Following a public hearing Tuesday, the Edmonds City Council voted to take more time to review a proposal to adjust boundaries of the Medical/Highway 99 Activity Center to remove existing single-family designated areas.
At issue is whether changing boundaries of the activity center to remove the single-family housing designation would tarnish the character of existing single-family neighborhoods by encouraging development of nearby mixed use, condos/apartments, businesses and/or retail. The potential change was proposed from the Edmonds Planning Board as an amendment to the City of Edmonds Comprehensive Plan.
After hearing from citizens who urged the council to take a closer look at the idea, Councilmember Petso made a motion to send the proposal to the Council’s Community Services/Development Services Committee to review the proposed boundaries of the activities center. It was approved 6-1 with Council President Strom Peterson voting against.
The Council also:
– Approved a resolution declaring an emergency and waiving public bidding requirements so the Mayor can sign a contract with Strider Construction and appropriate $130,500 from the 412 Water Utility Fund to complete city water main connection work underneath the railroad tracks at Main Street. The work would be done in conjunction with Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad track repair already underway near Brackett’s Landing.
– Held public hearings on revenue sources and the 2012 property tax levy rate, and on the proposed 2012 budget. As part of the budget discussion, new City Finance Director Shawn Hunstock told the council that the city’s draft 2012 budget is balanced, but only because $788,000 worth of items are not being funded, including the following:
– The $300,000 vehicle replacement fund
– The $256,000 street fund
– The $19,000 LEOF medical insurance/expense fund
– The $25,000 fire pension fund
– The $188,000 building maintenance fund
“A structural imbalance exists in Edmonds’ budget,” Hunstock said, noting that the city’s revenue is projected to increase approximately 0.8 percent -1.4 percent per year,”due in large part to limitations on property tax increases and minimal sales tax growth.” Expenses, however, are projected increase 3.1-4.1 percent, he said.
The Council also heard a presentation on the Cities of Snohomish County Legislative Agenda for 2011-12, and agreed to incorporate it into the city lobbyist’s agenda for the upcoming legislative session.
Tuesday night Lora Petso once again demonstrated how she is prone to not vote for anything – unless, of course, it’s for parks.
Council approved a resolution, by a vote of 6 to 1, declaring an emergency and waiving public bidding requirements so the Mayor can sign a contract with Strider Construction and appropriate $130,500 from the 412 Water Utility Fund to complete city water main connection work underneath the railroad tracks at Main Street. The work would be done in conjunction with Burlington Northern Sante Fe railroad track repair already underway near Brackett’s Landing. By doing the work at this time the city enjoys considerable savings.
Ms. Petso, wanting to be certain that the situation was a legitmate emergency, emailed the city attorney on Tuesday to get his opinion. She questioned him again Tuesday night and he assured council members that this was a legitmate emergency situation. She gave every indication that she was satisfied with Mr. Taraday’s response, I was in the audience, then when the vote was taken she surprisingly voted against the resolution.
Our city would probably come to a standstill if other council members voted the way that Ms. Petso routinely does.
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