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Year-round Market

by on 04/30/2012

If you were a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation you could recall the Captain displaying his easy authority with the order: “Make it so.” No one in Edmonds has the authority to make much of anything so; that takes the combined authority of several elected officials, City staff and, on most large projects, significant community support. It’s far easier to get community agreement on making something not so, such as a regional sewage facility, than it is to make something positive happen.

My recent article on clustering brought out the unintended (but not unwelcome) consequence of support for a year-round public market. I have been thinking about and looking for a location for a public market since I scouted Edmonds with my toddler son (now 25), and posting about it for as long as my husband and I have hosted EdmondsForum.com.

I’m not the first and certainly not the only Edmonds resident who’s thought that a public market is perfect for Edmonds. When Mike Cooper was on the Snohomish County Council, he attended an Edmonds Council meeting that included a discussion of the future of the waterfront properties. He disclosed that Snohomish County was looking for a location for a year-round public market, having determined that this could easily be supported in the county. (See report, page A-57.) But even if lots of people agree that a year-round public market is a great idea, making it so will take the combined efforts of elected officials, City staff and, probably most important, a groundswell of interest from citizens.

It will also take getting ideas from examples where it’s already working, such as in Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver (and yes, those are far larger cities, but ours will be a regional market). It will take acknowledgment that even good projects have unintended consequences (several were expressed in the comments) and care should be taken to minimize them. We don’t want new businesses to harm current ones. And, as I said, most important, it will take community support. Below are ways to participate.

Edmonds is currently working on a Strategic Plan, a vision of the future of Edmonds. On May 3rd, from 5:30 – 8:30 PM, in the Library Plaza meeting room, an open house will be held on the Strategic planning process. Information on the open house and all data gathered is on the city’s website. If you’re not interested in participating in the Strategic Planning process, but do want to support a particular direction or idea for Edmonds, Here are other ways to get your point across.

(1) Edmonds City Council, the Edmonds Planning Board, and the Economic Development Commission all have audience comment time available at their meetings, when citizens have three minutes to present ideas and issues of concern. Time and agenda for these meetings is on the city’s website. (2) You can email all council members at council@ci.edmonds.wa.us. (3) You could form your own group. Before I ran for a Council seat, I started a group, with three like-minded citizens, which later became Imagine Edmonds.

If citizens want to form a group to support a public market in Edmonds, e-mail me at joan.bloom@edmondswa.gov. Put “market” in the subject space. So you can find each other, I will e-mail the collected addresses to all who e-mailed me.

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