Notes from Shoreline Council meeting January 24, 2022

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Reporter Pam Cross
Shoreline City Council Meeting
January 24, 2022

Notes by Pam Cross

The remote meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Mayor Scully. All Councilmembers were present.

The agenda was approved by unanimous consent.

Report of the City Manager, Debbie Tarry

COVID-19 Update

The extremely transmissible omicron variant is showing decreasing transmission rates, but transmissions are still significantly higher than in many of the previous waves. King County hospitalizations are now starting to decrease but are still higher than at any other point in the pandemic.

Cloth masks should have at least two layers.

Testing capacity is still strained. Don’t go to emergency rooms for testing because this impedes their ability to care for those with medical emergencies.

Enhanced Shelter Update

The City receives quarterly updates on the shelter, but due to the transition we are still waiting for some of the information from the third and fourth quarters of 2021. Shelter capacity remains at 60.

The shelter has met their required goals that were part of the contract with the City: they have to provide at least 200 bed nights per year and complete 50 case management referrals which they did in 2021.

We will provide more information in the future.



Public Reminders
  • Councilmembers will attend the Association of Washington Cities’ “City Action Days” virtual conference on Jan 27.
  • The PRCS/Tree Board will hold a remote meeting on Jan 27 at 7pm

Council Reports

Deputy Mayor Robertson attended the North KingCo Coalition on Homelessness meeting. They discussed the upcoming Point in Time Count that tries to get a grasp of the current homeless population. They are aware it is not a perfect process and are creating a plan now for the count that will be conducted in March. They were provided with an update on severe weather sites in North KingCo. The DM also attended her first meeting as an alternate for the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC).

CM Roberts reported PSRC is seeking public comment on the draft Regional Transportation Plan. Anyone on the Council or any member of the public can comment on the plan. Go to to make a comment.

Mayor Scully attended the WRIA 8 meeting which is the salmon recovery council. There is an exciting package of funding proposals that the Governor has sent to the legislature. We are hopeful a lot of that stuff gets enacted.

I’m delighted to announce the Councilmembers who have volunteered for committees for the coming year. These are all outside committees that we participate in. It’s a way for Shoreline to participate in regional governance as well as within our City. It’s voluntary and I’m grateful for Councilmembers who step up for it.

  • CM Roberts has agreed to remain as the delegate to Public Issues Committee with CM Ramsdell serving as the alternate; 
  • CM McConnell is going to remain on SeaShore with CM Pobee as the alternate; 
  • Mayor Scully is staying on WRIA 8 and the Lake Ballinger Forum with CM Mork as the alternate for WRIA 8. 
  • CM Mork has volunteered to serve on the K4C which is the environmental umbrella organization;
  • DM Robertson is going to be joined by CM Ramsdell on the North King County Task Force.

Public Comment

Jackie Kurle, Shoreline
I’m glad about success story at The Oaks, and hope to hear more of these successes.

Abdi Ahmed, Shoreline, Family Advocate for Shoreline School District
Turning Point is very useful for families of East Africans and is most appreciated by the families.

Note: Turning Point provides after-school tutoring, community meals and STEM programs, working to close the equity gap for students in the Shoreline School District.

The Consent Calendar was approved unanimously 7-0.

Action Item 8(a) Action on Resolution No. 486 Declaring Support for Shoreline School District Ballot Proposition No. 1 – Replacement of Expiring Levy for Educational Programs and Operations and Proposition No. 2 – Replacement of Expiring Capital Levy for Technology Improvement and Support

Prior to the presentation, Mayor Scully disclosed that his wife, Sarah Cohen, is a member of the Shoreline School Board. This is an unpaid position so there is no financial incentive for the Mayor to support this ballot.

No other disclosures.

Christina Arcidy, Management Analyst made the brief presentation

This was discussed at the Jan 10 Council meeting. There is no resource or financial impact to declaring support for the Shoreline School District Ballot. Council has done this in the past in support of other school district or special district measures that Council believes will support the overall well-being of the community.

Staff recommends that City Council adopt Resolution No. 486.

An opportunity for Public Comment will follow the staff presentation and precede the Council discussion.



Move and second to adopt Resolution 486.

We have an excellent School District because the community has supported it. Children come first. It’s been a tough couple of years. We need to invest in the future of our children. This is a ceremonial action to show belief in the strength our community,

Resolution adopted unanimously 7-0

Study Item 9(a) Discussion of Proposed 2022 Human Services Allocations of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding

Margaret King, City Attorney

Before discussing this matter, I wanted to draw Council’s attention to State Law RCW 42.23.030 that prohibits an interest in contracts that may be approved by a municipal officer (including members of the Council). It states: No municipal officer shall be beneficially interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract which may be made by, through or under the supervision of such officer, in whole or in part, or which may be made for the benefit of his or her office, or accept, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gratuity or reward in connection with such contract from any other person beneficially interested therein.

Conflicts must be disclosed ahead of time.

We are not taking action tonight, but any Councilmember who feels they may have a conflict or potential conflict should contact her. If a Councilmember has a question, they should refrain from participating in or advocating for anything you feel you might have a conflict in. You may remain in this meeting as long as you don’t advocate for it.

CM Ramsdell disclosed that as a licensed mental health counselor, in 2022 he will be assuming, on a very part-time basis, a position as a clinical supervisor for Charm’d LLC which provides mental health counseling for East African immigrants. As a result he will be recusing himself from the vote when that time comes.

Colleen Kelly, Recreation, Cultural and Community Services Director, gave the presentation

The $7,533,842 in Federal ARPA funding the City will receive will cover COVID-19 eligible expenditures that are fully obligated by December 31, 2024. Budgeting these funds will happen through a 2022 budget amendment and as part of the 2023-2024 budget process.

We had an initial discussion with Council back in June and presented some high level recommendations regarding how to think about allocating these funds in Shoreline. At that time Council indicated its support to allocate $1.6M for human services.

Navigators will now be called Community Support Specialists which we think might be a more acceptable term to the general public.

Specifics around small businesses will be discussed at a later Council meeting.

We have found that many residents are still struggling to meet basic needs. There are significant federal, state and county resources for rent and utility assistance so they are not part of our recommended package.

Staff recommendations:
Because this is an evolving situation, and there is much we don’t know, we felt it was best to begin with 2022 and wait to see how things evolve and unfold.

Donations and Holiday Basket Grocery gift cards will go toward holiday food and gift support for Shoreline School students and their families.

Additional grocery cards are for distribution through other organizations that work with families that might not be attached to the school district (either without children or with children who are in private schools).

Flexible financial assistance is challenging to administer as there are only a few organizations in Shoreline that have programs to provide it. This money would go to those organizations to distribute.
  • Charm’d provides mental health support for immigrant and refugee individuals and families.
  • Grounded is for youth mental health specialists of color to support Black youth and other Youth of Color.
  • Canopy is tutoring and family support services for immigrant and refugee families (formerly called Turning Point).
  • Police requested emergency hotel vouchers mostly for domestic violence victims, or other dangerous situations that require immediate temporary housing.
  • The City currently runs a small grant program called Love Your Community Grants. This is not for neighborhood associations (who have a separate grant program). This is a pilot for other groups but it started at the same time as the pandemic so we don’t know how it will work.
In summary,
  • Total 2022 recommendations: $518,000
  • Balance remaining for future allocation: $994,500

It’s great that after all of these expenditures, we would still have almost one million dollars in the account.

The $100,000 flexible financial assistance, would we contract that out with folks with operations in place, or is the City going to manage it? How will we track it?
  • Reply: we are recommending that this money be contracted out to organizations that have operations in place for managing flexible funding assistance and have the internal mechanism to do the necessary tracking. The advantage of flexible financial assistance is it can be used for car repairs or work boots that allow someone to get a job. These things are very hard to get funding for in other places. We are looking at Center for Human Services, Canopy (Turning Point), and a smaller organization called Shoreline Community Care to contract with.

Flexible financial assistance is a great idea. Is there a maximum amount per request? So it doesn’t all go to the first comers?
  • Reply: we see these initial allocations as our first best guess - we will have to adjust as we see how it develops. That’s one of the advantages of having the excess $900k to draw from as needed.

Is there a comfort level with staff that these flexible funds will get out to the communities that need the support, communities that don’t necessarily have access to or engage with certain providers?
  • Reply: These are organizations that are already managing funds like this. We will promote the investments we are making so people are aware of them, and we have dedicated staff available to actively assist residents in accessing us (dedicated phone line, dedicated email, a website that will go live in February).

But we’ll send them from the Shoreline website to another website to actually fill out the forms. And the forms won’t live on the City’s website.
  • Reply: True because the agencies that we work with have way more capacity. It’s better to come to the City because we can assist them and make it less daunting. We don’t want to refer people into a blackhole and not achieve anything. We have staff who can walk them through the process.

Do you have a sense of how strict the requirements are in terms of funding allocations for human services? With screening and monitoring it can take time. We want to streamline the process. When people need money they need it now if not last week or last month. I want to make sure these funds go out quickly to the people who need them. We have other grants that have expired. Inflation is rising fast. We need funds out quickly - less screening and a streamlined process to make it easier.
  • Reply: We have actually front loaded that work so it’s basically done. We are ready to go.

Holiday gift card baskets, that money will be spent in Nov-Dec . We need to put more into the other gift cards now rather than wait for the holidays. People are struggling today. We need to push funds out faster - sooner than later will better help the community.

Will there be some way to make sure it all goes to Shoreline residents because other cities have their own access. I don’t want our system taken advantage of. We have more than enough need in our community after two years of COVID. The money will go pretty quickly.

I’m very concerned about when the Moratorium for eviction ends and people need to find new housing in a very short time. All these programs will be needed.

Limited term navigators. How long is the term?
  • Reply: the maximum term is 3 years. But we actually hired them for 2 years with an option to extend to 3 years as we see the need develop.

I like the impressive list of recommendations, diversity of organizations, and trusting the expertise of these organizations.

We all agree that we need to get the money out quickly because it is needed now. I don’t want too much wait and see. We need to make decisions now. I agree gift cards for holidays could come from a later release of funds and shift those gift cards up to earlier in year.

Money needs to be used well and effectively. What performance measurements are in place to make sure that we’re doing appropriate evaluations of the programs? Will that data be made available? I think that would be interesting to the public as well as the Council.
  • Reply: outcome is measured quarterly in expected units of services but that doesn’t really provide an evaluation. Evaluation is trickier because it’s different from data collection, as you know. Nonprofits don’t have resources to access that kind of information. We want to make sure that Shoreline residents are being served in reasonable numbers for the investment we are making.

Does the City do any checking if all of the information comes from the various non-profits? Does the city validate it in any way?
  • Reply: we visit the organization and have one-on-one meetings. These are mostly organizations we are familiar with having worked with them over the years. There are boilerplate requirements in the contract. Quarterly invoices must be submitted with the data reports on the service units provided and they are checked before payment is made. We hope dedicated staff will be helpful here since we have additional staff that we don’t usually have. We don’t want all the money that we expect to last a year be gone in 3 months.

Not everybody has school-age kids so we need to make sure that the elderly and other people don’t fall through the cracks

Have we previously funded the grocery cards? What funds did we use?
  • Reply: we used CARES Act funding. We did direct distribution with recommendations from family advocates. I think we did two rounds of that. Funding has always been pandemic specific (not through the City general fund). And this time we have the separate grocery cards for people who do not have a connection with the school district.

Edmonds is doing a household support program where they are giving out up to $2,500 grants to families. There are pros and cons to what we’re doing and what Edmonds is doing. Edmonds recognizes people need cash. Our gift card is specifically for food. There are other options to consider if there are problems with the gift card program.

If there is Council consensus to support these recommendations, staff will move forward with implementation and prepare a budget amendment to authorize the proposed expenditures.

Contracts come back on consent so we can get to them quickly.

Are there any objections to proceeding on this basis?

Would the gift card thing be contracted out.
  • Reply: We made the direct purchase so it’s not a contracted item.

Have we budgeted $50,000?
  • Reply: the actual budget authority will happen as part of the budget amendment process so everything that we’re bringing to you tonight will get rolled into the budget amendment as part of the expenditure authority. The specific programs will have contracts. The grocery cards we will purchase directly and then distribute them to our partners either through the gift baskets program or through other community based organizations that are working either with seniors or other populations that are struggling to meet their needs. That will be a distribution process, not a contracting process.

So if a CM wanted to increase a particular line item it would be part of the reconciliation process where we would change that amount.
  • Reply Debbie Tarry: Just a reminder we do adopt the budget at the fund level. We have enough budget authority - we just need to know if Council is supportive of this. Even though we will come back with the budget amended, we don’t have to wait until that happens because we have enough budget authority in our biennial budget to get the cards purchased.

If we want to increase the amount, where would we have the discussion?
  • Debbie Tarry: My suggestion would be for us to move forward with what staff recommended. We’ll be working with our partners to understand how fast they are going out. If it’s happening quickly, we can purchase more gift cards. We’re trying to understand what the demand is. We can be nimble enough to increase it in a pretty short order if we need to. Doing large enough sums provides us with a discount.

When do we start talking about the 2023 money?
  • Reply: the funds are not actually delineated into 2022, 2023, 2024 dollars. We used an artificial delineation in order to plan for 23 and 24. We could spend all of the money this year if that’s what we felt we needed to do, or we could delay it until the end of 2024. It’s not like our annual budget. It’s just what is the need and when do we think the resources should be deployed and in what way. That is why there is so much flexibility.

Will Council have a chance to talk about this rather than just being on Consent Calendar as we get closer to talking about larger amounts of money?
  • Reply Mayor Scully: What will come to us on Consent is a particular individual contract so it won’t be a discussion of the grocery cards - it will be asking Council to approve or disapprove a contract with XYZ in “this" amount. And we can pull it from Consent for additional discussion if necessary. We have the authority from Council Action to change budget categories and amend the budget, either through the regular budget process or as a one-off. Given what we’ve heard tonight and given the flexibility, what I suggest is we stay in contact with staff and when we have concerns we ask staff to put another study session on.
Council is in agreement.



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