Northwest NEWS

December 27, 1999

Local News

Top stories for 1999 for Bothell, Kenmore, and Woodinville

by Marshall Haley, staff reporter


   The Bothell City Council saw major changes in 1999, with four new councilmembers and a midterm change in mayor and deputy mayor. Councilmember Mike Noblet was chosen Mayor Pro-Tem to fulfill Debbie Treen's term as mayor last summer when Treen's job required her to move to Texas. Deputy Mayor Wendy Brady's job also required her to leave the state. Former mayor John Curtin was selected by the Council to fill Brady's position through December.

   In November, four new councilmembers were elected: Cindy Honcoop, Bob Banderra, Dick Paylor, and Tim Olsen. As City Manager Jim Thompson pointed out, adding four new councilmembers represents a majority transfusion of new blood into the seven-member Council. The Council will choose a new mayor in January after the four new members assume their positions. Noblet has expressed interest in the job.

   The new Public Safety Building was dedicated on Aug. 12, and construction began the next week. The new "cop shop" will be located directly east of the existing City Hall on 101st NE. The new location will "bring the Bothell Police Dept. home" to downtown Bothell after several years of "exile" in the North Creek Business Park, just east of I-405.

   The City of Bothell also saw major changes in key administrative positions this year, starting with the hiring of Jim Thompson as City Manager. Finance Director Ilene Frisch and Director of Public Improvements John Medina were also hired in 1999.

   Bothell Parks Dept. got a big boost in 1999 with a major makeover of the Bothell Landing waterfront park started last summer, and upgrades to Stipek Park.

   The completion of the North Creek Parkway bridge and widening of SE 228th was a major upgrade for the Snohomish County side of Bothell.

   Other big stories that originated in Bothell but affected all Northshore citizens included: the one-day walkout by Northshore School District teachers, who joined most other state districts in marching on Olympia in April to demand equitable pay and benefit increases from the legislature; the selection of Ann Swain as Northshore School District Teacher of the Year; several city-state sponsored workshops encouraged citizen input on the best solutions to the traffic snarls at the Beardslee Blvd.-NE 195th intersection at I-405, which will soon intensify with the opening of UW/CCC and the Hilton Hotel. Bothell youngsters played a major role in opening the new skateboard park.


   I-695 hit Kenmore harder than Bothell or Woodinville, because it has comparatively little commercial revenue base (see comments under the front page I-695 story). The initiative's impact will stunt Kenmore's early growth, compared to plans the city government and City Council had.

   Before I-695 reared its ugly head, Kenmore was bursting with joyful pride and hope for the future during the city's first birthday street party last Aug. 29. The party featured two parades, food booths, and live bands.

   The City Council election featured only one contested race, in which Marcia Schwendiman easily out-polled Steven Gimurtu in the Nov. 2 election.

   Major loggerheads between County Executive Ron Sims and the County Council over how to best relieve Northshore's wastewater overflow problems brought Kenmore and Lake Forest Park city councils into the tug-of-war. Northshore County Councilmember Maggi Fimia agreed with Council Chair Louise Miller and Councilmember Rob McKenna that an additional pipeline to the West Point Treatment Center would be the best stop-gap solution until the third plant could be built somewhere in north King County or south Snohomish County in 2010. Both local councils agreed, despite Sims' offer of county financial aid to various city projects, if they would side with him. Sims pushed for building an additional holding tank near Kenmore until the third treatment plant is built. Sims and the Council finally reached a compromise this month, agreeing with Sims' plan for the temporary holding tank, while including the Council's idea of running another pipe from there to the Matthews Beach pumping station.

   When a citizen-initiated lawsuit successfully challenged King County's ruling to relax intersection guidelines, the Lakepointe project was indefinitely halted. Another hearing in January will determine whether or not the developer has found a successful mitigation plan to avoid clogging the 68th NE and SR-522 intersection.

Woodinville City Hall design

The final design for Woodinville's new City Hall.


   The Sorenson purchase "enables a civic/community center campus to be an integral part of Woodinville's downtown for 50 years," said City Manager Pete Rose. "I hope people get excited about this and participate in the planning of the future use of these facilities." The purchase of three more acres on the south side of Sorenson, and completion of the planning stages for the new City Hall mark "a great leap forward for the City of Woodinville to have a permanent home for the next 50 years," said Rose.

   Wilmot Park became Woodinville's public facility opened for public use, when the city had its grand opening on May 22, one of the few hot, dry days before August. The new park features over $100,000 of playground equipment for small children. The park honors the late Jerry Wilmot, former Chamber of Commerce Director, Molbak's president, a triathlete and fighter pilot.

   "Soaring to Scotland" was the theme that rang from all of Woodinville's hills and throughout the Sammamish Valley. The Woodinville High School drama club made the trek of a lifetime when they were one of only two western U.S. high schools invited to perform at the world-reknowned International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. After drama students spent months of fund-raising, drama teacher Hjalmer Anderson directed the troupe in several performances of Oklahoma! at the festival in mid-August. Their success hinged on how many people attended their performances, especially the second, after the initial media review. All performances were packed.

   The hirings of City Manager Pete Rose and Public Works Director Mick Monken have resulted in dramatic changes in Woodinville. For one, the "dynamic duo" have set a tone of positive cooperation in City Hall that has people actually wanting to get hired by the city, rather than many staff members jumping ship, as happened in years past. Rose said the city's Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2000 "set up the most productive project plan to date, with numerous facility improvements to be built next year." Rose already added a major notch in his gun this year, when he broke a longstanding stalemate by negotiating the Sorenson purchase from the Northshore School District.

   He and Monken have overseen completion of the Woodinville-Duvall Rd. improvement project, and installation of a safer signal and crosswalk at the south end of Wilmot Park. They have installed traffic sensors to improve the major bottleneck at 131st Ave. NE and NE 175th St.; and plans are close to finalization for improving the bottleneck at the "South Gateway" intersection, commonly called the "Hollywood" intersection. A signal interconnect system along NE 175th, being installed this month, promises better traffic flow along Woodinville's most constantly-clogged arterial.

   City staff also helped organize and carry out the Sammamish ReLeaf project, clearing and planting 1,000 feet of the west side of the river, south of Wilmot Park. Under the new regime, city staff, working with the Tree Board, established new guidelines for residential tree requirements.

   Rose also organized several public hearings this year, including one that ended with the City voting to ban all fireworks within city limits.

   Cottage Lake Park opened on May 28, thanks largely to the persistent efforts of the Upper Bear Creek Community Council and County Council Chair Louise Miller, a Cottage Lake resident. The former Norm's Resort now features a swimming beach and play area for kids, a basketball court, and rest rooms.