LFP Comp plan is a work in progress
I am writing in response to a letter printed in The Enterprise on October 10th. Joseph Hauth, a member of the Lake Forest Park Planning Commission, expounds at length on the current draft of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. He states “the current draft plan largely reflects thinking of the last ten years, with few ideas for the next twenty.”
As a former member of the Planning Commission, I would like to ask where Commissioner Hauth has been during the many work sessions he and his fellow commissioners undoubtedly have put in revising the city’s Comp plan?? Did he put forth his ideas on the land use section of the draft ordinance? It seems to me that Commissioner Hauth is criticizing a draft document that he himself had a hand in putting forth. The document, after all, is still a work-in-progress draft within the Planning Commission, and there is ample opportunity to make changes before the Commission refers it to the Council and Mayor for approval.
As I remember the process, the Mayor isn’t responsible for the leadership on this draft document—the commissioners are- which is why he appointed them.
I guess what bothers me most about Commissioner Hauth’s letter is his statement that “despite the work of city staff and volunteer commissions, the plan is remarkable for its lack of clarity, insight, or new vision.” He should not be so glib about the many hours, days and months that over seventy volunteers and staff have invested in creating a Plan to which the Community can aspire. The current Draft Comprehensive Plan reflects a major effort of all the commissions working together to establish a vision for our community. I hope Mr Hauth will consider this in the future before he goes shooting from the hip.
Former Lake Forest Park Planning Commissioner
Look to Fimia’s accomplishments
My husband and I have lived in the Shoreline community for 30 years. In that time we have always subscribed to the Enterprise. We have enjoyed reading the Enterprise because your reporting has always kept to the facts, however, the article on October 3rd regarding Maggie Fimia was just gossip. Where is the information on the candidates positions and experience? Is Ron Sims and Pelz worried that Maggi may show them what a true representative of the people will do for her community? Her website (www.maggiefimia.com) will show dozens of people who have worked with her and support her. It will also show her accomplishments. We, as citizens of Shoreline, want our hard earned money to be used in a way that will improve our community and our lives. We have seen a lot of waste and mishandling of funds in our government today. The people want facts in order for democracy to survive. We believe people are interested in employment so they can support their families, taxes that are fair, services that will provide for their safety and well being, and a clean, wholesome environment. Gossip reporting means nothing. We want to see substance in newspaper reporting.
Patti &Jim Fisher
Sims and Pelz were wrong about Fimia
I’m a Normandy Park City Council member who has worked for former King County Council member Maggie Fimia on local and regional transit issues.
I was amused to read Dwight Pelz’s and Ron Sims’s complaints about Maggie’s “lack of cooperation” with them. I have found Maggie great to work with, and consensus-oriented. Her best features are trying to get good value for every taxpayer dollar, and being willing to stand up to the big boys who try to steamroll the region in favor of poorly thought-out public projects in favor of special interests.
On the Metro Transit committee, it was Pelz who was uncooperative, repeatedly walking out of meetings to eliminate a quorum, so that we couldn’t make progress toward reducing the $35 million annual subsidy that King County’s suburban citizens pay toward Seattle’s bus service.
It was Sims who threatened vetoes if we tried to address this problem. Throughout King County, local electeds are disillusioned with Sims because he is uncooperative and takes a dictatorial stance. Maggie should be supported for standing up to him.
Sims and Pelz are the major proponents of Sound Transit’s Light Rail debacle. Many transportation experts and elected officials, Republicans and Democrats (I’m one of the latter), including former Gov. Booth Gardner, agree with Maggie that improved bus service can provide far more riders for far fewer dollars.
The reason Sims and Pelz are so intent on preventing Maggie from winning her Shoreline City Council race is they are afraid she will be selected to serve on the county regional committees, and ask the tough questions they’d rather not have to respond to. Maggie has exceptional energy and spends taxpayer money wisely, and she speaks up when the public is being wronged. Shoreline is lucky to have her as a candidate for City Council.
GUY SPENCER City Council member, city of Normandy Park
Aurora project isn’t fodder for election
Last week, I received a mailer from a Shoreline Council candidate with wording “scaling back sidewalks from 12 to 6 feet.” This statement is simply not true. There are no 12 foot wide sidewalks planned for Shoreline. Also not true is the statement that medians are to be “continuous”.
What is true is that the sidewalk width for the first mile, and that mile only, is 7 feet. In addition, the current plan is for a 4 foot “planting strip” comprised of perhaps grass and periodically trees to separate pedestrians from the outside lanes of Aurora, which will frequently be carrying 40,000 lb. buses. This is similar to, but less conspicuous than, what’s on Meridian N and 5th NE. The minimum planting strip width is reportedly 4 feet. So, while we can alter the sidewalk width, our choices with the planting strip are to have it or not; there’s no in-between. That decision is whether we think it’s more encouraging and safer for pedestrians in our aging society to walk “with” or “without” a planting strip.
In addition, there1s been no decision on sidewalk widths nor whether there will be a planting strip for the upgraded second and third mile of Aurora; that Aurora isn’t fully funded yet.
Speaking of funding, I regularly hear that the money for Aurora can be transferred to other city projects. Not true! This funding is grants that are specifically designated for Aurora and not for whatever the city pleases. In addition, there is a requirement for local contribution. The city has lessened this by applying other grants as part. Lastly, if we don’t meet the conditions of the grant, those monies go elsewhere. Example: when Seattle voted against rail transit in 1970, that billion dollars of federal transit aid became Atlanta1s wonderful MARTA rail system.
Recognize city’s accomplishments
For the past 30 years I have had the privilege of calling Shoreline my home. I had the honor of attending and graduating from Shorewood H.S. While I do not currently live in Shoreline, my parents do. I still very much consider Shoreline to be “home” and I visit Shoreline often.
When the City of Shoreline first incorporated, I was very skeptical. I thought, “who needs another level of bureaucracy?” After seeing the city operate for several years I have come to the conclusion that Shoreline is the model of what every city should be.
Here are some of the noticeable improvements that I have seen over the years:
Improved roadways. Shoreline no longer has the number of potholes that it use to. Sidewalks, curbs, and cross walks have been added in numerous areas.
Improved police protection. Shoreline has police officers dedicated to the area, yet still enjoy a very close relationship with the King County Sheriff’s office.
Additional Fire Stations and increased Fire and EMS protection.
Improved parks. Shoreline has taken ownership of the parks and provided awesome maintenance and numerous improvements.
Countless opportunities for citizen input and involvement.
Residents of Shoreline are part of one of the best cities in the State, and perhaps even the United States of America.
There is an upcoming election. As evidenced by the recent re-call of the California governor and subsequent election of a new governor, the tendency these days seems to be one of frustration, one of change. Don’t vote for change just because someone else is.
I would like to encourage everyone who has the privilege and the honor of being a registered voter in the wonderful city of Shoreline to give careful consideration in how you vote during the upcoming elections for City Council members as well as School Board members.
Shoreline needs new leaders
For Shoreline City Council I will be voting for new representation, not incumbents, because several trends are disturbing:
1. Shoreline City Council and Planning Commission imposed restrictive public comment rules. We speak before the facts of the staff presentation are available or after the decisions have been made, which makes citizen comment irrelevant. I want fair and accurate representation.
2. Shoreline’s Capital Improvement Plan and operating budget show increasing red ink in next 6 years. City Council brags about no debt while committing us to enormous and rapidly increasing debt.
3. Red ink means raising more taxes or cutting services. We cut back on road repair while City Council uses councilmanic debt for projects voters will not pass. Roads, parks, water, and public safety are higher citizen priorities than a new city hall.
4. Sensitive areas code changes allow construction within wetland buffers. Our new laws weaken pre-existing laws and don’t conform to state sensitive area restrictions.
5. Installing and then removing/redoing street improvements and traffic signals is a waste of tax dollars. City also grants variances too often. All three miles of Aurora corridor needs to be improved with narrower sidewalks, fewer raised medians and better east-west traffic flow. Our tax-paying local businesses should be allowed to survive. A large number of businesses begged the City Council to postpone drawing the Aurora Corridor width lines. But incumbents voted to draw maximum Aurora Corridor width lines quickly instead of delaying, citing ‘certainty’ needs. The ‘certainty’ wish appeared to come from speculators and developers. Our city seems to fight for the developers instead of its residents.
Vote based on candidate positions and actions. This is neither a beauty or a friendship contest. This is policy decision selection. Educate yourself and then vote.