Laurelhurst Community Club

Minutes for December 11, 2006

St. Stephen's Church, Seattle WA


Attending: Maggie Weissman, Leslie Wright, Brian McMullen, Don Torrie, Liz Ogden, Jeannie Hale, Mark Trumbauer, Stan Sorscher, Marian Joh, Susan Rupp, Lora Poepping,

 Excused:  Susan Bennett, Jennifer Biely and Bonnie Zinn (leaves of absence), Barb Bender, Nan Haigwood, Joe Herrin, Heather Newman, Mark Holden

 Guests:  Lisa Macfarlane, "Schools First" Board of Trustees, Karen Ko

 The meeting was called to order at 7:05 PM.

 Seattle Propositions 1 and 2:  Lisa Macfarlane briefed the board on the February 6, 2007 school capital bond and operations levy.  These measures will replace measures that are expiring and require a 60 percent vote to pass. This will be the 7th campaign in 10 years. Prior to 1994, 4 levies failed to pass.

 

The $490 million capital bond measure continues the school district’s long-range plan for funding new construction and building renovation or additions.  It would pay for 26 projects in the area of buildings, infrastructure improvements and or additions.  The building projects include renovation and replacement of secondary school facilities throughout the city.  The infrastructure improvements focus on replacement of water piping, improvements in indoor air quality and replacement of athletic fields.  Specifically, the bond measure would pay for:

·        Renovations at Hamilton International Middle School and Nathan Hale High School,

·        Replacement of the South Shore building,

·        Implementation of the Denny-Sealth Campus Plan, including a new Denny building, new common facilities and a renovated Chief Sealth building,

·        Construction of the Rainier Beach Career and Technology Center, and

·        An addition to Ingraham High School.

 

Projects near the funding "waterline" include replacement of facilities at Graham Hill, Lowell, McClure, Mercer, Montlake, Sanislo and Summit K-12 schools.

 

The indoor air quality projects include improvements at Ingraham, Loyal Heights, Montlake, Rainier Beach, Sacajawea and Whitworth schools.

 

The athletic fields projects include replacement of turf at Denny/Chiet Sealth field and Summit/Nathan Hale fields, installation of new synthetic turf at Eckstein field and renovation of Hiawatha field.

 

The six-year bond measure would allow the district to borrow money upfront and repay it at a lower interest rate than it would cost to pay construction-related cost increases due to inflation over time.

 

The $397 million operations levy makes up 23 percent of the district’s annual general fund budget.  It supports basic education programs not fully funded by the state.  The levy will pay for continuation of full-day kindergarten, as the state only pays for half-day kindergarten.  It will pay for bilingual services, special education services and student transportation.  The proposition replaces an expiring, three-year levy that voters approved in 2004. The school budget, overall breaks out as 23% from levies, 57% from state funding, 12% from Federal funding, and 7% from fees, more or less.

 

ADMINISTRATION:

Changes to the Agenda:  Add three-month leave of absence requested by Heather Newman.

 Requested Leave:  Newman is working on a major project at her job which means she is now working 70 hours per week.  She has requested a three-month leave of absence from LCC.  She will continue to work on absentee landlord issues as time permits, but will be unable to represent LCC at CUCAC during this period.  The board consented to the leave as requested.

 Treasurer’s Report:  Marian Joh has opened an interest-bearing account, in addition to an operating account. We also have a CD for funds that we don't need access to immediately. Marian will bring a draft budget to the January meeting. Jeannie Hale said that historically, the Board uses its resources to help the community and neighborhood, and our budgets are usually structured with that in mind.

 Minutes:  The board reviewed the November 13, 2006 minutes.  Motion by Liz Ogden, seconded by Mark Trumbauer to accept the minutes. Motion passed unanimously.

  CALLS AND CONCERNS:

1.    Skate Park:  Neighbor Kristy Petersen emailed on 11/30 to express opposition to a skate park at the Playfield.

 2.    Leaves:  Haigwood reported a concern about neighbors who fail to keep their leaves off sidewalks and walking areas.  There is an article in the December/January newsletter reminding neighbors about the rules governing sidewalk safety, trimming back overgrowth, etc.

 3.    Beach Club, Etc:  Dolores Petra emailed on 11/12/06 to inquire about the Beach Club and how to get a housesitter for a couple of months next year.  A Beach Club contact was provided and Petra was directed to Leslie Wright to explore putting an unclassified in the newsletter for a housesitter.

 4.    Public Safety:  Shelly Moore emailed on 12/06 to report on her communications with Seattle Police  Department Crime Prevention dealings with Diane Horswill.  Lt. Best reported to a couple of other lieutenants that she had been providing crime stats to LCC with the understanding that they will be provided to the community.  Her main focus is on residential burglary but because the rate of occurrence is so low (averaging about 1 per month), she will also report on teen gathering/drinking/fireworks/bonfires at the Laurelhurst Playfield and other crimes of general interest or impact.  Over the summer and early fall, there were quite a few complaints about the Playfield.  She indicated that Officer T.J. Havenar is working on complaints about door-to-door magazine sales.  The first incident was on 11/07 in the 4000 block of 50th NE.  A resident called to complain about an aggressive and hostile vendor.  T.J. arrested one suspect for trespassing and interviewed and released another.  While on the scene he was approached by other neighbors who also complained about the behavior of these salespeople.  He wrote up another report from a resident a couple of blocks away, so obviously, there were several people working this area. It appears that T.J.'s action has discouraged these vendors as they have not been back.  She also has one report of mail theft and check fraud from an address on Laurelcrest Lane, although it is possible that other reports were taken over the phone at 911 and don't appear in the data base if officers were not dispatched.  And, just to complete what she will be reporting, there was an auto theft and recovery with the arrest of a 17year old male, one teen gathering at Laurelhurst Elementary and one at the Playfield, and one residential burglary.  Overall, the crime rate is low by comparison to other North Seattle neighborhoods.  McMullen and Weissman will follow up.

 5.    Suspicious Behavior:  Karmann Kaplan reported from her email list of neighbors on 11/28 that a man with a blonde Mohawk, in his late 20’s or early 30’s, was parked in an older red station wagon that week in the morning.  A small girl was talking to the man and a neighbor came out and told the girl to go back into the house.  The suspicious man later drove by and was heard yelling and screaming from his car.  The police responded, took a report and said the man does not belong in the neighborhood.

 6.    Homeless People at Magnuson, Etc:  Susan Avery emailed on 12/06 as she had heard from a View Ridge neighbor that homeless people are being allowed to sleep in their cars at Magnuson Park.  Avery also brought up concerns that she raised several months ago, about the burned out bicycle shop. LCC was able to get the garbage picked up, but the burned out area is still there. Liz Ogden and Maggie Weissman will speak to the bike shop owners to see what their plans are. Avery also pointed out new graffiti on the street sign at 52nd Avenue NE and NE 45th.  Avery complained about the number of break-ins she’s heard about.

 7.    Dog barking: Leslie Wright heard complaints about barking dogs.

 8.    Dogs: Maggie Weissman said neighbors on one street in the neighborhood were circulating petitions regarding dog owners who should clean up after their dogs.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

1.    Thank you!  Thanks to Don Torrie for coordinating distribution of the agenda packets and to Maggie Weissman for assisting. 

2.    Sorscher attended the November CUCAC meeting representing LCC as LCC’s rep and alternative had conflicts.  His summary of the meeting is included in the member organization packet.

A preliminary design was shown at the CUCAC meeting for an expansion of Husky Stadium, integrated with the Light Rail transit station in the triangle at Montlake and Pacific Avenues.. The plan shows sports facilities occupying the space between the Stadium and the Montlake cut. This would have the effect of blocking a bridge from SR-520 to the Pacific interchange. The draft plan was to go to the Board of Regents for an assessment and further direction from the Regents.

 The other two CUCAC items were a "Green Ribbon" committee to lower carbon emissions, and a plan to install carillon bells in Gerberding Tower and set up a regular musical program.

 3.    Christmas Ship at the Beach Club:  The Beach Club will have a winter holiday celebration on Friday, December 15 at 8:45 p.m.  There will be singing, hot cider, Christmas ships enjoyed with friends and neighbors.  While awaiting the Christmas Ships, there will be a performance by OK Chorale.  After the Christmas Ships depart, the OK Chorale will entertain us for another 20 minutes or so.

 

REPORTS/ACTION:

Crime Prevention:  Brian McMullen and Maggie Weissman, LCC Crime Prevention Co-Chairs, briefed the board.  The November 2006 burglary report was included in the agenda packets. One item from the meeting was that robbers working in the area approach homes where older men live. When the home-owner answers the door, the thieves distract him, enter the home and steal items of value.

 Last year, the Board acted to include the monthly crime report on the web site. This would be a regular maintenance item for the web master, in addition to posting letters and minutes, keeping the site running, and handling questions that come from neighbors.

 Bicycle Safety:  Several months ago, the City started a planning process to develop a Bicycle Master Plan to increase bicycle use and to improve bicycle safety.  The plan will also include opportunities to improve on-road cycling condition and development of a wayfinding system.  As a result of the work to date, the Bicycle Advisory Committee has put together an inventory of unsafe bicycling locations.  The worst intersection in the city was identified as 25th Avenue NE and Blakeley, just north of University Village.

 At its December meeting, the Northeast District Council voted to write a letter asking that the 25th and Blakeley as well as the location at about 30th and Blakeley be reviewed for safety improvements.  The draft bicycle master plan will be available by the end of December or in early January.

 Trustees were asked to identify other areas that are unsafe for bicyclists.

 Community Center Survey:  The final version of the survey to assess neighbor preferences for programming at the expanded community center is included in the packets.  LCC worked with the Parks Department in fine-tuning the survey.  The survey will be included in the December/January community newsletter.  A self-tabulating version will be on LCC’s website soon.

 Annexation of North Highline:  Both the Northeast District Council and the Seattle Community Council Federation have raised questions about the proposed annexation of North Highline because of the impact of public safety and other services to current city residents.  The costs of the annexation to Seattle are estimated at $5 million per year with a one time $10 million outlay.  This does not include the added cost of public safety, which is estimated to be about $2.4 million annually. 

 One of the important issues regarding the annexation is replacement of the South Park Bridge, which is estimated to cost $96 million.  The City said it would only agree to the annexation if the County paid to replace the bridge.  There is a draft interlocal agreement that addresses the bridge issue, but it says that the County will replace or demolish it—not simply replace it.  The bridge is a main route to Boeing and carries approximately 25,000 vehicles per day.

 There are other issues relating to the annexation and conditions that the City Council established prior to considering the annexation that have not been met.  One is that the mayor was supported to provide complete financial information.  That information has not been provided and questions remain about how much it will cost to provide social and human services, address library issues, pay for new transportation infrastructure, etc.  Another condition was outreach to Seattle’s neighborhoods.  There has been some outreach, but financial information was not provided until very recently, and that information is not complete.

 The City is counting on the state legislature in allowing a sales tax credit to help finance the annexation.  There is no assurance that this will happen in the 2007 legislative session.

 In discussing this the LCC Board decided to write a letter to City officials, asking for more information about how annexations would benefit Seattle and City residents.

 School Levy: Motion by Mark Trumbauer seconded by Lora Poepping to endorse the levy measure and donate $100 to Schools First. Motion passed unanimously.

 Dues Statement: The dues statement will go out in January.

 Waterway: Liz Ogden said the City of Seattle will sign the waterway access permit. The City is re-assessing street end permits, and updating their database.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:35 PM.

 Minutes by Stan Sorscher