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When it comes to politics, we are our own worst enemies. Many of us are willfully ignorant of what goes on around us and choose not to vote. In the August primary, 82 percent of Tukwila voters did not vote.
If you are like me, you like to patronize local businesses that believe in giving back to the communities in which they do business. It may surprise some to know that the local casinos do just that.
The majority of city revenues is spent on salaries and benefits of employees who provide the services that we expect. As of June 5, 2013, we employ 327 regular full-time and part-time employees.
Change is in the air at Tukwila School District (TSD). A new superintendent. A new Foster principal. School board elections are coming soon. Voters districtwide will be the decision makers.
We have 29 parks, trails and playfields, including a couple of cooperative efforts with other communities. Many are what I think of as respite stops. Little spots here and there where one can get away for a break from routine. About 10 parks have substantial amenities. These often require reservations so check the reservations column.
When times are tough, people offer a lot of ideas about what the city should or should not do. It’s a good time to look back at what the city administration and council did when it became clear that the Great Recession was going to hit Tukwila hard financially.
You’re all wet! Or you can be if you visit the Tukwila Pool in the near future. After a $1.6 million to $1.7 million refurbishment project, the pool opened a few days ago. The grand re-opening celebration is scheduled for April 20.
There were some bright spots. Total Wine and More, Bev Mo, Big Lots and Sears Outlet stores opened and will have a positive economic impact.
Guess what? There’s another election in November! OK, you can stop cheering now. In November, we will vote for City Council positions currently served by Councilmembers Verna Seal, Allan Ekberg, De Sean Quinn and Joe Duffie. Our City Council functions reasonably well; there are no chairs thrown and police do not have to be called in. Pretty low bar, right?
The bar is high for Waste Management. Customer service in the form of timely response to phone calls and timely resolution of problems is critical to how Waste Management is perceived in the community. WM is well positioned to provide good customer service.
Most of us have sufficient life experience to know what makes sense. For example, we know that the president is the chief executive and yet he or she cannot do everything that he or she promises. The president depends on the cooperation of Congress to implement domestic policies. This does not always happen and, lately, rarely happens.
Tukwila is a generous and caring community. In an improving but still challenging local economy, the City of Tukwila, on behalf of its residents, continues to fund human service organizations that serve individuals and families in challenging circumstances. Human Services Department, staffed by director Evie Boykan and Stacy Hansen, facilitates the process. Few services are provided directly by the City of Tukwila. A call to Human Services Department will likely result in a caring and informed referral to one or more of the organizations.
The political season is often called the “silly” season. If it were not for the serious ramifications of elections, I would agree.
It is time for a change. Tukwila public officials, both elected and appointed, are discouraged from communicating with Tukwila residents through blogs like Facebook, Tukwila Talk and Tukwila Reporter blogs.
This past January, snow and ice was a problem for everyone. The evidence is that most residents were happy with the efforts of our Department of Public Works (DPW) to keep the streets clear and safe given the circumstances; others have questioned why some areas receive attention and others do not.
The Tukwila Public Works Department is putting together a proposed new garbage/recycling contract to be considered by the City Council. The contract becomes effective in November.
Economically, things are looking up for Tukwila. In the first nine months of 2011, sales tax revenues increased more than 7 percent. When one time construction- related sales-tax events are removed from the totals, we are at just under 5 percent. This is an excellent number because it is higher than expected considering that the Klickitat project greatly restricted access to the mall/urban center area during the second and third quarters.
Election time is great. Voters become more aware of community issues that seem to be less visible between election cycles. Candidates step up to make their case.
This week, let's explore the compensation for our elected positions and what we get for our money. For City Council members, the expectations are high and the pay is low.
In February, the Tukwila City Council, in a 4-3 vote, voluntarily cut the revenues to your city by over $50,000 a week and will be putting almost 450 employees out of work. They do this by closing the three commercial card rooms operating on Interurban Avenue.