November 7, 2012
Soon after polling closed last night for the 2012 General Election, preliminary results showed that the City of Kirkland’s Proposition 1 (roads levy) and Proposition 2 (parks levy) as passing. King County will certify all county election results by 4:30 p.m. on November 27, 2012. Proposition 1 will fund street maintenance and safety improvements, traffic calming projects, school walk routes, sidewalks and crosswalks. Proposition 2 will fund the restoration and enhancement of park maintenance including the Cross Kirkland Corridor, beach lifeguards, docks, park facilities, trails and playfields and to acquire parkland open space. Both levies provide for permanent funding in the amount of 20.4 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for Proposition 1 and .16 cents per $1,000 of assessed value for Proposition 2. For details on funding, go to www.kirklandwa.gov/ballotmeasures
“These election results show how much Kirkland residents value their quality of life,” says Mayor Joan McBride. “Their approval of these levies reflects their commitment to having the necessary infrastructure in place that provides for safe roads and excellent parks.”
In a citizen survey conducted in February 2012, residents reflected a high importance to maintaining streets yet rated the level of service the City was providing as low. Participants also expressed a willingness to support a fee or tax increase to improve the condition of the City’s roads.
“Kirkland voters value our quality of life and are willing to invest in our community for both streets and parks,” notes City Council Member Dave Asher. “We will work hard to be proper stewards of the resources provided through these levies and to demonstrate results in street repair and pedestrian safety.”
Much of the ground work to place Proposition 2 on the ballot was the effort of a citizen-based group called the Parks Funding Exploratory Committee (PFEC) that was chaired by Council Member Amy Walen. PFEC recognized the need to restore field maintenance services, trash collection in parks, park cleaning, and lifeguarding that were reduced or eliminated in the 2009-2010 Budget. The committee recommended to the City Council that a permanent levy be placed on the ballot that, if approved, would provide for dock and shoreline renovation, city-school district partnerships, improvements to Juanita Beach Park Bathhouse, Edith Moulton Park, and Waverly Beach Park, and the interim bicycle and pedestrian trail on the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Much of the funding will support park maintenance and operations including O.O. Denny Park, lifeguards at Houghton, Waverly and Juanita beaches, continuation of the Green Kirkland Partnership volunteer program, and maintenance of the Cross Kirkland Corridor.
“Kirkland residents asked for this levy, designed this levy, and passed this levy. It is an amazing feeling to see how citizens rally in support of a core value that brings great benefits to so many people – our parks,” states City Council Member Amy Walen. “Our residents will see immediate improvements to our existing parks and we are excited to now maintain O.O. Denny Park and to provide more and better parks to our new neighborhoods.”
In a May 2012 survey, Kirkland residents expressed support for a ballot measure the renovate existing parks, upgrade school playfields and park restrooms, acquire land for neighborhood parks and develop the Cross Kirkland Corridor. Participants also reflected support to restore park operating funds that were cut and to provide ongoing funding for basic park maintenance.
For election results, go to www.kingcounty.gov/elections