Three presentations were on the agenda this meeting, beginning with an update on Community Transit projects, presented by CEO Emmett Health, and June DeVoll, Manager of Regional Programs and Projects. One happy note was that, at the last update, plans were discussed for the Swift Green Line, which opened recently to great celebration. Upcoming, there are extensive plans for capital expansion projects to create a high-capacity integrated transportation network. I’m sure we all join Community Transit in hoping that traffic issues can be greatly improved by multiple approaches to smoother transportation in the region. Detailed information about the organization’s plans through 2030 are available here.
Next, in celebration of National Volunteer Week, members of several groups were recognized. Kristen Rasmussen presented, giving an overview of each organization, and introducing every member in attendance. Groups recognized were: the Art and Beautification Board; the Civil Service Commission; the Communication and Marketing Event Volunteers; the Design Review Board; the Park and Recreation Board; the Planning Commission; the Mill Creek Police Outreach Volunteers, and the Youth Advisory Board. As a contributor to MCPD support, and graduate of the Citizen’s Academy, I was pleased to be included.
Members of the Citizen’s Patrol were sworn in by Chief Greg Elwin, who gave an overview of the Patrol’s activities and history. This group is a special subset of the police volunteers who go through additional training and receive a limited commission that empowers them to respond to citizen’s issues such as vacation checks, lock outs, traffic control, parking issues, and other low-risk needs.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 4/23/2019”
There were five major topics touched on in this agenda: A settlement agreement with Comcast; the City Manager’s purchasing authority; replacing the City’s bucket truck; a consultant contract; and a brainstorming session about what to do with a piece of city-owned property.
From 2011 to 2017, Comcast failed to collect franchise fees owed to the City on various billing items. Peggy Lauerman, Director of Finance & Administration, explained. Comcast has been found to owe $92,607.17 in underpayment, and $5,000 towards the audit that revealed the discrepancy. The contract between Comcast and the City stipulates that the company may pass along those costs to their current subscribers, at up to 6.99% of charges. The staff’s recommendation was to accept the settlement agreement for the full amount owed.
Council Members were surprisingly reluctant to allow a corporation to pay a $100k debt, but the objections were rooted in a sense of fair play, and other important Mill Creek values. Of universal, major concern, the passing along of the costs to current customers, who may not have been paying bills at the time the undercharges occured. The second objection, first raised by Councilmember Cavaleri, was that accepting the settlement would lead to an outcome very similar to a utility tax, notoriously unwanted by Mill Creek citizens. Eventually, the matter was tabled for further reflection.
The acting City Manager, Bob Stowe, brought up increasing the CM’s purchasing authority, the amount they can approve without a Council vote, from $50,000 to $100,000. The council expressed that, despite their trust in Mr.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 4/9/19”
Following the preliminary opening of the meeting, the Council recessed to executive session “[t]o evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(g).” While the meeting regulars took the opportunity to visit with each other, councilmembers spent over an hour coming to a decision about our new City Manager.
Having previously been told that the announcement would not be made until a contract was accepted, I was thrilled when the public part of the meeting reconvened, and the councilors gave their opinions of the candidates. While everyone was impressed with all of the candidates, two clear favorites emerged: Michael Ciaravino and Shayne Scott. These were also the candidates I prefered, so I crossed my fingers for my top pick – and he was unanimously selected! Mr. Ciaravino is a great fit for Mill Creek, and I’m looking forward to the time when he can get to work. [Update – on April 23rd, the Council unanimously approved the employment contract, which begins on May 6th.]
The other major piece of business was taking stock of the City’s response to February’s major snow storms, which dumped the most snow within a month that Washington has seen in 50 years. Gina Hortillosa, Director of Public Works & Development Services, created an outstanding PowerPoint presentation that discussed the challenges, and moments of excellence, that occured.
One big issue with response is that every piece of relevant equipment is at least 17 years old. As a result, both the sander and the snow plow, the type attached to the front of a track, broke down.… Read More “Mill Creek City Council Meeting, 4/2/19”