Thursday, October 8, 2015
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
The city council meeting last night was one of the most functional meetings I've seen in a long time (with the exception of the Mayor's silence -- which I will address soon.) James Johnston, a neighbor shared his expertise during Items for the Audience for improving the noise problem from Marymoor Park concerts. This same neighbor is very vocal on the "Education Hill of Redmond" Facebook Group and several councilmembers are finally paying attention to us through this vehicle. It would be great if all our neighborhoods (including the Downtown neighborhood) had a Facebook Group for input but so far the City government hasn't facilitated this and continues to miss out in how we feel. The City of Kirkland has "neighborhood associations" which organized a Council Candidate Debate. Redmond neighborhoods aren't even close. Fortunately Councilman John Stilin has found the Education Hill facebook group and has been bold enough to observe and participate in it. John Marchione and Council have been dealing with the Marymoor noise for over 8 years without results; it finally took chatter from the Facebook Group to help John Stillin identify the problem and bring it to the attention of government. The discussion with King County during the Council Meeting was truly one of the most productive and thorough deliberations I've seen for a neighborhood issue. Stillin and the Council in general shined. It would have been healthy for the city if our government was just as functional on "city growth issues." But, it's too late for that and a contested mayoral race is on.
What was glaringly noticeable last night at the Council meeting was the Mayor's lack of participation and representation during the Marymoor deliberations. The Mayor was full of "Thank You's" and minor management of the agenda. He looked weak and is weak in this regard. While council certainly wasn't under Marchione's grip last night, the Mayor was complacent and non-responsive to the neighborhoods on the important Marymoor issue (as he is on the Downtown neighborhood growth issue.) He also has a problem conveying his representation on regional issues during council meetings. He is touted for being a leader on regional issues but he rarely brings up the specifics of his representation locally during council meetings, OP-ED's or the like.
In a Steve Fields Q&A that resident and blogger Paige Norman conducted, Mr. Fields was asked: "What do you think is the primary role of the Mayor in Redmond?" Mr. Fields answered: "The Mayor is the only full-time, elected position that exclusively represents and answers to the people who live in Redmond. This creates a unique position. The citizens need to trust the leadership and the word of the Mayor."
"Full time" . "Word of the mayor" "Represents and answers to the people" Fields nails it.
The Mayor needs to take notice and be more open and representative for the people. His silence is deafening. Thank you Mr. Fields.
Opinion by Bob Yoder
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Friday, October 2, 2015
This park costs $37,000,000 and it will be used almost entirely by the tenants nearby, not the community at large. Even Councilmember Richard Cole once said that the Downtown Park was intended for the downtown residents and not the neighborhoods.
As I recall, Steve Feilds told me the Park was designed by very expensive planners from outside our city; and if he were to have it his way he would use city planners, not outsiders. Also very few of the downtown residents were engaged in the design. Fields would engage the greater community.
But it is what it is...
By Bob Yoder
Thursday, October 1, 2015
As a member of the LWSD Facilities Task Force, which is responsible for developing a plan for future school construction and optimizing the use of existing buildings, I have learned the importance of engaging stakeholders, and that community-generated planning is more effective than decisions made at the top without consultation.
The PTSA Council and Dickinson PTSA will hold a forum for school board candidates. It is scheduled for Thursday, October 15th from 7:00 to 8:30 at Redmond High Performing Arts Center. Unfortunately, Jackie Pendergrass is unable to attend and a PTA volunteer will present prepared responses.
Learn more about the November 3 election process and school district HERE.
Reported by Bob Yoder
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015
Opinion by Bob Yoder
Reported by Bob Yoder
To view the videos, click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Reported by Bob Yoder
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Sunday, September 20, 2015
- What would you have done differently, if anything, with the approach taken on the two recent failed tax propositions? My understanding is the original public safety levy is expiring. Renewing makes sense - if the money isn't already there. Does the City only ask for money when a perceived ‘crisis’ comes up like an expired tax levy?
- Does it feel safe? Are people excited and proud of how it looks? (I.e. Design Standards for new buildings like condos.)
- Does it accommodate all forms of mobility? (Transit, Bikes, Cars, Walking)
- Is there a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and business that reflect our character and community identity? (And do small businesses feel confident in coming here)
- Are there public green spaces and other public land to balance private businesses and residences?
- Are we ensuring that the eco-system is not being degraded and threatened?
- Is it laid out so that walking or bicycling makes sense to most people?
- Adequate Parking, transit, or ways around the city to avoid coming downtown are included in the planning?
- A limited city transit system or shuttle system.
- Find ways to negotiate more transit service from regional services such as metro and sound transit.
- Placing limited small shops and stores in neighborhood locations to limit traffic downtown.
- Look at where roads that bypass downtown could decrease congestion.
- Look at how the city is spatially constructed and find ways to make typical trips more convenient or less spread out. Right now our downtown area is fragmented. (Does anyone know where the heart of downtown actually is?)
- And the elephant in the room. We need to consider how to manage the rate of growth.
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Thursday, September 17, 2015
Mayor John Marchione encourages all residents to stop by and donate food or consider hosting a food drive during the month of October. “A food drive is a great employer–employee effort, as well as a great school or neighborhood project to show you care.” This Day of Concern Food Drive is part of a month-long community-wide effort, with other participating cities, Bellevue, Kirkland, Issaquah, Mercer Island, Northbend, and Sammamish.