Constructive criticism and facts
This month, there are a number of items I’ll attempt to get everyone caught up on. It’s not all pretty, but it is factual (for those who tend to confuse constructive criticism and facts with negativity).
At the Aug. 20, 2012 council meeting, the administration (mayor’s office) brought forward a $19,800 request for a Mukilteo promotional video. The council approved the request 5-2 and I was proudly in the minority.
At the time, I was suspicious and thought the video would likely be released at a time when it would benefit the mayor’s run for re-election more than Mukilteo.
The video was released last week and prominently features the mayor. The video is being promoted heavily by the administration presumably because any self-respecting council would likely move to take down the mayor’s campaign piece until after the election.
In the video, the mayor states that “Mukilteo was named the ninth best city to live by Money magazine for the third consecutive year.” This isn’t quite right, considering Money ranks cities our size every other year.
In 2009 we were ranked No. 10 and then two years later in 2011 upped our ranking to No. 9. However, what’s really troubling to many of us is our city didn’t even make the top 50 in the 2013 ranking.
Although I have my suspicions, I’m really not sure what happened and, this being election season and all, no one at City Hall seems to be talking.
Tank Farm transfer
If you believe that once the Tank Farm is transferred from the federal government to the Port of Everett, Mukilteo is going to benefit by getting a promenade, waterfront shops and ferry traffic off the Speedway, you may want to adjust your thinking.
As it turns out, while everyone is talking about a promenade, no one has done what is necessary to make it a reality until after the various adjoining parcels are developed.
There’s no room for the waterfront shops previously envisioned in part because the area necessary for the ferry holding as well as the access road uses most of the available space.
And, if you’re still in the camp that an alternate access road will ever happen or is really even needed, send me an email at email@example.com and I’ll forward you the alternate access documentation and the ferry ridership numbers previously sent to the planning commission after the mayor got them all stirred up when the council decided to remove the road from our comprehensive plan.
The Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival was by all measures a great success this year. However, city officials need to step up and address the pedestrian safety issue at the ferry dock intersection.
I applaud the police presence but continue to be extremely disappointed with the relative absence of pedestrian safety management at the ferry dock intersection, especially during events like the festival and Mukilteo Farmers Market.
Even after working to get funding for a police officer at the intersection during the farmers market, somehow the message has become diluted to the point where the officer spends almost all their time away from the intersection.
Even after the first Pet Parade where there were some issues with the permitted activity crossing through the intersection, the second Pet Parade, again a paid city permitted activity, had no police assistance through the intersection.
Some good news on the horizon as it pertains to Japanese Gulch is it appears $4.3 million will be secured for purchase of the property.
Unfortunately, the administration’s insistence on publishing the seller’s price as the estimated purchase price despite repeated requests not to has created a much bigger controversy than necessary.
Councilmember Jennifer Gregerson has presented a well thought out proposal to the council that would pay for the balance without increasing taxes and in part by reducing expenses.
While the city newsletter and recreation guide just released does have the new extended community center hours listed, there is absolutely no mention or notice of the change to promote the new hours to our residents.
As mentioned last month, the powers-that-be aren’t supportive of the new hours, so obviously aren’t going to promote them to our residents. So, please spread the word.
If residents don’t know about the new hours, residents won’t use their community center Friday and Saturday evenings or Sundays, and the extended hours will no doubt be eliminated from the 2014 budget.
Speaking of the city newsletter, I need to correct an omission in the future park-and-ride article.
Truth be told, I wrote the grant application and it was the collaboration of myself, Councilmember Steve Schmalz and Councilmember Jennifer Gregerson along with County Councilmember Brian Sullivan, Airport Director Dave Waggoner and state Rep. Marko Liias that resulted in the $1 million grant that was awarded to Community Transit for the future park-and-ride.
Mayor Marine was not supportive of our effort and now that we were successful, it’s highly disingenuous for him to take credit and omit the Mukilteo city councilmembers who actually reignited this project.
The preceding feature is published the second Wednesday of each month for The Beacon and is the opinion of Kevin Stoltz and may or may not represent the views of the Mukilteo City Council.