is being offered to incentivize solar projects.

This program is best described on their website where you can sign up and arrange for an energy inspection that will look for ways your home may be wasting energy and be given options on energy-saving improvements. Discover your

Mayor Earling Leads Delegation to Hekinan, Japan

Do you enjoy travelling? Have you ever wanted to travel to Japan? Do you consider yourself a community ambassador? If so, this trip is for you!

Mayor Dave Earling will lead a delegation of Edmonds representatives and Edmonds Sister City Commissioenrs to Hekinan, Japan April 1-8, 2013, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship between Edmonds and Hekinan, Japan. On November 24, 1987, in the first part of a two-stage trans-Pacific ceremony, the mayors of Edmonds and Hekinan, Japan, signed documents formalizing the sister-city agreement between the two cities. Hekinan Mayor Junzo Kobayashi and Edmonds Mayor Larry Naughten signed the declarations of friendship at a ceremony preceding a traditional Thanksgiving dinner honoring the Hekinan delegation at Edmonds Community College. As the second stage of the ceremony, a delegation of Edmonds civic and business leaders travelled to Hekinan to help the city celebrate its 40th anniversary and to participate in an additional signing ceremony.

This year's delegatation will travel to Hekinan during the first week of April. While in Hekinan the delegation will enjoy a reception by Hekinan Sister City Association, sightseeing tours, a reception and celebration ceremony for the 25th anniversary, with the possibility of attending concerts and festivals.

All individuals travelling with the delegation are responsible for their own travel costs. Flight costs are being estimated at about $1,300 - $1,500 per person. Costs for accommodations will depend on whether you choose a home stay or a hotel stay. Home stays are limited and will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Hotel prices are estimated at $50 - $100 per person per night.

Mayor Earling is inviting anyone who is interested in travelling with the delegation to contact the Mayor's office for details about the trip. He and his wife Susan are honored to be leading this 25th Anniversary delegation to Hekinan, Japan.

For more information please contact Carolyn LaFave by phone @ 425.771.0247 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Pictured below: 2008 Mayor's Delegation to Hekinan, Japan

April 2008 Delegation to Hekinan

The City Clerk's Office

“No other office in municipal service has so many contacts. It serves the mayor, the city council, the city manager (when there is one) and all administrative departments without exception. All of them call upon it, almost daily, for some service or information. Its work is not spectacular, but it demands versatility, alertness, accuracy, and no end of patience. The public does not realize how many loose ends of city administration this office pulls together.”   

Professor William Bennett Munro
Eminent Political Scientist, 1934

When you walk through the front dooChase deskrs of Edmonds City Hall, the first person you have contact with is a member of the City Clerk’s Office. Whether you want to submit a claim for damages, renew your business license, request public records, apply for a parking permit, or just simply need directions, it is a City Clerk’s staff member who will help you.

And much, much more goes on behind the scenes in the City Clerk’s Office. Considered the hub of government, the City Clerk’s Office is the direct link between you and your government.

The City Clerk is considered a historian of our community, for the entire recorded history of Edmonds and its people are in her care. For example, ordinances are official permanent records that are posted on the City’s website from 2000 to current; however, all ordinances reside in the City Clerk’s Office, beginning with Ordinance Number 1. Dated September 22, 1890, it requires that every person desiring to sell intoxicating beverages apply to the city to do so.

It is these ordinances that are codified and ultimately become the City Code, which is kept current by City Clerk staff.

Official minutes of City Council meetings date back to 1890, the year of our City’s incorporation. More current minutes and resolutions are posted on the City’s website starting from 2001.

Working with the Council President and City Council, the City Clerk coordinates the weekly Council agenda—which includes agenda and extended agenda preparation and publication, notification of public hearings and special meetings, and official, City Council minutes. Each document demands resolute adherence to deadlines and accuracy.

The City Clerk’s Office is also the library for all agreements and contracts signed by the Mayor, receives and assembles records for lawsuits, and receives bids and attends bid openings. In addition, all City business licenses are either issued or renewed via the City Clerk; that’s about 1,800 in-city businesses and 1,700 businesses that don’t reside in Edmonds but do business here.

And then there’s archiving all those documents and records! Responsible for two archive centers, City Clerk’s Office staff track and organize records from all City departments, which requires verification and scheduling of records for destruction according to the State of Washington’s retention schedule.

Every municipality in the United States has a City Clerk, or someone who functions as one.

Sandy Chase, Edmonds’ City Clerk, has served our community for 19 years. Linda Hynd, Deputy City Clerk, provides back-up support to the City Clerk, which requires an in-depth knowledge of all responsibilities of the City Clerk’s Office.