KIRKLAND, Wash. – The City Council is asking for the community’s feedback on two potential Fire and Emergency Medical Services ballot measures that could be on the ballot this November.
For the past four years the City Council has explored a potential Fire and Emergency Medical Services ballot measure to improve fire department response times throughout Kirkland. A Community Safety Advisory Group (ComSAG) made up of community volunteers was formed last October to evaluate potential ballot measures and met through February. Ultimately the group recommended that the Council place two property tax measures on this year’s November ballot. The first measure would build a new fire station and seismically retrofit and renovate our existing fire stations. The second measure would hire new firefighters, who are also emergency medical technicians. These recommendations were made on February 26, just before the virus outbreak in Kirkland. More information on the work of the ComSAG
is available online.
At the April 21, 2020 Council meeting, City Council adopted Resolution R-5413 accepting the ComSAG recommendation and directing the City Manager to conduct further public outreach and return to the Council with ordinances authorizing the City to place two measures on the ballot to improve Fire and Emergency Medical Services response times and enhance firefighter health and safety.
“The Council recognizes that COVID-19’s economic impact makes this a difficult time for new taxes,” said Mayor Penny Sweet, who also chaired the ComSAG. “But every investment recommended by the advisory group also reinforces the City’s ability to serve the community during the pandemic. So, the Council is asking our residents whether Kirkland should keep exploring these ballot measures.”
“These two measures, when taken together, fulfill our promise to the residents of Finn Hill, Juanita and Kingsgate to improve public safety response times after annexation,” said Councilmember Toby Nixon, who was also a Fire District #41 Commissioner before annexation. “The measures also improve fire and emergency medical services throughout the City and protect firefighter health and safety. However, we understand these are challenging financial times. We encourage all community members to take the time to complete the short survey. Your feedback is critical to help guide the Council.” T
he survey on the potential ballot measures can found at https://www.research.net/r/Kirkland-FireEMS
. The deadline for completing the survey is 5 p.m., Friday, May 15.