Southwest District Council 125 results

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Change at the top; Dakota Homestead update; West Seattle crime’s ups and downs; more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When then-Mayor Ed Murray announced plans last year to create a Community Involvement Commission, it accompanied word that the city would cut formal ties with neighborhood-district councils.

Most of those councils have continued their work anyway. And one of the two in West Seattle – the Southwest District Council – invited a commission member to its December meeting.

Her guest appearance was just part of a full agenda at the meeting this past Wednesday night – no holiday-season slowdown here. One of several big topics was the SWDC’s leadership change:

(From left, new SWDC secretary Roxane Rusch, new co-chair Tamsen Spengler, outgoing co-chair David Whiting, outgoing secretary Vicki Schmitz Block)

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Southwest District Council: New leadership; Fauntleroy rezone proposal; Sound Transit light-rail meeting…

November 1, 2017 7:28 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

From tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, just wrapped up at the Sisson Building/Senior Center:

FAUNTLEROY REZONE A ‘MONSTER’? Mike Dey and Bruce Butterfield from the Fauntleroy Community Association board told the SWDC they’re working to find out more about the proposed rezone at 9250 45th SW (first reported on WSB earlier this week) to facilitate a 5-story, 32-residential-unit project. They noted how the Endolyne Triangle, where the building is located, had transportation/traffic improvements recently – including the change of Brace Point to one-way on the south side. They are trying to set up a meeting with the property owners “to see if we can find out more detail about what they are proposing,” said Dey.

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@ Southwest District Council: Citywide campaign to raise $ for ‘aging’ Seattle Parks facilities

By Marika Lee
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The main presentation at last night’s Southwest District Council meeting was by a visitor from the other side of the city, circulating a petition to support funding for aging Seattle Parks facilities citywide.

“It is a modest increase in property taxes but we feel with the money that is going to be generated over the next three years, if used properly, will provide some tangible benefits,” said Tim Motzer, who spoke to SWDC about the petition sponsored by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance.

The petition is urging the Board of Commissioners of the Seattle Park District – in other words, the Seattle City Council – to maintain the current park district assessment rate of 27.5 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for the remaining three years of the Park District’s six-year spending plan. That would increase tax collections in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

“We can generate about $26 million and that revenue along with other sources from the city would allow us to fully fund the eight community centers,” said Motzer, a retired Parks worker.

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SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: City Councilmember @ centerstage; Westside Neighbors’ Network ‘village’ update; more

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Got something you wish your City Council representative would help with? You should have been at tonight’s Southwest District Council meeting, SWDC’s first one in two months (like many community/neighborhood groups, SWDC leaves August off the meeting calendar). The centerpiece of the meeting was a multi-issue update from, and Q&A with, City Councilmember Lisa Herbold – taxes, transportation, and more.

COUNCILMEMBER SPOTLIGHT: SWDC invited City Councilmember Lisa Herbold to come speak to, and hear from, SWDC. She addressed some issues she’d been asked about before the meeting – for example, she said SDOT acknowledged it should have done some neighborhood outreach before its late-night work to convert 59th/Admiral to an all-way stop (as they told us for this followup). She added that SDOT said this was a community-requested project, with support from Alki Elementary‘s principal and PTSA, and they will be monitoring the “functionality of the intersection” for six months – pedestrian counts, collisions, compliance among other things. Tony Fragada, who represents the Alki Community Council on the SWDC, said his group had agreed that something needed to be done to slow traffic there.

Next update: She said the city’s planning to continue using the new Your Voice, Your Choice participatory-budgeting process for upcoming funding processes, as it did for the Neighborhood Park and Street Fund. But, she reminded, the city has an executive change coming up – a new mayor – and her priorities (whichever woman is elected mayor) will come into play.

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Q&A WITH YOUR COUNCILMEMBER: Lisa Herbold @ Southwest District Council tomorrow

September 5, 2017 9:04 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Before we get to what’s up for the rest of today, an early alert for Wednesday night: The Southwest District Council agenda has just arrived, and it includes Q&A with our area’s City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. The City Council gets back to work today after its two-week summer recess, so maybe you have questions about action it’s taken, is about to take … or something you think needs attention. SWDC meets at 6:30 pm Wednesday at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction (4217 SW Oregon), all welcome; the full agenda has just been added to our calendar listing.

@ Southwest District Council: Rechannelization reconsideration? Plus, port trucks, motorcycle noise, more…

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A show-stopper-of-sorts statement from SDOT was part of last night’s Southwest District Council meeting:

SWDC co-chair David Whiting of the Admiral Neighborhood Association led the meeting, which featured multiple meaty topics despite the day-after-holiday scheduling.

First:

AVALON PAVING PROJECT: Dan Anderson and project manager Luke Peters of SDOT came to speak to the group about the repaving and rechannelization project, one month after Avalon entrepreneur John Bennett brought merchants’ concerns to the SWDC, which agreed to support them (WSB coverage here).

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TOMORROW: Southwest District Council IS meeting

July 4, 2017 12:54 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Many community groups skip midsummer meetings. Not the Southwest District Council, which invites you to its July meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) night, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building:

6:30 P.M. Welcome and Introductions ​​
• Review and approval of previous meetings minutes and summary
• Brief Announcements
• Amendments and overview of the Meeting Agenda

6:40 P.M. Port of Seattle – current activities
• Mick Shultz

7:10 P.M. West Seattle Noise Survey Results
• Jesse Robbins

7:30 P.M. SW Avalon Paving Project
• Dan Andersen, SDOT

7:45 P.M. Southwest District Council Business
• CNC Update
• Announcements
• Other business ​

8:00 P.M. Adjourn Meeting

The Sisson Building is at 4217 SW Oregon.

@ Southwest District Council: Aligning for Avalon alternative

(Displays from recent Avalon project “open house,” starting with the current proposed alternatives for lane reconfiguration)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With two days left to answer the SDOT survey about rechannelizing SW Avalon Way when it’s repaved in ~2019, local merchants and bicycling advocates are backing an alternative route for new bike lanes
– one that’s not currently part of SDOT’s proposals.

That was the major agenda item at last night’s Southwest District Council meeting.

AVALON RECHANNELIZATION: John Bennett and Angela Cough from the Luna Park Merchants Association first recapped the back story – as reported here two weeks ago – of being surprised to find out that what was announced as repaving was also going to include rechannelization.

SDOT contacted merchants to ask for a meeting at which they learned “they’re redesigning the whole street .. their plan was to take away a big chunk of parking on (the east side of) Avalon Way, which merchants rely on for customers.” Five years earlier, they had lost parking in the morning (for the 6-10 am bus lane). Now, 25 to 28 parking spots further south would be lost permanently. Cough, who owns Shack Coffee, explained that they’re also concerned about losing the center turn lane, which area businesses need for everything from deliveries to tows (Alki Auto Repair). The center turn lane also assists pedestrians, Cough pointed out, since there is no crosswalk in the area (the city removed one by her shop, then Java Bean, 10 years ago), and the rechannelization/repaving project so far doesn’t include one. And it’s used by Seattle Fire vehicles and other emergency personnel when there are incidents. Read More

@ Southwest District Council: Project previews, plus crime trends

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One final community meeting to recap from this past week – here’s what happened as the Southwest District Council discussed three transportation-related projects – including issues such as Fauntleroy Boulevard construction vs. Sound Transit 3 planning – and received a crime-trends update.

NEIGHBORHOOD STREET FUND PROJECTS: SDOT outreach lead Natalie Graves said she was there to “take feedback” as the project leads weren’t available. West Seattle’s projects were two of 12 chosen for funding in this round of the every-three-years Neighborhood Street Fund proposal/selection/construction process.

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TONIGHT: 3 transportation projects @ Southwest District Council

April 5, 2017 1:20 am
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 |   Southwest District Council | Transportation | West Seattle news

Three city-funded transportation projects are on the agenda for the Southwest District Council tonight (6:30 pm, Senior Center/Sisson Building, 4217 SW Oregon). Natalie Graves from SDOT will update SWDC on the two Neighborhood Street Fund projects that have been in circulation for community feedback, the Harbor/Spokane/Avalon/Manning Intersection Improvements and Chief Sealth IHS Walkway Improvements. Former SWDC co-chair Sharonn Meeks is also scheduled to talk with the council about the Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard project; she has been involved with advocating for it for many years and spoke at both of the recent walking tours. SWDC is co-chaired by David Whiting from the Admiral Neighborhood Association and Eric Iwamoto from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council and its meetings are open to all.

CANCELED: No Southwest District Council meeting next Wednesday

February 24, 2017 5:22 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Just announced: The Southwest District Council executive committee has canceled next Wednesday’s monthly SWDC meeting so that interested members and would-be attendees can go to two other meetings set for that night, both already previewed here: The Fauntleroy Way Neighborhood and Business Association, talking about the Fauntleroy Boulevard project, and the Westwood-Highland Park HALA-rezoning-response meeting. That means the next SWDC meeting is April 5th.

SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: Alive and well and independent

January 5, 2017 11:10 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Toplines from the first Southwest District Council meeting of the new post-city-support era, last night @ the Senior Center/Sisson Building:

DISTRICT COUNCILS CARRY ON: Co-chair David Whiting (from the Admiral Neighborhood Association) opened by noting that this was the first SWDC meeting without city funding for a meeting space (the $500/year was cut as part of the mayoral decree that neighborhood district councils would no longer have official city ties). He wanted to be sure it was clear that the mayoral decree did NOT dissolve the council, which, like its counterparts around the city, is going forward independently. And, he said, after talking with reps from some of the other district councils, SWDC is doing so with what seems like even more energy and determination than some others. As part of the mayor’s decision to sever ties, a Department of Neighborhoods coordinator is no longer assigned to assist the group; SWDC member Cindi Barker (who represents the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs) asked that the coordinator who used to have that role, Kerry Wade, receive a formal invitation to attend anyway, along with her boss, DoN director Kathy Nyland.

POLICE UPDATE: Southwest Precinct Operations Lt. Ron Smith provided a crime-stats briefing. The precinct made more arrests in December than the previous two months – package-theft suspects among them, since that’s such a prevalent crime during the holiday season, and some car-prowl suspects too. Morgan Junction remains the current West Seattle hotspot for car prowls, Lt. Smith said, likely because emphasis patrols in The Junction and Westwood areas resulted in thieves moving elsewhere. He added that the precinct is working with the City Attorney’s Office to step up the focus on frequent offenders with regard to car prowls (which by themselves are misdemeanors, which is why the City Attorney handles them). He also said SPD and Parks had been involved in a campsite cleanup in the Longfellow Creek area where some residents had been linked to car and package thefts.

The Southwest District Council continues to meet on first Wednesdays, 6:30 pm, Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon). All welcome.

@ Southwest District Council: Request for rezoning-plan extension

The Southwest District Council is asking the city for an extra half-year to deal with the Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) rezoning plans.

That’s part of what happened when the SWDC met Tuesday night – postponed from last week, when the city scheduled its rezoning-and-more “open house” (WSB coverage here) on the district council’s longstanding regular meeting night.

Here’s the text of the resolution passed by SWDC members:

The Southwest District Council requests a six-month extension to the HALA proposal, prior to the (Environmental Impact Statement) submittal, to accommodate necessary outreach, assimilation, and planning so that alternative draft zoning proposals can be developed, and in order to have design charrettes take place for the following urban villages: West Seattle Junction, Admiral Junction, and Morgan Junction.

As we’ve been reporting since October, four West Seattle “urban villages” are among the areas of the city where upzoning is planned as part of what the mayor calls Mandatory Housing Affordability – giving builders/developers additional capacity, while requiring them to build a percentage of their projects as “affordable” units, or else pay into a fund that will pay for it to be built somewhere else in the city.

One of those UVs, Westwood-Highland Park, has already had a “design charrette” organized by the city to talk about and look at specifics of its plan, but the city is currently not planning similar events for the three UVs mentioned in the SWDC resolution. And the overall concern is that most current residents potentially affected by this still don’t know about it, as there’s been no direct, clear messaging from the city about the proposed zoning changes.

Also at Tuesday’s SWDC meeting, three items that you might call operational.

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SOUTHWEST DISTRICT COUNCIL: New December date

December 5, 2016 7:36 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news

Along with the venue concerns about the city-organized multi-topic, multi-department “open house” this Wednesday, a date conflict also had been pointed out weeks ago – the date the city chose (Wednesday, December 7th) was also the Southwest District Council‘s regular meeting night. SWDC has now decided to change its meeting date rather than try to rush through the expanded open house and have an abbreviated meeting of its own:

In light of the added venue and now an expanded agenda for the December 7th Southwest Open House for Affordable Housing Neighborhood maps and Fauntleroy Boulevard project, the executive committee of the Southwest District Council (SWDC) has decided to postpone our December meeting, which was scheduled for the same evening.

Despite our longstanding schedule of the first Wednesday of the month, we have little choice but to urge West Seattle residents to attend the December 7th open house. For this month SWDC will instead meet on Tuesday, December 13th at 6:30 pm at our regular venue at the Sisson Building/Senior Center (California/Oregon). The agenda will include election of new officers for 2017, proposed by-law changes and the proposed plans for rezoning. Further details on the agenda will be announced on the West Seattle Blog.

David Whiting and Eric Iwamoto,
Southwest District Council

Metro likely going ahead with removing 2 Junction shelters, Southwest District Council told

From last night’s Southwest District Council meeting:

A Metro planner told the SWDC that they’re likely to go ahead with removing two bus shelters in The Junction as part of a “problem-solving plan” to deter loitering.

img_0268
(WSB photo, October 27th)

While Metro is taking comments for two more weeks, so far few have come in, and more are in support than against, planner Dale Cummings said at the meeting. Read More

@ Southwest District Council: Unanimous vote to carry on; Park District briefing; street-project proposals…

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If Mayor Murray expects that cutting city support – $500/year and some staff time – to Neighborhood District Councils will cause them to fold, West Seattle’s district councils will be proving him wrong.

The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council has already displayed defiance by hosting the first citywide gathering of DC reps to follow the mayor’s announcement that he wanted to cut off the councils and find different means of “engaging” citizens. And last night, the Southwest District Council formalized its intention to continue on, with or without city support. Here’s how things unfolded at the SWDC’s September meeting at the Sisson Building/Senior Center:

DISTRICT COUNCILS’ FUTURE: SWDC co-chair David Whiting from the Admiral Neighborhood Association led this discussion, on behalf of the SWDC executive committee (in which he is joined by co-chair Eric Iwamoto from the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council and Vicki Schmitz-Block from the Fauntleroy Community Association). He says the SW District Council executive committee wants to continue on, regardless of whether the mayor’s plan to cut off official city support goes forward. A vote was subsequently taken – and everyone present agreed with that plan. (Besides the aforementioned executive-committee members, other reps at the SWDC meeting were from Alki, Genesee-Schmitz, Morgan, and the West Seattle Emergency Communication Hubs.)

First point of discussion, how to make up the $500/year that the city has provided as financial support, all of which had been covering the cost of renting a room at the Senior Center for 11 meetings a year. Participating groups will be asked to chip in. Deb Barker from Morgan Community Association suggested lower-cost meeting space could be found, too. Whiting also had attended a recent City Neighborhood Council meeting and said other groups’ reps were in varying degrees of frustration and anger, but also most of them “want … to continue forward in some capacity.”

Also mentioned: The Seattle Neighborhood Coalition‘s “mini-summit” on the same topic coming up this Saturday, with participation from around the city invited – details here.

As for the city’s efforts to figure out where to go with future community engagement, the ongoing city survey was mentioned too – if you haven’t taken it yet, go here.

Also at last night’s meeting: Read More

OPEN LETTER: Delridge Neighborhoods District Council’s invitation to city councilmembers

Seven weeks have passed since the mayor’s abrupt announcement that the city would lurch away from the longstanding District Council system and look for new ways of “engagement.” As part of that, the Department of Neighborhoods has been running an online survey (with promotion including paid ads here on WSB and other places). The District Councils, including the two in West Seattle, are in the meantime about to resume their meetings after the traditional August break. And Delridge Neighborhoods District Council chair Mat McBride, who turned the group’s last meeting into a rally of sorts with reps from DCs around the city, has just issued an invitation in this open letter to City Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Lorena González, Tim Burgess, and Rob Johnson, which we’re publishing with permission:

Esteemed City Council members (representing D1, At-Large, and Neighborhoods Committee),

I am requesting your presence at the September meeting of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting on Wednesday, September 21. The DNDC is very interested in having a conversation with you regarding community, engagement, and the future of the District Council system within DoN (we’ll also be ranking NSF grants that evening, in case you wanted to observe a DC in action).

District Coordinator Kerry Wade will follow up with an agenda, including specific time and location once it’s finalized. Your RSVP is appreciated.

In Community,

Mat McBride
Chair, Delridge Neighborhoods District Council

PS, in case you haven’t been following DoN’s Engage Seattle poll, it’s a good read. All responses and comments (predominantly by white middle-aged homeowners, which I suppose raises some ironic existential questions) are published. Recommended reading, and if you haven’t taken the poll, I suggest doing so.

Quite a few comments have been made in support of the District Council System (side note – good on you for making all responses transparent, even those that highlight flaws in this latest proposed revision of DoN). And they’re right to do so, the District Council System (DoN’s, not City Council’s) is vital.

Democracy has to be public. Not solely, and there’s a lot of good suggestions about how to enhance the process and increase engagement. But it’s the District Councils, through a relationship officially observed by the City, that provide this function. It is vital to have public discussion with City representatives and elected officials. It is vital to challenge assumptions. It is vital to provide a forum in which the public can champion or object to issues, initiatives, or proposals within a specific geography. Because at the end of the day, it comes down to people doing things. Not taking a poll, not reading a newsletter, not submitting a comment to a blog, but actual honest-to-goodness engagement. Communities are made of people that come together and unite over a common goal. Where technology can enhance and assist this process, it absolutely should. But without an established network and designated place for that to manifest, it’s meaningless. Community is local, friends, and you have to make local work.

So, how to accomplish this? The best solution is also the easiest – restore the DoN District Coordinator staff to pre-2008 levels.

When the cuts first came, and again when they continued, community leaders predicted the exact circumstance we find ourselves in today – the fraying of the social network to the extent that it struggles to provide its most basic functions. The District Coordinators served as the glue within each District, themselves clusters of communities. It’s a big job, and staffed appropriately, it works great – an individual with a comprehensive knowledge of the individuals and organizations operating within the District is able to coordinate and direct active and emerging civic engagement to promote or fulfill the goal of serving the community. The act of networking people is the single most successful way to disseminate information – we have never been able to improve on talking to each other (not that we should). Humans can consume a huge amount of data, and most of it is not registered as important. This is especially true of communication by local government to citizens. If you want your message communicated, you need peer-level discussions within the community. Since most City correspondence is dry and boring (on the surface, anyway), you need citizens who will consume it regardless, translate salient points as necessary to make it accessible, and explain why it’s important to care about. And then, you really need them to talk about it.

Good news! You’ve had that model in place for the last 28 years. By most assessments, it’s past the “Proof of Concept” phase. Success is built upon the enhancement and improvement of existing infrastructure. The dismantling of an established and proven institution, which is to be replaced by an untested concept, is – well, it’s a singularly terrible idea. Restore the District Councils, and commit to enhancing them through all the excellent suggestions for improvement that I’ve read from other respondents to this survey.

If you haven’t taken the survey yet – here’s the link. (And after you answer it – as mentioned above, the results so far can be seen here.)

As for the upcoming District Council meetings – everyone, as always, is invited. The Southwest District Council is expecting Parks Superintendent Jesús Aguirre at 6:30 pm Wednesday, September 7th, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction (California/Oregon).

The Delridge Neighborhoods District Council mentioned above will be on Wednesday, September 21st – as Mat McBride wrote, time and location to be finalized, and we’ll publish an update when that happens.

VIDEO: Neighborhood advocates gather in wake of District Council dissolution by ‘a mayor who has vilified volunteers’

signsandcrowd

Story by Tracy Record
Video/photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

“Let’s not throw out the whole system – let’s make it better.”

That was the theme last night for a gathering of longtime community volunteers who were, at times, furious:

“We are owed an apology. In a city known internationally for volunteerism, we have a mayor who has vilified volunteers … it’s inexcusable.”

At times, gracious:

“What resonates in this room is the hope and optimism you all bring to the table.”

And at times, incredulous:

“The news last week was a surprise.”

meetingmatt

That last declaration is how Mat McBride, chair of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, began last night’s gathering, a dramatic expansion of what was supposed to be a routine, “sleepy” monthly edition of the DNDC’s meeting, and instead, because of a mayoral decree a week earlier, became a rally of reps from the city’s 13 NDCs. Here’s our video of the entire gathering, in two parts:

The objective, as McBride described it, was to show that the “13 District Councils … are representative of more than the narrative we are currently being cast by … that a bad decision has been made, and that bad decisions can and should be reversed.”

That “narrative” was the July 13th mayoral declaration that the groups should be thrown on the scrap heap (WSB coverage here), replaced to a yet-to-be-outlined “engagement” system with an appointed “Community Involvement Commission,” because members are allegedly mostly older white homeowners. (The survey that made the proclamation has been called into question, as has the inference that the volunteers should be cut loose because of their age, race, and economic status.)

“Right now if you read the [regional] press, you’ll see a story that district councils have 15 people … tend to be white, tend to be old, tend to own houses. (But) when a district council gathers, hundreds, thousands of people are represented at the table … we are a representative democracy. It is not true, the story that’s currently being told.”

We counted at least 60 people in the room at Highland Park Improvement Club; McBride greeted them all in DNDC style – cheering and hand-waving – calling out the names of each Neighborhood District Council that was here, and then asking for a show of hands from those representing other groups, such as the community councils that feed into the ND councils.

He acknowledged that some of what’s in the report – the need to expand the groups’ means of outreach – are things that district council members agree with, things they’ve been suggesting, requesting, for years.

So what is it these groups DO do?

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Neighborhood-district councils’ future: The report the mayor didn’t wait for; the invitation to Wednesday’s gathering

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

As first reported here on Sunday, this week’s monthly meeting of the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council has expanded to a call for, in effect, a summit of neighborhood-district council members and supporters from around the city. Wednesday’s gathering at Highland Park Improvement Club will come one week after Mayor Murray cut short a City Council-ordered review of the neighborhood-district-council system by declaring he intended to cut city ties to and support for the councils.

More on the meeting below – but first: We now have the report that was due out last Friday, expected to start the next phase of a conversation about the 13 councils, until the mayor’s move on Wednesday. Read it here. It’s the Department of Neighborhoods‘ official response to the City Council’s Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI) from last year that “required the (department) to develop a plan to reorient its programs around the new City Council district structure with a primary focus on the Neighborhood District Coordinator (NDC) program and a goal for more equitable community engagement.”

The report dated Friday (July 15th) incorporates mentions of the executive order the mayor unveiled and signed two days earlier. It declares:

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ELECTION 2016: 2 ballot measures on Wednesday’s Southwest District Council agenda

July 5, 2016 6:56 pm
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 |   Southwest District Council | West Seattle news | West Seattle politics

Ballots for the August 2nd election go out next week, and Seattle voters will be asked to decide two ballot measures, both of which will be discussed at tomorrow night’s Southwest District Council meeting. As described on the King County Elections website, Proposition 1 replaces the expiring current city levy “to fund: housing for low-income seniors, workers, and households, and the disabled and mentally ill; and homelessness prevention and reduction programs, including emergency rental assistance for at-risk families.” Initiative 123 “would establish a public development authority to build and operate an elevated park and other amenities along the waterfront integrating one block of the existing Alaskan Way Viaduct into the design.” Tomorrow’s SWDC agenda says two speakers are scheduled for the Housing Levy, but that anti-levy speakers were “unavailable for the meeting”; for I-123, one pro speaker and one con speaker are scheduled. The meeting is at 6:30 pm Wednesday at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction, California/Oregon).

‘Just another budget cut’? Local advocates take aim at city’s review of neighborhood-district system

(Left, map of 13 Seattle “neighborhood districts”; right, map of 7 Seattle City Council districts. Both from seattle.gov)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

When the city Department of Neighborhoods cut its staff of neighborhood-district coordinators 5+ years ago, neighborhood advocates were upset, to say the least.

Before the cuts, the city had one coordinator for each of the 13 neighborhood districts, including the two that comprise West Seattle – Delridge and Southwest.

It would be OK, city leaders assured local community leaders – while cutting three of those 13 jobs, they were restructuring the remaining coordinators into teams by region, with this area part of the South Region, to be served by three.

But in the years since – without any further announcements – it’s dropped to 8 coordinators for the 13 districts, and the regional structure has eroded, like a bluff falling into the sea as it’s battered by waves.

Now a potential tsunami is on the way – a formal review, stemming from City Council marching orders last year, looking at whether the 13-neighborhood-district system should realign with the new 7-district City Council map – and whether the district coordinators’ work as community-to-city liaisons should change.
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See which community proposals West Seattle’s district councils are advancing for Neighborhood Street Fund

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Tonight, the Southwest District Council‘s June meeting includes a discussion of an in-progress city review that could eventually determine whether the SWDC and the city’s other 12 district councils continue to exist.

One of the arguments for district councils is their advocacy for their respective jurisdictions getting their fair share of city attention and money, in programs like the Neighborhood Street Fund.

Since their last monthly meetings, members of both SWDC and its eastern West Seattle counterpart, the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council, have decided which five community-proposed NSF projects they’re forwarding to the city for consideration.

1st-through-5th-ranked by the Southwest District Council (western West Seattle):

1. Improvements at Harbor Ave SW & SW Spokane Street
2. Improvements at 39th Avenue SW and SW Oregon Street
3. Rapid Ride Bus Stops, Morgan Junction
4. Improvements on Fauntleroy Way
5. Traffic Circles, Sidewalks, and Safety Improvements in Arbor Heights

1st-through-5th-ranked by the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council (eastern West Seattle):

1. Modernize the Intersection of 16th Ave SW & SW Holden Street (Highland Park)
2. (tie) Complete SW Barton Street
2. (tie) Roundabout for Highland Park Way/SW Holden St
4. Brandon St Sidewalks (Delridge to High Point)
5. Safety Improvements to 26th Ave SW and/or 25th Avenue SW (Connecting Chief Sealth HS and the Westwood Village Bus Hub)

Both sets of decisions followed project-proposers’ presentations at the respective district councils’ meetings, and review of written applications – this document explains the criteria for evaluation.

No project is guaranteed funding just because the district council supports advancing it; the city’s pot of money is finite, and the Neighborhood Street Fund is citywide, opening for applications every three years, available for up to $90,000 $100,000-$1,000,000* for a project making it all the way through the process. But sometimes even projects that don’t get NSF funding land on SDOT’s radar. If you’d like to know more about any or all of the 10 aforementioned proposals, scroll ahead (or jump from the home page) for more details on each, excerpted from the community proposers’ applications – sometimes brief, sometimes detailed: Read More

Beach Drive traffic calming, Harbor/ Avalon/ Spokane tidying? Neighborhood-fund proposals @ Southwest District Council

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Two community-proposed projects are seeking Southwest District Council support for their applications to get Neighborhood Park and Street Fund money – one on Beach Drive, one on Harbor Avenue. Both were presented at this month’s SWDC meeting, which also included a briefing on the upcoming work to re-replace earthquake-safety cushions on the Fauntleroy Expressway (west/southwest end of the West Seattle Bridge).

SWDC is one of West Seattle’s two groups of representatives from community groups and organizations in what the city defines as this area’s two neighborhood “districts” – Southwest, primarily western WS, and Delridge, eastern WS (see the map here). When it’s time for NPSF applications, the councils review proposals and make recommendations to the city. The criteria include “Projects must cost less than $90,000 as determined by SDOT and Parks” and “The project has widespread positive impact on the neighborhood as a whole.”

The photo atop this story is part of the area involved in the proposal from the Beach Drive SW Neighborhood Committee, formed for the application:

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