City Manager’s Weekly Report
for week ending Feb. 28, 2020

Council members at Planning Commission Meetings. MRSC draws a distinction between council members attending a Planning Commission on legislative matters and on quasi-judicial matters; the former situation is legally permissible, the latter situation is not. In short, a legislative matter is about establishing future policy; a quasi-judicial matter is about applying that policy in a decision-making manner. MRSC goes on to say, “…a policy argument might be made that the independent advisory body should be able to consider the recommendations without undue influence by the legislative body that appointed them to make independent recommendations. Under this policy argument, the presence or active participation of the councilmember in the advisory commission’s deliberations arguably impairs the ability of the advisory commission to act independently and impartially in making their recommendations.” It is possible to consider council member attendance at a Planning Commission meeting as intimidation on the low end of the scale and obstruction on the high end. When a council member is present at a Planning Commission meeting, the council member is in the same ballpark as being at the meeting and speaking.  Interestingly, my non-legislative city manager role is empowered by statute to recommend policy to the City Council, so I also need to be careful not to interfere independent Planning Commission deliberations.  Of course, this argument applies to all City Council advisory committees that by code make advisory recommendations to the City Council, excluding council sub-committees that are self-regulated by the open Public Meeting Act.

StART Meeting – February 27.  At this meeting, the ultrafine particulate study results were updated by Dr. Tim Larson from the UW. There are gaps in the knowledge base pertaining to health effects, reduction of human exposure, and the nature of the concentrations over different communities, all subjects for further study.  On the noise front, EVA Air that flies a night time, prolonged take-off, heavy freight transport to Taipei, has responded to StART information – and local public anxiety – by voluntarily planning an expensive change from a 777 departure to Taipei each night to a quieter, less economically rewarding, Boeing 787 service in May, 2020.  Also, as a mid- to long-term plan, FedEx Express will retire the MD-11 service during late night hours.

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