If you went to the Mayor’s Neighborhood Town Hall on Saturday at the Good Shepherd Center, you may have been a little disappointed by the lack of Wallingford-centric issues that were raised during the hour-long Q&A session. Or, maybe you had expected the lack of Wallingford representation, in which case you may not agree with the following assessment. But this was my take:
There were 76 people in attendance during the Mayor’s hour-long Town Hall. People were able to ask a question by choosing a number on a first come, first served basis. Each person had 60 seconds to speak, and the discussion was moderated by Wallingford Community Council’s past president, Eric Fisk. In the span of an hour, only 12 issues could be covered. Of the 12 issues raised by individuals in the room, there were only two that specific to Wallingford. Here’s what the other nine were about:
- 3 people from the Lake Union Live Aboard Association raised the issue of the Master Shoreline Plan, which Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development has updated in September to protect the shoreline and waterways on Lake Union. The three women in attendance appealed to the Mayor to not grandfather in any “vessels” that were basically “floating homes” (not houseboats).
- One person stressed the need for getting a crosswalk installed on N. 34th Street at Troll Avenue, in Fremont.
- Two individuals from Stand Up America, whom, I learned, come to every one of these Town Hall Meetings and ask the Mayor why he won’t put forth legislation so that every single elected official, from the Mayor to Judges, hold Town Hall meetings to answer to the public.
- Two residents from Phinney Ridge live close to the Woodland Park Zoo and are concerned about parking in the neighborhood when the Zoo puts on its 40 day-long “Wild Lights” celebration in December.
- One Wedgwood resident raised the issue of Seattle Public Schools’ proposal to build an additional elementary school on playfields at Thornton Creek.
- Suzie Burke of Fremont used her 60 seconds to reiterate the need for the crosswalk on N. 34th at Troll Way, as well as the need for the Mayor to address the Lake Union Liveaboard Association’s concerns about the Shoreline Master Plan.
Finally, the two issues concerning Wallingford proper were about:
- The encampments at I-5 at 7th Avenue and the public drunkeness along N. 50th St. between I-5 at the 50th Street Market/7-11 close to Sunnyside Avenue. A resident was asking what could be done about individuals who would come on to his property to sit on his swing or use to urinate or defecate in his yard. Many neighbors complained of similar behavior and of stolen items like lawn furniture. The Mayor told him to phone 911. “They need to hear and log the information which they can use to identify the need for intervention.” “I’m not going to say I’ve got a panacea. We will clear out illegal encampments but we need your help to report.”
- Debbi Larson of Seattle Bank (behind Tutta Bella) raised the issue of the corner of Stone Way at N. 44th St. With the current construction of a new building taking place on the west side of Stone Way, there are barricades impeding the safety of the corner and the visibility of pedestrians by motorists. One person in a wheelchair was struck by a Metro Bus and thrown 30 feet into the air at that corner.
Were you at the Mayor’s Town Hall meeting yesterday? Were you disappointed in the lack of Wallingford content, or did you go into the meeting with the expectation since the meeting was open to everyone, issues from everywhere else would be addressed? Did you have a question that you wish you had asked? If so, please post it in the comments section.