Stand up and support your city, Shoreline

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  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 9:14am

By Connie King

Enough already! I write to the hundreds of committed citizens who worked so hard to make Shoreline a city. Remember how hard we worked contacting other people, going to meeting after meeting to learn how to become a city, collecting all those signatures and getting out the vote? Remember? Remember how exciting it was when the vote came in and it was over 80%? What a great time that was!

Then the work began. King County, knowing we were going to incorporate, let our roads and surface water issues go unattended…let the City pay for them, they said. Well, we did. The City receives just 10% of our total property tax, and with that we have improved the roads and made major strides to fixing many of the surface water problems. King County used to mow our parks once a year (maybe)…now we have beautiful parks and we still have a public pool. Other cities are scrambling to finance theirs or close them down.

Do you remember all the prostitutes that walked Aurora? All the meth labs that were in homes around the city?  (Did you ever hear the story about the two fellows being taken down to the County jail?  They were talking in the backset, blaming each other for being caught when one said to the other: I told you not to try this in Shoreline, they have too many police! )

Do you remember the first police car we had that read Shoreline Police? It drove all over the city and people cheered as it went by. Citizens left donations for the police at Starbucks to pay for their coffee. Remember all the police we were able to have? Certainly many more than the two who tried valiantly to cover the entire north end.

Do you remember how dirty and messy our streets were before the city hired workers from NRF to clean and cut grass along our arterials? Do you remember how the sidewalks were so irregular and pushed up by roots that it was dangerous to even walk on them. Do you remember when wheelchairs had to ride on the road because they couldn’t get up on the sidewalks?

The City Council and staff have managed all of this on less taxes than what we would have been paying if we had stayed with the County or was even available to the City had they chosen to raise taxes as high as they we allowed.

Now there are a bunch of mal-contents who are constantly running down what the City Council has accomplished because they can’t get their way. The strange thing is that they keep changing just what they want. But basically what they want is, to quote one of their leaders, Not one blade of grass changed in Shoreline. As nice as that might be, this area is still growing and we need to adjust to it. Aurora Ave. has been and is still a proverb with city planners. The expression is: Do you want your street to look like Aurora? Heaven forbid! Isn’t that something to be proud of!  One of the first goals the City Council set was that when someone drives into Shoreline, either 145th or 205th, they know they have left that ugly part of Seattle or Lynnwood and arrived at a attractive part of Highway 99. A place that encourages business, makes it more enjoyable to shop here and is visually beautiful and friendly. That is what we dreamed that Shoreline could be.

Citizens of Shoreline, I call on you to stand up and support the work that the City Council is doing. You have no idea of the time it takes to do the job they do. Now they are hearing from disaffected citizens who want to run the city their way. Their rudeness is so un-Shoreline, it’s embarrassing.

A good example of how to do it right is to look at North City neighborhood. There the leaders worked with the businesses and what happened? New businesses are coming in; they have worked together to get a plan to rejuvenate that area and even had the Shoreline City Parade there last year. One neighborhood! The other 12 neighborhoods would do well to copy their plan of action. We would all benefit. And the City would certainly be a lot prettier with more hanging baskets and holiday decorations.

Connie King is the former mayor of Shoreline.

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