Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Opinion: Redmond City Council has no policy valueing or addressing neighborhood services

OPINION:  As you can see below, the City of Kirkland is proud of their neighborhoods and recognizes their neighborhoods with a mission statement and an extensive neighborhood services program.  Why doesn't the City of Redmond have a mission statement for their neighborhoods, active neighborhood associations, and frequent, regular and organized Council/city staff meetings in their neighborhoods.

City legal costs with neighbors escalated from the Redmond Bike Park land use decision.  A neighborhood association could have smoothed communications and saved taxpayer money.
City-Neighborhood communications on the encampment ordinance was poor.  A neighborhood association, per Kirkland's model, could have improved dialogue and outcomes. School and city levy communications are restricted.

It appears the only in-neighborhood services the City of Redmond offers is a dormant "matching gifts program",council visits to those neighbors holding annual National Night Out parties, the fireman's Santa Christmas visit, Redmond Ready, the national CERT program and the Police Academy.  Other in-neighborhood services may be offered but they're scattered all over the city web-site and not readily found or known.

After the Marchione-Fields election the Marchione Administration appears to be reaching out to the neighborhoods with an April 28 Town Hall.  Lisa Rhodes, the city Communications Director announced a "two-way communications" initiative.  Several Education Hill residents are trying to form a neighborhood association, but the city is offering them no assistance or resources.

The city appears to have no interest in establishing formal neighborhood associations nor advocating for them.  A leader of the school district levy bond committee was looking for Redmond associations like Kirkland's but we have none to offer.  For years Mayor Marchione has been aware of Kirkland's associations (his mother is a Kirkland councilmember) but hasn't been empowered by Council to form them.  Council has no policy that addresses neighborhood services.  

Read More about Kirkland's neighborhood mission statement and neighborhood services >>

Kirkland Neighborhoods: A Sense of Community
Kirkland is endowed with a beautiful physical setting, strong sense of community, and distinct neighborhoods each with its own unique character. The City Council and staff work closely with each neighborhood to ensure high-quality services are provided, neighborhood associations are supported, and issues are responsively addressed. This is at the heart of what gives Kirkland a sense of community.

Kirkland neighborhoods are secure, stable, and well-maintained, creating the foundation for our high quality of life.

Kirkland Neighborhood Association Map (PDF-3 MB)

About Kirkland's Neighborhood Services Program
The City values the meaningful participation of the community in City decision-making processes and services. By providing information, discussing issues and receiving input through a variety of formats, individuals and key stakeholder groups are encouraged to be informed and get involved.
This Neighborhood Services website provides you with the information you need to participate in Kirkland's Neighborhood life.
The Neighborhood Associations page will link you to your neighborhood association, contact information for neighborhood leaders, meeting schedules, and status of neighborhood projects/programs.
The Neighborhood Matching Grant Program provides Kirkland neighborhoods the opportunity to apply for City funds to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods.
The City Council Meetings with the Neighborhoods provide residents with an opportunity to meet Council members and City staff in an informal setting.

The Neighborhood Safety Program (NSP) was authorized by City Council in June 2014. The purpose of the Program is to re-energize neighborhood associations by empowering them to work collaboratively to identify, prioritize and address pedestrian and bicycle safety issues in Kirkland neighborhoods.

Join the Neighborhood E-Bulletin list serve to stay informed of events and issues in Kirkland's neighborhoods.
Go to Neighborhood Resources to obtain links to existing City resources aimed at providing you with the tools you need to stay informed and active in your neighborhood (e.g. permit activity in your neighborhood, tree and landscaping regulations, graffiti hot line, picnic/parade planning, and emergency preparedness).
The Frequently Asked Questions page directs you to the answers for commonly asked questions such as "How long can a vehicle be parked on the street?" or "Who do I call about a code violation?" and other important neighborhood-related questions.

Kirkland Neighborhood Associations

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