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  • Monday, March 3, 2008 11:29am


Firing top guy won’t solve any of problems

I was extremely disappointed that some decided that the best way to solve the Shoreline School District’s financial problems was to repeat the painful and costly procedure of firing the superintendent. This only disrupts the business of the district even more and makes solving a budget shortfall into a chaotic mess.

Teachers, administration and parents are responsible for the overstaffing that has taken place. Some wanted the superintendent to open the honors program to all students, some wanted middle schools to have seven-period days, some wanted to be at the technological forefront, some wanted alternative programs like Room 9 Journey and the Home exchange program, some wanted special needs students to have even more services. Everyone wanted samller classes. All of these lead slowly but surely to increased staffing and living beyond our means.

Is now the time to turn on the superintendent because he listened to some of us? Instead of allowing the people who are responsible to slink away without taking responsibility, we need to ask them to be accountable for turning things around. Instead of handing off more money that we don’t have, why don’t we insist our superintendent be a leader and set in motion guidelines and procedures for making hard decisions fairly and based on what is best for our students? Why don’t we demand that he earn his salary and our trust?

Why do we keep thinking that if we only had the right person in the job there would be no problems? There will always be problems; it is how we hold ourselves accountable for solving them that can and should change. I would urge the Board to hold more of us accountable, instead of less.



City Council

Recall a continuation of childish political games

When will the games end? A decade ago when some residents decided Shoreline should be a city, not merely a part of unincorporated King County, we were promised better services, more control over our taxes, more control over development and a host of other platitudes. All that really was accomplished was to create a large playground for bored or dissatisfied childlike adults who want to play political games.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan when he ran against Jimmy Carter in 1980, are we better off now than we were 10 years ago? I don’t think so. With the exception of enhanced police protection, service hasn’t changed much, the taxes have grown like mid-summer corn, and residential development is out of control.

And now we have the beginning of a recall campaign. More political games. And at whose expense? We will pay for any election that is held. Why don’t we let those elected try to fulfill some of the promises that were made when the “cityhood hustle” was played out in the 1990s, instead of using the city government as a vehicle for a few individuals to express their frustrations or boost their egos.



Recall is a another attempt at a power grab

The Progress Shoreline crowd still doesn’t get it. There was an election and they lost control of the City Council. This shouldn’t have surprised them; they have been losing one seat per election. Rather than regroup and try again at the next election, they have sought to prevent the newly elected City Council from functioning with frivolous legal actions, the most recent being a filing for recall. Both are based on “phantom” illegal meetings wherein the resignation of Steve Burkett was discussed. No time, date or location of these meetings has been identified. Their assumption seems to be that the new majority did something they didn’t like (win and fire Burkett) therefore something illegal must have occurred.

What Progress Shoreline and its supporters forget is that the new majority reflects dissatisfaction with the developer-friendly vision they offered. They used this not as an occasion for reflection, as an adult might, but for a temper tantrum. In short they are sore losers.

They seem unaware that the expenses of defending against their lawsuits will be borne by their fellow citizens, wasting City resources. The posture of Progress Shoreline appears to be that all development is good no matter the cost to our wallets or neighborhoods.

We well know what Progress Shoreline is against… the current majority, but what are they for, other than turning Shoreline into a theme-park for developers. The citizens of Shoreline should be wary of returning control of the City Council to Progress Shoreline and its supporters.



Aurora Avenue

Changing the name of the road is a silly idea

David Endicott, of Forward Shoreline, is promoting the wacky idea of renaming Aurora Avenue. He wants to call it “Shoreline Boulevard” to represent the pride our city will take in Aurora’s new look, after the expensive upgrades are completed.

Well, sorry, but I like the name Aurora Avenue. Besides being a lovely name, it’s got history behind it. It also proudly represents the many unique family-run businesses which have anchored our community for years.

Why is there such a desire on the basis of some people to diminish what we already have? Sure, we need to plan for the future. But we need to maintain a vital connection to our past – it provides our identity. Would you rather live in a town like Woodinville, where “downtown” is defined by a couple of shopping malls?

Here are some sensible suggestions which would go a long way towards improving life here in Shoreline:

Everyone knows that Interstate 5 is unpleasant during the morning and evening commutes. Let’s improve people’s driving experience by renaming our stretch “Have a Nice Day Parkway.”

Our city’s name is getting old and tattered. We’ve been incorporated for over 10 years and people are getting tired of the Shoreline brand. Maybe we should rename ourselves to something less tacky – something like “Pleasantville.”

Instead of changing Aurora Avenue’s name, we should consider changing the name of “Forward Shoreline” to something more descriptive: “Silly Shoreline.”



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