Letter to the editor: MLT Prop 1 is about laying the foundation for a thriving community


Dear Editor:

No on Prop 1′ takes the viewpoint that because the initial plans do more than just run the government, that makes it unneeded, it is an extravagance, that people who support the idea aren’t ‘thrifty’. I even saw someone say they’d rather pay the money for a one night only fireworks show than pay for a new City Hall.

A thriving, healthy city does more than just provide for the basic functionality of government, more than the bare minimum needed to keep government doors open.

A thriving city is built on serving the entire community, in giving community members of all ages places to gather, places to experience arts & culture, places that give a sense of pride in the appearance and ambiance of the community. Healthy, happy cities have a hub to their community that is welcoming, enticing and useful.

Our City Council has the understanding that for Mountlake Terrace to be someplace more than just a collection of houses & businesses that happen to all be incorporated within the same boundary, it needs to have not only functioning & supported government services; it needs to have resources and facilities that will benefit and enhance the city as a whole.

Prop 1 isn’t just about making a shiny new City Hall, it is about laying the foundation for a cohesive, thriving core for the community, that will outlast the current elected officials, and be a focus of Mountlake Terrace’s growth and identity for years to come.

Charlene Hamilton


  1. Thank You Charlene. I would like to ask neighbors that support Prop 1 to go out and ask their neighbors to vote YES. Seniors Vote YES. Councilmembers vote Yes and in the last election 57% of the voters voted YES. We need 60% plus 1 to vote YES. The average Home owner will pay less than $3,600 over 30 years for an investment that brings a $25 Million Dollar invest on property already owned by it’s citizens.

  2. Charlene puts it very succinctly and eloquently that Prop. 1 will provide the foundation for Mountlake Terrace to become a healthy city and the basis for synergy to occur. A rising tide lifts all boats.

  3. Charlene, you have hit on the heart of the matter with such elegance. I am so disheartened when the No campaign accuses our City leaders of bullying, lying, using smoke and mirrors and of being deceitful, selfish and extravagant. You have countered that with such incredible insight and class. You have spoken for those of us who are grateful for the hard work, foresight and care that has gone into the Civic Center proposal from elected leaders, citizens and our City officials. Your words will motivate everyone to keep up the positive momentum during these critical days of the campaign and make this community dream come true!

  4. Charlene, very well said! ALL our citizens deserve a great place to live, raise their kids & have a great quality of life with outstanding city services to be found in one central location. I commend the City Council for having the foresight to move forward!

  5. The facility should be enough to run the government – that’s what we need. If the argument is shifting to some concept that the City should now also provide us our cultural exposure and our ‘ambience’, then by extension the City should also provide anything else people might want, regardless of what it might be. Ergo, I expect the City to buy the Girl Scout cookies in the future and redistribute them to the residents, who will pay higher taxes for them. The City should pitch in when the next fire closes a restaurant, so that the proper ‘ambience’ may be restored on 56th Avenue West, and then the residents can the cover that expenditure with higher taxation as well.

    The argument has been that MLT needs a permanent City Hall, a new library roof, a new police station, and for some reason a new Senior Center.

    That argument has failed, twice, when put before the voters.

    It is a testament to the failure of the argument in favor of the concept as currently proposed that its supporters are now claiming there is a utopian aspect to it, as well.

  6. Well said, Charlene! Couldn’t agree more. I’ll be voting Yes because it’s part of the grand vision for revitalizing this place (at last). I’ve lived in MLT for 8 years (I moved here because I was priced out of the Seattle housing market) and frankly, before the city started down the path of modernization, MLT was an embarrassing eye-sore of a place to live. It was stuck in atrophy and stuck in a “don’t change this place” mentality. But now if Prop 1 passes, I’ll be kind of excited about the future!

    Now if we can get going on revitalizing the rest of 56th Ave W. — ASAP! There are places that need bulldozing!

  7. I moved to Mountlake Terrace some 15 years ago. I didn’t move to Kent, or to Lynnwood or to Everett, where there is a large thriving business community. I moved to a quiet “bedroom community”. Doesn’t what I want from Mountlake Terrace matter?

  8. So what it takes for all of us to get “kind of excited” is a bulldozer operator with a vision of which property owners are embarrasing the rest of us. In 2007, at the Ballinger Clubhouse Town Center Plan meeting I sat next to the owner of a prominent downtown business. Despite owning one of those eyesore businsesses, he made the very same Downtown embarrassment argument. The lady sitting next to him promptly asked him how that was the city’s problem and why he didn’t make his own place look better if he really was so embarrassed. Those are still both good questions. For the bigger picture context at the root of her questions, I’d like to recommend that Prop 1 supporters put down their utopian pom poms and read today’s story about Burien

  9. Charlene, you moved to the heart of the matter quite eloquently. Thank you so much for your insight, and support of Proposition 1. This is a matter larger than all of us, and it’s for the future of MLT, its young citizens, as well as those of us who won’t be around 50-100 years from now. We can vote YES and ensure MLT has the ability to continue to progress and move ahead. Thank you again for your comments.

  10. So it’s fine for Charlene and prop 1 supporters to want us all to pay for their happy place? I don’t think so. It shouldn’t come at the high price to taxpayers to fund a civic center for a misleading and economically incompetent council who first tore down the former building before they had a taxpayer approved fiscal plan in place. It’s not our fault they’re renting. If we all used that same logic and could get away with it, we ought to tear down our businesses, homes or the like that for some reason don’t live up to what we’d like them to be and have others like Charlene and prop 1 supporters pay for the demolition and reconstruction to our hearts desire. I mean why not…that’s what the council and its prop 1 supporters are advocating for us to pay for your pie in the sky civic center?

    The opposition is not about not wanting a viable and thriving city center, it’s about being accountable and responsible with the taxpayers money to begin with and this council has failed miserably and shouldn’t be rewarded for poor fiscal leadership. If they can do it with this, nothing will stop them in the future.

    Vote NO on Prop 1. It’s the only common sense decision to make.

  11. Its good to see a new name watching the unfolding debate. Sadly, the answer to Ms. Jennet’s question has been for over 6 years now, NO. Since late 2006 with the Town Center Plan which ignored the largest petiton drive in city history, the leadership of our community, has carefully constructed a case for more density, hopefully more retail development in the Downtown and, as everybody has by now figured out, the most important piece, a new civic campus.

    The now 2.5 year long civic center campus campaign with its multitude of scare tactics and misrepresentations is just a continuation of their habit of caring little about the opinion of people whose vision of our town is like yours and mine.

    Dress it up any way they want. Busy isn’t quiet; expensive isn’t affordable; NO isn’t YES and every person’s vote matters. Misrepresentations won’t change that.


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