Weekly Update 11/24/19

A bit slow getting this done. Got like two hundred sign-ups this week! Some are trolls of course, so it takes a while to weed out the (obvious) goofballs. Anyhoo…THANKS FOR SIGNING UP!

So next week will be short, of course. I’ll be meeting with our State Rep. Tina Orwall on legislation to provide relief for residents with Port Package Problems–which is something SeatacNoise.Info started advocating for last year. (You should Subscribe to that mailing list to keep updated on all our work on airport issues.) This is hopefully just the beginning of a series of steps to provide compensation to our area.

I’ll also be having an introductory meeting with Mayor Matt Pina. I’m going in with an open mind. 😀

Also, election results will be certified this week and King County will teh results for each of our thirty six precincts. This is invaluable for politicians because it tells me which parts of Des Moines were supportive and which places I need to do better to try to reach.

On a related note, over the weekend I met with Woodmont resident and Council Candidate Harry Steinmetz. In October, he organised the South End Candidate Forum at Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church–which everyone found very useful. I’m hoping to have regular meetings in all areas of the City. He informed me that the Mayor was planning to have a State Of The City meeting there–which is a good step, although I’m hoping for something a bit more ongoing with a lot more two-way.

I also met with incoming Normandy Park Council Member Earnest Thompson. We talked about airport issues–basically how to get all the key communities more unified as to specific goals.

My Take: SR3 Open House

Last week I attended the SR3 Open House at the Beach Park . This is going to be the ‘Sea Lion Rescue’ building at the Marina. The meeting was exactly the kind of thing that drives me nuts about our current government and I want to be clear about my feelings on this thing. It’s like when your kid brings home a stray puppy: You want, desperately, to be the good guy and say, “Sure thing, sweetie, we can keep the puppy!” But usually you gotta be the ‘bad guy’ and say, “Yeah…. we’re not doing that.”

The meeting seemed to be divided into two camps: upset condo owners and those in the community who want to help the critters. I think this was actually an unnecessary conflict. I have no doubt that the SR3 people can make the building clean, quiet, etc. What bugged me was that the Council people kept saying, “Maybe we could’ve communicated better, but it’s a done deal. Move on.” And then, “We were at the Farmers Market all summer if you had concerns!” That is not public engagement. News flash: The vast majority of residents do not hang at the Farmers Market. You have to find other ways to reach residents. And even if they did, there was no clear answer as to why that particular spot was chosen. The City made it out as though a realtor simply found that spot like any 2,200 square foot split-level. Which it definitely ain’t. The City was intimately involved in the planning process and should be accountable for why it is so enthusiastic about that particular project being located in that specific place. We gotta stop this whole, ‘every property sale is private and the City has no influence’ jive. It’s simply untrue and what has held us back for decades.

It’s a great program and I have no doubt it should be in Des Moines. But I am not sold on that particular spot. That spot is one of the most desirable places in the City in terms of market potential. And the SR3 facility is going to be, essentially, a black, fenced-in area with maybe some public art. It’s designed to be keep the animals and the public from seeing or hearing one another So while it may be great for healing the animals, it will do nothing to draw visitors. And drawing visitors and bringing in some tax dollars is my top priority. (Which sounds as cold-blooded as saying, “No puppy for you, kid!” 😀 Right idea. Wrong location. I hope I’m proven wrong.

My Take: Mail Theft

One last thing. The mailbox thieves came to my street today. I guess it was only a matter of time. One of my neighbours rushed out of her home in her bare feet to make sure I knew about it. So my mind immediately goes to, “What can we do about this policy-wise”, right? (That wasn’t where her mind was at. She was being a normal, non-nerd, very considerate person who only wanted to make sure I hadn’t lost a check or something.)

We had that typical chat, “Well, I guess this is the new normal”. I just want you to know, this ain’t my new normal. I was mad as hell about this loooong before it came to my street and I am going to be something of a nag at City Hall until we come up with some real solutions. It seems like a lot of people just sort of shrug off this sort of thing now–buy a ‘Ring’ and a locking mailbox and learning to live with it. I get it, but I’m not ready to accept that as the best we can do.