On the Mayor's Mind: Leadership qualities and tonight's meeting

Monday, February 29, 2016

Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts
By Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts

This week I had the pleasure of visiting with the Shorewood High School Leadership class. The students asked me questions about the most important leadership qualities working in politics.

The most important leadership quality to me in an elected official is the ability to listen with an open heart and to be respectful. What I like about our Council is that the seven of us remain open to new ideas to make the best decisions for everyone in our community. I also recognize that we do not always get things right for everyone.

This Monday we will discuss how the City’s Transportation Impact Fee (TIF) affects new businesses. In July 2014, the Council adopted a TIF to help improve the level of service for Shoreline’s streets. We recognized that all developments have a shared responsibility to provide  transportation facilities that support the growth associated with the project. Before the adoption of the TIF, the only developments that were required to pay for their growth were those developments that caused traffic to “break” an intersection.

Since adoption of the TIF, the Council has made multiple changes to the program. In August 2015, the Council adopted several amendments to the program to encourage the development of low-income housing and to provide credit for businesses who enter vacant storefronts. In the 2016 budget, the Council reduced the increase in the fee after we learned that the TIF would increase from 2014 to 2015 by 34.98%. Earlier this year the Council determined that business growth and vitality was in the public interest and directed the staff develop an ordinance to provide an exemption or partial exemption to new businesses.

I continue to learn from the community and learn from my colleagues on the Council. Sometimes we disagree, but we know that we are going to continue to work collaboratively to benefit the entire City.


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