October’s first meeting was the shortest in quite some time!
John Raimer, a very active citizen and veteran, posed a question at Audience Communication: Why does the city manager of Mill Creek have no deputy, while all surrounding cities do? He has observed that Michael Ciaravino is always extremely busy, and could probably do with more help.
I think this is a good question, although I’m unconvinced a deputy is the best answer. It makes sense that Ciaravino is busy – he is still fairly new, we had functioned with a part-time manager for a long time, and we are missing a lot of department heads. However, I think it’s important to check to make sure that we have the staff we need to do great work, sustainably. Is downsizing by the previous manager working out?
One of our interim directors, Tara Dunford, gave a quarterly budget report. This practice had been discontinued, but seemed useful, and a desire to make them a regular practice was generally acknowledged. Overall, the budget is on track, with only limited deviations requiring action.
The biggest issue to be reconciled when the budge is amended is that the Legislative column covered a lot of expenses for Bob Stowe’s tenureship as interim city manager. Other expenses related to settling with the former city manager were not explicitly mentioned. The projected incomes for permits are low, but only because of how construction seasons work. Civil infraction income is a little low, and Dunford plans to look into it. Street funds were higher than projected, due to a grant.
Another grant was the next item: $5000 in design funds for Heron Park, from Snohomish County. Being pretty straightforward, it wasn’t long before a unanimous vote to accept the money.
During some brief reports, it was mentioned that conversations about legislative priorities would be happening soon. As it happens, I had been waiting for an opportunity to talk about something that occured to me when I first saw a rep from the Association of Washington Cities do a presentation on possible priorities for that group. In it, he talked about the revenue some cities are getting from marijuana sales, for which Mill Creek is not eligible, as we don’t allow stores. That’s when I began considering the benefits to Mill Creek if Washington allowed delivery marijuana, which has been listed on my platform since the beginning of this election.
During Audience Communication, I asked the council to consider advocating for delivery, as it would benefit people with disabilities and seniors who use THC and CBD as medicine. For people already sick and in pain, it can be very difficult to leave town for supplies. With delivery, we avoid the issues of physical locations, while serving citizens, and getting access to additional revenue. It isn’t an urgent concern, but anything that improves both the lives of Mill Creek citizens and the city’s finances should at least go on a list to be considered.