On the Mayor's Mind: Partnerships and the work of councilmembers

Friday, November 24, 2017

Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts
By Shoreline Mayor Chris Roberts

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We have lots to be grateful for in our city.

Among the things I am grateful for is the partnerships and work that our council members do for our city. 

Last week, Councilmembers Doris McConnell, Keith McGlashan and I went to the National League of Cities Conference in Charlotte.

The annual conference serves as an opportunity to learn from the experiences of other cities and other city officials. At the conference, I participated in workshops on preserving affordable housing, how to advance racial equity in our cities, what cities can do to shape energy policy, and how cities can boost economic development.

Our city greatly benefits from our membership and investments we have made in these organizations, as well as the Association of Washington Cities, Sound Cities Association, Puget Sound Regional Council, the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency, the SeaShore Transportation Forum, the Alliance for Innovation, and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce.

These organizations help Shoreline advance our legislative and regulatory agenda, work with regional partners to find common solutions, and get new ideas of how we can provide better services to Shoreline residents and businesses.

Over the past year, the National League of Cities has stepped up its advocacy efforts on behalf of cities. One of their current efforts is preserving elements of the nation’s tax code that allow for healthy financing options for cities, specifically the tax exemption for municipal bonds and all elements of the state and local tax (SALT) deduction.

The Association of Washington Cities is a strong advocate on behalf of cities in Olympia, working to address issues involving housing shortages and affordability, helping individuals with mental health and drug addiction issues, and providing tools to enhance local economic vitality.

Ever since I joined the Council, Shoreline councilmembers have always been engaged on the boards of national and regional organizations that serve the interests of cities. 
It is valuable that Shoreline has a seat at the table and is able to share our experiences with other cities across the country and across the state.

At NLC this year, the body unanimously selected Councilmember McConnell to serve a second two-year term on its board of directors. She previously served as President of the Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials group at NLC. Councilmember McGlashan served as President of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Local Officials group with NLC.

Locally, Councilmember Hall serves on the board of the AWC and currently serves as Chair of the Puget Sound Partnership. Our City Manager, Debbie Tarry, serves on the board of the Sound Cities Association. I currently serve as an alternate on the board of the Puget Sound Regional Council.

I strongly believe that cities are innovators and can and do lead the nation on fostering economic growth, addressing climate change, and advocating for health and wellbeing of our residents. I am confident that Shoreline will remain an active and strong voice on these and other issues in the years to come.


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