Election Watch 2015: Stephen Barnes, Mountlake Terrace City Council Candidate, Position No. 6

Stephen Barnes
Stephen Barnes

The following is an opening statement from Stephen Barnes, Mountlake Terrace City Council Candidate, Position No. 6:

I am Stephen “Steve” Barnes, I’m asking for your vote this November for City Council, and I am for:

  • open and honest politics
  • the suburban lifestyle we know and love about Mountlake Terrace
  • a City Hall that makes sense
  • expanded business opportunities that benefit our citizens

For open and honest politics

Can politics be honest?  I will listen, communicate, and use integrity as your Councilor.

For returning our Council’s focus to the suburban lifestyle we know and love about Mountlake Terrace

This includes fixing some our best assets, such as the Pavilion as well as reducing the irritations that don’t fit our suburban lifestyle. Restricted lanes and reduced parking are some of the issues that have bothered me in the past few years. Sure, it is great to get outside funding for fixing the road on Cedar Way, but what is the real point of bike lanes and over a mile of middle turn lane where there are very few places to turn? A local bicycle club confirmed that there are just a handful of bicyclists using those new bicycle lanes. Bicycle Commuters? About 0.1% of workers according to one survey.

Future and present reduced parking. The City has been handing out permits over and over reducing the number of required parking spots to please builders. The most recent example was near Ballinger Park where a big apartment consortium was allowed to reduce parking for its future remodel from over 700 spots required according to city regulations to a builder preferred 500+. Maybe that is why Arbor Village still does not have lease tenants in its ground floor businesses? Neighbors of Arbor Village have noticed that there are more cars in front of their homes and along the reduced parking on 236th since it opened. Did you wonder why?

I will work within the City Council and with the city planners to turn back this progressive parking squeeze.

For a City Hall that makes sense

In 2006 the City Council moved to replace the aging city hall. After hiring consultants to formulate what that could look like and what it might cost, the consultants determined a $400 per square foot building cost was appropriate (that still is close to the current Northwest Building Index standard cost) and came up with three sizes and two models. For the size we are currently leasing on 220th (15,000 sq ft) it was eight to 10.5 million, depending on the model chosen. After much private and public deliberation many additional items were cobbled into the project, settling at 37 million. Since we owned the land, the building should be somewhere around eight million, or near sixteen million even if it were built out (30,000 sq ft) for future expansion needs.

When I became involved with the facts of the City Hall building project, there were a number of irregularities which struck me as surprising. I reviewed City materials and city advertising which led me to seek clarity at the city council meeting. I was rebuffed without being permitted to speak. Requests in their break for added information and clarity were unsatisfying and contradictory. That led to my support for the “No” campaign, where I pointed out irregularities as I saw them. Please note: I was not and am not opposed to a City Hall.  But it needs to be one that makes sense.

For expanded business opportunities that benefit our citizens

The City Council has focused an overwhelming majority of its energy on the Town Center project and related matters. In the meantime, businesses with services and products of interest to our own Terrace citizens have been slow to be added. We should actively court businesses which bring services and entertainment “back home” to Mountlake Terrace. Our citizens should be thinking first of local choices for eating out, shopping, and entertainment! Terrace money should flow back into Terrace businesses! I pledge to be part of that welcoming committee!

How you can help:

Running a campaign for a spot as your City Councilor is a huge undertaking. If you can tell a friend about my website, put a “like” at fb.com/betterMLT or ask for a yard sign to broadcast your approval, that would be greatly appreciated.

If you want open and honest politics, an advocate for small town preferences, a frugal outlook, and a friend for businesses you can use, vote Steve Barnes, MLT position #6!

For a Better Mountlake Terrace for our children and grandchildren,

Stephen Barnes

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