Notes from Shoreline Council meeting November 4, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

Shoreline City Hall and Council Chamber
Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Shoreline City Council Meeting 
November 4, 2019
Notes by Pam Cross

Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm
All Councilmembers were present.

Proclamation
Mayor Hall proclaimed November 11, 2019 as Veterans Appreciation Day in the city of Shoreline.

Initially proclaimed as “Armistice Day” to honor the country’s World War I Veterans and later renamed Veterans Day to pay homage to Veterans of all wars, Monday, November 11, 2019 marks the 65th anniversary of Veterans Day in the United States.

The following representatives from The Starr Sutherland Jr. Post of the American Legion were present to accept the proclamation:

Commander - Larry Fischer
Past Vice Commander – Raymond Coffey
Adjutant - Earl Thompson
Sgt. At Arms – Rick Christianson

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry.

Saturday, Nov 9 1:00-4:30pm at City Hall Council Chamber. Diggin’ Shoreline presents Gardening for Health and Well Being about the effects of nature and gardening.

Sunday, Nov 10 2:00-4:00pm at City Hall Council Chamber. The Social Justice Book Club will meet. This month’s book choice is Evicted by Matthew Desmond

Monday, Nov 11 at 2:00pm City Hall Lobby. Veteran’s Day Event. All veterans of any U.S. military service are invited to attend this special event along with family and friends. A short program will be followed by light refreshments.

Saturday, Nov 16 10:00am - 2:00pm at Hamlin, Twin Ponds, and Richmond Beach Saltwater Parks.
Celebrate Shoreline’s first annual Green Shoreline Day and volunteer to help plant the future forest of Shoreline and care for our parks.

Saturday, Nov 16 2:00-4:00pm at City Hall Council Chambers celebrate and learn more about the history of the Duwamish. Performances, film screening of Princess Angeline, the daughter of Chief Seattle, and Q/A.

Public Reminders

The Shoreline Pool, Spartan Recreation Center, and Richmond Highlands Recreation Center will be closed on November 7 for a department retreat. Evening programs for Nov 7th will not be available. Regular programming will resume on Friday November 8.

The Planning Commission will meet on Thursday, November 7 at 7:00pm in the City Hall Council Chamber. Vision 2050 Presentation from the Puget Sound Regional Council will be the focus 

In honor of Veterans Day, Shoreline City Hall will be closed on Monday, November 11. Shoreline Pool and Spartan Recreation Center will operate on a regular schedule.

There will be no Regular Council meeting on Monday, November 11, but there is a Special Meeting at 12:45pm in room 303 for the Council to meet with Congresswoman Jayapal.

Council Reports

Deputy Mayor McConnell attended the Seashore Transportation Forum. There were two discussions. Puget Sound Regional Council airport capacity study by Josh Brown, Executive Director. SeaTac is the 8th busiest airport. By 2050 air traffic (measured in enplanements or the act of boarding an aircraft) is forecast to at least double.

Barbara Chamberlain, Director of Washington State Division of Active Transportation, is doing a study of State Right of Ways which is often the gap between highways and our local jurisdictions. She also stated that October 31st is the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrian fatalities.

Public Comment

Pam Cross spoke about homelessness (item 9b on agenda)
There were no other speakers.

The agenda was approved unanimously.
The Consent Calendar was adopted, without discussion, unanimously.


Action Item 8 (a) Public Hearing on Ordinance No. 872 - 2019-2020 Biennial Budget and the 2019-2024 Capital Improvement Plan Mid-Biennium Update

Staff report presented by Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director and Rick Kirkwood, Budget and Tax Manager

Proposed Ordinance No. 872 provides for mid-biennium budget modifications. On October 21, Council was presented with a financial update and 2019-2020 adjustments. Staff has responded to Council’s additional questions in their report. The total of the proposed amendments is just over $8.5M. A significant part of that is offset by revenue in the form of grants, or recognizing revenue that had not been anticipated earlier. This brings the total 2019-2020 budget to $218.3M.

If Prop 1 passes, there will be some additional changes to the budget necessary because what we are looking at tonight only includes the ShARCC land acquisition and planning up to this point.

Mayor Hall opened the Public Hearing.

Public comment - none
The Public Hearing is closed.

Council comments

Question: What if Initiative 976 ($30 car tabs) passes? 
Answer: We will be looking at the impacts and the timing of those impacts. It obviously affects our road resurfacing and sidewalk maintenance and repair programs. There are some secondary impacts that are likely as well. We will be looking at all that and bringing options to Council.

Suggestion to add budget amendment for a separate census mailing to the Shoreline community. It is important to have an accurate count. For every person not counted Shoreline loses an estimated $1,300 federal dollars. A small expenditure can make a big difference. We need to provide information about where to go for assistance. But first we need to evaluate whether an additional mailer will really have that much impact. Maybe staff can recommend another option instead of a mailer.

Suggestion to add budget amendment to strike the non site-specific Comprehensive Plan fee. A $6,000 fee for many of the Point Wells amendments that were submitted over the past few years, even the recent climate change initiative would require this $6,000 fee.

Action Item 8 (b) Public Hearing on Ordinance No 873 setting the 2020 regular and excess property tax levies.

Staff report presented by Sara Lane and Rick Kirkwood

Ordinance 872 provides fee schedules and Ordinance 873 sets regular and excess property tax levies. Together those create our full source of revenues. What we see in our property tax regular levy is projected to be $13.916M. We are able to increase our regular levy by the consumer price index (CPI) because of our voter approved levy lid lift. The remainder is estimated from new construction. What we see from this is our tax rate should decrease to $1.19/1,000 assessed valuation.

We are in the final years of our excess levy. 2006 General Obligation bonds will retire in 2021. Our fee schedules have generally increased.

Mayor Hall opened the Public Hearing.

Public comment - none
The Public Hearing is closed.

Discussion

It is important to note that, as stated in the staff report, our tax rate is actually going down and has for the past few years. And the amount of property tax that actually goes to the city is 12 cents out of each dollar, or 1/5 the amount that goes to schools. People need to realize it doesn’t all go to the City or the County.


Study Item 9 (a) Discussing Ordinance No. 870 – Amending Chapter 3.22, Business & Occupation (B/O) Tax, and Chapter 3.23, Tax Administrative Code, to Conform with Association of Washington Cities’ Model Ordinance for Business and Occupation Tax

Staff report presented by Rick Kirkwood and Sara Lane

To incorporate changes required by two bills passed in the 2019 State Legislative session, a work group of cities met over the past several months to update the B/O Tax Model Ordinance. Given these changes, SMC Chapter 3.22 and 3.23 must be amended. Proposed Ordinance No. 870, which Council will discuss tonight, would amend these Chapters of the SMC.

The business and occupation (B/O) tax is a type of tax levied on gross receipts by the state of Washington. The staff report provides a history of the B/O Tax and Model Ordinance. There were three key pieces of legislation that resulted in all of this work. Ordinance No 870 is implementing the mandatory changes made in HB 1403 regarding service apportionment rules effective 01/01/2020 and HB 1059 regarding annual tax filers effective 01/01/2021. There are also some technical changes. RCW 35.102.040 requires any amendment to a mandatory provision or the model ordinance to be adopted with the same effective date for all cities

Discussion

Question: What happens if we don’t conform? 
Answer: We can’t collect the B/O tax.

Ordinance 870 moved to consent calendar for November 18th.


Study Item 9 (b) Discussion of the Sound Cities Association Statement of Principles Related to the Proposed King County Regional Authority on Homelessness

Staff report presented by Colleen Kelly, Community Services Manager

County officials were invited but unable to attend.

Homelessness has been a regional challenge for many years. There is a history of regional reports citing a fragmented system as one of the key barriers to providing effective services.

In May 2018, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to declare their intent to collaborate on contracts for homeless services and requests for proposals and various administrative tasks. They worked together and with other community partners to retain consultants to analyze and make recommendations regarding the overall system.

Tonight’s focus is on one of ten recommendations: consolidate homelessness response systems under one regional authority, to wit, the King County Regional Homelessness Authority.

A charter was established to form the King County Regional Homelessness Authority as a public development authority (PDA). Special purpose quasi-municipal corporations known as "PDAs" are primarily authorized under RCW 35.21.730, et seq., which allows cities, towns, and counties to establish "public corporations, commissions, or authorities." The purpose for the creation of a public corporation under these statutes is to improve the administration of authorized federal grants or programs, to improve governmental efficiency and services, or to improve the general living conditions in the urban areas of the state.

Companion legislation authorized the County Executive to execute an Interlocal Agreement with cities across King County.

At the next meeting of the Sound Cities Association Public Issues Committee (Sound Cities), members will be discussing whether Sound Cities should consider adoption of principles to provide feedback to the County Council and to provide guidance for Sound Cities members on the Executive Leadership Group and the Sound Cities representatives on the Regional Policy Committee. As Councilmember Roberts is Shoreline’s representative to the Sound Cities, staff is providing this information so that Council can provide guidance to Councilmember Roberts regarding the view of the Shoreline Council for the forthcoming November Sound Cities meeting.

Suburban cities are being invited to sign onto the Interlocal Agreement (ILA) and it is anticipated that each party signing the ILA would sign a service agreement that would describe the city’s commitment to provide resources (direct funding or in-kind contributions such as staff time, facility space, development sites, etc.) and to align their provision of homeless services with the Regional Authority’s five-year implementation plan. It is somewhat unclear how this would work, as the initial five-year plan is expected to be adopted within 18 months of the legislation being approved.

Initial funding that is proposed is $73M from the City of Seattle, and $57M from King County.

The scope of the Regional Authority includes crisis response, and operations directed at keeping people in their housing. The capital costs of developing permanent supportive housing will not be included, but the operational services will be.

Proposed Governance Structure.

1. Steering Committee includes elected representatives: KingCo Executive, one KingCo Councilmember, Seattle Mayor, one Seattle Councilmember, one Sound Cities member, a second Sound Cities member after 20 cities join (out of the 38), and two members who have experienced homelessness, appointed by a continuum of care-created committee,

2. Governing Board is appointed and designed to be made up of 11 people familiar with homelessness services.

3. Advisory Committee under discussion. It is to ensure that the Governing Board receives the advice of a wide range of stakeholders, including providers and advocates of homelessness services. The Advisory Committee(s) may be constituted, if duly empowered, to perform the functions of the mandatory Federal Continuum of Care Board. (This is the Board Councilmember Scully represents. He is one of the Sound Cities appointees to this board). The Authority will value distinctions in local context, needs and priorities through effective Sub-Regional Planning.

Considerations:
  1. Does the Principle Statement align with council’s perspective on what this Regional Authority should be doing?
  2. Would council suggest any revisions or, if something is vague, more specific suggestions?
  3. Is there value or risk related to Sound Cities taking a formal position on this matter?

Both the Charter and Interlocal Agreement have been transmitted to KingCo Council and the Seattle Council. The timeline looks like this:
  • Nov 13 - Regional Policy Committee - potential for amendments to be proposed and considered
  • Nov 13 - Sound Cities Public issues Committee - discussion of Draft Principles Statement
  • Nov 20 - Sound Cities Board Meeting - vote on position statement. Sound Cities does not have a formal vote in the Regional Authority process other than their representatives on the Regional Policy Committee 
  • Dec 11 - Regional Policy Committee - vote on both Charter and Interlocal Agreement including any proposed amendments 
If the County Council wants to make any changes, it must go back to the Regional Policy Committee.

Discussion

This is Shoreline Council’s only opportunity to give guidance to Councilmember Roberts before the Nov 13th meeting.

In reading the Charter, the Governing Board appears to have a lot of power. The Steering Committee can approve decisions of the Governing Board only “without amendment”. Yet the Steering Committee is composed of the elected officials who can be held accountable for decisions. And, after five years, the Governing Board gets to select eight of its own board members, approved by the Steering Committee. This would limit the amount of outside influence and make it difficult to change the direction if we don’t like the direction it’s going.

Q: The Governing Board makes the budget, but does it have any authority to appropriate tax money? A: This Regional Authority isn’t a taxing district so it can’t implement any new taxes like a Fire District, for example. KingCo and Seattle funnel the money to the Regional Authority and their Governing Board decides how that money will be spent.

Q: Although they cannot implement a tax, they can sell property they have accepted from a government entity and obtain money that way. The Charter mentions eminent domain twice. How does that come into play here? 
A:Staff will research and advise. 

Although there are problems with this plan, it is necessary. The current fragmented system is not working so a central authority is obviously needed. And efforts will need to be made to keep this from becoming politicized. With millions of dollars of tax money, the elected officials need to decide how it’s spent. The weaknesses of the Steering Committee (the elected officials) needs to be addressed.

Q: Since so much of the money is coming from Seattle, will most of the money be spent in Seattle? 
A: It does not appear that this has been addressed but will be part of the subregional planning of the Advisory Committee. And of course KingCo’s responsibility is to see that services go to all of the cities.

Q: Why is KingCo making a “regional” authority of one county and its cities instead of multiple counties? What are the other counties doing?  Why don’t we have more counties involved if it’s regional? 
A: There are obvious complications in just this one county’s attempt. And although this is an important point, homelessness is very county-centric based on the Federally established continuum of care requirements. So cross-county alliances are not fostered as much as they should be.

Q: What if a city doesn’t join in this Interlocal Agreement? They can’t keep County money away from cities that don’t join. 
A: The benefit to joining is to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Q: Is there just one interlocal agreement for all cities? Or is customized per city? 
A: The plan now is to have a single Interlocal Agreement that will work for all cities.

It’s frustrating there will be no action for 18 months. We need something to happen sooner that later because homelessness is continuing. It will be at least a couple of years before we see any progress from this plan. We do need to try something even if it’s not as fast as we would want. If we try something and it doesn’t work, we won’t be any worse off than we are now with our current approach that isn’t working.

Equitable distribution means many different things. Will it mean the money should be spent where it was raised? Or will it mean providing services where someone is currently housed or where the last place they lived was (for example someone who formerly lived in Shoreline but now lives in Seattle because that’s where the services that they need are located).

There is a sentence in the Statement of Principles that says the acute crises in Seattle affects everyone. That statement should come out. For a regional approach there shouldn’t be a statement that makes it “us” vs “them”. Not to mention that the crisis isn’t only in Seattle. This Statement of Principles needs to emphasize the regional aspect.

Equitable distribution of power. We have to remember that the only entities bringing in money are KingCo and Seattle. With only one Sound Cities representative on the Steering Committee, it seems that all the power rests with KingCo and Seattle. But On the other-hand, if we push too hard for more representation from the suburban cities, KingCo and Seattle may suggest they contribute to the funding.

The KingCo Councilmembers have been the most skeptical of this proposal for a variety of reasons including the governing structure. Why do we need another development authority in the first place? Why can’t Seattle give its money to KingCo and KingCo can be the controlling body? There are a lot of administrative costs involved for both KingCo and to a lesser degree Seattle. This duplication of services is a problem as well as the coordination of services and what services we should provide. How would we prioritize? If KingCo has one set of priorities and Seattle has another it’s very hard for providers to respond to two different sets of priorities. Additionally we’re using third party providers instead of governmental services resulting in a loss of efficiency per KingCo Councilmembers.

It will be interesting to see how this develops. Maybe control by KingCo would be a good idea.

At the end of the day, this is not going to solve homelessness. This is about governance. This is just one approach to a giant problem. So we can’t stop our own city’s efforts. Our focus needs to change to following this and seeing what develops, and at the same time start thinking about Shoreline and what our local population isn’t receiving from KingCo and how we can fill that gap.

We are doing a lot already. We’ve partnered with Ronald United Methodist Church and Compass Housing Alliance to create Ronald Commons Project, we’re working on another project on Aurora and 198th, promoted affordable housing, and increased our spending for human services while others are reducing theirs.

Meeting Adjourned 8:41pm 

Full details available online, including video of the Council Meeting.



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