Fall 2020
Nelson headshot

On Monday, October 5th I made my Budget Address, via zoom and livestreamed on Facebook, where I presented the proposed 2021 City of Edmonds budget. Over the next couple of months the Council and the public will have an opportunity to review the budget, ask questions, and provide input, culminating with an approved and adopted 2021 budget in early December.

It is important to note that this budget was prepared during an unprecedented global pandemic and that it acknowledges the extreme measures taken by our City government to protect public health, maintain critical government services, and along the way, come up with creative ways to keep our community safe and sane.

I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of my highlighted priorities included in the 2021 budget.

Human Services Program
Create a new Human Services Program with a budget of $500,000 that would include a full-time social worker. Unlike all other cities in the region, our city has never had a human services program. It is time we did. This will help our seniors, veterans, those who are housing unstable and unsheltered, and others in need.

Highway 99 Investments
Continue the Highway 99 Gateway Project approved in 2020 to design and install a raised center median along the 2 mile corridor, new pedestrian crossing to improve traffic safety and spur redevelopment. Community Renewal Plan on Hwy 99 to set the stage for future redevelopment of properties along Highway 99, especially in the southern parts of the Corridor where problems of crime, graffiti, nuisances, code violations and general disinvestment persist. Some areas do not feel as safe and attractive for people. We hear you and we are addressing that.

Update Comprehensive Plan with a View to Equity
Funding to update our City’s most important planning document, the City’s Comprehensive Plan, which will also include racial equity. We need to ensure our city programs and services reach all populations. This city-wide approach will work closely with residents to ensure planning and activities also meet the needs of underserved communities.

The Environment
Salmon Safe Certification Program
We are seeing significant decline of our resident orcas and massive decline of Chinook salmon in the Puget Sound. Every coastal city plays an important role in saving orcas and salmon. This program will provide an in-depth assessment of our city policies, plans, operations that impact water quality and habitat of our watershed and Puget Sound. 
Park Land Acquisition Fund
This would create a permanent open space fund that would grow every year. The fund will start with $500,000. We need to re-imagine the role of our public lands as the solution they can be for building a more sustainable world.

Climate Comp Plan Update
New updates to our Comprehensive Plan to address climate crisis and our Marsh. It is a climate crisis, not climate change. Change sounds like you are talking about the weather today, not the destruction of our oceans, forests, snowpack, more droughts, catastrophic fires, 100 year floods that are happening every year. We need to better plan, prepare, and reduce these impacts.

These are just a few of the priorities included in the proposed 2021 budget. You can view the budget in its entirety here.

As we move forward, there are still many unknowns including: pace of economic recovery as we head into winter, the potential resurgence of the virus and, a realistic timeline of a vaccine and its distribution. Past economic recessions are a poor indicator and predictor because their root causes were derived from an imbalance in the economy, not from a pandemic. 

This virus and every one of your and our actions will help decide the future health of our community and our local economy. We have seen when we wear masks and social distance, the virus drops significantly, when we let our guard down and fail to take regular precautions, it comes back with a vengeance.
Our budget accounts for the uncertainty that COVID lays before us. But it does not shy away from the real opportunities that lie ahead to shape our city to be more resilient, healthier, safer, and welcoming for all.

Mayor Mike Nelson


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