Notes from Shoreline city council meeting March 23, 2020

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Shoreline City Hall
Photo by Mike Remarcke

Shoreline City Council Meeting
March 23, 2020

Notes by Pam Cross

Mayor Hall called the meeting to order at 7:00pm

All Councilmembers were present. City Councilmembers participated in the meeting remotely by calling into an online video conference. There were some minor technical problems for this first fully remote Council meeting.


Proclamation Declaring March 31, 2020 Cesar Chavez Day in the City of Shoreline.

Mr. Chavez founded the United Farm Workers (UFW) with Dolores Huerta, launching one of our Nation's most inspiring social movements.

The Mayor reiterated Council’s empathy for those who have been directly affected by the coronavirus.

Governor Inslee issued an order for everyone to stay home unless absolutely necessary to go to a grocery store, a doctor or an “essential” job. Walks are acceptable. All public and private gatherings are prohibited. This is the best way to fight this disease.

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

Citizens are reminded that when it is necessary to go out, they should observe social distancing guidelines (6’ away from others). Please follow the guidelines posted by individual businesses. For additional information:

Parks: playgrounds, sports courts, picnic shelters and ballfields are closed. Parks including ballfields are open for walking only with social distancing.

The assessment and recovery buildings on Shoreline B field: the exteriors are complete, but there is additional work that King County is doing to get them ready for occupation. They will be used only if needed. Based on what we have been told, this should not occur for at least another week.

The City will be going to “essential services” only in accordance with the Governor’s order. An update for City services is available online.

You can sign up for email alerts at

Council Reports

Deputy Mayor Scully attended a 40 person conference call for the WRIA 8 Salmon Recovery Council. They approved a major grant to study predator fish in Lake Union. Additionally a heavy rainfall washed out a berm that needed to be removed from a river, returning it to a natural state.

Public Comment (remotely)

Krishnakant Nammi, Shoreline, spoke in favor of prioritizing a plan for replacement of the pool.

Barbara Johnston, Rebecca Jones and Kathleen Russell, all of Shoreline, spoke in favor of protecting the trees on Dayton Ave. N. 

There were 104 written public comments that are available on the City website.


The agenda was approved unanimously and revised to include an item called “Procedural Issues” to modify the agenda. This is necessary to improve the use of remotely attended meetings.

Procedural Issues for this meeting:
  • Move to suspend voice vote and use roll call vote when a vote is necessary for remote meetings. Motion passed unanimously.
  • Move to suspend rules to omit flag salute when meeting remotely. Passed 6-1 with Deputy Mayor Scully dissenting.
  • The Consent Calendar was adopted, without discussion, unanimously.
    • Note: The agenda was revised just prior to this meeting to include the two Action items.
Action Item 8(a)

Adoption of Public Emergency Resolution No. 456 Authorizing the City Manager to Issue Temporary Emergency Waivers or Suspensions of Regulatory Obligations in the Shoreline Municipal Code Necessary to Preserve Life, Health, and Safety Related to COVID-19

Margaret King, City Attorney, did the presentation.

The City Manager oversees that laws and ordinances are followed but she cannot waive them. Patterning after recent authority given to the Governor, this resolution would allow the City Manager to waive the enforcement of certain laws in the event of an emergency. For example, the City Manager has had to close facilities and revise sick leave policies, among other things, as a result of the current pandemic. This proposal will provide the authority to do this on a temporary basis, and would expire in 14 days unless further extended by Council.

Public Comment required: there were no comments

Motion and second to adopt Resolution 456


This is patterned after the Governor’s situation, but is different because the legislature only meets a couple of times per year. If an emergency happens when the legislature is not meeting, there is no way for the Governor to easily call back the legislature. Council meets weekly, making it easier to call an emergency meeting. However it’s not easy for staff to prepare a resolution or ordinance, have it reviewed by the City Attorney, prepare a staff report, and schedule a public meeting. Sometimes immediate action is required. While broadly written, it is assumed that this authority will be used for limited emergency details like permits that should not be held up by procedure. However, this resolution gives a broad scope of authority to the (not elected) city manager when that authority actually belongs to the Council. This is not a reflection on the city manager’s abilities or integrity. The resolution does include a requirement to advise Council in the usual way, and requires posting on the website as notice to the public.

The city manager kept Council well informed during these past two weeks. Nothing has been done without a consultation with someone such as Council, the Governor.or the Department of Public Health.

The current resolution reads: “City Council (can) terminate an order of suspension/waiver at any time if the Council believes the action was not necessary to preserve and maintain public life, health, welfare, or peace.”

Proposed amendment will increase length of city manager’s temporary authority from 7 to 14 days and eliminate the termination language. “The City Manager's order shall expire 14 days after issuance, unless a majority of the City Council votes to extend the order.”

Discussion: Council is elected to make policy, and the city manager and staff run the City. This resolution makes it possible for the city manager to run the City during an emergency. In an emergency situation it may be more important for staff, the Department of Public Health and the Governor to protect the public than to have the majority of Council rule on a decision. On the other hand, it is possible for broad authority to go beyond the intent of the resolution, especially under the stress of an emergency situation. Controls must be included.

This proposed amendment fails by a vote of 3-4.

In Favor: Councilmembers Roberts and Robertson, Deputy Mayor Scully
Opposed: Councilmembers McGlashan, McConnell and Chang, Mayor Hall

Action item without above amendment

Passes: 6-1 with Councilmember Roberts dissenting


9(a) Discussing Public Emergency Resolution No. 455 – Establishing a Temporary Moratorium on Residential Tenant Evictions

Jim Hammond, Intergovernmental Manager, provided the presentation

Because of the coronavirus emergency, jobs are being lost and many people are unable to pay their rent. Failure to pay rent can result in eviction which increases homelessness that prevents self isolation and control of the spread of the virus. Most recently the Governor has prohibited residential evictions across the State until April 17, 2020.


People are losing jobs and can’t pay their rent. The City wants to keep people housed and eliminate the stigma of eviction when you are powerless to control the cause. But there’s only so much government can do without bankrupting landlords at the same time. Landlords are not always large corporations - many are owners of 1 to 6 properties and they rely on rental income to make their mortgage payments. This moratorium applies only to residential renters. There are people who are losing jobs and unable to pay their mortgages and small businesses who have had to temporarily close and can’t pay rent. This is a large problem and it won’t disappear in 30 days. Now that there is action by the Governor, it doesn’t seem necessary for Shoreline to step in. The moratorium could be extended for some time - and the State has more money and is in a better position to help than the City. There is no need to layer on top of County and State regulations. We should support the Governor and the task force that created this action. We should continue look towards helping with rental assistance.

This resolution was put together before the Governor’s action. If the moratorium is not extended, the City could step in at that time (confirmed by the city attorney).

Council agreed to wait and see what the Governor does in 30 days. If necessary, this can then be brought back as an Action item.

9(b) Discussing Resolution No. 449 Expressing the City’s Support for the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) Joint Climate Commitments

Autumn Salamack, Environmental Services Coordinator did the presentation

The City of Shoreline was a founding member of the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration (K4C) in 2011. Today there are 18 member organizations representing more than 80% of King County residents. The updated Joint Commitments document maintains the overarching goal of achieving 80% reduction of countywide sources of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, compared to a 2007 baseline.

In 2017 Shoreline’s municipal operations accounted for only 0.2% of total community greenhouse emissions. Countywide, the biggest creators of greenhouse emissions are buildings’ energy use and vehicles. To further reduce emissions, cities need to reduce fossil fuel energy use in buildings, increase the adoption of electric vehicles, and implement the new 100% clean electricity law.

The collaboration of multiple cities is beneficial in pursuing grants, funding and resources, coordinating outreach, raising the profile of climate work, and allowing shared staff training and expertise, because numbers make a greater impact.


How does this address limiting greenhouse gas emissions to 1.5° C of global warming that was added to the comprehensive plan? It’s hard to know at this point. This is a long difficult process and current goals were finalized in 2019. Since then the State has taken action to be more aggressive in their reduction of greenhouse gas targets.

Once analyzed, it is likely current goals will need to be revised in order to get to the 1.5° C of global warming.

Shoreline should reaffirm support of its commitments. Shoreline has been a leader and needs to maintain this role while adding to the collective vision.

Coming back on consent at a future meeting.

9(c) Discussing the 2020-2022 City Council Goals and Work Plan

John Norris, Assistant City Manager, gave the presentation

The Council is committed to fulfilling the community’s long-term vision – Vision 2029 – and being a sustainable city in all respects. The City Council holds an annual Strategic Planning Workshop to monitor progress and determine priorities and action steps necessary to advance Vision 2029. Council has determined that goals are still relevant and supportive of V2029.


The National League of Cities suggested medium size cities will see potential revenue losses of $3M this year. It’s obviously too early to know what the exact revenue projections will be, but we have a fair number of asks in our Council goals. What does our budget look like now? Are these goals reflective of where we are today instead of where we were several weeks ago? We don’t know. Hours and hours of effort are required to try to see what we could do with changing revenues. We should pass these goals and then work within our budget as it develops to do what we can do. It’s not so much the budget, as how we can provide the quality of life with a lower income.

Goals don’t address the COVID-19 emergency and the resultant economic downturn.

Moved forward on Consent to April 6th recognizing changes will be needed as COVID-19 continues to unfold.

(d) Discussion of Ordinance No. 883 Amending the 2019-2020 Final Biennial Budget to Update the Salary Table to Accommodate Additional Staff Needs for the Sound Transit Lynnwood Link Extension Light Rail Transit Project

Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director, gave the staff report

Staff have started the recruitment process for additional staff needs for the Sound Transit project. The position won’t be filled in the current climate, of course, and Council consent is required.


We will get beyond COVID-19 and we will still need light rail. Today it seems odd to move forward but this project is about the years to come.

Costs will be reimbursed by Sound Transit by the way.

Council will see on Consent April 6.

Meeting adjourned.


Post a Comment

We encourage the thoughtful sharing of information and ideas. We expect comments to be civil and respectful, with no personal attacks or offensive language. We reserve the right to delete any comment.
Facebook: Shoreline Area News
Twitter: @ShorelineArea
Daily Email edition (don't forget to respond to the email)

  © Blogger template The Professional Template II by 2009

Back to TOP