On the Mayor's Mind - 12-1-2014

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Shoreline Mayor
Shari Winstead
On the Mayor’s Mind
By Shoreline Mayor Shari Winstead

With Thanksgiving behind us, the first snow fallen, and Christmas just a few weeks away, it seems unusual to have a leisurely Saturday morning.
I have to admit that part of the reason I am relaxing is because I had a little mishap and broke my toe – which is not a big deal, except that I have this big orthopedic boot. Going to the gym, a nice long neighborhood walk, or a walk through the trails at Shoreview Park, is more on my “don’t” list than my to-do list. So contrary to my usual habits, I am going to sit inside and reflect on the last few, very busy months in the City.

Last week the City Council passed the City’s budget for 2015, continuing to maintain funding for our citizen’s (and Council’s) services and priorities - public safety and public service. As well, we are preparing for the City’s 20th birthday party in 2015, and yes, we will even see the Aurora project finished next year!

Passing a balanced budget where we continue to fund important services our citizens need, and that will make life in Shoreline even better, is the most important act of the City Council. Over the three months since the proposed budget was presented to the Council, Councilmembers submitted over 100 questions to staff. There is no rubber-stamping of the budget in Shoreline. We dig in, ask questions and offer alternative ideas. We are able to fund what is needed and wanted, but also to keep very healthy reserves in our revenue stabilization and general funds. Shoreline continues to receive Standard and Poor’s AA+ bond rating, something to be proud of!

Also, in the past month, the Council has had the pleasure of meeting with the Shoreline School District Board, the Shoreline Community College Board of Trustees and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce. We are working hard to strengthen our relationship with these City partners. A number of years ago, you (our citizens) worked hard to write Vision 2029

The opening sentence states: Shoreline in 2029 is a thriving, friendly city where people of all ages, cultures, and economic backgrounds love to live, work, play and, most of all call home.

After meeting with the school district and the community college, it seemed like we missed something important in this statement – the word “learn”. 

Learning has always been critical to our community. Many of us moved here so our kids could get a great education, as well as to continue our education as adults. The school district and the college have long been driving reasons for people to move to Shoreline. With the recent reorganization of sorts of the Chamber of Commerce, I predict that we are about to see a boom in businesses moving to Shoreline. Combine that with the addition of transportation options like Rapid Ride E line, light rail in just 8 or 9 years, and we will see Shoreline become a hustling, bustling place. Our town center and our light rail station areas will offer a variety of housing options, transportation options, shopping options and of course, a great community, filled with interesting neighbors.

So if you are interested in being part of how our City changes, as well as learning about why our City is changing, I encourage you to sign up for Alert Shoreline.

This system will send you notices on your topics of interest (from “light rail planning” to “police alerts”). If you live in the light rail station area, you might consider attending the Planning Commission and Council meetings regarding the proposed changes in the station areas. Here's the website.

January 15th will be the Planning Commission’s public hearing on the 185th Street Station, with the Council discussion on February 9, and adoption scheduled for February 23. The hearings, discussion and adoption of the 145th street station will start in early May.

Enjoy the holidays, your friends and family, and the ability to go for a walk. To quote a friend, “be grateful you’re able”. Nothing could be truer.


Anonymous,  December 1, 2014 at 12:35 PM  

First, Mayor Winstead says the citizens wrote Vision 2029. In her next breath, she says the very first sentence of that Vision is incomplete because it leaves out learning.

The citizens write nothing. Vision 2029 is the Council's vision. Thousands of diverse comments were solicited from the citizens, this is true. From these, the Planning Commission cherry-picked the ones which supported the same hustly, bustly, vibrant, mass-transit, stack-n-pack vision, that virtually every other member of the National League of Cities has crafted over the last decade. Like a deck of a thousand cards, you can use the public's input to deal any hand you desire. The name of the game is Delphi.

Vision 2029 is a product of the City Council, not the citizens. In the April 13, 2009 Summary Minutes of the Shoreline City Council Joint Planning Meeting with the Planning Commission, "[then-Planning Director Joe] Tovar pointed out that at the joint retreat with the Planning Commission, the mediator emphasized that as a policy-making body, the City Council is not just passing through what the public described. He noted that it is the Council's vision of what it wants Shoreline to become.

The public made it clear in 2009 it did not want tall apartment building canyons staring down at residential homes. But, as the City Council's vision for light rail redevelopment, Aurora Square "community renewal," utility acquisition, Point Wells, Ronald Methodist, starts to materialize, the public is starting to get the reality of the picture the City sold them in 2009.

YOUR vision for the City is exactly the same vision for every city pandering for federal grant money. YOUR vision is to double the size of Shoreline. You will get grant money if you do that, and not if you don't. That growth is NOT the public's vision. The City of Shoreline agency exists for itself, not its citizens.

Anonymous,  December 1, 2014 at 1:10 PM  

Vote them out!

The City's Planning Commission meetings should be videotaped, for the sake of transparency. Especially considering the major upheaval this City is about to be put through from all sides.

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