Evan Smith: We still could have an appeal on the Ronald building

Saturday, March 12, 2011

By Evan Smith
ShorelineAreaNews Politics Writer

Opponents of incorporating the old Ronald School building into a new Shorewood High School still could appeal the Shoreline City Council’s decision to allow the project.
The City Council decided Monday to accept the certificate of appropriateness for the incorporation of the Ronald building into the new High School.
Local and State rules allow an appeal to the King County Superior Court.
City Attorney Ian Sievers told me Friday that State law allows opponents to file a petition of appeal with the Superior Court within 21 days of the City Council decision.
Since the Council approved the project March 14, opponents have until Monday, April 4, to file a request for the Court to review the decision.
Sievers said that the State law allowing the appeal preempts a local ordinance allowing for an appeal.
Opponents have yet to indicate whether they will ask the Superior Court to hear an appeal.
The Ronald building, built in 1912, has been the home of the Shoreline Historical Museum for more than 30 years. The Shoreline School District wants to make it part of a rebuilt Shorewood High School.
The City Council last week accepted a recommendation from the King County Landmarks Review Board for a certificate of appropriateness for the inclusion of the Ronald building into the new High School.


Anonymous,  March 12, 2011 at 1:03 PM  

So Evan, are you saying there SHOULD BE an appeal? Based on what?

Are there people who will support it?

Evan Smith,  March 12, 2011 at 5:12 PM  

I was just curious about whether the City Council decision ends the dispute or if opponents have a chance to appeal.
Apparently the Court would have to grant a request for review, which seems unlikely.
I guess that I would like to see an appeal, but I wouldn't bet on its being successful.

Anonymous,  March 13, 2011 at 9:55 AM  

You know Evan, you can call the representatives of Shoreline Preservation Society on the phone or send them an email rather than stirring the pot by writing this so called piece of speculation which doesn't qualify as an editorial or political piece.

Then you could something called real reporting rather than trying to stir up more community discontent.

Catch22,  March 13, 2011 at 1:00 PM  

@anonymous: This particular community discontent arises due to apparently improper actions taken by local government, not due to reporting on the subject. Good governance and good journalism both demand that it be examined and reported on.
Who's got something to hide?

Evan Smith,  March 13, 2011 at 3:30 PM  

I have contacted Preservation Society members by e-mail. There seems to be no move toward a petition for review of the decision, but they haven't yet said that they won't seek review.
This was just a report on what the law allows.

Anonymous,  March 13, 2011 at 7:19 PM  

Besides the potential for an appeal of the recent Certificate of Appropriateness (COA)decision by City Council, don't forget the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) just issued by the City. That too can be appealed. I imagine there is substantial support for both appeals since the Shoreline community has been smacked around by a series of government (School Dist., King County, City) decisions.

Anonymous,  March 13, 2011 at 9:10 PM  

I personally do not feel "smacked around" by the series of government decisions....so maybe it should read "since PART of the Shoreline community FEELS smacked around by a series of government decisions." I happen to know many, many people who either are fully supporting the COA, CUP and the new school. We are the parents of the 1500 kids who endure that HS building every day for 4 years, and many of whom have younger kids facing the same fate. Not what we want!! I know we dont agree, and I respect that, but really, please be careful about speaking for all of us. Thanks.

wolf,  March 13, 2011 at 10:22 PM  

Whether or not these decisions are appealed in court, there remain a large number of questions that the voters in Shoreline should want answered, and whether or not they agree with the outcome of this particular appeal.

Some questions are about the Shoreline School District Board and staff members and the legal procedures they follow or fail to follow and how they see themselves and their organization in relation to the rest of our community.

Other questions concern the King County (Shoreline) Landmark Commission and how it is constituted and how it perceives its duties in relation to owners/applicants versus actual preservation of already-landmarked structures.

Still other questions relate to how the Shoreline City Council members failed their responsibility to act as jurors when the law required them to do so in this "quasi-judicial" matter that came before them, as well as staff failures to provide the proper grounding to the Council.

All of these issues remain in the wake of what has to be an uncommon lack of fair process from start to finish of one the most inglorious episodes in the history of our young city.

Just the facts, ma'am,  March 13, 2011 at 10:41 PM  

In response to Anonymous, March 13, 2011 9:10 PM

You assume that those who favor preserving the landmarked Ronald School Building were opposed to a new Shorewood school building. WRONG.

Please try to separate the two issues - they are not in conflict at all, never have been.

There was no reason whatsoever that we could not preserve a free-standing historically irreplaceable RSB and have a magnificent new school building too. The two issues are independent of one another.

Please stop contributing to this falsehood by repeating it. The Shoreline School District, all by itself, created this needless conflict.

Anonymous,  March 13, 2011 at 11:09 PM  

That is a good point "Just the facts." I would just hate to see the loss of funding by continuing with appeals. I think the discrepancies have been aired in public and there are many thing that we can all learn for the future, and fight to correct them. I just worry about the project and potentially having to reapply for the state funding next year. That's a scary prospect to say the least! I must say I appreciate the civility shown in the comments this afternoon and evening after a slightly rough start this morning....

Anonymous,  March 14, 2011 at 12:19 AM  

Anon 11:09 is worried about the funding that they think will be in jeopardy if the big mean appellants take further action looking for justice for the Ronald School. Maybe the great Shoreline School District should have thought of that little problem before the lied and cheated, repeatedly to voters, to the Landmarks Commission and to the City Council and forgot to follow our laws?

"I would just hate to see the loss of funding by continuing with appeals."

Ooops, millions of $$ at risk? And oh dear, we must be civil at all times, or else someone's feelings and sensibilities will be hurt. But let's see, is lying, deceiving and cheating the public "civil"? How "civil" is it to defraud the public on a $150 million Bond election?

How civil is 11:09 going to be if there is an appeal or scary problem with funding? Oh, I thought the great educated leaders of the school district had thought of everything. They certainly thought they'd sufficiently smashed the museum and dispensed with them by gagging them. They thought they'd fixed everything on the bond vote, and with the SEPA process they handled so nicely. And they'd kept everything so quiet. So clever.

But, darn there are still a few live ones out there they haven't stomped yet. Who will the bullies of SSD go after next?

And who's fault will it be?

Evan Smith (not anonymous),  March 14, 2011 at 4:10 AM  

I still believe that our school District could have designed a new high school without kicking the Museum out.

Evan Smith,  March 14, 2011 at 4:38 AM  

There's no reason why the School District couldn't have applied for State money for a high school built around the Ronald building.

Anonymous,  March 14, 2011 at 9:16 AM  

Right on Evan!!! Thanks for stepping up and saying what needs to be said.
Why didn't the City Council have the guts to day it, and take action? They gave their power away. They shirked their responsibility. They let the School District dictate what will happen here. Nothing changes.

The travesty continues. The pain will continue for a long, long time.

Let the sunshine in,  March 14, 2011 at 1:33 PM  

I believe that all of the members and staffs of the official bodies who were involved in this matter - School Board, Landmark Commission, and City Council - betrayed the public trust.

We shall never know what the outcome would have been if, starting with Superintendent Sue Walker (in my opinion the prime culprit) the public had been told the truth about what was being planned and what the real alternatives were.

Instead, at every step along this twisting painful path, Walker behaved like an implacable enemy of saving the Ronald School Building.

Like Janus, the two-faced Roman god, Walker refused to participate when the Shoreline Historical Museum sought to have the RSB given landmark status, and was mightily put out when it was.

Walker’s other face expressed great concern for preserving the RSB, but she took her revenge by expelling the Museum from the very building it had been instrumental in preserving for over 30 years.

What has survived this sorry excuse for public process is the need for a gigantic dose of sunshine, a thorough investigation and exposure of all that led to this fraud, followed by reforms that will prevent anything like it from happening again. At least, as long as we remember the lessons learned from this dark time.

From this we might emerge as a community once more united in the belief that our public servants are acting in our behalf.

Walker’s Wrath, however, will forever be “enshrined” in the no-longer preserved Ronald School Building.

Anonymous,  March 14, 2011 at 2:13 PM  

Dear "Sunshine",
A nice hope you had, that Shoreline will learn from the mistakes of Sue Walker, School Board, City Council and the supposed "Shoreline Landmarks Commission (which contained no Shoreline member as required by law.)

However, we all know what will happen. Happy talk will be on display and fun ribbon cuttings, and all will be forgotten. The School Board will go on being the rubber stamp for the administration and the City Council will cede its authority to the School District every time.

The only keeper of history here, is the Shoreline Historical Museum which will be massively preoccupied with building a new museum for years. Meanwhile, the School District and local developers will collaborate on whatever neighborhood will be their next victim. And the City will go lamely along.

It will be a community which has no soul, because its history is being lost again and again. We might as well be Japan, with a good excuse for having everything wiped out.

Let the sunshine in,  March 14, 2011 at 3:09 PM  

TO Anonymous, March 14, 2011 2:13 PM

tch, tch, tch - so little faith in what an informed citizenry can accomplish.

Let's hope and, better still, work toward enlightenment and reformation. That's the only way that your dim view of the future can be avoided and a happier outcome achieved.

Perhaps naively, I still do believe that engaging in truth-telling can be an antidote to skulduggery, that sunshine is an antibacterial treatment for falsehood.

Of course, it can't revive the dead. We're stuck with that. Therefore, "Walker's Wrath" should remind us all of what happens when we fail to provide our own due diligence for what our public servants are doing.

Anonymous,  March 15, 2011 at 4:01 PM  

The School District's Administration is the bully.
The King County Landmarks Commission and staff are the enablers.
The Shoreline City Council are the weak and fearful bystanders.

Anonymous,  March 15, 2011 at 5:26 PM  

How dare the Shoreline School District play the communities desire for a needed improved Shorewood against the communities need for top notch historic preservation!!!

There never was a competition between these two needs. The District somehow made it into an imaginary one. What- for their own amusement!!?

Bullies?- Absolutely!!!

All truly EDUCATED folks know that a strong, healthy community needs to preserve as much as its historic record as possible, AND it needs healthy school buildings.

Investigation, INDEED!!! I'm all for that!!!

Evan Smith,  March 15, 2011 at 6:01 PM  

Investigation? That's what I'd do if the ShorelineAreaNews were a money-making enterprise.

Anonymous,  March 15, 2011 at 10:12 PM  

Money! Who needs money. Everything here is done by volunteers. Are you in Evan?

There must one or two millionaires who care about preservation. Know any? Is there anyone in Shoreline willing to stand up for the right thing?
Anybody in the Olmstead Highlands or Wurdeman Mansions who care about their history? About the soul of Shoreline?

Anonymous,  March 16, 2011 at 9:09 AM  

Shoreline doesn't have a soul. It has a bitter, tiny black spot where it's soul would have been.

Anonymous,  March 16, 2011 at 9:15 AM  

I think you mean "its soul." And we're supposed to have the best schools. Hm.

Anonymous,  March 16, 2011 at 11:16 AM  

Shoreline's "Heart" is also irrevocably broken with this upcoming "partial demolition" of the Ronald School. The Heart was injured when the Museum was kicked out. The Town Center is in danger of having no heart, and no sense of the historical foundation.

SSD's heart is smaller than the Grinches. Its persona is now characterized by an attitude of stupid, short-term gain and image. However they apparently haven't looked in the mirror, because the real image of the Shoreline School District is as a "Cult of Deception", which was how it was described by SESPA supporters.

Anonymous,  March 16, 2011 at 5:31 PM  

No question the School District has damaged the Shoreline Community - in so many ways. Let's not forget that they coulnd't have done it unless the City - especially the Council - went along. Everyone on the Council and the School Board should be replaced!

Evan Smith,  March 20, 2011 at 2:41 AM  

Am I in?
i'll can try to do some legal research next week.

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