Dear Editor: Last night Council addressed the following (Tuesday, January 19, 2011, the Kirkland City Council meeting):
* Successfully annexing the 33,000 residents of Juanita, Finn Hill, and Kingsgate.
Council is focused is on the annexation area’s success, not ours. I focus on Council's failure to represent us, and to maintain our services and our quality of life.
* Spurring job growth, economic development, and revitalization. Council needs to solve the problems they created: the flooding at Totem Lake, traffic jams they are not doing anything about, and insufficient road capacity that does not support business and forces thru traffic in our residential areas.
* Retaining a high quality of life in the midst of the recession. City’s budget can handle the recession. Annexation consumes even greater cost. Our quality of life has suffered paying for annexation. The City Manager acknowledged that annexation residential areas don’t pay for themselves. He knew it, staff knew it, but the Council wanted more political power. They didn't care about the cost to us.
* Providing efficient, cost-effective City services to an informed and engaged public. In whose eyes are you efficient? What you are putting out is propaganda that is meant to protect your image instead of saving jobs that serve the public. Council and staff are serving themselves. Their method of informing the public about efficiency and cost effectiveness amounts to excuses for the reduction of services they created.
Council promised us a balance budget. It only lasted two weeks. Council had income from a rental that should have been used to replenish the reserves. It was Council’s adopted priority. But no: they went off budget to bail out the City Manager from his failure to live up to his $174,000 contract. It brings into question the sincerity of what Council’s says and does. Who are we to trust?
The park & ride mutual objectives do not identify who benefits the most, who pays for what, or how to mitigate the traffic jams it creates. Council’s endorsement is premature, is based on speculation, and ignores the concerns of Kirkland citizens.
Bob Style, citizen activist holding Council accountable.