Neighborhoods’ Chao returning to SW District Council to explain

January 3, 2011 at 11:36 am | In Southwest District Council, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

Three months after she faced the Southwest District Council (October photo at left) to explain a proposed budget cut that would have had a major effect on West Seattle, city Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao will be back before SWDC members this Wednesday.

This time, they’ll be waiting to hear why, even though that budget cut was canceled, a significant change has been made anyway (as first reported here last week). The original proposal was to close the Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction that serves the district – in essence, western West Seattle — and to eliminate the position held by its Neighborhood District Coordinator, Stan Lock. The council protested mightily – not just against losing the person who is a city liaison for them and for the neighborhood organizations and institutions they represent, but also against having the center shut down, since potential development does not seem imminent for the site it’s on. The City Council canceled the cut.

But three other district coordinator jobs were cut, meaning there are now 10 coordinators to serve 13 districts around the city, and Chao’s “interim” plan is to organize them into three teams serving regions of districts. Lock is being moved to a team that does not serve West Seattle; the Southwest District will be part of the region served by a team including Delridge District Coordinator Ron Angeles, and that entire team will be based out of the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. How is that supposed to work? That’s what the council will be asking Chao on Wednesday; their meeting starts at 7 and she’s expected around 7:45, board room at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW), all welcome.

8 Comments

  1. Local government is in the midst of a financial emergency. I’ve got no problem with shuttering all neighborhood service centers, we need to be cutting back on everything but the most basic of services until the economy turns around.

    Comment by JimmyG — 2:08 pm January 3, 2011 #

  2. The DON has been ineffective ever since Diers left IMO. Administering the small and large grants, OK, but big new transformative ideas, naaah. The district council idea would be great if it could involve more than the usual suspects and get on top of some of the innovative advances in social media. Need new blood.

    Comment by visitor — 4:40 pm January 3, 2011 #

  3. She will also be at the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting this month.

    - JimmyG….you obviously do not understand what the District coordinators do or you have never enlisted their help in navigating through our city government. they are a valuable resource to our community.

    - visitor…when was the last time that you came to a district council meeting? are you involved in your neighborhood? or comunity for that matter…if you were you would be singing a different tune.

    Comment by Pete — 4:48 pm January 3, 2011 #

  4. I’m sorry, you know nothing of what you speak. If you can’t see what the district councils need to come into the next century, you are part of the problem. This thread is not about me, it’s about the district council system and the effectiveness of DON. Questioning my cred is irrelevant.

    Comment by visitor — 1:06 am January 4, 2011 #

  5. BUT visitor….if you are not involved in your community how do you know that the system is broken? that is my point. things get done in our community by the folks that show up. I was just curious if you show up or just sit on the sidelines and play armchair quarterback. we hear lots of folks complain that the system is broken but they are not willing to do anything to help correct the problems. The district Council meetings are open to the public. They welvome anyone that wants to come to the table and help improve our communities. I am not quetioning your cred just curious how you arrived at your opinion.

    Comment by Pete — 7:38 am January 4, 2011 #

  6. Shuttering innovation is an excellent way to ensure that the economy never turns around. Good thinkin’, JimmyG.

    Department of Neighborhoods is probably our most efficient City department. Since most of their programs are based on matching funds, the city ends up getting alot of services through them for at least a 50% discount, if not more. Given our current budget situation, we need to be encouraging more financial innovation such as this at the state and local levels.

    Visitor – Sounds good. But if there’s something that needs to be improved, we can’t just complain about it. We need to get it done. The District Councils are just citizen volunteers, not city employees. I’m sure they could benefit from your involvement. I hope you take Pete up on the invitation.

    Comment by Yardvark — 10:01 am January 4, 2011 #

  7. Hey kiddies, I have been involved in my city since the 520 bridge went in. I have been to every district council in the city – have you? as well as the CNC, its committees, and the Federation. Also many community councils around the city. I hate to break it to you, but MOST people in the city haven’t the slightest idea about district councils and what they do. IT’s only because I am intimately familiar with them that I can have an opinion. Don’t make assumptions! You know the rest……

    Comment by visitor — 1:39 pm January 5, 2011 #

  8. so visitor…you say you have been to all of these meetings….but have you been involved? that is the question. And yes I have been tot he District coucnil meetings….I have been the chair of a CNC committee….I have been the chair of the CNC…..I have served a couple of stints as chair of a Dsitrict Council….so come on down and let’s do some educating of the masses together….

    Comment by Pete — 6:52 pm January 5, 2011 #

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