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Mayor Nelson invited participants and described the procedures for audience comments. <br />George Bennett, Edmonds, thanked Mayor Nelson and My Edmonds News for an in-depth and candid <br />interview with the Mayor, commenting that understanding the approach and the context of city leaders is <br />very important. With regard to the equity and justice task force report, reading the experiences in the <br />report were heartbreaking. He cited positives in the report: 1) 752 of the 5,992 police shootings in the <br />U.S. had body cameras, a program the City of Edmonds plans to implement. 2) Additional training is <br />always good; defunding the police as stated in the equity handbook is somewhat loaded and is a <br />misnomer; shifting or increasing funding including special task forces, domestic violence task forces, <br />community involvement resources or other needs is a good idea. 3) Community outreach, educational <br />sessions in schools, devoted time for community concerns in an open forum would hopefully create more <br />dialogue and interactive feedback; however, the police cannot force the public to attend. He cited things <br />he found disheartening about the report and the approach: 1) not sure the task force was ever presented <br />with any statistics, training, commendations or history of the effectiveness and equity within the Edmonds <br />Police Department. 2) Lived experiences and perceived biases are inherent in each of us; lived experience <br />should never be discounted. However, this report, guided by a professional versed and trained equity <br />consultant weighted perception more than data. Taken to together, data and perception lead to actual and <br />measurable solutions. 3) The report did not mention the systemic failures within the policing policies <br />leading to racism and inequity in our local police force. This report was based on assumptions and steered <br />by a consultant with a somewhat negative and false narrative. He thanked the task force for bravely <br />sharing their experiences with the community to bridge the racial divide, but lie faulted the process and <br />the basis. Since commenting in the local press, he has been labeled a misogynist, a racist, a fat rich white <br />person and ironically a potential Council candidate. Those labels do not change his ask of the Mayor, <br />Police and Council to put a plan together and agree to pay for, measure and move forward with. Perhaps a <br />shift of funds from equity consultants to training consultants may have been a better move. He thanked <br />the task force for their report and real thoughts about the City. <br />Maxine Mitchell, Edmonds, commented on the tree -related regulations. She and her husband have lived <br />in Edmonds for the past 10 years; one of the main things that attracted them to Edmonds was the beautiful <br />views of Puget Sound and Olympic Mountain range. She concurred with Anna Forslund West's <br />comments to the City Council dated 11/20/20 which were posted in the public comment section on the <br />City's website that suggested protection of water views be inserted into the intents and purposes section <br />of the proposed tree code. Trees have the potential to block water views and can adversely affect property <br />values. Having this very salient point omitted shows a complete disregard for homeowners' vested <br />interests. Real estate agents know how valuable property with a view of Puget Sound and the Olympic <br />Mountains, adding substantial value to the price tag. The City has maximum height guidelines for <br />buildings and fences, but no one seems to care when planting trees how tall the tree will eventually grow. <br />The 2019 Urban Forest Management Plan addresses this issue via an entire section on trees and views, <br />stating when views become obstructed, enjoyment of one's property as well as property values may be <br />impacted. The UFMP goes on to state, when considering planting trees in the bowl and other view areas, <br />lower growing trees will help preserve the views of neighboring properties. In other words, when a <br />developer plans a site, he/she should take into consideration the height of the new trees chosen for the site <br />and how their eventual height could adversely affect neighbors' views. That should be included in the tree <br />code, not just penalties for cutting down trees. Just as there are building codes that establish a maximum <br />height on new construction, the tree code should address mature tree heights and how that affects property <br />owners' views. She implored the Council to add a clause in the intent and purposes section of the <br />proposed tree code that refers to protecting water views for homeowners and selecting lower growing <br />trees when land is being developed. Choosing the right tree for the right place is a mantra of the UFMP <br />and should be incorporated into the tree code. <br />Edmonds City Council Approved Minutes <br />February 2, 2021 <br />Page 2 <br />