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Return to hybrid meetings; new develoment; update on hiring | City Briefs


Last updated 3/17/2022 at 6:15am

Council to meet on hybrid basis beginning next week

With the pandemic restrictions loosening, City Council members on Tuesday unanimously voted to return to hybrid meetings, meaning they will be in-person and/or remote on March 22. This applies only to business meetings, not committee meetings.

“My understanding is that the public can be in person in council chambers to give audience and/or public hearing comment and/or to watch the meeting,” said Council President Vivian Olson.

“Or, if virtual, their comment (if they have one) will be on Zoom or phone-in, but after that they will get off Zoom or phone and watch on TV.”

Said Administrative Services Director Dave Turley: “We’ll have everything we need to be in place next week to do the technology portion.”

Councilmember Laura Johnson expressed concerns about “Zoom bombing,” indirectly referring to racist and pornographic images that were seen during a November 2020 interview with a police chief candidate.

Olson said that those making comments on Zoom will not have the option to be seen live.

11-lot plat approved near Madrona K-8

Hearing Examiner Phil Olbrechts this month approved an 11-lot preliminary plat on a 2.47-acre parcel near the end of 240th Street SW, adjacent to Madrona K-8 school.

Several neighbors expressed numerous concerns over the project. Their concerns were understandable, Olbrechts told councilmembers, as residents have enjoyed a peaceful existence in a heavily wooded and quiet area served by narrow streets and intermittent sidewalks.

The concerns of the neighbors were individually addressed in detail in the findings of fact of the examiner's decision. City staff and the City’s development regulations had adequately addressed most of the issues. The only significant area of concern found needing further investigation was safe walking conditions to and from school.

Neighbors pointed out that 240th was a narrow road with some site distance problems that were exacerbated by cars parked along the shoulder. The narrowness of the road and parked vehicles could potentially force students walking to and from school to walk in the traveled portion of the road.

A condition of approval required public works staff to investigate the placement of no-parking signs in this area if the vehicles did present a dangerous situation for schoolchildren.

A recent change to the density standards allowed the lots to be clustered, preserving a lot more trees.

Update on hiring for 2 director positions

The City is still sifting through applications for two director positions, according to HR Director Jessica Neill Hoyson.

The Community Services & Economic Development Director, previously held by Patrick Doherty, was posted in mid-November. Of the 30 applications reviewed in mid-December, 16 were disqualified during review for minimum qualifications.

The remaining 14 were sent a list of written questions, to which 10 responded, and three of those 10 candidates moved on in the process. After review of an additional 11 applicants, six were sent written questions, to which three responded and will move on in the process.

Doherty is assisting with scoring the written responses; interviews will likely be held late March. Filling the position will depend on the timing of council interviews and confirmation as well as when the candidate is able to start.

The Public Works Director position, formerly held by Phil Williams was posted in mid-January, and the first review of 12 applicants were in early February. Two were disqualified, and the remaining 10 were sent written questions, to which eight responded.

The written responses are currently being reviewed. A second group of six applicants were reviewed. Three were disqualified ,and three were sent written question and had until March 13 to return responses.

Interviews are anticipated to occur in early April and the timing to fill the position depends on the same steps as the Community Services position.

Frances Anderson reopens with upgrades, new meeting room

The Frances Anderson Center on Main Street is now open after an extended closure due to the pandemic.

There are some changes, including a classroom on the lower level that is now the new Human Services office, new flooring, carpet, paint, and roof repairs.

Hours are 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays.

To find out more about spring and summer programs: http://www.bit.ly/3w1YsvY.

Registration begins April 4 for summer camps and programs.


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