LETTER | Listening to the citizens

By Robert L. Style

Honorable Councilmembers:

Your agenda for Tuesday is jam packed, so much so that citizens may find it impossible to address their concerns within the allowed three minutes.   If they are concerned about only one issue, the entire time can be directed to that issue; however, if they want to speak on 3 or 4 issues, their time is diluted and only allows for bullet items without the ability to explain their reasoning or to discuss consequences.

I believe people will want to talk about annexation, your budget study session, the Shoreline Master Program, affordable housing, tolling, and maybe tree amendments.  Of all these issues, only one has a deadline.  If no changes are made to the agenda, the meeting will go past midnight and you will have denied the citizens their say.

To insure you make an informed decision, the public needs an opportunity to express their concerns.

A solution could be that you allow items from the audience after each item is opened and discussed by you, and before you decide on a course of action.  Another solution could be to delay those items that do not have a deadline.  Citizens need to feel you are listening to them.

Since the budget has a deadline, it’s the only one that needs immediate action.  The rest can wait.

Sincerely,

Robert L. Style