Notes from Shoreline City Council meeting May 11, 2020

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Pam Cross, Reporter

Shoreline City Council Meeting
May 11, 2020
Notes by Pam Cross

Pursuant to Governor Inslee’s Proclamation 20-28, in an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Shoreline City Council Meetings will take place online using the Zoom platform and the public will not be allowed to attend in-person. You may watch a live feed of the Meeting online; join the Meeting via Zoom Webinar; or listen to the Meeting over the telephone.

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

Roll call. City Councilmembers participated in the meeting remotely by calling into an online video conference. Councilmember Chang was excused for personal reasons.

Proclamation

On behalf of the City Council, the Mayor declared May 16, 2020 Armed Services Appreciation Day in the City of Shoreline. This proclamation acknowledges the important sacrifices that members of the United States military and their families make to our City and nation to ensure freedom and liberty for all citizens.

Proclamation

On behalf of the City Council, the Mayor declared May 2020 as Mental Health Awareness Month. This proclamation recognizes the prevalence of mental illness and the significant impact it has on many individuals and families. The City of Shoreline provides support for individuals experiencing mental health impacts by providing funding to the Center for Human Services Behavioral Health Program which provides services on a sliding fee scale.

Report of the City Manager Debbie Tarry

Governor Inslee’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order has been extended to May 31st. No gatherings are allowed and City Hall and recreation facilities remain closed to the public. All public and private gatherings are prohibited. Playgrounds, sports courts, picnic shelters, and ball fields remain closed. The Richmond Beach Saltwater Park parking lot also remains closed. Continue to practice social distancing while walking or visiting city parks.

Governor Inslee has announced the start of Phase 1 Reopening. This phase allows retail with outside pickup, car washes, auto sales, landscaping, and current construction. This allows construction work which can be performed only by meeting social distancing requirements.

If you need help:
  • Hopelink Food Bank and Supplemental Weekend Food Support are food resources
  • Statewide moratorium on evictions
  • Utilities will remain on
  • Unemployment benefits have been expanded
  • Health Benefits Exchange is enrolling
  • Call 211 for other resources
  • You can sign up for email alerts at shorelinewa.gov/alerts
  • There is a dedicated COVID-19 webpage: shorelinewa.gov/covid also shorelinewa.gov/c19bizresponse
  • City Social Media Facebook@shorelinewa and Twitter@shorelinewagov

Safety Alert! Railroad Tracks are off limits!
Because of the closure of the parking lot at Richmond Beach Saltwater Park, some people are crossing the tracks for easier access. It is extremely dangerous and against the law to cross the tracks on foot. Trains travel in both directions and take about a mile to stop. Use ONLY allowed crossings. Police are conducting emphasis patrols.

Due to health and safety guidelines, summer celebrations, neighborhood events, and recreation classes have been cancelled. The City is working to create new events.

Summer camps are being redesigned for a limited number of participants. The current camp registrations will be cancelled and refunded, and new registration will be offered.

Growing a Healthy Lawn: Free Virtual Class

This interactive free class will be offered Wednesday May 13th at 7:00pm and Saturday May16th at 11:00am. Learn how to create and maintain a healthy, environmentally friendly lawn. Registration is required. Go to shorelinewa.gov/calendar

Council Reports

Deputy Mayor Scully -The Continuum of Care Advisory Board has unanimously seated three members to the newly formed Executive Board. Two alternates were also selected. These members currently are or have previously experienced housing instability.

Councilmember McConnell is on the Association of Washington Cities’ (AWC) nominating committee for new board members. Current COVID-19 concerns could have slowed the process but video conferencing allows AWC to continue to have meetings.

The National League of Cities has launched the Cities are Essential campaign calling for $500 billion in direct federal aid and economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic over the next two years to help our cities respond, recover, and reopen.

Public Comment (remotely)

General Raymond W. Coffey
General Coffey, as a Major General in the United States Army Volunteer Reserve, on behalf of the United States Armed Forces, thanked the Mayor and Council for the proclamation for Armed Forces Day.

Kara Pomeroy
Save Shoreline Trees. Requested saving trees on N 155th and N 160th off of Dayton Ave N.

Kathleen Russell
Save Shoreline Trees. Requested saving trees on N 155th and N 160th off of Dayton Ave N.

The agenda was approved unanimously

The Consent Calendar was adopted, without discussion, unanimously.

8(a)1 Discussion of the 2019 Police Service Report

A copy will soon be available on the City of Shoreline’s website. This annual report contains information on goals, crime statistics, police data and other information relevant to public safety.

Police Chief Shawn Ledford did the presentation.

Chief Ledford provided a summary of the data available in the report, beginning with the PD organizational chart. He went on to talk about the number of dispatch calls and average response times.

He talked about North Sound RADAR (Risk Awareness, De-escalation and Referral). Shoreline partners with the cities of Bothell, Lake Forest Park, Kirkland and Kenmore. This program is designed to meet the needs of individuals with behavioral health issues, substance abuse, and/or housing instability. It has been shown to be effective in reducing use of force and in better connecting individuals with services.

The police department continues to focus on safety in the schools and in the parks. Emphasis patrols have been started in RB Salt Water Park, Echo Lake, and the Interurban Trail using regular and motorized bikes. Traffic safety is another focus, with attention to high speed areas, high collision areas, and school zones.

In compliance with new FBI regulations, the department is converting the way property crimes are measured. When there is a single incident, multiple crimes may have been committed. With prior reporting, only the most serious crime was recorded as the incident. New statistics will include all crimes committed in a single incident. This will have the result of better capturing the actual crimes committed, but in the short-run, will artificially inflate the total number of crimes.

The Chief provided the following example: if someone breaks into a house, assaults the homeowner, takes a wallet from somebody else in the residence, and then steals a car from the garage, the old system would have recorded it as robbery (the most serious offense). The new system will include burglary, assault, robbery, and auto theft.

7 of the 10 top locations making repeat calls are retailers reporting shoplifting and trespassing. The police department is working with retailers to address this frequency by encouraging stores to call the police before the suspect leaves the store (and the actual crime is committed), and suggesting the use of safeguards to make it more difficult for the suspect to leave the store. (An example that came up in the discussion is Fred Meyer putting alcoholic beverages in a location with limited access and a separate cashier.)

Finally, hiring and retaining police officers is difficult. The department is working to connect officers with services if needed. They are also getting away from the thinking that getting help is a weakness.

Discussion

The department has offered Nurturing Trust workshops in order to reach out to the community. They should consider contacting the Shoreline School District as well as working with the PTA in order to reach a broader audience.

The new reporting system is a laudable. There appears to be an increase in aggravated assault. Is this a trend or a reporting issue?

Response: probably a reporting issue because in the past, an incident would have been reported as a robbery without including the assault.

How has Stay Home, Stay Safe affected crime?

Response: there has been no significant change in Shoreline. This includes domestic violence and trespass.


8(b)2 Discussing 2020 City Sponsored Summer Events and Programs
Eric Friedli, Director of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services, did the presentation

The bad news: City sponsored events have been cancelled for the summer.
The good news: the City will be able to offer at least something this summer.

Washington’s phased approach to re-opening limits the activities that can be offered. The state is currently under Phase 1 which provides limited allowances for fishing, golf, and boating. The hope is to get to Phase 2 soon. But it will permit outdoor recreation and gatherings of fewer than 5 people outside a household.

As a result, the City has cancelled all normal neighborhood events and camps. We are working on a different approach based on guidelines for social distancing and other limitations of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.

We have brainstormed several new events including a bingo game involving locating things in the City, a “can castle” event in front yards (the canned food would be picked up for donation), theme days, yard signs, and a virtual scavenger hunt. We want to begin activities in the next two weeks and continue throughout the summer.

Currently we hope to begin camp events June 22 and run through the second or third week of August. Right now we are planning groups of 8 campers with 2 staff. We are trying to be as creative as we can within the limitations of Stay Home, Stay Healthy.

Discussion

It was disappointing that the camps had to be cancelled because they are so important to the community. There are currently 2,600 enrollees. What is the capacity of the new camps? Who will be given priority for registration?

Response: the capacity will be a little under 1,000. The registered-on- scholarships will be first, followed by the registered, then Shoreline residents, then Lake Forest Park residents, and finally the general public

What if the restrictions lift. Can we increase the camp activities?

Response: It would be a challenge. There is a lot involved in getting the equipment, making the commitments, ongoing sanitizing and so forth. Employees tried thinking of different activities but most were not realistic.

The City will work with the Council of Neighborhoods to identify possible neighborhood activities.

Another consideration was movie nights viewed from your car. But they need to consider technical aspects, selecting a movie, permission to show it, location and other costs involved. It remains a possibility.

This is a conservative approach. But it is also the responsible approach. If we weigh maximum risk versus maximum safety, safety has to prevail.

Meeting adjourned.



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