On the second day of the Senior Center demolition, this lady with baby carriage strolls past the Center towards the Sammamish River Trail. On the first day Mayor Birney showed up for a photo op with a golden sledgehammer.
- Photo Reinke 11/20/2020
- Photo Reinke 11/20/2020
The City is changing the color of their police cars from the present silver & navy to black. This was news to the Council. Apparently, the Mayor and staff made this change without including Council in the decision. Three councilmembers openly didn't like the change. CM Jessica Forsythe said black is an intimidating color associated with military and is not compatible with the Redmond's welcoming character. CM David Carson didn't like it at all though understood the reasons for it (cost.) CM Vanessa Kritzer agreed with Mr. Carson.
-- Council Committee of the Whole, 11/17
Do you know the Great Blue Heron is Redmond's "Species Of Local Importance?" Do you why it's taking this pose? Leave a comment below to register your response.
Photo by John Reinke
Sammamish River 90th Street Stormwater run-off Pond
Well, it looks like Council is seriously considering a Public Safety Levy in 2021. How do I know this? Tonight in a Study Session the Finance Director recommended funding a Public Safety Levy Consultant, $150,000 one-time. The levy will pay for existing costs, not hiring additional officers and equipment. Overtime expenses must be significant.
I find it very hard to believe the City needs a highly paid consultant to assemble a levy.
Bob Yoder, opinion
Councilmember Reagan Dunn proposes budget amendment to put King County residents ‘first in line’ for federally approved COVID-19 vaccine.
Acting on the national news today of the possibility of a promising COVID-19 vaccine, King County Council Vice Chair Reagan Dunn proposed a budget amendment to King County’s COVID Supplemental Budget that would add $5 million of Cares Act money to buttress state and federal efforts to distribute a vaccine as soon as it is federally approved.
This funding would be in addition to promised state and federal dollars and it would be earmarked for the Seattle-King County Department of Public Health and local health care providers throughout King County. The money would help to get a vaccine, once approved, out to our citizens as soon as possible.
“The budget amendment will help to put King County residents first in line for any vaccine that is ultimately developed, tested and approved for distribution by the Federal Government,” Dunn said. “King County must continue to strengthen our Public Health infrastructure to ensure that people who wish to be vaccinated can do so as soon as it is available. King County wants to be on our toes, not our heels when a vaccine is ultimately ready for manufacture and distribution to our citizens, and this is the vital first step.”
In addition to supporting Public Health infrastructure, the money would also be used to make sure that our private health care systems throughout the region are in the best position possible to aid in the vaccination process.
“We know that inventing a vaccine is only half of the challenge,” Dunn said. “The other half is the manufacturing and distribution of it. We need to make sure King County has an efficient and aggressive plan for the widespread vaccinations for everyone who want one.”
The King County Council is expected to vote on the fifth COVID Supplemental budget this week.
EvergreenHealth Opens New Molecular Laboratory to Support COVID-19 Testing
Kirkland, Wash. – EvergreenHealth held the grand opening of its new in-house molecular testing laboratory on October 15. The new lab will support EvergreenHealth’s non-urgent COVID-19 testing needs and will increase testing output for the health system by more than 270 tests per day, making COVID-19 testing more readily available to Kirkland and the surrounding Eastside community.
The new lab will use Applied Biosystems technology (ABI) in conjunction with its current testing platform, Cepheid GeneXpert. Together these two systems will be able to run more than 300 COVID-19 tests per day and deliver results to patients within approximately 24 hours. Prior to introducing the ABI technology, the lab was able to process between 20 and 30 tests per day.
“I’m incredibly proud of our dedicated team, who in just 10 short weeks was able to open our new in-house COVID-19 testing site,” said Troy Harrell, Manager of Lab Technology Operations & Quality. “Expanding access to accurate, timely COVID-19 testing is critical to local and regional prevention efforts – and with this innovative technology, we will more efficiently and effectively serve our community, as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic together.”
Testing with ABI technology is performed in batches of up to 94 patient specimens at a time. Typically, a single testing batch takes a few hours to complete, which includes specimen prep, RNA extraction, PCR amplification and data analysis—all of which are essential to providing accurate and comprehensive test results. The ABI system can perform up to three batches per day.
While the new molecular lab will solely be dedicated to COVID-19 testing needs for the time being, the technology will be instrumental in improving testing capabilities for a wide variety of infectious diseases, cancer markers, genetic abnormalities and much more for the Eastside community.
Dear Mayor and Council -
Strongsville, Ohio is a vibrant suburban city of 45,000, a short distance from Cleveland. https//www.strongsville.org. They've taken the following measures to firm up their finances in response to COVID pressures. The following is an excerpt from the Strongsville, OH website:
"To help combat the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the City of Strongsville’s tax revenues, all full-time city employees not covered under a collective bargaining agreement – as well as the mayor, department heads, service department workers and building inspectors -- will be placed on a 32-hour work week starting ___, resulting in an eight-hour weekly furlough (a 20 percent pay reduction).The furlough will not affect police, firefighters or dispatchers. All three operations will remain ready to respond.
REDMOND, WA - This year's Redmond Lights will celebrate hope, joy, arts, and light while adhering to the State’s Safe Start Plan. With the inability to gather and hold events, the City of Redmond has reimagined Redmond Lights to be a month-long art and light installation at Downtown Park. Art and light installations are sponsored by Microsoft, BECU, and Evergreen Healthcare.
Mayor Angela Birney presented the proposed 2021-2022 biennial budget on Oct. 6. In a letter to the Redmond City Council and city community, she stated the recommendations in the budget were produced through Civics Result team of 30 Redmond volunteers, questionnaires, focus groups and **public hearings.
The city forecasts that revenues from taxes and fees will decline by *$6.3 million in 2020, with expenses outpacing revenues starting in 2021, depleting the fund balance each year through 2026. In light of the economic hardships anticipated in the city, the budget cuts 26 full time positions from the 2020 staffing, including almost 10 Parks Department positions, eight capital investment, utilities and development services staff positions, and four vacant police or fire services staff positions. Some of those positions were also removed due this year as they were unnecessary during the shut downs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Excerpts from the Redmond Reporter. Halely Ausbun, 10/8/2020
Thank you Mayor for your courage and smarts to trim FTE's. Keep it up.
*CARES funding providing $2M this year will lighten the load.
** two public hearings remain