Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Current PCO, former BOD member Family Support Network, Former DSHS employee, Trained mediator, Arbitration experience, court facilitator
When Shoreline incorporated in 1995, the city inherited an infrastructure mess. Not only did a substantial portion of the city lack sidewalks and streetlights, but the sidewalks that were there were already in need of repair or replacement. In the years since, with the exception of areas around the Aurora corridor, older sidewalks have not been replaced and new ones have not been installed. The same can be said for street lights, the city has budgeted for only 10 new street lights per year in a city that has approved a plan to place as many people as there are in Shoreline right now in a total area of a mile and a half radius surrounding 185th and 7th Ave NE. How can we possibly address the infrastructure needs of the rest of Shoreline when all eyes will be on 185th and 7th ?
I think the best response to homelessness is prevention. This is especially true in light of needed development. We are responsible to see to it that as few people as possible are displaced as development occurs, and we are tasked with finding as many creative ways as possible to ensure that fewer are priced out of their homes because of that development. When we must displace people, we then have a responsibility to rehouse them quickly and within their resources. Are we requiring developers to construct truly affordable housing? Do we have a good grasp on what the definition of affordable is? The median income for Shoreline residents who own a home is $85,000 a year. The median for people who rent is $41,000. The definition of affordability depends on which side of $85,000 you live.
For those already homeless, we must determine the reason for that circumstance. It is only then that we can determine what services or resources are needed to get our homeless people where they can thrive
I do believe that issues of affordability, homelessness prevention, and community can be addressed in creative housing solutions for seniors, low income families, and rehousing those who are displaced due to development. Additional accessibility requirements and medical needs need to be considered whenever city council is looking at development. In our rezone areas, we must assure that there is affordable and accessible senior housing.
All people, regardless of immigration status deserve to be treated respectfully in any encounter with public officials; and in order to provide service to any given individual, it is not necessary to ascertain that person’s status. We have no need to ask, period. Shoreline took steps in the right direction earlier this year when we joined other cities in the region and declared ourselves to be a Sanctuary City. We still need to ensure that our immigrants feel safe and welcome here, not just in the next little while but for decades to come.
There is a planned development just outside our city limits that very likely will have a huge negative impact on the traffic patterns on the west side of the city. Since control of the potential development is outside the jurisdiction of our city council, we have to do the best we can in the way of negotiations with the people who do have final say on that issue. Point Wells is a very delicate issue since all of the negative impacts will be borne by those with no real say in the process.
I’d have to say that the proposed development around 185th and 7th Ave NE is the most urgent. It has the potential to impact at the very least, the 52,500 people the current approved plan will allow in that 1.5 square miles. Unlike the Point Wells development, this is development we DO have control over. This is development that we can manage well and mitigate the negative impacts of. We have an unprecedented opportunity to make the Shoreline of the future even better than the Shoreline of today.
I would say that I would treat this as I have treated any other task I have taken on. I have done well wherever I have been. I take the initiative to get things done. I don’t see things changing in that regard any time soon!
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Susan is a City of Shoreline Planning Commissioner, civil engineer, former Girl Scout cookie mom, volunteer/past Board member of the Richmond Beach Community Association, and member of Professional and Technical Employees Local 17.
The City of Shoreline has a number of infrastructure issues related to aging roads, sidewalks, and utilities such as stormwater and water. The city also has areas of inadequate sidewalks and lacks a complete sidewalk and bicycle network. Repair of existing infrastructure or construction of new facilities will require various funding mechanisms and take into consideration the City’s already high property taxes.
The City of Shoreline is also expected to grow with the arrival of two light rail stations in 2023. There will be increased traffic to the two new station areas, as well as increased population around the station areas over time. Improvements to the transportation network and utility infrastructure around the station areas will be needed.
The City of Shoreline is doing its part to address the homelessness crisis by providing funding to shelters, food banks, and human services. It has partnered with King County and other organizations to build low-income housing at Ronald Commons and at a new city-owned site on Aurora Avenue. The City has also updated its development code to streamline and clarify permitting of temporary homeless encampments sponsored by religious organizations.
Approximately 15% of Shoreline residents are senior citizens. I support providing stable funding to the Shoreline/Lake Forest Park Senior Center as well as social and physical programs targeting senior citizens through the City’s Parks Department. I also support the City’s ongoing efforts to reach out to senior organizations to solicit their ideas when changes or updates to City programs are being considered.
Many of our senior citizens live on fixed incomes. We need to consider the impact on city residents and senior citizens in particular when evaluating ways to fund the City’s programs and services.
I support the Shoreline City Council’s adoption of Resolution No. 401 declaring the City of Shoreline to be an inviting, equitable and safe community for all and prohibiting inquiries by City of Shoreline officers and employees into immigration status and activities designed to ascertain such status, unless required by law or by court order. Shoreline contracts with the King County Sheriff’s Office for police services, and their policy is to not ask immigration status of our residents.
The major issues facing the City of Shoreline include planning for the opening of two light rail stations in 2023, inadequate sidewalks and lack of a complete sidewalk and bicycle network, siting and construction of a new aquatics and community center, funding to repair and replace aging infrastructure, the need for additional parks, and bringing new businesses and economic development to Shoreline. The residents of Shoreline expect a high level of service from their City government, and it will be important for us to find ways to preserve and enhance the qualities of the City that brought so many of us here.
All of the major issues are important and interrelated; however, preparation for the arrival of light rail is the most urgent because of its impact on the City. The City has rezoned the areas around the stations for transit-oriented development, allowing for a larger number of people to live closer to the stations and to arrive at the station by alternative means. While transit-oriented development can bring positive changes, over time, the rezoning will significantly change established neighborhoods of predominantly single-family homes. The City needs to plan for, monitor, and mitigate impacts of new growth and traffic so that Shoreline remains a desirable community for our residents.
Shoreline has an excellent City Manager, who I have worked with on issues in my current position as a City of Shoreline Planning Commissioner and during my time on the Richmond Beach Neighborhood Association Board. The City Manager is very receptive to answering questions, and she has a background in finance which is very useful for informing decisions. I anticipate working along with the other Councilmembers to develop Council priorities and working with the City Manager via weekly meetings.