Letter to the editor: Progress through solutions

695
1

Dear Editor:

There’s a lot of exciting things happening in our city right now. Development is really starting to pick up. New businesses are opening and other businesses are relocating to Mountlake Terrace. A new trail will soon be constructed connecting the Interurban and the Transit Center. Our “Main Street” through downtown, 56th, will soon be rebuilt with wider sidewalks and underground utilities to create a more pedestrian friendly environment.

This is Progress.

But there still is a problem. If you are a regular reader of MLTnews you are probably aware of what the problem is: the old City Hall, after serving our city well for almost 50 years, had been wrought with problems culminating in the collapse of the ceiling.

Opponents of Proposition 1 would like you to believe that it was the City Council’s irresponsibility and lack of preparation that led to us having to demolish the old City Hall without funding for the new Civic Center. In reality, it has been the topic of studies by numerous City Councils dating back over 30 years. In early 2008, before the ceiling collapse, the City Council decided to put together a Task Force of citizens to gather input from the community and make a recommendation about the City’s aging facilities. The Task Force was made of business representatives, citizen members of various boards and commissions, and other Mountlake Terrace residents. After over a dozen community meetings the resounding message that the Task Force was hearing was that the community wanted the new Civic Center facility to be more than just a City Hall, they wanted it to be an amenity the entire community could enjoy.

Progress.

Based on the Task Force recommendations that summarized community input, the City Council put a plan together and asked the community to vote on it in 2010. The City Council at that time included several current members as well as John Zambrano and Michelle Robles. The Council was unanimous in its decision to move this plan forward.

Progress.

Many residents liked the plan because it reflected their input, but ultimately thought it may have been too expensive.

Progress.

The Council refined the plan, looking for ways to keep amenities that citizens asked for while reducing costs. They were able to significantly reduce the project cost by ?.

Progress.

The Mountlake Terrace community overwhelmingly supported the new plan but a 2012 vote fell just short of the 60 percent required by state law. Now we’re asking you just one more time to get out and vote yes on Proposition 1. Support the plan that we already overwhelmingly supported. Support the plan that we have told the City Council we want.

Compromises have been made on both sides and it’s time to move forward.

Progress.

Dustin DeKoekkoek
Mountlake Terrace

1 COMMENT

  1. I agree, Dustin! And thank you for the history lesson. I forgot how long this plan has been in the works — long before the ceiling collapse and asbestos issues. Like any good plan, input was given and adjustments were made, making an even better plan than before.

    I believe the civic center should be more than a single purpose facility. I want not only a City Hall but the needed improvements for the library and police station. To build a center where people can gather, have events, and strengthen our community is cost effective and will make leaps and bounds in our civic pride for residents and employees / employers.

    The super majority requirement is a big hurdle but with more and more people becoming informed, it is definitely within reach. I will be voting YES!

Leave a Reply