Monday, March 25, 2019

Education Hill Neighborhood Association Forums


Education Hill Neighborhood Association will be presenting a series of topic-based forums of interest to Eastside residents. These forums will be held at First Baptist Church of Redmond (16700 NE 95th Street, Redmond, WA  98052).  Parking available for all forums in the north lot.

King County and the Growth Management Act 
Thursday, May 2, 2019     7:00 PM

King County council member Kathy Lambert will present information about the Growth Management Act.

Forum will begin at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium.
Facebook Event Page

City of Redmond Candidates:  Mayor’s Office
Thursday, June 13th, 2019           7:00 PM

The first of our Candidate forums for the 2019 Election Season!  Candidates for the office of Mayor for the City of Redmond, WA will answer questions and talk about their campaign topics.  This will be a Q&A forum (not a debate); moderated questions and time for questions from the audience.  All Candidates will be invited (**)
**not all candidates have filed with PDC as of this posting.

Forum will begin at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium
Facebook Event Page

City of Redmond Candidates:  Redmond City Council
Thursday, June 27th, 2019           7:00 PM

Redmond has FOUR Council positions expiring in 2018.  Candidates will answer questions from the moderator and from audience during this Q&A forum (not a debate).  All Candidates will be invited (**)
**not all candidates have filed with PDC as of this posting.

Forum will begin at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium
Facebook Event Page

Forums are available to the public; audience members will have a chance to submit questions of their own to speakers. The forums will be recorded and posted on web.

  No childcare available.

The purpose of the Education Hill Neighborhood Association (EdHNA) is to empower residents by providing a forum to participate in, and advocate for: - A high level of civic engagement by its residents on issues that affect the Education Hill neighborhood - Active, continual and effective communications and conversations between EdHNA residents and community officials - A positive quality of life within the community to include items related to: diverse and inclusive community building, safety, growth management, and neighborhood improvements.

Paige Norman
Education Hill Neighborhood Association (EdHNA)
(425) 214 6800

Sunday, March 24, 2019

What's behind the red roadway signs?

Image result for 2019 LWSD levy image
Below, is some information that may help you understand what's behind the those red signs you're seeing on the roadways:

The School Board of Directors Approved Resolution NO. 2559 for educational facilities and critical capacity needs. The Resolution authorizes the following excess levy on all taxable property of the district:

Proposed Capital Projects Levy:

Collection Year 2020, Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value $0.29  Levy Amount: $20,000,000
Collection Year 2021, Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value $0.28  Levy Amount: $20,000,000
Collection Year 2022, Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value $0.27  Levy Amount: $20,000,000
Collection Year 2023, Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value $0.26  Levy Amount: $20,000,000
Collection Year 2024, Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value $0.25  Levy Amount: $20,000,000
Collection Year 2025, Levy Rate/$1,000 Assessed Value $0.25  Levy Amount: $20,000,000

Lake Washington School District requests voter approval of a Capital Projects levy to enable the district to pay for safety and security measures and critical classroom needs not funded by the state and needed to meet current and future educational programs for its students.  The district has grown by over 6,000 students in the last 10 years and expects to enroll 2,000 more students by 2022. 
These funds would be deposited in the Capital Projects Fund to pay for district-wide safety and security improvements; classroom additions at Lake Washington High School, including an auxiliary gym and commons; classroom additions at Carson, Franklin, Rose Hill and Twain Elementary Schools, including expansion of core facilities.
Passage of this proposition would allow the levy of $20 million per year over the next six years.  If authorized by the voters and based on current assessed valuation information, estimated levy rates would be an average of $0.27 per thousand of assessed valuation beginning in 2020.

{This amount will be offset by a reduction in the debt service levy rate due to past bonds being paid off.  The exact levy rate shall be adjusted based upon the actual assessed value of the property within the District at the time of the levy.}
Further information is available in this short video and the district’s levy website.
Exemptions from taxes may be available to homeowners who are 61 or older, or disabled, and who meet certain income requirements.  For more information, call the King County Department of Assessments 206-296-3920.

During the 6-year. $120M levy period, the average tax of $0.27/$1000 
on property assessed at $600,000 = $162.00/year.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Iceberg on Ed. Hill.

An "Iceberg" on Education Hill?   What could be a better statement of the magnitude of our February snow storm.? 😱

Then, one month later Puget Sound experienced the warmest March high temps in 125 years!  I took this picture on Tuesday, March 19th, 3pm when it was 78 degrees, the pinnacle of our heat spike.   As of today, it's still floating.


-- Bob Yoder

Thursday, March 21, 2019

V.3 High LW School District Administration salaries to some degree impact students and educators

No photo description available.OPINION:  The Lake Washington School District Central Leadership Team and some administrator salaries are too high; the end result, our students and educators are somewhat impacted by misuse of these public funds.

The new LWSD "Communications and Community Engagement" Director of less then two years, is paid a flat $169,285 per year.  In my opinion, this is excessive. The Mayor of Redmond (and CEO) is paid less than $138,000 and he doesn't get summers off. 

Looking at the district's Central Leadership Team Organizational Chart and a Board meeting packet, 16 Directors earn $169,285/yr and 9 Associate Directors earn $153,330/yr....all on flat salaries with no low or high ranges.  It's my thought, Director salaries should be on a sliding scale based on performance and experience.  Keep in mind, school business slows or ceases in many departments when school is out ... for example "Communications and Community Engagement"...not much engagement then.

In my opinion, Barbara Posthumus, the district CFO and "Associate Superintendent of Business and Support Services" in underpaid.  She appears to be the point person in the community during levy and bond measure proposals. What could be more valuable?

Dr. Jon Holmen, the Deputy Superintendent who oversees five Directors plays a key role in the Administration.  His Directors are invaluable and underpaid. They bridge the schools with the Central Central Leadership Team, and oversee all the principals. According to School Board member Cassandra Sage, Dr. Holmen's Directors are required to be in the schools 2.5 days per week.

Director Matt Gillingham runs "Student and School Support Services."  I first met Matt during Truancy Board training.  Mr. Gillingham is responsible for student safety, social-emotional well-being, mental health recovery, bullying issues and also oversees the athletic department. He should be paid more than a Director.

Superintendent Jane Stavem is the CEO of the third largest school district in the State; the district is growing at the pace of one new elementary school per year.  It's my understanding, 
Dr. Stavem is already bringing efficiencies by streamlining the Administration. 

Dr. Stavem will hopefully learn the capabilities and assets of her workers to rank and pay them accordingly.  Paying flat salaries doesn't encourage innovation or reward those who produce.  Low-median-high salary ranges would keep turnover low to retain valuable workers and attract others.

-- Bob Yoder, 3/23/19

Sources:  December 14th, 2018 School Board meeting packet / public record request
                City of Redmond public record request
                Redmond City Television, Comcast 21

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Marymoor Park Concerts!

First performance is June 1, 6:30:  "Joe Russo's Almost Dead"
Last performance is September 8th, 6:30 "Death Cab for Cutie"

Monday, March 18, 2019

Idylwood Park tree restoration was a total success

Idylwood Park restoration/ Photo Yoder

Last year, most of the cottonwoods in Idylwood Park were removed owing to danger from falling limbs.  This Saturday GreenRedmond sponsored a restoration project to restore and enhance the park landscaping.

In this photo, councilmember Hank Myers is in the foreground along with 4 other volunteers. Dr. David Morton is digging in the backgound.  Hank leads on most of the City's environmental projects.  Besides restoration, Hank is an expert and advocate of Redmond salmon and their habitat in Lower Bear Creek. I've heard him present at Redmond Kiwanis and was blown away by his knowledge.

Over 70 trees and 350 shrubs were planted that day by 50 residents, including kiddos. We were blessed with beautiful, sunny weather.  It was so rewarding to watch the toddlers plant.  In the future we will need these little ones to help us battle climate-change.

-- Bob Yoder

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Last day of school is Thursday, June 20th owing to snow

No photo description available.LWSD adds two days, extends two early release days and pushes back last day to make up snow days

Redmond, Wash. – The district has finalized plans to make up for the days and time missed due to the February snow events. The 2018-19 calendar has been modified to reflect the changes.

As a reminder, school districts can request a waiver from the state for missed school days during the Governor’s declared state of emergency. Districts are not allowed to seek a waiver that would impact the required K-12 average instructional hours of 1,027. After analysis of both requirements, it was determined that a total of 3.5 days must be made up to maintain compliance with both requirements. The 2018-19 calendar has May 28 built-in as a snow day, so a total of 2.5 days must be made up beyond the built-in snow day.

The following modifications will be made to the 2018-19 calendar:
  • Wednesday, May 1: change from an early release to a full day for students
  • Wednesday, May 8: change from an early release to a full day for students
  • Friday, May 24: change from a non-school day to a school day for students
  • Tuesday, May 28: change from a non-school day to a school day for students
  • Wednesday, June 19: change from a half day to a full day for students
  • Thursday, June 20: added as a half day for students (last day of school)

These changes were made in consideration of students, families and staff. It should be noted that high school graduation dates and times will not be affected by these changes. Families with preschool students will receive communication from their program about any changes. We appreciate your flexibility as we fulfill the state required hours.

City of Redmond Parking Survey

Image result for Redmond downtown park
Downtown Park, Credit / redmond-reporter
Advisory:  This survey is too long. B. Yoder

Redmond, WA – The City of Redmond is seeking information from the community, through an online questionnaire, on your experience with parking in Downtown Redmond. The questionnaire is open until April 1 and available at
The questionnaire is part of the broader efforts related to developing a Parking Management Strategic Plan for Downtown Redmond. In addition to the questionnaire, a parking inventory will be conducted. The volunteer Parking Advisory Committee and City staff will incorporate the results of the questionnaire and parking inventory as part of the Existing Conditions Report – the first phase of the plan – and will share these results with the community in the spring.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Willows Run Golf Sold to Sasada Sports International

Image result for golf course images in redmond wa
Willows Run "Heron Links"  (Internet)
The full-service golfing facility was acquired for $11.3 million from Vulcan affiliate, Access Golf LLC

SEATTLE – March 12, 2019 – Access Golf LLC, a Vulcan Inc. affiliate, announced today that the Willows Run Golf Course, located in Redmond, WA, was sold to Sasada Sports International in a transaction that closed late last week. The extensive, 300-acre golf facility features two 18-hole championship courses, a nine-hole executive course, and an 18-hole putting course as well as two clubhouses totaling over 13,500 square feet, and several practice facilities.

Originally acquired by Access Golf LLC in 1993, Willows Run was designed by Lisa Maki and Ted Locke. The facility is regionally recognized for its environmental stewardship and responsible land management practices, including wildlife habitat preservation efforts. Willows Run is also the largest single user of reclaimed water from King County’s Brightwater treatment plant.

Under new ownership, the golf complex will remain open to the public and staff has been retained through the transition. 

“My family shares a passion for golf,” says Yuki Sasada of Sasada Sports International. “We’re looking forward to sharing the sport with generations to come at Willows Run.”

Monday, March 11, 2019

2019 State of the City address by Mayor Marchione

February 28th, 2019

The Mayor received three standing ovations.  The presentation was held at the Marriot and sponsored by OneRedmond.  He was asked about what it takes to be Mayor.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

City Hall Customer Service improvements

Image result for customer service desk images with redmond council
Credit / "Redmond Reporter" 
I highly recommend e-mailing  to get answers and information from city staff. The customer service department is very helpful in assisting you here.  

Last night, Council was briefed by the Customer Service Center Manager during their Parks Council committee meeting.  The relatively new Customer Service Center desk is assisting city hall visitors with processing financial transactions, obtaining business licenses, being directly connected to the appropriate staff for permitting and other needs or receiving information regarding city matters. Most importantly, citizens and residents can get information and report issues here.

During the meeting, there was a lot of discussion about the center's mobile "Your Redmond" app Councilmember Carson spoke very highly of it.  Here, you can report non-emergency issues, make service requests, and find answers to common questions on your mobile phone. I haven't downloaded it and use  

Few know that several conference rooms near to the customer service desk are available for developers, city staff, and other in-house meetings. Council Chair of the "Parks and Human Services Committee" Hank Myers asked when/if the rooms will be available for community meetings.  Owing to legal concerns and other problems customer service is still trying to find a way for the community to access the rooms...this has been going on for months.  

I am surprised the Customer Service Center is assigned to the "Parks and Human Services Council Committee" rather than the  "Administration, Finance, and Communications Committee." It seems customer service has more to do with communications than parks. Case in point, I asked why (by a replay of a council regular meeting (in which I spoke) wasn't being played on City TV, only to learn from the city clerk all the replays were scrubbed due to technical difficulties. It's important customer service communicates with the Council Ombuds on these serious issues.  

-- Bob Yoder