Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Highlights of a City Council Meeting

Image result for redmond WA city council hall imagesHIGHLIGHTS FROM THE OCTOBER 3RD CITY COUNCIL MEETING

Brian Baker approached the podium in a wheelchair and complained:  1)  the City claims 360 ADA parking spaces are available but few of them are accessible by van.  2) the "sandwich board" signs on the sidewalks create an obstacle course.  Mr Stilin  said the city should not allow signs on sidewalks and Mr. Carson reminded him current regulations require signage be located in streets, not sidewalks.  

City Council reluctantly approved Burnstead's "Hawthorn Park" Final Plat.  In this, and a prior meeting a total of ~8 neighbors including Pat Vache' a retired councilmember **vehemently complained about the disruption and degradation to their private road by an off-site sewer line Burntsead is installing.  ** Mr. Vache' focused on the facts and only mildly complained.   Burnstead insisted they will fully inspect the project when completed for "performance, restoration and maintenance" to ensure all parties are satisfied; and assured that bonds were on file. Pres. Hank Margeson gave an eloquent summery of council's sentiments before the vote.

Dr. David Morton gave a 4 minute presentation on actions we can take to live sustainably.

A city executive stated the city has an initiative to increase staff awareness for cultural inclusiveness. A team of 18 staff members wrote a Vision Statement and will soon prepare a Charter.  The city website was updated with a new "cultural inclusive" page.  Unfortunately, and I don't know why, this excellent Vision Statement isn't included on new page.

The fleet administrator described city progress towards developing a Green fleet.  The city fleet is composed mostly of non-hybrid Escape SUV's (17 barrels of gas/car burned/year,)  However, 36 of their vehicles are a combination of non-hybrid Escape SUV's (12 barrels/year) Prius (7.2 barrels/year) Plug in hybrids (4.2 barrels/year).  10 trucks are in a pilot program fuel with propane.

Bottom line:  As of June 2017, 6,000 gallons of unleaded gas were saved, $10,000 was  saved, 17,583 pounds of CO2 is removed from the environment. Councilmember David Carson brought up a good point that it takes non-renewable energy (coal) and renewable energy to make the electricity that charges car batteries; and non-renewables should be factored in when accounting for CO2. 

Regarding the controversial Emerald Heights project, Councilmember Hank Myers said "at the suggestion of the city, a new project proposed by Emerald Heights will be reviewed by the City" -- in effect eliminating the first proposal. The city (Mayor?) killed the first proposal by terminating the Design Review Board's review.

Councilmember Byron Shutz made a few comments as Ombuds. and some thank you's to staff.  He gave 1-day notice to a Regional Human Service program sign-in. (Byron's running for Council Position 2.) 

Councilmember Angela Birney said Redmond Way won't be ready for 2-way traffic until late October.   Focus groups are forming (I'm supposed to be on one of them) to update the city website. The council "Community Conversations" outreach is this Thursday, October 5th. A study session will be scheduled soon to consider amending council procedures for 1) use of political signs on public facilities, 2) use of personal devices in meetings for non-meeting purposes (that's interesting) and 3) political comments during Items from the Audience. She recommended visiting the Cascade Water Alliance site to learn how water is used.  It takes 18 gallons of water to grow one apple.  (Boy, that one must be juicy.)  

Councilmember Tanika Padhye (running for Council Position 4) complimented Kent Hay for his work to help the homeless and vulnerable. He connected 27 citizens with housing using Craigslist and Hopelink for resources. "Friends of Youth" now offers a day center so fewer homeless are hanging around the library.  15,000-18,000 residents attended So. Bazaar; 7,000 on the first night. (I met Tanika there twice. Pam and I arrived early to find parking and short food truck lines.)  The Teen Center and Senior Center are being remodeled to accommodate lost space from ORSCC. 

These government meetings are usually very dry.  This time a kook put on an aggressive "comedy act."  He called himself a "city investigative advocate" (CIA). The fellow walked right up to the Dias in President Margeson's face during Items, mentioned One Redmond, shouting the Mayor and Council were all "on the the take." He stomped off yelling "you are all fraudsters."  Yelling again, he got the hook.         


Richard Morris said...

The Council's discussion of Hawthorne Park is confusing to me. The project located near 116th Street and NE 172 Ave is in the construction phase. All 38 lots are clearly marked. Four homes are built. The park has grass and children's playground. The streets and infrastructure are completed. Why would the "final plat" be approved AFTER all of the above?

The city web site is hopelessly out of date for this project, showing last updated 12/19/11 (almost 6 years ago). "Application of Rick Burnstead Construction for a Preliminary Plat and Planned Residential Development - subdivision of an 8.10 acre site within the R-4 zoning district into 38 single-family detached and attached units"

Bob Yoder said...

Hi Richard, I was thinking the same thing. I think it's he PRELIMINARY PLAT that was approved allowing Burnstead to build. The FINAL PLAT is approved once council decides it will be inspected and properly completed, and bonded.

The 116th neighborhood is "no longer."