Don Winters called the meeting to order. We had a turnout of about 50 members.
Penny Sweet, Kirkland City Councilmember and Deputy Mayor, gave a "State of the City" briefing, with an emphasis on Moss Bay. Councilmember Toby Nixon assisted with the presentation. Penny owns a business in Moss Bay and organizes several events downtown. Penny told us that the Kirkland's financial situation is good and that the City has been responsible about setting aside money to fully fund next year's budget. A focus of the Council is economic development -- with Google expansion, Park Place and Totem Lake redevelopments leading the way. The Council is pursuing the goal of the "ten minute neighborhood", where residents live within walking distance of amenities.
Downtown parking is a struggle that will get worse before it gets better due to construction that will close lots at the Antique Mall site and other locations. Penny thinks aggressive action to alleviate the situation is in order, including opening up Lake Ave. W. to parking, enforcing employee parking rules and adding space in the library lot and auxiliary lot at Marina Park.
Penny talked about the City Work Plan. Kirkland is working with Sound Transit to get some kind of transportation on the Cross Kirkland Corridor. The City is also looking to distribute fire stations in the annexation areas so that there is a five minute response time. You can suggest a capital project on the city web site by following this link. The ARC (Aquatics Recreation Community Center) will be on the ballot in 2015 to decide if we will pay for it with taxes. The City is looking into creating a women's shelter, and also creating "Healthy Kirkland" plans for employees in an effort to reduce escalating health insurance costs.
Sally Otten of the recently formed Kirkland Parks Foundation -- an organization founded to preserve and enhance parks -- told us how the foundation wants to build a picnic shelter at Waverly Beach Park. They are currently raising funds for this and you can contribute by visiting their web site.
We revived our "Neighborhood Business Segment" with Alvin Loh of Jobventon as our guest. Alvin has lived in Kirkland since 2005 and co-founded the company that helps small and midsize companies find qualified job applicants through Jobvention's unique technology. Rather than operate from an office, for the past two years Alvin and his business partner have worked out of Caffe Rococo on Park Lane from 10am - 12pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This keeps overhead costs down and connects them with their desired demographic as their business grows. Alvin can be reached at email@example.com or stop by to meet him at Caffe Rococo!
Matt and Joe Razore or MRM Capital were our next guests. MRM plans to redevelop their property at 434 Kirkland Ave. They are looking to change the zoning on the site to allow more residential. Currently only a small percentage of residential is allowed. They propose to build 5 stories of residential over 1 floor of retail, with the possibility of a hardware store or pharmacy as anchor tenant.
Bea Nahon, Moss Bay's rep to KAN, mentioned KAN's new web site, kirklandkan.org. KAN meets the second Wednesday of each month. Bea mentioned that we need Moss Bay members to report volunteer hours to go towards our grant, which we intend to donate to Kirkland's 4th of July celebration.
Sharon Hoglund, a long time member of Moss Bay, mentioned the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast to be held May 23.
Aimee Voelz mentioned the Neighborhood Safety Program ideas that were selected for funding by the City.
Our next meeting will be held Sept 21, 2015 at Heritage Hall, 203 Market St.