May 4, 1998


When the going gets tough...

  by Jane McClure
Contributing writer

   CARNATION--David Hunter, after being appointed mayor at last week's council meeting, said he planned to spend his first full day on the job meeting with the city department heads. "Things look tough," he said of his beleaguered city, "but in toughness there are opportunities, so let's get going."
   Hunter's appointment creates a vacancy on the five-member council. The city will accept applications submitted before May 26. The council will review applicants and make a decision within 90 days of the vacancy, as required by the city charter. City Administrator Randy Suko reported 1997 budget closeout figures showed revenues 10.7 percent higher than projected, with city expenditures 6.8 percent below the budgeted amount. An audit of these figures will be completed by May 19.
   Hunter thanked acting finance director Rich Gould for the work he had done, noting that Gould is the sixth person in two years to hold that job. "People have asked if the city is broke, because we're not paying our bills," Hunter said. "The city is not broke," he continued. "And tonight we approved warrants that will be issued tomorrow, which is the first that has happened in a long time."
   Councilmembers also voted unanimously to accept an agreement with King County for the loan of Segeant D.J. Nesel as acting police chief for the city. The agreement provides that Nesel's services will be available at no charge for up to six months, after which time the Sheriff's Office would charge the city $9,185 per month. Suko said he and Nesel would spend the first week preparing a 90-day work plan to implement measures designed to improve administration of the city's police department.
   Planning intern Brandon Beams announced the draft Shoreline Master Plan was ready for review by the Shoreline Management Committee as soon as appointments to the five-member board were completed. Beams said the draft plan represents eight months of work, and will constitute the "fundamental environmental policy document for the city." The Shoreline Management Committee plans to meet weekly through early July to receive public comments. Copies of the plan are available from the city at a cost of $16.
   A public hearing was held regarding the proposed annexation of .76 acres owned by Claude Stephens, which would become part of the Rivers Edge II development. Although the council voted to accept the petition to annex, another public hearing is required before the proposed annexation could be approved or rejected. City planner Steve Munson told the council that the Planning Board would meet May 13 at 7 p.m. to discuss both a proposal to establish a historic downtown district, and a proposed code enforcement ordinance that would clarify city staff enforcement and inspection responsibilities regarding land use and building permits and procedures.
   Hunter announced an attorney had been hired to staff the Civil Service Commission, which will hold a public hearing May 26, 5:30 p.m. This is a three-member board that currently has one vacancy. City engineer Dick Deccio reported the city looked into recent complaints of street flooding in Carnation Meadows.
   He also reported that a landscape architect, Steve Worthy and Associates of Seattle, had been retained to proceed with beautification efforts in two city parks and along Tolt Avenue. These efforts include reinstallation of the city's historical markers at either end of Tolt Avenue. Deccio also said the city's town center project and surrounding improvements to be made with CDBG funds continue to be on hold pending King County Health Department approval of a reserve drainfield for Pete's Club.