Shoreline City Council Meeting November 18, 2013

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Devon Vose Rickabaugh
Photo by Jerry Pickard

Shoreline City Council Meeting
November 18, 2013
By Devon Vose Rickabaugh

The Shoreline City Council voted unanimously to file a claim in the Ronald Wastewater District lawsuit against Shoreline, stating that transferring Ronald Wastewater’s assets to a joint municipal utility is a breach of the City’s operating agreement with Ronald.

The Council voted to approve five final candidates for City Manager interviews. They are Interim City Manager Debbie Tarry, Neal Beets, Arlene Fisher, Subir Mukerjee, and Nabiel Shawa.

At the Public Hearing resident Tom Jamison complained that the reason more people don’t come to the public hearings is that they aren’t well advertised.

The City has recovered funds with the economic recovery which have increased the reserve funds. Councilmember Hall suggested using some of the one million dollars of extra reserve funds for a road maintenance fund to get to a sustainable rate of road maintenance and also for some sidewalks on 20th avenue NW, and 195th to the Saltwater Park entrance.

Hall also suggested buying software to track traffic flow to follow which roads are being used by how many drivers. Deputy Mayor Eggen questioned how information from the traffic flow would be used if it was discovered drivers from another city are traveling through Shoreline and causing traffic problems. He said the City could be open to retaliation from those cities penalized for traveling through Shoreline and he prefers to work with them. Public Works Director Mark Relph said the traffic software could be used to gather other helpful information and that cars are anonymous.

Councilmember Winstead was not comfortable spending reserves when a lot of things are happening in the area such as Boeing’s possible move which would reduce tax funds. Councilmember McConnell said: a city has to be ”way more conservative than a household - may be opening a can of worms.”  Interim City Manager Tarry said that taking the 1 million dollars out of the reserves wouldn’t hurt the City.

A Public Hearing and Council discussion on 2014 Property Tax and Revenue sources was held. Administrative Services Director Bob Hartwig said that out of proposed 2014 budget, Property Tax represents 31% of the General Fund operating revenues ($33.2 million) in the amount of $10.2 million. Projected sales tax revenue totals $6.7 million or 20% of operating revenues. Utility taxes, franchise fee and utility contract payments account for over 25% of operating revenues and total $8.3 million. Licenses, fees and charges represent 9% of operating revenues and total $2.9 million. The remaining amount of General Fund revenue ($5.1 million or 15%) is made up of intergovernmental revenue, interest income, gambling tax and miscellaneous revenue.

The budget can be seen online. At the next council meeting November 25 adoption of the 2014 budget for the next 6 years and the 2014 property tax levy is scheduled.

Interim City Manager Debbie Tarry said that in 2012 six Shoreline students attempted suicide, 32% of 10th graders had depressive thoughts, and 14% 6th through 12th graders had serious consideration of suicide. She said that noticing depression can make a difference. Family members, friends or community members can learn what to do when someone is asking for help. A youth Suicide Prevention Presentation was held on Tuesday November 19th.

Mayor McGlashan received an Alumni Recognition Award from the Raikes Foundation for the City of Shoreline Youth and Teen Development Program. A representative of the Raikes Foundation presented the award. She said the mission of the Foundation is to empower youth to make changes in their lives. “Because of ongoing Council support, staff are able to offer one of the highest quality youth and teen programs in the region. The Raikes foundation recognizes Shoreline’s outstanding efforts in the pursuit of quality programming for all youth in the community.” 


1 comments:

Tom Jamieson,  November 22, 2013 at 12:33 AM  

For the first time in 12 years, the City did not publish the budget timeline in its monthly publication, Currents, the primary source of information about City Hall for most people in the community according to the City's own survey. For that, the City deserved an 'F' on Council Goal 4: Enhance Openness and Opportunities for Community Engagement. That's what I said.

The October issue of Currents did not even mention the budget. The November issue, which I received in the mail last Friday, listed only one key date: November 25, Adoption of Budget and Property Tax Levy. Page 2 says "Public hearings to receive input occur in November." No specific dates were given for the hearings, and the first one had already been held on November 4.

Administrative Services Director Bob Hartwig said during his introduction to the budget discussion , "I think everybody understands we've had a lot of feedback on the budget from the members of Council." He said nothing about any feedback from the public. I attended both public hearings. I was the only member of the public to speak at either one.

If the City truly wants to engage the public, they can do better.

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