Monthly Archives: January 2019

Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 1/22/19

Mayor Pruitt began the Audience Communication portion of the meeting by noting that The Farm development project was not on the agenda for the night. Six members of the audience took the time to communicate with the Council, speaking to the condition of a city-owned fence in disrepair, perspective on The Farm, the demographic composition of the Council, and potential participation in the Adopt-a-ship program.

Next, the Snohomish Health District made a presentation on their current status, goals, and activities. First, they offered a list of several areas that are being improved as part of a renovation to the department’s infrastructure, including online services, records system improvements, fleet management, and addressing issues with the Rucker Building. One of the biggest challenges to the county’s health and safety is the opioid epidemic, which is being countered with both preventative and treatment measures. In summary, they hope for an effective and mutually supportive relationship with Mill Creek.

Next, there was a public hearing on the Vintage Development Agreement Amendment. Essentially, this was a retroactive formality, required by state law, related to 500 of sq. ft. of space that was given to the City as part of the agreements with the developers of The Vintage. Originally, the space was intended for a satellite police office, including for use by the Citizens Patrol. However, it was then given over to the Senior Center, as the city had promised them sufficient space for all of their programming, but provided too little square footage. While members of the Council explored options with questions, answers from the City Attorney and acting City Manager made it clear that there was no real choice but to approve the amendment, as the Senior Center is already in control of the space, and only the developer would have the option of evicting them.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 1/22/19”

The Best Council is a Diverse Council

Letter addressed to the Editor of the Mill Creek Beacon:

“For me, I don’t label people by gender, race, ethnic background or other traits.” Mike Todd, Letter to the Editor, 12/21/18

This sentence, and Councilmember Todd’s take on “diversity,” do not reflect a contemporary understanding of how systemic marginalization of certain groups perpetuates inequality.

I would like to first say that I deeply appreciate Councilmember Todd engaging with these citizen concerns. In all fairness, it would have been easier for him to keep these beliefs private. His openness reflects the Mill Creek STAR value of transparency, and I have a lot of respect for his extensive service to the City.

I was raised to believe just as he does on the issue of race. For my mother, who grew up in Arkansas during the process of integration, the value of being “color blind” was the antithesis of the overt racism she had observed. Research indicates that most white parents want to raise non-racist children, and take that approach. It was shocking to me to learn that experts in racism have come to understand that the prevalence of color blind ideology actually causes harm to people of color.

One reason it will not work to achieve equality by eliminating labels is that it will not actively undo the ongoing harm from our country’s white supremacist roots. A white person doing their best to ignore race, to the extent that any discussion has become taboo, has effectively opted out of observing or addressing racist challenges.… Read More “The Best Council is a Diverse Council”

Mill Creek City Council Meeting 1/8/19

I really enjoy a good Council meeting, more than is usually considered reasonable for that kind of thing. This year, I’d like to write up my take on each meeting, and share them here. These write-ups aren’t necessarily intended to be a blow-by-blow account of everything that happened, just my thoughts on things that stood out to me. For full accounts, you can find agendas, minutes and audio recordings here.

Terry Ryan, Mill Creek resident and member of the Snohomish County Council, brought a check from the county for a much appreciated 100k, to contribute to the building of Exploration Park. Appointments to the Art and Beautification Board were followed by a discussion of the Council’s committee assignments.

This conversation/friendly negotiation showed two things very clearly: First, Mike Todd is willing to take on a remarkable amount of work on the City’s behalf. Not to downplay the hard work done by each member, but, from the outside, Councilmember Todd stands out in this regard. Second, it is important, if possible, to appoint someone to the current vacancy who is available on weekdays. Based on the conversation that was had, the jobs and commitments of the current members have begun to make it difficult to cover events at those times.

The most complicated committee staffing decision was for the new LEOFF (Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters Disability) Board. State law requires the formation of these boards by cities that have surpassed 20,000 in population. Previously, attempts have been made to meet this responsibility by joining with another entity’s already established board, but they didn’t pan out.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting 1/8/19”