Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood


November 5, 2003




Councilmember Jan Drago, Chair

City Council Budget Committee

Members of the Seattle City Council

600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 2

P.O. Box 34025

Seattle, Washington  98124-4025


Attention:  Theresa Dunbar, Clerk


RE:  Funding for DON Senior Staffing of Major Institutions


Dear Budget Chair Drago and Members of the Seattle City Council,


The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees urges you to restore funding for the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) senior staffing of the major institution citizen advisory committees.  Funding for this staffing was eliminated in the last budget cycle—we believe, without a full evaluation of the impacts of the cut.  We understand the budgetary shortfalls and the challenges facing the city at the current time, but restoring funding for DON senior staffing of major institutions is critical to ensure successful implementation of adopted master plans—key to the economic vitality of the City.


Senior DON staffing is a vital part of major institution advisory committees.  Experienced DON staff promote compromise, increase understanding of complex issues, and foster a healthy working relationship between the major institutions and Seattle’s communities.  Both the Code and the 1998 City-University Agreement call upon the City to provide appropriate staffing for these advisory committees.


Our community council provides representatives to the City University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC) and the Children’s Hospital Standing Advisory Committee.  Both committees have benefited from DON staffing.  Without this staffing the effectiveness of the advisory committees has been reduced and issues have surfaced.  Since the funding cut, CUCAC no longer meets monthly to address issues related to the implementation of the recently approved master plan.  The recent riots in University Park and the lack of the University’s willingness to work cooperatively with its neighbors on a policy to discourage party houses demonstrates the need for better communications and the expertise provided by senior DON staffing of CUCAC.


Seattle’s major institutions serve as major economic drivers.  The citizen advisory committees formed to support each hospital, college and university provide an invaluable service in assisting with development and implementation of master plans that allow each institution to grow to meet its needs while maintaining the livability and vitality of surrounding communities.  Failure to fund senior DON staffing sends a signal that the council does not recognize or appreciate the important work of the citizen advisory committees.


We urge you to restore funding for DON senior staffing of our major institution citizen advisory committees.



Jeannie Hale, President

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631