City Hall 2017, yes or no

posted Oct 19, 2017, 10:22 AM by Stephen Barnes   [ updated Oct 19, 2017, 11:40 AM ]
In 2015 I introduced the tall campaign signs with the Tagline "Working today for an affordable tomorrow". This was after working to defeat a hopelessly overpriced City Hall project in 2013 (It was twice the Northwest Region construction cost index at over $1000 per square foot!). I wanted a city hall, just not a terribly overpriced one. 
In January of this year I was appointed to the City Hall Advisory Committee. There I joined a number of other citizens who were interested in getting a new City Hall for Mountlake Terrace. While I have been in favor of the City Hall for quite some time, I couldn't in good faith be for a plan costing twice as much as the NW building cost. Thus I stood against the 2012 and 2013 twenty five (25) million dollar efforts. It should have been about 12.5 million based on the market at that point. (Now where have I seen that number?) 

Am I for this year's plan? On the one hand it represents a reduced overall cost and potential space reduction* that MLT hasn't been offered by the current City Council to this point.  While the original plan proposed basically the same square footage as in 2012 & 2013, this plan reflects a reduction by the public committee in which I participated AND a further reduction by the City Council.  While the Committee forwarded an 11.6 million dollar plan to our City Council to only build the city hall, I championed including a desperately needed Police space addition. In fact, at least four times I came before the City Council asking that they recognize the shrinkage of office space in the marketplace (if you are in a downsized office space you definitely know what I mean!) and present the whole package (city hall AND police station addition) for 11.6 million. After consulting with former NO on Prop One folks and my fervent repeated request, they did drop the total package from 13.4 to the 12.5 million dollar amount you see in your bond. 

Because this bond request requires YES voters AND a large total number of voters, I urge you to vote, vote YES (and mark BARNES for position One while you are at it!) 

*because the space is money divided by market construction rate. The rate used by the lead architect and the committee was higher than the market but the post committee decision brought it closer to the market rate.