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City council does its business

  • Written by Don Mann
At its Feb. 19 meeting, the Woodinville City Council put its collective heads together to discuss the Eastside Rail Corridor, receive its crime report for the year 2012, and talk about its pending “retreat,” scheduled for March 2.

Regarding rails, the question was whether or not to endorse membership with the Eastside TRailway Regional Alliance, a group which had two members speak once again during public comment.

And whether or not to send a letter to the Kirkland City Council regarding their proposed plans to remove the existing trails to construct a bike trail, which would foul up the works — if it happens — to run railway through Woodinville, as the track runs from Renton to Snohomish.

The vote to endorse membership into the organization passed 5-1, with Mayor Bernie Talmas dissenting, and Councilmember Art Pregler absent.

The vote to send the letter also passed 5-1, with Talmas opposed.

Next up was the annual crime report, delivered by Woodinville Police Chief Sydney Jackson: In 2012 there were 748 total crimes in the city, she reported, down from the 782 reported last year.

Part 1 crimes, major felonies including homicide, forcible rape and robbery were up at 412. Part 2 crimes, including simple assault, forgery and fraud were down at 336.

Overall, crime is down 5 percent, she said, though Part 1 crimes are up 7 percent. Most alarming, she said, is that residential burglary has increased by 73 percent — 52 last year as opposed to 30 the year before.

The council then went on to talk about its annual retreat, scheduled for March 2 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Course.

Mayor Talmas, who made the plans in conjunction with Deputy Mayor Liz Aspen, then said he was not in favor of a retreat so far away, apparently not wanting to appear insensitive to citizens who may be interested in attending, and was concerned about full disclosure.

Deputy Mayor Aspen suggested providing an audio recording of the meeting on the city’s Web site.

Councilmember Susan Boundy-Sanders then said she may be unavailable due to family health issues, and Councilmember Paulette Bauman reiterated she was not available on that date, adding she had “difficulty” in the retreat’s location and lack of transparency to the citizens. A motion was made and a vote was taken and the retreat was nixed, 4-1, with Bauman abstaining and only Aspen in favor.

“I’m hugely disappointed,” the deputy mayor said, citing the work that she and the mayor did under previous instruction. “We spent a lot of time, reserved the room … It’s not unheard of (for a city council) to go out of town.”

In any case, there’s no retreat for council scheduled as of now.

After that, there was a discussion on the potential tolling of the I-90 bridge, and whether or not to support a letter written and signed by the mayors of Bothell, Kenmore, Kirkland, Lake Forest Park and Woodinville to be sent to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, looking for traffic mitigation funds.

The letter cites that tolling of the bridge will result in additional traffic on SR 522, already stressed by the tolling of the SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington.

The deputy mayor said she didn’t see any significant impact to the citizens of Woodinville and questioned why it was an issue.

Woodinville City Manager Richard Leahy, who was involved with the process of drafting the letter, acknowledged Woodinville’s lesser impact of I-90 tolling, but believed its neighboring cities would feel a benefit from the joint letter, possibly including mitigation money for all. Then Councilmember Les Rubstello, after stating he would abstain from the vote “for family reasons,” spoke up: “I think this letter is a joke. It’s organized whining, saying we’re a bunch of cities and we want more money … There’s no identification that any (traffic) impacts exist. This letter is worthless and just says you’ve made a change and because you made a change we think we should get money. Woodinville shouldn’t put their name on this unless we can substantiate there are (traffic) impacts … This is just government gone bad…and I think it’s inappropriate.”

A vote was then taken: 4-1 to approve, including Rubstello’s abstention.

Notice of special meeting

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

All owners of personal property and improvements to real property located within the geographical boundaries of Woodinville Fire & Rescue are advised that the Board of Fire Commissioners of Woodinville Fire & Rescue will hold a special meeting Saturday, March 2, at 10 a.m. at Station 31 Headquarters in the annex building located at 17718 Woodinville-Snohomish Road NE in Woodinville.

The purpose of the meeting is to appoint committees to draft statements for and against the proposed referendum on the District’s benefit charge authority for publication in the voter information guide sent to all District electors.

If you have any questions, please call (425) 483-2131.

Chief is top chili chef

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

chili

Courtesy Photo

Brittany Park recently held its first Community Chili Cook Off and Valentine’s Day Dance.First place winner for the best chili went to Woodinville Police Chief Sydney Jackson.The Woodinville firemen came in a close second. Pictured left to right: Catherine Borghes, a police clerk, Police Chief Sydney Jackson, Brittany Park resident Arvada Simcoe.  Not pictured is Peta Hoonam, a police volunteer who, along with Borghes, helped the chief.

Bothell American Legion moves to Woodinville

  • Written by Woodinville Weekly Staff

The Bothell American Legion has moved to a new home (four buildings on 2½ acres) at 21920 Highway 9 in Woodinville.

Their service officer staff has expanded and now includes two state certified officers to help the growing number of veterans requiring assistance.

The office is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Legion meetings are the second Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.

For additional information,  call (425) 483-5599.

Aaron Reardon steps down as County Executive

  • Written by office of the Snohomish County Executive
The following remarks were made by Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon at the conclusion of (his) 2013 State of the County Address:

“Over the period of nearly a decade it has been my honor to serve as your County Executive.  It has been a great pleasure to work on behalf of the community in which I was born and raised.  Together we have tackled great challenges and built a prosperous pathway on which this community can continue to travel and capitalize on the tremendous opportunities for collective success.  Together with our shared vision and through our ethic of hard work we have built the most competitive community in the state in which to invest.  That investment will lead to growth that will once again change the face of Snohomish County in all manners possible.  If properly nurtured – and I believe it will be – Snohomish County’s economy will undergo a change that will transform this county into a community of investment, opportunity and upward mobility for generations to come.

As all of you are aware, I have been the subject of recent media reports alleging, once again, misconduct by those working in the Executive Office.  These allegations are a continuation of efforts by groups who oppose me and who rely upon false allegations in order to discredit me and undermine my ability to discharge my duties as your Snohomish County Executive.

False allegations surfaced even before I was reelected.  As a result of these false allegations I became the subject of an exhaustive and lengthy criminal investigation just five days prior to the November 2011 election.  That investigation came to an end when the Island County Prosecutor concluded that I had committed no crimes and exonerated me.  Subsequently two recall petitions have been filed against me and both of those recall petitions have been dismissed. Unfortunately, I recently learned that a third recall petition will soon be filed.It is impossible for me to describe to you the emotional and financial toll these relentless attacks have taken on my wife, my family and me.

My wife and I have been required to spend tens of thousands of dollars on legal fees in order to defend against false and scurrilous allegations. These false allegations have also taken a tremendous toll on my marriage and our family life.

And, candidly, I don’t know how much a family can take or should take. And, the time I have had to spend addressing the myriad of false allegations has distracted me from doing my job as your County Executive.

Enough is enough.

Accordingly, I am today making two announcements.

First, I am formally requesting an investigation by an outside, independent agency whose impartiality and objectivity cannot be questioned.  The investigation should focus upon all allegations made against me and members of my staff, as well as any other issues suggesting misconduct by other Snohomish County government officials.

I pledge to fully cooperate in any such investigation.  I believe the citizens of Snohomish County deserve to know the truth about their elected officials something that can only occur if the investigation is independently conducted.

Second, I tender my resignation as Snohomish County Executive effective May 31, 2013.This should provide the Democratic Party sufficient time to nominate three candidates to the Snohomish County Council for their consideration.  And it should afford the County Council sufficient time to select an interim executive.

Between now and then I will continue to serve the good people of Snohomish County and will assist the interim executive with a seamless transition into his or her new job. I thank you for the great honor and privilege you have bestowed upon me to work on your behalf for the past 15 years.I will be making no further comment.”


from Stephanie Wright, Council Chair, Snohomish County Council
The Snohomish County Council was met February 21 by news of the unexpected resignation of County Executive Aaron Reardon. Requests have been made to councilmembers and staff to clarify the appointment process that will follow. After a formal resignation is presented by Executive Reardon to the County Council, we will have 60 days from the date the vacancy occurs to appoint a successor. A list of three candidates will be presented to the council by the county central committee of the party representing the elected official whose office has been vacated.
If the Council is not able to reach a decision during this time period, the appointment will then be tasked to the governor, who will have 30 days to reach a decision. The filing deadline for the 2013 general election is May 17, so the individual appointed would fill the vacancy until the 2014 general election.
The successful candidate from the 2014 general election will be required to run again in 2015 for a 4-year term ...