Tuesday, May 31, 2011

City Neighborhood Council's budget committee meets this Tuesday, May 31, 5-6 p.m. in room 370 of City Hall.

Come help discuss CNC's annual budget letter and the possible consolidation of DON with four other agencies.

 The City Neighborhood Council's Budget Committee invites you to its meeting this Tuesday, May 31, 5-6 p.m. in room 370 of City Hall (601 Fifth Avenue, third floor).  We will discuss the draft budget letter to the Mayor and City Council that the CNC, as it has yearly, will adopt at its June 27 meeting.  Attached is the draft that was sent out along with the agenda for the May 23 CNC meeting.  There is still time for the district councils and the CNC budget committee to suggest revisions.
In particular, we will discuss on Tuesday the McGinn administration’s consideration of partial or full consolidation of the Department of Neighborhoods with four other agencies (Office of Economic Development, Office of Housing, Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Office of Sustainability and Environment).  This possibility poses both risks and opportunities for the mission we have associated with DoN for the past two decades, and we welcome your thoughts.  Following is how this topic is addressed in the attached draft CNC letter:
CNC is cautiously receptive to proposals to consolidate the Department of Neighborhoods with some other offices, but only if doing so strengthens the core DoN functions discussed above.  We are intrigued by a possible merger of DoN with the Office of Economic Development and the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, which together could become a new Department of Neighborhoods, Economic Development, and Arts and Cultural Affairs.  However we suggest that it would be a better fit to move the Office of Housing to the Department of Health and Human Services and to move the Office of Sustainability and the Environment to the Department of Planning and Development. 
Background about the neighborhood budget process.  City Council resolution 28115 that charters CNC and the district councils as official advisory bodies, states that "The responsibility of the City Neighborhood Council shall include review and recommendations regarding City budget issues, including the general fund, capital and block grant budgets, and the Neighborhood Matching Fund."  The resolution also states that "The City Council shall consider the recommendations of the City Neighborhood Council and the comments of neighborhood organizations and District Councils in its review and actions on the City budget." 
The CNC Budget Committee seeks to involve the district councils and other volunteers in budget discussions.  Past CNC letters on the budget to the Mayor and City Council (and other background on CNC and the district councils) can be found at http://seattle.gov/neighborhoodcouncil.  For questions or to comment, please contact CNC Budget Committee chair Chris Leman, cleman@oo.net (206) 322-5463.

Monday, May 23, 2011

FEDERATION MEETS THURSDAY, MAY 26 2011, 7:00 P.M. -- Will the Changes in Design Guidelines Affect Your Neighborhood?

Regular Meeting
NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency), Pacific Marine Center on Lake Union
Thursday, May 26, 2011


Will the Changes in Design Guidelines Affect Your Neighborhood?
 featuring Cheryl Sizov, Department of Planning and Development

Design guidelines are the primary tool used by Design Review Boards in the review of proposed projects. Guidelines define the qualities of architecture, urban design, and public space that make for successful projects and communities.  The guidelines help to reinforce existing character and protect the qualities that the neighborhood values most in the face of change.  Will this continue with the recent changes in Design Guidelines?   The changes were prompted in part by changing conditions in neighborhoods, emerging issues in design and development, and new best practices in the field of design review.

Issues and the Absence of Process in Siting Social Service Facilities
featuring Kwame Amoateng and Ann McNally, Jackson Place Alliance for Equity

How should a community respond when the city decides to put a “crisis solutions center,” a facility to house individuals picked up by the police for certain offenses deemed to be mentally unstable or under the influence of drugs, across the street from residential homes and near a community center that serves young children?  Learn about the experience of the Jackson Place Alliance for Equity. 

The May meeting will also include our monthly Round Robin of issues and projects in your neighborhood.  If you have informational materials you would like distributed at the meeting, please email electronic copies or links to Jeannie Hale at jeannieh@serv.net.

7:00                 Call to Order and Introductions
7:05                 Administration
1.     Changes to the agenda
2.     Treasurer’s report
3.     President’s report
7:15                 Changes in Design Guidelines:  Cheryl Sizov, Department of Planning and Development
8:00                 Issues and the Absence of Process in Siting Social Service Facilities:  Kwame Amoateng and Ann McNally, Jackson Place Alliance for Equity
8:40                 Round Robin
9:00                 Adjourn
NOAA is a federal facility on high security alert, so attendees must enter by the security gate and may need to present photo ID. If you haven't attended a recent Federation meeting, please send your name, contact information, and address to rickbarrett@gmail.com  to be added to the entry list. No e-mail? Call 206-365-1267. The building is ADA compliant, with ample parking in front.

Founded and incorporated on July 1, 1948, as the Jackson Street Community Council, the Seattle Community Council Federation is one of the nation's oldest and most active coalitions of neighborhood groups. Since then our 501(C)3 Articles of Incorporation have been updated to now cover the entire City and include all Seattle neighborhoods.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Disturbing Disclosures Re Magnuson Park Building 11 Lease Agreement -- Immediate Citizen Input Needed

Note: Gail Chiarello is a long-time neighborhood leader involved with Magnuson Park. 
This message is cross-posted to the SeattlePOSA (Parks and Open Spaces) listserve as well as being posted on this blog. 

[Re: Magnuson Park Building 11 Lease Agreement]


Good Morning Sally,

I was troubled to hear Bruce Harrell state you told him I support the Building 11 Lease Amendment handed down yesterday by the Mayor. 

That is absolutely not true. My concerns remain as they have all along:

1.  This is a half-century lease.
2.  The historic vision for the North Shore Recreation Area was non-motorized small watercraft activities.
3.  The proposed amendment reduces these activities to less than 5% of the building.
4.  There is less than 20% of the building set aside for arts, culture and recreation--the classic activities of a park.
5.  The building will be 80% high-end commercial.
6.  VMMC is a prohibited use under the Shoreline Master Program.
7.  The LLC cannot be trusted.  It gains traction through misrepresentation & threats of lawsuits.
8.  There is every evidence of favoritism, special backdoor channels, misuse by a Sail Sand Point Board member of his Board position, all to the benefit of the LLC.
9.  The lease assignment clauses are so murky & complex that the City effectively loses its rights over the building in perpetuity.
10.  The City loses revenue from this building in perpetuity.

I am totally uneasy with the precedent the proposed lease amendment sets in placing a medical facility in a public park--and those who point to the UW pediatric dental clinic fail to mention, that clinic is placed on UW property within the park!  As we see with Children's, large medical centers are omnivorous in their willingness to consume the surrounding landscape.

From e-mail evidence obtained through public disclosure, you appear to have had a warm and cordial relationship with the LLC for many months, offering to help them with their problems with Virginia Mason, suggesting "beer summits" you were willing to attend to help smooth their way, stating that you have heard nothing but wonderful things about their junior partner, and so forth. 

This gives me some pause.  We have not had the benefit of all this schmooziness.  We approached your office for weeks, with e-mails, phone calls, and requests for meetings, and were unable to get your attention until we showed up at your Coffee with the Two Sallys at the Pinehurst Safeway.

We are NOT on the same page when it comes to the Building 11 LLC lease amendment and we will seek the Council votes to defeat it.  I do not expect you to join us, but it is time City Council restored some citizen trust and just said NO.