Sometimes reflection is a good thing. Taking time to assess life and being grateful for what we have is something I try to do regularly. I find it a grounding exercise.
The above photo was taken in a tiny coastal Oregon town which shall remain unnamed. The town has little commerce, a small population and what appears to be a poor location for tourists. I saw this sign reading, "Restroom Behind City Hall" and laughed. Then it made be greatful we don't need such a sign in Kirkland. It also got me thinking about how things get done in a city, who does them and how they are funded. Then I thought of some of the criticisms of City Hall that can be read, or misread, on these pages.
I'd like to make some observations and comments on these matters.
To those at City Hall who are unjustly the target of slings and arrows, I salute you. It is easy for citizens to trumpet loudly claiming wrong doing at every turn. It is difficult to remain silent while doing your duty, abiding by the voluminous rules and regulations handed down by government.
Admittedly, I am a vocal critic of City Hall and council when I see policy, or implementation of it, going awry. And I will continue to do so, but I think it important not to throw the baby out with the bath water. It is important to recognize the many great reasons why we live here, least of which are good schools, neighbors and a sense of community.
So, while we do have many issues to address in Kirkland, I'd like to focus on something other than Marijuana, Potala, zoning, development, parks, events, noise ordinances, tree ordinances and the like.
Here are just a few of the things about Kirkland for which I am grateful:
We live in a desirable place with passionate residents involved in our community.
Lake Washington, without which, our city's identity would disappear.
Our service organizations and churches which give so much to our community.
Our safety and relative lack of crime. Drive thirty minutes in any direction and you will appreciate where you live.
Our private sector. The current tide is to think that government is the solution for most every problem. Government does a few things very well but the private sector is the heart if our society. Kirkland has many entrepreneurs who need nothing more from the government than to get out of the way.
Our levels of service. Kirkland is a relatively wealthy community. Not everyone is rich. And there are certainly more people asking for money from city hall than there is money to give (for the record, I don't elect people to "give" or redistribute wealth) but overall, we have a high level of services in Kirkland. This doesn't come free -- we pay high taxes for our services.
For me and my family, Kirkland is a great place to live. We care deeply about our town and we want to leave it a little better than we found it.
I hope you do too.