Lid I-5: Reconnect Seattle

 

Image courtesy of Patano Studio Architecture

Seattle is growing fast, and if the number of people moving here did not make that clear, the number of cranes that can be seen over our skyline does. As fast as we want to build, what limits us in Seattle is the amount of available land.

Recently, the Lid I-5 steering committee hosted a morning bicycle tour from downtown Seattle to Mercer Island and back. We were able to experience the range of freeway lids the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has built. The lids help us create more buildable land.

Photo courtesy of Scott Bonjukian

We were joined by about twenty people including Representative Nicole Macri of the 43rd Legislative District. Interstate 5 (I-5) cuts directly through the 43rd Legislative District, separating many neighborhoods that were once connected. The Lid I-5 effort is focused on Downtown for now but could expand north and south and could also consider “non-liddable” conditions, such as the Chinatown-International District to reconnect communities disconnected by the interstate.

Re-imagining how we can reconnect our neighbors along I-5 is within our grasp. The Lid I-5 campaign is inspired by numerous examples nationwide both completed and planned, ranging from Klyde Warren Park in Dallas to Capitol Crossing in Washington, DC. If we take this innovative opportunity suggested by the Lid I-5 campaign, we could have 20 acres of new public land Downtown. Land costs are rising as buildable sites diminish. Lidding provides us with a tried-and-true way to create new public space while reducing the noise and pollution which spills into neighborhoods.

Image courtesy of © SOM

You may remember the effort in 2004 put forward by Allied Arts to imagine what the waterfront could look like if re-designed. Community leaders called for a tunnel, removal of the viaduct, and a waterfront boulevard. Many people called us dreamers, but we knew then that a connected community prioritizing “green over gray” public open space is more enjoyable for all and is healthier for residents and businesses. Now, 14 years later, we can literally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and the dream for a connected waterfront where you can hear the waves instead of rumbling traffic is only months away.

Image courtesy of Patano Studio Architecture

The same opportunity is true when considering the addition of one or more lids over I-5. It may seem at first blush that we are dreaming to say we can create 20 new acres of open space Downtown, but this is a real possibility that we should take seriously. Lids are already in place on I-90 in Seattle (10.3 acres) and Mercer Island’s lid (12.3 acres) is a veritable forest now.

Image courtesy of Scott Bonjukian

Freeway Park: Beginning our bike tour at Freeway Park just south of the Convention Center we discussed current lids in the city. After experiencing the many freeway lids around the city, it is clear that improvements need to be made to Freeway Park for it to reach its full potential. Currently Freeway Park is not a complete lid and the gaps in the lid allow for noise and exhaust from traffic to overwhelm the park. This undercuts the effectiveness of the lid so much so that it was difficult to hear the two-story waterfall at the park. We need to start our work by filling these gaps in our only Downtown lid.

Image courtesy of Scott Bonjukian

Jackson Street: We stopped next at the freeway overpass on Jackson Street in the International District. This section of freeway will be difficult to address when reconnecting the neighborhood because the freeway is elevated for about 500 ft of roadway. Reconnecting the International District is critically important as it is the only neighborhood core that is cut in half by the freeway rather than other neighborhoods which are walled-off by the freeway. Unfortunately, a lid may not be the answer here, but the feel of the International District will improve when east-west re-connections are made.

Photo courtesy of Scott Bonjukian

The land over and around the I-90 Lid is divided into three parks; Judkins Park, Jimi Hendrix Park, and Sam Smith Park.

Judkins Park and Jimi Hendrix Park (I-90 lid): Our next stop was next to the Interstate 90 (I-90) lid where the Eastlink light rail stop will be located. From here you can see the open park space the lid provides the neighborhood, but the noise and vibration from the interstate makes it difficult to have conversations, even when standing near each other. This is a good example of how the lid also provides connective infrastructure for other regional projects, as the light rail station now has a larger walk-shed than would have been built as part of Sound Transit 2. Without the lid, the Northwest African American Museum would overlook lanes of travel and the Central District would be cut in half by I-90. Instead, the museum is surrounded by parks and stands out as an icon for the neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of Nakano Associates

Sam Smith Park (I-90 lid): It is hard to tell where solid ground ends and where the lid begins. The lid connects the neighborhood which would otherwise have endured narrow overpasses and subjected to all the negative externalities of the interstate. Luckily the Central District neighborhood and City of Seattle were adamant the I-90 reconstruction include a comprehensive lid. What could have become a trench echoing traffic noise and pollution is instead a pleasant park with bicycle trails and basketball courts. You can even have quiet conversations walking with your closest friend.

The pedestrian experience between Freeway Park and Sam Smith Park (atop the I-90 lid) is stark. For a peaceful environment, Sam Smith is the model to follow. Freeway Park is checker-boarded, leaving openings to the noise and vibration of I-5. Much of the space south of Seneca is not only unused but overgrown and an eyesore. Conversely, Sam Smith Park is a solid “land make” providing for a park, a playground, and walking/bicycle paths, two stories above the freeway lanes below. The space between the road and the park contains high powered fans and open-air space connecting the tunnel to vent stacks above in the park.

Photo courtesy of Scott Bonjukian

Mercer Island: After riding through the Mount Baker tunnel we crossed the I-90 bridge to Aubrey Davis Park on Mercer Island. Riding on the bridge was noisy – no practical enjoyment of the lake – yet we were solidly protected.

Leaving the noise of the bridge and arriving at Aubrey Davis Park we arrived at a half-mile long park complete with benches, tennis courts, cricket players and frisbees on the lawn, and surprising views of Lake Washington – you can almost hear the waves from the park! Yet, we were directly atop the interstate.

Aubrey Davis Park sits atop the I-90 lid and is named after the Mayor of Mercer Island (1970 – 1974) who famously declared he, “didn’t want to see, hear or smell” the I-90 expansion across Mercer Island. He and the community made that happen.

Image courtesy of Scott Boinjukian

Thanks to the work of the Lid I-5 team and public benefit money from the Convention Center, the Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and a consultant team will begin a feasibility study of lidding parts of I-5 starting in early 2019. I am optimistic the results from this study will pave the way for next steps in design, capital funding, and eventual lid construction to heal fractured urban neighborhoods.

The feasibility study comes as WSDOT separately begins a long-term visioning process for over 100 miles of the I-5 corridor with functional challenges and seismic vulnerabilities. Some of the challenges being studied are located in downtown Seattle. If WSDOT were to rebuild I-5 downtown, we must have complete lids included in the design.

By placing lids on top of I-5, we can reconnect neighborhoods throughout the city and create as much additional open space for Seattleites as the Olmstead Brothers did. We can stitch together the fabric of our community because we know a connected community with green public open space is more enjoyable and healthier for our residents.


Thank you to Dan Strauss for his contributions to this post.

Seattle Council Passes Tax on Business to Help Address Homelessness

Following more than five months of deliberation, the Seattle City Council passed an ordinance related to taxation, intended to help address homelessness.  The amended proposal establishes an annual tax of $275 per full time employee on the City’s largest businesses, those with revenues of more than $20 million  (about 3% of all businesses). The measure would generate an estimated $47 million annually and end on December 31, 2023.

The ordinance passed by a unanimous vote, with all nine councilmembers supporting it.

Selected highlights of the amended ordinance include:

Exempt Seattle’s small and medium-sized businesses, only applying to those with at least $20 million or more annually in taxable gross receipts as measured under the City’s existing Business & Occupation tax;

  • Apply only to the City’s approximately 585 largest businesses, or approximately 3% of all Seattle businesses;
  • Require large businesses to pay $275 per full-time equivalent employee working 1,920 hours per year (or about $0.14 per hour);
  • Include an evaluation of the economic impacts, and an independent oversight committee; and,
  • Exempt healthcare providers that provide at least 25% of their services to patients covered by Medicare and Medicaid as well as all hospitals.

Council President Bruce Harrell (District 2 – South Seattle), said, “In every policy or fiscal decision we make, we have to look at the impact on jobs. Our goal is to have a successful and vibrant business community–one of the best in the country–and at the same time, assist our most vulnerable and strategically invest in affordable housing. One does not exclude the other. Our investment strategy must balance these objectives without demonizing advocates or businesses. Today, we have reached a compromise that accomplishes this goal.”

Harrell continued:  “I did not support the spending plan, because our strategy must leverage the expertise and resources in real estate, software applications and other areas to make sure we gain the trust of the public in how we invest funds from this new revenue stream. This legislation is currently designed for a finite period to address the affordability and homelessness crisis. How we spend the money becomes critically important–residents, members of our business community and advocates should be afforded the opportunity to weigh in.”

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (District 7 – Pioneer Square to Magnolia), a co-sponsor of the legislation and Chair of the Finance and Neighborhoods Committee said, “Since Seattle declared a state of emergency around the homelessness crisis, people have told us they want to see action, action that means people out of tents and in safer, healthier spaces, and cleanup of the public spaces in our neighborhoods. They also want more state and local funds for mental health and behavioral health improvements. This tax contributes toward the long-term solution of affordable housing, while giving immediate attention and resources to fund shelter services, so those living on the streets tonight can find a dry, warm and safe place to stay. I’m pleased my council colleagues also agreed to exempt hospitals and non-profits from this tax, recognizing the vital work they do in our community serving those on Medicare, Medicaid, and other vulnerable populations.”

Councilmeber Rob Johnson (District 4 – North Seattle), and a co-sponsor of the legislation said, “Any solution to help address our homelessness crisis must produce immediate results and protect the long term economic health of the city. Today’s action creates more affordable housing, addresses immediate needs of those living unsheltered and has a five-year sunset so we can effectively measure our efforts. I want to thank my council colleagues for this collaborative effort and for the engagement of non-profit organizations, faith and civic leaders, businesses, labor, affordable housing developers and community members.”

Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5 – North Seattle), and a co-sponsor of the legislation said, “I want to see results from this tax, which means fewer people living on the streets and more people in shelters and permanent housing. Now it is time for regional partners and the federal government to join Seattle in taking bold actions to address homelessness.”    

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (Pos. 8 – Citywide), said, “Today, we took an initial step forward to reduce homelessness, build safer communities and toward a City that allows people who work in Seattle to afford to live in Seattle.  We have a homelessness and housing affordability crisis in Seattle, our shelters are at capacity and there is not enough affordable housing for folks to move into. Today’s progressive tax proposal and corresponding spending plan provides a significant down payment toward the housing our community needs. Our City is growing rapidly, and we must respond with urgency, compassion and leadership.  I look forward to continued collaboration with the community and my council colleagues to ensure we build more affordable, sustainable, and equitable housing for our city.”

With no state income tax, Washington is routinely ranked as having the most regressive tax structure in the nation.  Earlier this year, property taxes were dedicated by state lawmakers to fund education shortfalls; a B&O tax would require voter approval and spread the burden across all industries, including small business.  Other taxation options such as a tax on utilities would adversely affect rate payers, many who are on fixed incomes.

The legislation will take effect in January 2019.

 

Success! One BLOCK at a Time

Last year, my visionary architect friend Rex Hohlbein and his architect daughter Jenn LaFreniere left their jobs and created the Block Project.  Thanks to their vision, Seattle homeowners are now saying, “YES in my backyard!” to solve homelessness.

The BLOCK Project is more than your typical low income housing effort to move people out of homelessness.  It is a unique community-building program connecting people to people and putting roofs over heads.

Jenn and Rex started with the idea of inviting the broader community to help solve and end homelessness by building a BLOCK Home “in the backyard of one single-family lot on every residentially zoned block within the City of Seattle.” The Block Project Web Site explains more about how this project originated and the impact it has already had, for the better.

People who want a backyard BLOCK Home are called host families. Host families go through a vetting process, and following a thorough review, they join a database for residents to match with those in need.

The BLOCK Project is managed by the non-profit Facing Homelessness and all hosted residents come through a case-management process operated by partnering organizations.  Case management is provided currently by Chief Seattle Club, Mary’s Place, Sophia Way, and the Community Psychiatric Clinic.

When the case-manager has a client who meets the BLOCK Home qualifications, they go through the database of host families to look for a match between host and resident. This is the beginning of an intentional process of finding a good fit between host and resident. In the future, this will be aided by a match-making app designed for BLOCK Project.

Rex Hohlbein, standing in front of the BLOCK dwelling in Beacon Hill. Photo by the author.

This past weekend I visited one of the first BLOCK Homes in action.  A compassionate couple living on Beacon Hill opened their back yard to having a detached, 125 square foot home where their garden used to be, and opened their hearts and neighborhood to a formerly homeless man.  This couple showed me that We The People can collectively end homelessness in our city and region.

These host homeowners met their partner tenant at the Chief Seattle Club.  They chose each other and he has since become a part of their family. When I asked how long they expected him to live in his new home in their backyard they answered, “As long as he wants.  Forever, we hope.  It’s the best thing we have ever done with our backyard.”

The BLOCK Home has been thoughtfully designed to be off-grid and self-sufficient.  Each home has its own kitchen, shower, toilet, sleeping area, and solar-panels sufficient to heat and light the house — even in the gray days of Seattle winters, the home is warm.

The BLOCK Project is both progressive and sustainable.  Not only is each home designed to be self-sufficient, discharging gray water though a self-composting toilet, the design is currently permitted so long as it is hooked up to the sewer through the host property.

The home is respectful.  It is warm, dry, complete, and comes equipped with an inviting covered front porch to share with friends.   Here’s the truly progressive idea:  it brings the neighborhood together, encouraging economic integration and heartfelt social inclusion.

In the instance of the Beacon Hill home, people have donated their time and materials, and the out of pocket costs are estimated to be about $30,000 for this first one.  Professionals from Turner Construction, Herrara, and many others have donated their time to help design and construct the prototype.

While I was visiting with Rex and the homeowners, a general contractor showed up with metal door sweeps.  Rex smiled his beatific smile and said this contractor– like many others — was working pro bono. He was improving the outside storage closet where the solar batteries are currently stored.  The next generation of units will move the batteries to the back of the home creating more storage space.

 

Photo from the BLOCK website, http://www.the-block-project.com/home.

 

 

 

 

I asked how many people were in line to be hosts, offering to make their backyards available.  Rex said over 75 homeowners have expressed interest. Home owners see how they can make a difference for individuals and for our community.  They see how they can make space and provide a hand up, repairing years of emotional and social isolation.

Costs?  Rex says the true cost of an installed unit is at about $90K, but actual costs, with all the donations of material and labor came in about $28K for the first one.  He expects the typical cost to be around $30K.

What’s needed to catalyze this movement?  Sustainable grant sources and matching funds.  The first five units have been paid for through community funds, but the next thousand could be paid for through City and County grants with private matching funds.  The homeowner provides the land while the government and/or private sector provides the matching funds to build the homes.

The hosts with whom I spoke yesterday said, “Yes, in my backyard.”   They also said the neighborhood has been wonderful, and this project has restored their faith in their fellow human beings.

 

 

Council Approves Unprecedented Agreement to Redevelop KeyArena

SEATTLE – Council today authorized Mayor Jenny A. Durkan to execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Oak View Group (OVG) to redevelop KeyArena into a world-class multi-purpose sports and entertainment arena. The legally binding agreement commits OVG to project costs, including all project overruns, $40 million in neighborhood transportation improvements, and a bevy of additional financial commitments and other obligations.

“We’ve set the stage to make the most significant investment in Seattle Center since the World’s Fair,” said Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle), co-chair of the Council’s Select Committee on Civic Arenas. “Today’s agreement was the Seattle Process at its best: We gathered stakeholders, consulted the community, highlighted our concerns and goals, aggressively negotiated, and when we had a solid plan, we pushed it through.  I cannot overstate the diligence that went into this agreement.  We can all be proud of this transformational partnership.”

Council was party to a four-month negotiation between the City and OVG to develop agreement conditions. Council also retained a financial consultant to provide independent analysis to ensure the City would be party to a fiscally sound agreement. Council signaled its priorities early in the negotiation process, which generally fell into the following six categories:

  • The project must be fiscally prudent
  • The project must positively integrate with Seattle Center
  • Current Seattle Center tenant impacts must be addressed
  • Transportation impacts must be mitigated
  • OVG must treat workers equitably and consistent with the City’s Race and Social Justice Initiative principles during construction and operations
  • Needs of impacted neighborhoods must be addressed

The MOU agreement commits OVG to a 39-year lease with two, eight-year renewal options for a total of up to 55 years. The redeveloped arena will nearly double the size of KeyArena, meet LEED Gold or equivalent standards, and will preserve the current historic roofline. KeyArena was last renovated over 20 years ago, and a 2015 evaluation concluded that for the City to attract a sports franchise, the arena would need to be modernized.

Council President Bruce A. Harrell (District 2, Southeast Seattle), co-chair of the Select Committee on Civic Arenas, said, “The City negotiated one of the strongest arena agreements you will find in the country, protecting our taxpayers and the City. The community benefits agreement is unprecedented with investments to help address issues like homelessness and other social needs. I am confident this will be a partnership of success with OVG in building a state-of-the-art arena, generating economic vitality, and the ultimate goal of getting an NHL team and bringing back the Sonics.”

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw (District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia) said, “After a year of hard work and negotiations, we’ve taken the next step toward our civic Arena becoming the iconic destination for Seattle and the region. This redevelopment unlocks the potential for the best new arena for sports, entertainment, high-tech expos, concerts and more—with partners who have already demonstrated their commitment to partnering with the City for success. Thank you to the members of the Oak View Group, to Brian Surratt and City negotiators, and to the community leaders who have come to the table to address mobility and economic development challenges.  We’re underway!”

OVG will not use City bonding capacity for development of the project, nor will they be exempt from paying admissions taxes to the City. OVG intends to fund the project through a combination of private equity, debt financing from lenders, and federal historic tax credits. OVG will assume all costs related to operating and maintaining the arena.

OVG is expected to contribute the following to the KeyArena redevelopment project:

  • $600 million in project costs, plus all cost overruns.
  • $3.5 million to cover the City’s cost for the hiring of expert consultants and legal counsel during the MOU negotiation process.
  • $250,000 for a transportation consultant to develop a neighborhood mobility action plan.
  • $40 million payment for transportation improvements over the 39-year lease term (approximately $1 million per year), as informed by the mobility action plan.
  • Guaranteed baseline rent and tax guaranty payments, amount to be determined by an accounting firm based on the four-year trailing historical annual average of arena-related revenues for years 2014 through 2017 (roughly estimated to be approximately $2.6 million per year.
  • $20 million in-kind or cash to non-profit organizations, including $10 million dedicated for YouthCare. Council amended the MOU to require that at least half the contributions be made in cash.
  • $1.5 million to relocate the Seattle Center campus’ skate park and maintenance facility.
  • $500,000 for relocation of other affected Seattle Center tenants.
  • All costs related to temporary and permanent relocation of Pottery Northwest
  • Hire and pay for a community liaison.
  • 14 rent-free days per year for the Seattle/King County Public Health Clinic, Bumbershoot, and other community events.
  • Dedicate one percent construction costs to the 1% for the Arts Program.
  • Make a Mandatory Housing Affordability payment for the increase in arena square footage.
  • Arena workers are expected to be paid a prevailing wage, and current qualified KeyArena employees will be offered an equivalent job following the arena’s opening.
  • As revenue collections begin, the City will collect 25 percent of excess revenue in the first ten years of the lease, and 50 percent for the remaining years beyond the baseline rent and tax generated.
  • If arena tax revenues ever fall below current levels (about $2.4m/year), OVG will reimburse the City the difference.

The MOU provides an agreed-upon framework that will soon be memorialized in a Development Agreement, Lease Agreement, and Seattle Center Integration Agreement. Redevelopment construction is estimated to begin at the end of 2018 for opening in October 2020.

Contact
Mercedes Elizalde, Councilmember Juarez’ Office, 206-684-8805
Dana Robinson Slote, Council Communications, 206-615-0061

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Highlights of our 2018 Budget

On Monday, November 20, we City Councilmembers held our final vote on the 2018 budget. This was my 8th budget as a Councilmember and it proved to be a challenging one. With many admirable programs deserving funding within the balanced budget, we had hard decisions to make.

I approached the budget with four key priorities and had success in each category:

First, Increase Affordable Housing options: I set a goal of having 1000 more stable indoor housing units up and operational in 2018.  We are investing $30 million immediately—based on best practices and results based accountability principles —  and more housing is on the way.  We know what works to improve conditions for people who are homeless:  simply put, more housing.  Following on Pathways Home recommendations, I am supporting a pipeline of fast-tracked options, from more 24/7 shelter, additional managed encampments, a targeted landlord liaison program as well as new possibilities such as modular-built projects on public land, detached dwelling units (DADU’s) on private property and tiny homes tailored to meet individual needs.  With community support, we will identify or create units and we will move another 1000 people off the streets of Seattle and indoors.

Second:  Increase Youth opportunity and Public Health Programming:  We secured funding to support the building of a homeless youth opportunity and housing center on Broadway and Pine. Working with Speaker Frank Chopp, Seattle Central College and local non-profits, we identified key real estate near the College where youth and young adults can gain the education and skills training to get good paying jobs as well as providing them with the housing and services necessary to take their next steps.

As part of my work with the Seattle/King County Board of Public Health, I worked diligently with my colleagues to expand public health services within our Downtown neighborhood by funding a full-time medical prescriber for our medically assisted treatment programs available at the 4th Avenue Public Health Clinic. Expanding our medically assisted treatment services such as buprenorphine-on-demand  is critical in our fight against the opioid addiction crisis. We are finally treating addiction like the disease it is, and I am proud to work alongside my King County colleagues to provide regional services and treatment they people need.

We also funded a public outreach nurse who will support the work of the Navigation team, and will help connect people on the street with the services and help they need. By providing medical help to homeless neighbors where they are, we can serve them better and avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency ward.

Third, Support our Fire Arm Surrender Program.  With Seattle’s leadership, our region is developing a program that will serve as a model statewide. I want to thank Chris Anderson in the City Attorney’s office, Dan Satterberg in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and retired-Judge Anne Levinson for laying the ground work for this critical program. Removing firearms from domestic abuse perpetrators means protecting victims and making a community safer. A March 2017 study by Everytown For Gun Violence, found that over the last seven years, 54 percent of mass shooting cases involved domestic or family violence. This gun surrender program is a coordinated approach between the Superior Court, District Court, and Municipal Court.  It WILL protect domestic abuse survivors and save lives from gun violence.

Fourth, Expand Mobility Options and Reduce Congestion in District 7. My office worked with the Mayor, SDOT and Council Central Staff to ensure pedestrian improvements and walkability along the Market to MOHAI corridor between Pike Place Market and the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) along Western Ave, Bell St, and Westlake Ave N. I want to thank the entire Market to MOHAI Steering Committee, which includes the Downtown Seattle Association, the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce (SLUCC), Belltown Community Council, Pike Place Market, MOHAI, Seattle Parks Foundation, Friends of the Waterfront, the South Lake Union Community Council, Google, Amazon, Vulcan, Facebook, Argosy, Visit Seattle, Clise, and many others for your commitment to the livability of these growing neighborhoods. And especially, I want to thank John Pehrson, my personal hero for mobilizing the community and turning his vision of multi-modal and green connections such as Bell Street Parkway and now Market to MOHAI into action.

I am also happy in this budget to support the work we have started with SDOT and the University of Washington around Freight Mobility and Alley Congestion. I look forward to the freight and mobility report planned for July, 2018 to identify tools and best practices to reduce alley congestion and traffic clogs in the Downtown core.

Regarding the Employee Hours Tax:  I am pleased we agreed to identify needed additional revenue sources for homelessness projects through a collaborative community process.  I believe good policy is crafted through a thoughtful process that starts first with defining and agreeing on the needs and problems to be solved, identifying the funding gap, and then raising revenues to meet the needs.  I do not support an approach that raises revenues first and then decides on how the money will be spent.

I believe a good policy approach requires the appropriate people – those with experience and those who would be taxed – to be at the table over the course of several months, NOT just nine Councilmembers making a hasty decision over the span of two weeks. It requires analysis and vigorous vetting to limit the number of unintended consequences. For example, ensuring organizations like Horizon House, a retirement and senior community that employs 310 people to care for their seniors, shouldn’t be burdened with an increased estimated cost of $38,750 per year without assurance of some benefits in return.

I wholeheartedly agree we need additional progressive revenue sources and I plan on working with my colleagues and the community to achieve our goals over the next several months.

Lastly, I want to recognize and thank my legislative aides Alberta Bleck, Brian Chu and Alyson McLean.  They work hard for District 7, and are the upbeat voices you hear when you call my office.  As always, please contact me with your suggestions and recommendations for positive change.  If you want to learn more about the City’s 2018 proposed budget and process, here is a link to the City’s budget office website.  I will update this blog when the final executive summary is completed.

 

All the best,

 

Sally Bagshaw