4/11 MPD & City Council Review

I am president of the Metropolitan Park District. As such I actually do look over the financial reports.I did ask what one of the payments to a company I didn’t recognize was and it turned out to be doggie poop bays for our parks. That was the high point of the meeting. Otherwise we just looked over and approved the finances ,the billing vouchers and meeting minutes of previous sessions. In this case no news is good news , the meeting was finished.

We moved on to the main City Council meeting for the evening and there was a call to order, the rollcall ,the approval agenda and then we started the presentations. First it was the Normandy Park Parent Association preschool program and several people who represent them presented their findings. At this time they are proceeding with their plans to have their classes held at the church up the street for the time being until the future of a possible Recreation Center is decided. They still feel that at this time that they would like to be under the city umbrella. We really won’t know what will happen with this program in the future until the future has arrived. It will depend upon cost finances as has been discussed before and also whether or not a new recreationj Center is built. In spite of the enthusiasm of some young members who have children for a ,preschool program there is the bigger question and it does come up in public when I talk with people about it. That is simply ,why is the city involved with a preschool program at all question? After all there are private preschools in the area and one has to also ask why isn’t Highline School District running preschool programs?But that’s another question for another day ,for the time being the group and Normandy park parent association preschool program group will continue and will have their program and they are recruiting people and parents who are signing their kids up for this program, stay tune for further developments in the future.

Then we moved on the Title 10 amendments right away maintenance ordinance # 10 Now this amendment is something that should have under normal conditions been routine and passed under consent agenda and taken all of five minutes. Instead because of a few minor issues it has gone on for several readings and far, far ,far too much time discussing an issue of who is responsible for shoveling snow off of sidewalks. All the other aspects concerning sidewalks and right of way have been laid out clear and very concise. The only remaining issue seems to be if the city has plow trucks that pile of snow on some residents sidewalk who is responsible for clearing that snow. ? The maintenance Division wants the house owner to be responsible and some of the residents want the city to be responsible. I understand both points of view, my main concern which I brought up, was what about little old ladies and little old gentleman who don’t have the physical wherewithal to shovel that snow ? Can’t you just leave the snow there ? And the counterpoint argument was well if somebody has to walk around the snow in the street then the city will be held liable and maybe have to pay fines if someone is hurt. This is another case where our over litigious society is wasting our time from lawsuits and lawyers. Somehow we managed to get by Without problem for decades. But now because of all the legal eagles all too willing to Sue Cities we need to address this problem. Well after about 40 minutes more of a too long conversation on a simple item it was basically sent back to the maintenance department to work out the fine points and bring it back to the council at the next meeting with two or three options of how to proceed. We will see what happens then but this is a perfect case of where a minor issue takes up an absolutely inordinate amount of time of the council and I guess it just comes with the territory.

Then it was the public comment. And one or two members of the public repeated the same nonsensical claims about the rec center how we should keep it just as it is even though, it has been stated clearly on numerous occasions that it has been structurally condemned and cannot be used and it’s costing us a minimum of $60,000-$90,000 a year to sit there. Those people have heard this on numerous occasions and they just ignore it and continue with their own mantra emotional appeal to their past memories and ignore the facts of the present reality since they have been informed of this again and again and again I see no reason to listen to those concerns about the rec center keeping it as a building you cannot use. It’s déjà vu —-they’re not listening.

Next it was consent agenda. Just a couple of words about the consent agenda it was the earth core agreement for Nature Trails Park forest restoration . They have been working on this for a number of years removing invasive weeds and planting native plants. We will spend another $25,000 this summer for the Earth Corp.to continue working on that project .There is also the approval of the claims and payroll voucher summary nothing unusual there in the mini meeting minutes from April 13 ,k24 and 27 .

There was an agreement on the south county housing and homelessness partner ,the SKHHP interim agreement to administer funds to build housing that’s so-called affordable for the homeless in King County .Basically this is a program in my view with good intentions, to get homeless people off the streets and into a place where they can live. Of course if we didn’t have greedy landlords or corporations their wouldn’t be an “crisis”. So the citizens are basically taxed to subsidize the building of these Places and so the landlords can continue to charge exorbitant prices, nice deal for them.I remember reading an article about a year ago or maybe just before Covid when they did the homeless count for King County and there were at that time about 11,000 homeless people in King County.There also just happened to be another article in the paper that day noting the construction companies were building about 11,000 new units for Seattle and maybe that was King County as well. Of course those buildings those units would be for sale at market price. Now in a well run just society since homelessness has been declared an emergency the county authority should have just confiscated those 11,000 thousand new units and move the homeless into them first before worrying about new transplants from other states. Now the finances of such an act is for another day. :)However everyone knows that it is more expensive to keep people homeless on the streets and all the upkeep social services and police that they require than. to move them into some kind of decent housing. Of course the King County authority would never ever think of doing something that rational.But that’s another discussion. What This interim agreement means is, that Normandy Park gives this money to the county and lets them use that money to build facilities for the homeless in another area. The people here are more than happy to pay to have this built in other areas as long as it’s not Normandy Park . They won’t say that in polite society but that is what it really comes down to.

Other than the consent agenda we can move on to the report of the officers and there has been a real dearth of reporting by the various committees that the city Council members sit on so we are going to have a special meeting on that two weeks from now . For my part I sit on the metro solid waste advisory committee the MSWAC. They are talking about rate increases and building and expanding current solid waste garbage facilities in the northern part of the county we already have ours down here. Nothing exciting there.

I will say that in the big picture of things recycling in this county has been a waste , Pardon the pun. You have a one party dictatorship in King County for decades. A King County that claims to be progressive and environmental in the extreme ,yet over 30 years later we still cannot separate plastic bags and get them recycled ,they go straight into landfill trash. That is the epitome of failure. It really reflects the total failure of leader ship at the higher levels of the county and state. More on that later.

New business: there was a proclamation declaring May 15 is peace officers memorial day as part of national police week which the Mayor wrote and that was approved. In spite of the current arguments over policing I think one pertinent fact people should keep in mind is there are over 900,000 police officers in the country. I’m surprised we don’t have more issues.

It’s ordinance # 1018 land use: members regarding signs was presented by our community development Director and it was concise short and well written and approved.

Ordinance # 1025 the land use code amendments regarding rooftop decks and single-family zones was an item that was brought forward by citizens who live here In Normandy Park and they want to have rooftop decks .I should say it’s better to be ahead of the curve than have no rules and regulations and then have problems legally so this was written up by the community development director, everybody thought it was a good idea and it was approved.

It’s Ordinance #1027 amendment to Normandy Park municipal code 7.90 was simply a legal adjustment requested by our legal authorities to clean up some Termanology in that ordinance that was done ,discussed ,approved.

The 2021 overlay project award was discussed shortly and this is for engineering and culverts to improve the water flows so we don’t have flooding in a couple of areas off of Miller ,Walker Creek and these are items that are very expensive but partially or largely financed by the state and I believe maybe the federal government .They are important necessary things that need to be done especially before we do some repaving of some of these roads and the cables are put in at the same time so that was just the maintenance department giving us the lowdown on all of that and it was approved.

A letter in support of the port of Seattle aircraft noise home reinstallation pilot project was presented by the mayor and that is a letter to go to our state senators and that was approved .

Just one very very short comment on the port of Seattle and these home installations ,if anyone thinks that insulating your house so you don’t hear anything outside is a good idea and everything will be just fine, let me know. This means that even if you don’t hear the jets overhead around the clock from the airport you still are getting all of the pollution from the air ,all of the deadly consequences of that jet pollution and you are now prisoners in your own house . You can’t lay out in your backyard and have a nice picnic or some quiet time looking at the trees or the flowers because you’ll be driven crazy by the noise so these remediation programs are just a stopgap measure They do not answer any serious steps forward and this is all you can expect from your big-time senators and council members of the King County type They will give you Band-Aids solutions ,nickel and dime answers but nothing substantial and the substantial we need is HYPERLOOP. Since you cannot take on the port of Seattle ,since they are owned by the big corporate giants like Delta and Alaska and run by them and their friends in the FAA and the port of Seattle the best we can do is promote Hyperloop . If you don’t know what hyperloop is then please check it out on the Internet. You can also go to hyperloopnw.org and see just what it implies ,I urge you to do that.

We scheduled a city Council workshop for May 25, on Committee reporting. We have not been doing this for the past year or more which is how to slack your city Council has been.

Lastly at that point the meeting ended and we went into executive session and the purpose of the executive session was to evaluate the qualifications of the person to be hired for city manager their background checks and to discuss the contract issues etc. and I cannot get into the details of that legally apparently. I’m probably on thin ground even saying this. After the person is hired perhaps we can talk more about that but it’s pretty Mundane things actually. Thank you for bearing with us for the short report and I hope you can see how routine many of our meetings are :they are necessary paperwork, necessary bureaucratic things that must be approved.

Now for those of you who drink it’s probably miller time but since I don’t I think it’s time for a long cool root beer ——-🖖until next time bye-bye.

4/13 /21 City Council review

Well there was the usual consent agenda items like : community Recycling grant received for hazardous waste , Planning Commission reappointment, minutes approval and claims check approval.

Then we went to Continued Business . That included adding Ordinance #1021 regarding abuse off the 911 Emergency Call System. The Chief of Police requested this. Apparently they have had a problem with someone calling repeatedly over the SAME issue that has already been addressed. It became a form of harassment and tied up lines for legitimate calls. The city had no laws against this. Thus a law and fine are now in place. Whoever was doing this is either mentally imbalanced or if it were another jurisdiction perhaps it would be an act of political harassment. In N.P. I suspect the former. Either way the motion quickly passed.

Ordinance #1022 regarding clarifying regulations for Peddlers had a second reading and moved along.

Ordinance # 1024 Stormwater Coordinator position was added within the Public Works Dept. and had its second reading…The purpose of this was to give the person responsible for the stormwater work a bump in their pay and they have earned it . Stormwater issues or a surprisingly expensive and common and repetitive issue for cities and that includes Normandy’s Park .Next!

Ordinance # 1023 Title 10 Right of away Maintenace Code appeared at first to be routine…but then as sometimes happens -‘Things get sticky. The public works department head explained what it was about and then it became clear that the public did not all agree on the details or Who should be responsible for what sort of maintenance regarding sidewalks. The end result of a rather long and frankly confusing conversation was that the department head will give us a further explanation, clarification, and presentation about this issue next city council meeting. I’m not sure what to make of all this ordinance number 1023 so, I will withhold further comment until after the presentation.

New Business:

There was an Autism Awareness proclamation by the mayor that was passed. There were also selections made to serve on the city manager interview panel. There was an update on the school year preschool fees and what that group of citizens is doing at this time . This will be ongoing. There also was a proposed parking code revision ordinance number # 1026 that the police department wanted and that was passed as well.

So all in all it was a very short and businesslike meeting and the real issue is we will be focused on hiring a new city manager. We adjourned and that was all there was for this city Council meeting just the usual boring but necessary items that need to be taken care of.