City Manager’s Weekly Report for week ending Dec. 29, 2018

City Manager’s Weekly Report
for week ending Dec. 29, 2018

The 911 system broadly malfunctioned yesterday and is regaining capability today. Sign up for King County emergency alerts here:

Upcoming 2019 Legislative Session. As 2019 approaches, the Washington State legislature is about to be back in session. Summary of Governor Inslee’s proposed budget and its impact on cities is here: Of particular interest is the city budget summary link at the bottom of this page.

The Governor’s budget provides some support for the city legislative agenda, including items relating to Public Works Board projects, State-shared revenues, law enforcement training, stormwater culvert replacement, and maintaining Municipal Research Services Center funding. Unfortunately, and not too surprisingly, approximately half of Public Works Board funds are proposed to be diverted to Education, with no effort to foster sustainable Public Works Assistance Account funding – the PWA Account is the budget line for the Public Works Board – evidenced in the Governor’s proposal. Some PWB funding is also being diverted to broadband development, a new State function. Of course, what the Governor wants and what the Governor gets is a tortuous path, and some funding is much better than none.

To create the Public Works Board, revenue sources traditionally dedicated to cities were devoted by cities to increase infrastructure opportunities for cities, water districts, sewer districts, and irrigation districts through low-interest loans and interest payments, which continuously increased Public Works Assistance Account funds. The interest paid by these entities built the fund slowly over time. The loan process was very successful, providing well over $400m yearly of infrastructure development, mostly water, sewer and irrigation for small entities. And then, once the fund developed such a large balance, with interest payments paid by cities and other entities, the fund has regularly been drained for other purposes by the State legislature. The fable of The Grasshopper and the Ant comes to mind, but in this case, the grasshoppers (legislators) always prevail. For this reason, the Public Works Board needs to become a trust fund, and not just a conveniently large budget line in the Washington State budget. The objective is on Normandy Park’s legislative agenda but is likely a hard sell with the legislature.

Manhattan View. The in-ground part of the Manhattan View neighborhood project inches closer to completion. Still driveways, landscaping, and irrigation replacement issues to be completed in January.

Happy New Year! Stay safe.
Mark E. Hoppen
City Manager, City of Normandy Park
801 SW 174th Street
Normandy Park, WA 98166
(206) 248-8246 (Direct Phone)

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