LFP Council Corner - Upcoming Council Business

Friday, May 27, 2022

LFP Deputy Mayor Tom French
By Deputy Mayor Tom French

As I write this column, the temperatures outside have returned to somewhat normal levels after one of the coldest and wettest springs on record. While our weather is improving, it appears that the pandemic is going to continue to challenge us for some time to come. 

Despite this, after months of incredible work by the City Administration and contractors, and with proper safeguards and technology in place, the City Council was finally able to enjoy meeting in person three times in the past several weeks. I encourage you all to attend a Council Meeting in person or virtual utilizing the City’s advanced hybrid meeting technology.

For the returning Councilmembers it had been more than 26 months since we had met in person; for the three new Councilmembers the first time for us to all be together in person was at our retreat in early May. It is a real pleasure for all of us to sit around a table as a group and enjoy very productive conversations. We have even had a visitor in the Council chambers on two of the occasions!

The months ahead are busy ones for the City Council. Our calendars are going to be filled with the usual business of the City and other important topics:

Minor updates to the tree ordinance –The Council will be considering recommendations made by the Tree Board in a continuing effort to simplify and improve the regulations.

Pedestrian and multimodal safety and lowering speed limits - The Council will be continuing to discuss this topic which was first presented at a recent Committee of the Whole Meeting. In our recent retreat, this topic was clearly at the top of nearly all of each of our lists for near-term improvements in our community. Lowering speed limits, traffic calming, separated walking routes and a neighborhood Healthy Streets program (similar to Seattle’s) are all under consideration by the Council.

Biennial budget – June will begin the kickoff of our very busy full budget season. Look for an upcoming calendar of Budget and Finance Committee meetings where the public is always welcome. With the excellent guidance of the Administration and city staff, our community has weathered the pandemic well, despite very uncertain times and challenging economic stresses. However, this budget will be a lean one, with very little room for additional programs or policies and the community will have to make some tough choices and compromises.

These are just a few of the topics we will be discussing over the coming months, and we all look forward to seeing you in person or virtually at a future meeting.

As always, be well and be gentle on yourselves.

--Deputy Mayor Tom French


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