Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households and Businesses in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood

                                                                            

April 15, 2008

 Councilmember Sally Clark, Chair

Planning, Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee and

Members of the Committee

600 Fourth Avenue

P.O. Box 43025

Seattle, Washington  98124-4025

 

RE:  Filling Vacancies on the Children’s Citizens Advisory Committee

 

Dear Councilmembers Clark, Burgess, Rasmussen and Godden:

 

            The Laurelhurst  Community Club Board of Trustees requests that your committee address an inconsistency within Resolution 31002 and the incorporated Memorandum of Agreement approving the composition of the Children’s major institution citizens advisory committee (CAC) relating to the filling of vacancies on the CAC.  The Memorandum of Agreement includes three criteria for filling vacancies by the Director of the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) without Council confirmation.  Two of these criteria are inconsistent and conflicting.  We believe that City Council action is necessary to maintain the current “balance of interest” approved by the Council.

 

            Under the Memorandum of Agreement, the DON Director is authorized to fill vacancies without going back to the Council if three conditions are met—the size of the committee is not increased above 15 members, filling the vacancy does not “substantially alter the balance of interests, expertise, and experiences” represented on the committee, and the director picks from the list of alternates approved by the Council.  When the Council approved the committee’s initial composition, there were nine representatives from Laurelhurst, six of whom were “near neighbors,” and six others who are either from other neighborhoods (Ravenna, Hawthorne Hills, Montlake and View Ridge) or designated as the citywide representative and the nonmanagement hospital representative.  

 

Due to actual financial conflicts of interest, an appearance of a conflict for one former member and another member moving to a far north neighborhood, the balance on the committee will substantially change should the current two remaining alternates become voting members, as proposed by the DON Director.  One alternate is from Hawthorne Hills and the other is the alternate for the current citywide rep.  With this change, there would now be six members from Laurelhurst and nine from other neighborhoods or who serve as the citywide reps (now two, while the Major Institutions Code only allows one) and the nonmanagement hospital rep.

 

As you know, Children’s Hospital is located exclusively within the Laurelhurst neighborhood.  The LCC Board of Trustees was very appreciative that the Council recognized the importance of appointing a majority of CAC members from our community in adopting Resolution 31002 and the Memorandum of Agreement.  Laurelhurst residents will be most directly affected by development of a new Children’s master plan and the prior legislation takes this into account.

 

            Council action is important to address the inconsistency in the Resolution and Memorandum of Agreement because the DON Director cannot maintain the current “balance of interests” while appointing from the current alternates.   

 

            We urge your Committee to address this issue to ensure a fair and balanced process.  Please keep us informed as you move forward.  Thank you for considering our request.

 

Sincerely,

                                                  

Liz Ogden, Vice President                                            Jeannie Hale, President

5005 48th Avenue NE                                                  3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

Seattle, Washington  98105                                          Seattle, Washington  98105

206-517-5862                                                             206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631

wizzet@comcast.net                                                     jeannieh@serv.net

 

cc:  Stella Chao and Steve Sheppard, Department of Neighborhoods; Members of the Children’s Citizens Advisory Committee