Edmonds City Bulletin
MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2020: Governor Inslee "Stay Home Stay Healthy" Order For business related inquiries please call 425.275.4823
City Council Meetings under Gubernatorial Proclamation 


Mayor establishes Equity and Justice Advisory Task Force

 Black Lives Matter to me. Black lives matter in Edmonds and in this country.  We cannot continue to allow any members of our community to be oppressed by systemic injustice and violence.

Those of us in local government must take a hard look within, listen, have honest conversations, be open to real change, and take tangible actions to support our African-American residents.

That is why today I am announcing the formation of an Equity and Justice Advisory Task Force to help identify and correct issues of systemic and implicit bias within city operations in response to the aggressions and inequities perpetrated on African-Americans around the nation and in our region.  Their work will be focused on recommending resulting policies, procedures, or other changes that may be needed within our Police Department and at City Hall.

The Task Force is envisioned as being comprised of civic and business community members, as well as representatives from regional equity and inclusion organizations and city officials.  The exact make-up is still being determined and will be announced when the Task Force is officially formed.

The singular focus of violence and mistreatment visited on black people in our society is an illness that must be rooted out and eradicated.  Even if the most harmful examples of this mistreatment occur elsewhere, this work starts at home.  No member of the law enforcement community or city government is immune from this illness. I want this Task Force to help inform me and my Administration about any and all implicit or explicit forms of social injustice or bias that might exist in city government, and identify specific ways we can promote a community that is supportive to the African-American community.

As your mayor, I commit to making sure this Task Force provides meaningful and concrete solutions to addressing the racism and bias that may exist within City government, and the City will provide regular updates on the steps that have been taken to address these issues.

As we rebuild our economy from the ravages of COVID-19, we must take this opportunity to rebuild in a way that achieves greater equity, inclusion, fairness, and dignity for all members of our society – especially African-Americans who have been so disproportionately oppressed – as well as other marginalized populations.


Keep Edmonds Running during COVID 19 

From Mayor Mike Nelson

When the pandemic hit Snohomish County, the City of Edmonds moved quickly to respond to this disaster to maintain the continuity of critical services running in our city.  Critical services include, the Wastewater Treatment Plant, stormwater systems, responding to 911 emergencies, maintaining park facilities, and managing our finances.

Unlike businesses, government can’t close. Why? Because this is a disaster and the government has had to operate not only to provide critical services to our community, but to take steps to manage this health crisis and protect the public.

In order to provide these critical services, we had to ensure our employees could be free from exposure to the virus.

How we responded

The response to this type of disaster is different from most kinds of disasters we are familiar with.  After a hurricane or an earthquake, the cavalry rushes in to the specific location to help. This disaster is different because it shook the whole world. Everyone needed the cavalry at the same time so there was no one else to respond.

For example, the City of Detroit learned this the hard way when it had to quarantine 1,000 police officers who were exposed to the virus. No one else was available to respond emergency calls. Can you imagine what would happen if that occurred in Edmonds?  There would be no police officers available to prevent crime and help those in need. 

Realizing that we were on our own, that every city, county, and state needed resources for immediate help, we created staggered on-call shifts to ensure continuity of critical staff and services for our city.

We split teams in two and placed them on staggered on-call shifts, much like firefighters. We had approximately 40 employees on these staggered shifts. They received stand-by pay which is regular pay. The strategy is simple: if an actively working employee tests positive and we have to send the entire 16-person crew home that day to quarantine for 14 days, well, we then have an entirely healthy crew ready to go. We cannot go two weeks without police officers or without staff at the Waste Treatment Plant.  City government simply cannot carry out critical services if this happens.

Hazard Pay

We also provided hazard pay to city employees who were required to work during this emergency and could be exposed to the virus.  Any work-related exposure could easily be brought home by an employee to his or her family, especially since in half of the COVID cases, a person did not initially show any symptoms but was actively spreading the virus.

We recognized the unique role government plays in a disaster and recognized the unique risk to our critical frontline staff who were interacting with the public and could not shelter in place.

With those unique risks in mind, the City Council voted in support of a pay differential, which included hazard pay and standby pay for Edmonds City workers. Some, who reported to high-impact areas, received 6 percent hazard pay while they worked their 40-hour work week on site. Those with more limited exposure only received 3 percent hazard pay. Everyone who received hazard pay was working. Hazard pay was tied to the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order.  We evaluated the City’s financial resources and made sure that the City could responsibly afford this additional expense in the budget.  Fortunately, Federal CARES Act disaster funding may be used to cover the costs of the hazard pay that has been paid to City employees.

It worked

The strategy we put into place worked.  Edmonds City Government has had only two positive cases.  This program protected our entire city and saved lives.

Since Day One, our 250 Edmonds City employees have kept your streets open, water flowing, toilets flushing, streetlights on, and responded to your emergency calls.  Government can’t close. We are proud of our healthy workforce who never stopped serving our community in this time of need.

May 29, 2020 City Bulletin 

  • COVID-19 information for Edmonds
  • Main Street opens for outdoor experience
  • Summer paving schedule

May 7, 2020 City Bulletin 

  • Financial Update
  • Community COVID-19 questions answered
  • Parks plans

April 21, 2020 City Bulletin 

  • Sunset Avenue closes
  • City's financial strategy
  • $200,000 in relief funds
  • What you can do to help local businesses stay in business
  • Edmonds flower baskets available for sponsorship

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