A Brief Summary – Official Minutes to Follow
The ENA meeting February 7, 2013 about the proposal for a Metropolitan Park District which is up for vote this Tuesday, February 12, was well attended. Speakers included Dan Remsen, representing the Pro position (and a candidate for a commissioner position), Bill Geyer, representlng the Con position, and Michael Lilliquist, our representative to the Bellingham City Council, with information from his perspective as a council person. Ideas were presented and discussed, questions were made and answered, and a great deal of information was shared. It was interesting to note that nearly everyone there had already made up their minds and had, in fact, already voted. It was really encouraging regarding our political system to think they would still give up an evening to share their views with others.
My summary of the outcome is as follows: Both sides seem to agree most, if not all, of the forest should be preserved. The primary difference came over how that should happen. Those opposing the MPD (Municipal Park District), felt there were other ways to assure protection, from the sale of a portion of the land, to the sale of TDRs (transfer development rights), to private fund raising, to grants from private or public entities, and probably some ideas I have missed. Those supporting the MPD (Municipal Park District), felt it was the only sure way to protect the property, but did not close the door to the MPD considering additional fund raising ideas to lower the taxing requirements. The only funding they rejected completely was the sale of a portion of the land. Their point was that while the MPD is the only proposed solution which guarantees the funds to pay off the property, every avenue can still be explored after it is established.
The second portion of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of the traffic issues (particularly speeding) in the neighborhood. This topic has been raised numerous times over the years and was addressed in the original Edgemoor neighborhood plan and the one drafted and passed by the membership last year. Unfortunately, nothing ever seems to change, which gets very discouraging.
Ideas brought up which depend on the city included more speed limit signs; greater police presence; the speed trailer (which is currently broken); traffic cams; flashing lights in dangerous areas; 4 way stops at the Willow and Fieldston and Linden & Fieldston intersections. While these would be great, something which has become very obvious is that we cannot expect the city to solve the problem for us.
There were also ideas we can do ourselves, if we work together as a neighborhood. They include talking to our neighbors to raise the awareness of all of us about how we drive; printing and posting “Keep Kids Alive – Drive 25” signs throughout the neighborhood; making and posting hand lettered signs asking drivers to slow down; teaching our children (and reminding ourselves) to walk against traffic so we can see what is coming.
We are a creative group of folks – I’m sure we can think of other ways to slow all of us down a bit and avoid a tragedy. If you have an idea, post it on Edgemoor.Nextdoor, send it to a board member, or, better yet come to a meeting and share it. We can take control of our streets if we choose to do so.
If you have interest in serving on a committee to provide some organization to this effort, please contact me or another board member or come to our March meeting. We could actually have fun with it!
Hope to see you in March or around the neighborhood or read your posts on Edgemoor.Nextdoor. Enjoy the sun!