Letters to the Editor - Oct. 7, 2013

  • Written by Readers

I read the front page of the Woodinville Weekly and would like to correct and clarify the record.  There seems to be a huge misunderstanding on the word "censor."

Our agenda packet on September 24, 2013 Agenda Item 4 states, "Schedule Consideration of Amendments to Council Rules of Procedure and/or Code of Ethics to Establish a Complaint and Discipline Procedure for Council members." 

The word "censor" in the main motion was mistakenly printed in our agenda packet.

It should have been written as "censure" which was my intent as the maker of the motion.

Our city manager is quoted as saying, "I believe they meant ‘censure,’ Leahy explained after the Sept. 24 meeting."

The city manager is correct. There is no intent to censor (edit or delete) council members’ comments through a formal process.

The purpose of establishing a Censure Process to our Rules of Procedure is to address continued violations of our City’s General Decorum section 7c of Council Rules of Procedure.

There currently is no enforcement procedure or censure process to reprimand City Council members who violate this code.

The censure process under Council Rules of Procedure would permit the City Council to write a letter of reprimand approved by the majority vote of the other City Council members to be administered personally to the individual council member in open session of the City Council.

Currently we have council members who continue to detract from city business and more importantly city priorities with their constant personal insults, slanderous remarks and personal attacks with no consequence for their actions.

Please set the record straight.

Woodinville Councilmember Paulette Bauman

Dear Woodinville,

I love you! I love walking into McLendon’s and being greeted like Norm on Cheers.

I love walking into Italianissimo with my wife and end up pulling tables together with familiar faces.

I love attending the Leota Jr. High Watch Dogs program and recognizing so many fathers.

I love that I’m at one neighbor’s house borrowing eggs and butter while my other neighbor is driving off with my horse trailer.

I love that my kids can approach a Woodinville cop and be greeted with a smile and humorous remark instead of a baton.

So when we next meet and can clink a glass at one of our many wonderful events, gatherings or tastings, let’s toast to our wonderful Woodinville and ignore the political drama.

Peter VC Hickey, Woodinville

I am writing in response to Andrea Heald’s letter to the editor submitted on 9/30/2013. Ms. Heald laid out an attack on Mayor Bernie Talmas that needs to be addressed.

She states that nothing has been done to improve traffic, pedestrian and bicycle access in our downtown.

Yet she does not recognize the 20-acre development in our downtown that is approved and slated to start construction this spring.

This will open up access throughout the downtown with three new roads, sidewalks and bicycle improvements.

She states a lack of state and federal grants yet fails to recognize the new bridge over the Sammamish Slough that has significant state and federal monies slated towards its construction.

She states a pavement overlay project for the Woodinville-Duvall Road has no bicycle improvements planned for it.

Pavement overlay is not road construction.

She ignores the main Woodinville-Duvall Road improvement project which will be underway soon that does add bicycle and pedestrian access and is also funded with substantial state and federal grant money.

Instead of continuing to correct all these unsubstantiated attacks in last week’s letter, it is more important to note that these attacks continue coming from the same camp.

... Let’s be constructive. Many of us participate in local government as citizens. You don’t need to be a board member or council member to participate or to be informed.

It is disheartening to see a letter like this one written last week so full of misinformation by people who say they have an interest in our city government but have no participation ... .

Hank Stecker, Woodinville

Thanks for the Weekly’s coverage of the upcoming NSD Bonds/Levies.

I’ve had some concerns about them.

For one, there will be a $68 increase per year for a $400,000 house.

This happens because we pay for the additional $20-25 million increase over 20 years.

We are probably paying off a bond that was approved before we ever moved here.

While this may not seem a lot to some, I know many people who are still struggling to support their families – some of who work two jobs.

This district has approximately 50 percent of its students who qualify for free/reduced lunches.

The economy is still not fully stable – unless the NSD knows something that the state and federal economists don’t know. 

And even when our community has had "flush" years, we’ve had programs being stripped for our children.

In the past several years, as we’ve seen increases to our taxes but no direct benefits to our classrooms for our kids, I’m beginning to think: " I won’t pay more for less service."

When you think about the increase of funding from the state, and the increased capacity of local levy, the district could have offered our students later start times and a seven period day for HS students.

Instead, we increased salaries throughout the district, created many new administrative positions while reducing our kids’ instruction time one day out of each week, then tacking on a few extra minutes to each day (which many teachers and families had opposed). This then forced the district to provide raises for the teachers for five of those minutes.

Oh, yes, and let’s not forget about slapping our community in the face on their opinion about which day to get their kids forced out of school early – a day that an overwhelming number of teachers and parents had opposed!

What has become of this district’s priorities?

The district will surely be having another boundary change that will be displacing our students again.

For the next five years, until the high school is built, we are in for a lot of decisions.

With all this occurring, I’m not assured that the district is looking into the best interests of our children and community.

Lying Wong

The 2010 Bond/Levy measure tax rate was ‘estimated’ to be $4.07 per $1,000 assessed property value.

Our rate increased year on year and is now $5.29! So seriously, how does the NSD estimate the $4.98 tax rate for the 2014 bond/levy decreasing over the next 4 years when there are increases in the Bond, Tech and M & O levy!

"Sensitive to the impact on taxpayers and voters" I don’t think so! A new high school is not being built to deal with growth and overcrowding at the elementary level. It is being built because of grade reconfiguration which just happens to make space available within the elementary schools.

And since grade reconfiguration won’t happen until 2017 we will continue to be overcrowded for 4 more years.

This bond is not only the most expensive but also the most disruptive, boundary changes for at least half the schools affecting thousands of children, closures of under-utilized elementary schools, house prices affected, communities split up.

If the educational benefits of grade reconfiguration are so good, then why is it that our current grading structure still puts our student’s scores well above the state average?

I would suggest that of the 4 options presented to the board by the EDTF the one that most directly deals with overcrowding and growth is to build an elementary school for $40 million, with little or no impact in the M & O and Tech Levy and minimal disruption.

This is clearly the way to be "sensitive" to the tax payers, the economic situation we are in as well as satisfying those families that have children in overcrowded schools.

Annette Whelan


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