On the Mayor's Mind: the State of the City

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Shoreline Mayor Shari Winstead
On the Mayor's Mind 6.7.15
By Shoreline Mayor Shari Winstead

On Wednesday, June 3, the City held its annual State of the City address.

2015 is a special year as Shoreline celebrates its 20th birthday. It’s really been interesting to look back 20 years and understand what motivated citizens to have Shoreline incorporated as a city all its own.

We already had our own school district that we took great pride in (and still do!) For the most part, Shoreline was always considered part of Seattle, even though we have never formally been part of Seattle (even though we do still share a zip code). 

But when you are just a corner of the most populous county in Washington, you can be a little neglected. Roads, parks, and our stormwater systems needed work. Our lack of sidewalks is still a holdover from those days (and, yes, I agree we need more, and we continue to work on making that happen!)

The campaign to incorporate Shoreline was driven on the idea of local control - and a say in how our City would be maintained and improved. In September 1994, Shoreline residents voted to incorporate with the goal of having the community’s future reflect Shoreline community values. Shoreline officially went from being an unincorporated corner of Washington’s most populous county to its own city on August 31, 1995.

I had moved to Shoreline a few years before our incorporation and remember coming across the celebration in the Sears parking lot. It seems almost serendipitous that the year of our 20th anniversary, we will be moving our (awesome) Farmers Market back to that parking lot, with the intention of bringing people and energy to a place we have designated as a Community Renewal Area.

We are starting to see changes in that area as Potala Place starts construction this month, and will soon be removing the old buildings (see story) that have hampered that section of Shoreline and Aurora Avenue N for a few years. It’s sure to be a change for the better, bringing multi-family housing to a corridor served by transit, and also providing convenient housing for Shoreline Community College students.

I wasn't involved in the initial incorporation of Shoreline, but I was the Co-Chair of the 2006 Parks, Trails and Open Space bond, the first one ever put on the ballot in Shoreline. The bond measure passed with over 70% of voters saying YES to an $18 million bond to improve and rebuild our tired and worn-out parks, create new walking trails and purchase valuable open space. It was an ambitious effort by many Shoreline citizens, who once again rolled up their sleeves and worked really hard to educate others on why it was so important that we passed this parks bond measure.

It’s been an absolute delight to see the projects funded in the parks bond come to fruition - the off-leash area at Shoreview Park (one of the busiest parks in the City!), major renovations to Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, the purchase of the South Woods property near Shorecrest, and the total overhaul of Cromwell Park, now the site of our annual Celebrate Shoreline party, as well as many other great projects.

Our State of the City address highlighted many important things in the history of Shoreline, and I hope you will take a minute to watch the video (scroll down to “other media”).

Gail and Blair Buchanan, Mayor Shari Winstead,
Ebony Harrison, Luis Vicencio and Sammy Kangala.
Photo courtesy City of Shoreline

The portion of the State of the City address that I enjoyed the most was hearing from several youth in our community who have participated in Shoreline recreation programs. One person now works for the City, one volunteers for the City and the others have inspiring stories about how their experience in Shoreline recreation programs positively affected their lives.

If you only have a few minutes to spare, I encourage you to watch and listen to the stories of these folks (about 15 minutes into the video). Local control of our tax dollars means investing in our youth with programs like these. Personally, I think investing in our youth is one of the most important ways to spend our tax dollars. 

I hope to see you out and about in Shoreline this summer!



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