Notes from Shoreline Council meeting October 19, 2020 - department budget presentations

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Pam Cross, reporter

Shoreline City Council Meeting
October 19, 2020

Notes by Pam Cross

The meeting was held remotely using the Zoom platform.

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

All Councilmembers were present.

Report of the City Manager's Office

Presented by Assistant City Manager John Norris

COVID-19 Update

Case counts in King County are still high. The average over the past 14 days was 93 new cases per 100,000. The target is 25. Shoreline’s numbers remain low, but have increased slightly to 3 per day.

Please continue to take prevention measures seriously:
  • Wear a face covering, especially indoors in public settings regardless of the distance between people. Remember the guidance is wear a mask AND maintain at least six feet of distance from others.
  • Limit the number of people you are with, and the time you are with them.
  • Do what you can to improve indoor ventilation by opening windows as much as you can. More fresh air means lower risk of infection.
  • And wash hands frequently.
  • Get tested at the first sign of illness.
  • More information available at

City Hall and recreation facilities remain closed to the public. Most City services are available online or by phone. Drop off and pick up of packages, including permits, is available. Contact services for additional information.

Planting 62 new trees

Crews are planting 62 new street trees on 9th Ave NE. Trees being planted are Zelkova and Norwegian Sunset Maples which are known for their fall colors. Funding comes from fees collected in lieu of property owners replacing trees removed from their property. Sometimes it is not possible to plant new trees on the same property so these fees allow the City to plant trees in other areas.

November 3rd General Election

Ballot drop boxes are open 24 hours daily until 8pm on Nov 3rd.

Shoreline has two drop boxes located at Shoreline Library 345 NE 175th St and the Shoreline Park and Ride 18821 Aurora Ave N. The Shoreline Library drop box has been moved to the lower library parking lot, just off of 175th street and is now a drive-through location.

It is not too late to register to vote or update your registration. The deadline is Oct 26th. Forms are available online or outside the doors at Shoreline City Hall.

More information available at

RBCA Halloween CARnival

Now through October 24th, the Richmond Beach Community Association is hosting a series of safe family friendly Halloween events including a scavenger hunt, spooky selfie stations, jack-o-lantern pumpkin path, and haunted homes tour. This is open to everyone in Shoreline.

More information at

Climate Change Champions Series

This free series is taking place on Tuesdays over seven weeks from 6:30-8:30PM. You can attend any or all parts. The City of Shoreline is partnering with Washington State University to offer this educational and action series. Most seminars will have two speakers and last up to two hours with opportunity for online discussion. To RSVP and for more information:

Free Fall Gardening Seminar

Shoreline is partnering with local gardening experts to help with fall preparation of your garden. Learn how to create a tidy winter garden that restores itself for spring.this Wednesday, Oct 21 at 6:30PM. You need to RSVP at and more information is available there as well.

Public Reminders

Members of the City Council, Planning Commission and PRCS/Tree Board will attend a virtual training for advancing racial equity on Wednesday, Oct 21 from 700-8:30pm.

PRCS/Tree Board will meet remotely Thursday October 22 at 7pm

Council Reports


Public Comment

Due to the number of speakers, time was limited to two minutes each.

Proponents of saving Shoreline trees, especially landmark and significant trees
  • Kathleen Russell, Shoreline
  • Ann Bates, Shoreline
  • Rebecca Jones, Shoreline
  • Janet Way, Shoreline
Against the Enhanced Shelter on 163rd and Aurora
  • Ed Jirsa, Shoreline
  • Joanne Godmintz
  • Margaret Willson, Shoreline
  • Nathan Pfeil, Shoreline
  • Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
  • Vinay Venkatesh, Shoreline
  • Sudeeptha Jothiprakash, Shoreline
  • Nancy Pfeil, Shoreline
  • Diane Pfeil, Shoreline

Approval of the Agenda adopted by unanimous consent.

The Consent Calendar adopted unanimously by roll call vote.

Action Item 8(a) Adopting Ordinance No. 901 - Amending Certain Sections of the Shoreline Development Code to Provide for Commercial Space on the Ground Floor of Multifamily Buildings

Steven Szafran, AICP , Senior Planner
Cate Lee, AICP, Associate Planner

The City Council discussed proposed Ordinance No. 901 on September 21, 2020 and had comments and/or concerns on some of the amendments. This resulted in the three following potential amendments.

Amendatory Language #1

This amendment would remove the exclusion for adult use facilities, marijuana operations, check cashing services and payday lending, pawnshops, and tobacco/vape stores. The definitions of these uses would also be removed.

Amendatory Language #2

This amendment would clarify that buildings providing the commercial tenant space qualify for parking reductions.

Amendatory Language #3

Current language in 901 provides up to 25% of the lineal frontage for use as lobbies, leasing offices, fitness centers and community rooms that are associated with multifamily use. The amendatory language would clarify that amenities such as fitness centers, that offer memberships to the general public, would not be included in the maximum 25%.


Move and second to approve Ordinance 901

This was originally brought forward by a member of the community. Staff and Council then recognized the overall need and urgency to move quickly. We have missed many opportunities to have commercial businesses on the first floor in a generally commercial area. This will put us more in line with what other cities are doing.

Councilmember Roberts: Move to amend Amendatory Language #2 by adding a sentence that clarifies that this applies to current code language. This would not change existing practice.

No additional discussion of this motion.

Vote passes 7-0

Councilmember Roberts: Move to add Amendatory Language #3 to Ordinance 901.

No additional discussion of this motion.

Vote passes 7-0

Operations that are legal within the State may not be family friendly, but should we tell people we don’t want them anyplace in Shoreline - instead of just not in this neighborhood that already has them? The exclusions are valid. Just because we want commercial, we don’t want ALL commercial. Residents have a vision for what they want North City and Ridgecrest to be. There has been strong support from them for this ordinance as currently written.

This is a pilot program. This would apply only to this area and only to new development in that area, and not extend to the rest of Shoreline. We are forcing people to put in retail space, and then challenging them with filling those spaces. Retail is changing. We don’t want to see a bunch of empty storefronts for years. If we extend this pilot program to the rest of the City, we should revisit this amendment.

Vote to adopt 901 as amended adding Amendatory Language #1 and #2.

Passes 7-0

BUDGET - Department presentations

Study Item 9(a) 2021-2022 Proposed Biennial Budget Department Presentations

Sara Lane, Administrative Services Director
Rick Kirkwood, Budget and Tax Manager

This discussion of the budget will continue every week until the November 16 proposed adoption.

The 2021-2022 Proposed Biennial Budget and 2021-2026 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) has been made available to the public and is available on the City’s website

  • (Click on Budget and CIP Policies under the government tab) and at City Hall, and the Shoreline and Richmond Beach libraries via websites. Budget Books on CD available for purchase at City Hall.


The presentations will include the pages in the budget book in the event you want to listen to the video and follow along.

Please note that there is a formula error on page 111 that is corrected on page 458 in the appendix.

Sara Lane is confirming that the most recent City Survey results are included for all departments.

COVID costs were not included in the 2019-2020 budget so some departments have significant COVID costs, and you will see that Costs have exceeded the budget. That budget is maintained in Citywide so you will also see that the Citywide budget is much higher, but we wanted to show those costs where they were actually incurred.

All departments reflect increases in COLA and personnel benefits. Departments have removed one-time projects, reviewed all “adjustments” made mid-year, and reviewed actual spending to make sure the budget is appropriate.
Department budgets include reorganizations such as Parks and Recreation and Cultural Services moving to Administrative Services.

City Manager’s Office, presented by John Norris, Assistant City Manager

This department includes the City Manager’s office, city clerk’s office, communications, intergovernmental relations, economic development, property management, light rail project, code enforcement and customer response team.

Budget changes in light rail include a $100,000 one-time charge for the City’s partial funding of the 185th pedestrian bridge (connecting the parking garage to the 185th St Station), and staffing reductions for the Lynnwood Link extension as the project moves from permitting to the construction management phase. 

Human Resources, presented by John Norris

No change in staffing is planned.

One time changes for professional services are earmarked for 2022: $50,000 Compensation Study, last performed in 2015; Collective Bargaining - Successor Agreement ($15,000). We are in that process now with our maintenance union.

City Attorney’s Office by Sara Lane

This office is responsible for all legal services. They also manage our Prosecuting attorney (including domestic violence coordinator). The current contract needed to be amended to include community court services.

Administrative Services Department (ASD) and Citywide by Sara Lane

The 2019-2020 budget was significantly higher than projected as a result of moving budget from departments where projects were stopped in order to ensure that we could address the financial challenges of 2020. The 2021-2022 budget is going up in recognition of the shift of our parks operation into administrative services. They also manage all of our IT functions, finance operations, Citywide, park operations, facilities management, fleet management and facility rental.

Budget Changes include a potential one-time 2022 levy lid lift ($121,000), and one-time update to permitting cost recovery ($50,000). Also included are two IT ongoing changes for public records request software ($17,400) and contract routing software ($33,200).

The Citywide expenses apply to the entire city and not to a specific department. These expenses include  various agency memberships, office equipment leases and replacement, budget and insurance coverage contingencies, liability and property insurance, and the vehicle replacement fund.

Recreation, Cultural and Community Services presented by Colleen Kelly

The addition of the recreation and cultural services to the community services is reflected in increased expenditures and staffing.

The closing of the Shoreline pool has been reflected in the revenue projection for this department. Additionally, we had assumed we would be operating under COVID Phase 4 in 2021 which we now think may not be as likely so revenues and expenditures will have to be monitored.

Budget changes include a one-time Climate Action Plan Update ($55,020), ongoing support of human services in the general fund, adding a Housing and Human Services Coordinator (0.50 FTE), and holding vacant positions open for grant administrator and administrative assistant III. The Housing and Human Services Coordinator will focus primarily on housing.


Do you anticipate that the Housing and Human Resources Coordinator will be able to do some outreach to renters in Shoreline? Census data has shown that the number of renters is increasing. 

Reply: this person would be a contact for them. But we need to consider the workload. Right now what we’re considering is picking up on the work that is tied to our management of our multifamily property tax exemption (MFTE) and inclusionary policies, and to provide better customer response for those programs

Do you expect this to become a full time position?

Reply: We don’t know yet since this is a new position.

We are leaving the Grants Administrator position vacant. But Council would actually be approving the salary of that position as part of the budget. So we’re approving the funds to pay that position but the City Manager has decided not to fill that position. Correct?

Reply: Correct. While we are learning and having staff take on a greater role in grant management, we may have to contract out some of that work. That money would then be available as professional services rather than staffing expenses.

Reply Debbie Tarry: we want the flexibility to use the money as it becomes necessary. Some of the payroll savings is going to the new position, but only a small part.

Police Department presented by Chief Shawn Ledford

Increase in expenditure is a result of our projection of the increases in the police services contract. Estimated increase for 2021 is 2.9% over 2020, primarily from COLA. Staffing to remain constant for 2021 and 2022.

Services provided by the police department include:

  • RADAR (Response Awareness, De-escalation And Referral) is an effort by the Police Departments in Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell and Kirkland to address the rights and needs of individuals with behavioral health issues and/or developmental disabilities.
  • Park Patrol. We had park patrol emphasis this summer resulting in 342 contacts primarily just letting people know that we’re out in the parks. There were a handful of warnings and a handful of citations and a couple of arrests.
  • Training has been significantly reduced in 2020 because of COVID. Some training has to be in person such as firearm qualification. Critical training such as implicit bias training has been continued online.
In 2020, dispatch calls for service are projected to show a decline of about 9%, vehicle thefts are on track to have increased about 35%, domestic violence is showing about a 26% reduction since 2019, and burglaries (both commercial and residential) are showing about a 28% reduction.   

Average police response time is improved for all priorities of calls. This may be a result of COVID causing less traffic, and fewer officers involved in self initiated contacts such as traffic citations, leaving more officers available to respond to calls for service. 


How do we add to our services for calls that may not require a police response? We just have RADAR for a few hours each week. What is the King County Sheriff’s Office doing to address this concern?

Reply: This would be better responded to by the King County Advisory Committee for Mental Illness Drug Dependency(MIDD). Or possibly by the Mobile Crisis Response Team that accompanies us on certain types of calls for service. Would they be able and capable of handling these calls? I don’t know. When someone calls 911, the default is the police department. Right now the police are asked to go along with Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services, and the fire department to support those agencies for safety reasons.
Reply Debbie Tarry: it’s going to be a longer term process. We are looking at additional community engagement, hearing from experts on policing service reforms and evaluating that. So we are putting together that work plan for outreach and discussing with Council their goals and how we can put together a response. There are multiple layers involved including call dispatch and how this would work with RADAR. And what we can learn from other cities.

What is the effective staffing rate of police officers? In the annual report you stated we are budgeted for 54 officers but we have not been at the number for a while. If you could get back to us with this.

Some of the County and State reforms being considered include additional costs for things like body cameras. How are these costs addressed? Do cities just absorb the costs? Or do they become part of the contract?

Reply: generally we would share the costs like we do for tasers and other equipment. However the overhead costs to King County would be increased costs to contract cities.

Reply Debbie Tarry: the King County Sheriff did put in a request originally for the King County Executive to fund body cameras for 2021-2022 but that was denied. They are funding a pilot program in unincorporated King County. 

School resource officer (SRO). The School District was considering cutting the funding. What would the City do?

Reply Debbie Tarry: this was a position in our patrol unit. The officer that was in that role filled-in for one of the other patrol vacancies when schools were closed. Since then, that officer accepted a promotion elsewhere so we would have to find another officer to fill that role if the SD decides to keep that position. We don’t know whether they will or not.

We have two parallel tracks on police department improvement. One is accountability related, and taking a hard look at how we can add to police response to some calls or reassign some duties elsewhere in order to free up police officers to be police. These are long slow processes. We don’t want to cut the police budget but will need to find a way to obtain funding as we move through the process. Ms. Tarry has assured Council that the budget can always be amended.

Criminal Justice Department presented by Christina Arcidy, CMO Management Analyst

The budget does not have any full time employees. The budget is a 20% decrease from the adopted 2019-2020 budget. The biggest decrease is in jail costs.

The City contracts with King County District Court for municipal court services and they, in turn, manage the community court program. The contract budget includes jail services, City-provided public defenders and jail support services.

The City currently uses three jails to house its inmate population, and SCORE jail (green) is the primary booking facility. King County (orange) is used primarily for the work release program, and Yakima (blue) is used for defendants sentenced for more than three days. Yakima charges about half of SCORE’s daily rate, so it provided significant savings for us to send inmates to Yakima for longer sentences. However, due to a COVID outbreak, we ceased sending inmates to Yakima in May.

The change in judicial sentencing philosophy has resulted in shorter sentences, so you can see the steady decline in jail housing days. 

Planning and Community Development Department presented by Rachael Markle, Planning and Community Development Director 

Expenditures remain status quo and staffing shows a slight decrease due to term limited staffing for review of permits for the School District and Sound Transit.

This department is comprised of four divisions: buildings and inspections, permit services, city planning, and administration.

We are currently working on the housing element of the Comprehensive Plan that is funded by a State Grant that will see us through to June 2021.

Permit volumes and revenues are being impacted by COVID in 2020. Permit counts are trending 25% below an average year and resultant revenue is estimated to be 40% less than we projected. We anticipate that the revenue for 2021 and 2022 to also be affected, but we don’t know to what degree and we will be monitoring this revenue closely.


How do we stand compared to other cities in the average time for the first review for multi-family permits? What would be an ideal turnaround time? This will be added to the matrix (of questions) to be addressed by staff.

Council recessed from this regular Zoom meeting to a separate meeting for an Executive Session for a period of 30 minutes to discuss with legal counsel matters relating to agency enforcement actions, or litigation.

Executive Session: Litigation - RCW 42.30.220(1)(i)

The Council may hold Executive Sessions from which the public may be excluded for those purposes set forth in RCW 42.30.110 and RCW 42.30.140. Before convening an Executive Session, the presiding officer shall announce the purpose of the Session and the anticipated time when the Session will be concluded. Should the Session require more time a public announcement shall be made that the Session is being extended

Meeting adjourned


Anonymous,  October 23, 2020 at 10:04 AM  

If the city of Shoreline wants body worn cameras for it's contracted police department, it should do as Lake Forest Park did and to make the financial decision to purchase them and get the program going. It's surprising that the citizens of Shoreline are not demanding this level of accountability.

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