Spring 2018
Newsletter for Spring 2018
earling compressed
Reflections on Hekinan

I have a three hour layover in Seoul, South Korea, so why not start the next column? This after six very busy (sometimes intense), but enormously rewarding, days in Hekinan, Japan, our Sister City.

The ten plus hour flight time doesn't seem very exciting... lots of reading, a couple of movies and some attempt at sleeping gets the job done. The treat at the end of the flight is the real reward. From the large greeting reception at the airport forward, every hour is filled with activity.

The "Main Events" during the week were two special celebrations; the first being the 30th Anniversary Celebration of our Sister City relationship with Hekinan and second, participating in Hekinan's 70th Anniversary of the founding of their city.

The Japanese are extremely proud of their city and the relationships they have built over time. At the 30th Anniversary celebration there were easily 200-250 people in attendance. At the 70th Anniversary celebration, another 500-550 people. Both celebrations included music, speeches, and refreshments. At the 30th Anniversary gathering we exchanged gifts, in this case an exchange of artworks. I was given the opportunity to speak at both occasions which was an honor.

While we were in Hekinan we had an opportunity to meet with a delegation from Pula, Croatia, Hekinan's second Sister City. Pula was there celebrating the 9th Anniversary of their relationship with Hekinan.

Our first full day in Hekinan the delegation had an hour-long meeting with Mayor Negita and his Cabinet, followed by a tour of City Hall. The meeting was very interactive with comments from the Mayor, and me. Several of our delegation had an opportunity to speak and ask questions.

As I have mentioned before, Hekinan is an industrial-rich city. While there we toured a Toyota factory where we were able to see cars assembled from boxes of parts, to the finished project rolling off the assembly line. The coordinated effort of workers, automation, and timing, is amazing.

We also toured the Chubu Thermal Power Station, which uses coal as its power source. The coal is imported from throughout the Pacific with the primary supplier, Australia.

Yes, we also did some sightseeing including the Okazaki Castle Cherry Blossom Festival, a day tour of the city of Kyoto, and several Buddhist Temples.

Above all for me (and I think the delegation) was the opportunity to meet and better understand the people and culture of Hekinan and Japan. They are warm, friendly people who are equally interested our city and country. Our delegation did a marvelous job of befriending our hosts and I'm sure came away with a new and lasting impression of Hekinan and Japan.

Special accolades go to Iyoko Okano, who has been involved with the Sister City program for 22 years as our translator and goodwill ambassador the entire time and Carolyn LaFave, my Executive Assistant, for her meticulous attention to detail in coordinating the exchange. Thanks to you both.

Mayor Dave Earling

tree2 croppedA draft plan about City management of trees in Edmonds will be presented at an open house on Thursday, April 19 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm in the Brackett Room, third floor of Edmonds City Hall, 121 5th Avenue N.  The public is invited.

The open house will feature display boards showing highlights about the draft plan. A staff team, including the project consultant who prepared the draft plan, will be at the meeting to answer questions and talk with attendees. At 6:45, a slideshow presentation will start. A “comments” box will be available for people who want to give written comments. More opportunities for public input will continue into at least May and June.

The tree management plan, also known as the urban forest management plan, is intended to provide direction and new ideas for the City to carry out, in part for the management of trees on City property and in part for the City’s activities to encourage good tree management on private properties.

Besides background information, the draft plan includes 22 objectives about what the City can do to manage the urban forest. Each of the objectives has a set of actions the City can take. To view the current draft plan and related information click here.

After the public open house, the Planning Board will have a public hearing, currently set for May 9, to get input and consider any recommendations to the City Council.

While the draft plan will undergo minor clean-up, it will not change substantively before going to the City Council in June. Whether to adopt the plan, with any changes, is a City Council decision.

If adopted, the plan would be implemented over time, taking into account budget impacts.

road pavingThe City of Edmonds will continue its efforts to rehabilitate and preserve its roadway network this summer by paving several area streets. Also included in this year’s contract is installation of a geotextile fabric. This fabric, which is placed under the new asphalt, will prolong the life of the new pavement surface by preventing surface cracking. This technique has been successfully used in Edmonds numerous times.

Working in conjunction with Snohomish County, a contract is expected to be awarded this June. This year’s paving is expected to cost approximately $1.9M to be paid for by a combination of REET and Utility funds.

Additionally, the City will be running a pilot program this summer to test the cost-effectiveness of a treatment known as Slurry Seal. Slurry Seal is a preventative maintenance practice expected to decrease paving costs by extending the life of our current roads. City of Edmonds staff have teamed up with City of Mukilteo staff for implementation of this program.

Work has begun on the construction of new sidewalk on the north side of 238th St SW between Edmonds Way and Highway 99. This stretch of roadway has large gaps where sidewalk currently does not exist and this project will construct approximately 1000 linear feet of sidewalk in various locations to fill in those gaps. A mid-block crosswalk with pedestrian activated flashers will be installed in front of the Korean United Presbyterian Church.

Construction bids were opened on February 15th and the low bidder, with a bid of $419,256 was Thomco Construction of Lake Stevens. Thomco started work in early April and construction will be completed by June.