Shoreline City Council Notes from January 23, 2012 meeting

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

By Devon Vose Rickabaugh

Mayor McGlashan congratulated Mark Relph and his “road team for the awesome job” they did during the snow event. City Manager Julie Underwood said the crews had spread 11,000 gallons of de-icer and 320 yards of salt. She said a mobile mechanic was on duty to take care of any equipment malfunctions which made a big difference.

Mayor McGlashan signed a letter on behalf of the council in support of marriage equality and sent it to Shoreline state legislators and Mayor Strickland of Tacoma who had encouraged this action.

The council heard a presentation on tobacco-free parks from Dick Deal Director of Parks and Recreation and Carolyn Hughes from the county public health department. She came bearing several containers of cigarette butts gathered from Paramount Park (2,096 butts) and Hamlin Park (1,200 butts). She said there is no safe exposure to second hand smoke inside or outside if the person is close enough or the wind blowing in the right direction. Also she said as the cigarette butts break down their toxins can get into the ground water and eventually kill fish. 

Both Hughes and Deal recommended taking a survey of Shoreline citizens to see the extent of support for tobacco-free parks. Councilmember Winstead recommended going ahead with the smoke-free parks without a survey since they were acting on behalf of citizens’ health, Deal said it had worked better in other cities when citizens were consulted in the form of a survey. Deal thought that survey results and a draft of an ordinance could be accomplished by March with adoption by late March in time for spring park use.

The council is considering allowing limited alcohol use in specific areas of Shoreline parks for special events such as weddings. Discussion will continue upon finding out state requirements for alcohol use in parks. Dick Deal said they had had many inquiries about using the parks for special events.

Public works director Mark Relph said the first phase in the city’s investigation in taking over Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) in Shoreline is completed. A price of $25,000,000 has been informally agreed to with the city of Seattle with a goal of a formal agreement in 2020. Next a steering committee will coordinate a draft agreement between SPU and Shoreline to be reviewed by the city manager, acted upon by both Shoreline City Council and Seattle City Council and then voted on by Shoreline voters on November 2012. 

Relph pointed out that the goal is to provide high quality service in Shoreline and that SPU service is “not at the level we expect” because SPU has many priorities in Seattle. He also said another goal is “to provide an aggressive reinvestment strategy for capital improvement” here as well as to diversify the tax base from residential to more commercial enterprises.

A woman representing the community at 13th and 203rd avenue in Shoreline complained that they had lost power 12 times in the last year. Their lines are underground so when the power goes out Seattle Public Utility has to come out. She said they dig up the yard and it takes at least 12 hours for the power to be restored. She said her yard had been dug up three times in the last year. She presented a letter signed by the residents in her area to ask the council to request that SPU find a way to permanently fix the problem rather than doing it piece meal. The council agreed to look into it.


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