Tag Archives: neighborhood service center

Mayor follows up on town hall questions

Mayor McGinn at the Beacon Hill Town Hall at Jefferson Community Center on February 15. Photo courtesy City of Seattle.
Mayor Mike McGinn this week sent out a follow-up email addressing unanswered questions that were brought up at the February 15 town hall meeting at Jefferson Community Center. Topics addressed include broadband access, future use of the closed Neighborhood Service Center, a possible Alcohol Impact Area on North Beacon Hill, and the SeaTac flight paths overhead.

There were some questions raised that we weren’t able to address that night; here they are, along with our answers:

1. What power does the City have to regulate Broadstripe and other broadband providers? The City of Seattle regulates cable television service for Seattle residents, and we also own the physical conduits through which the cables that provide that service travel, but the Federal Communications Commission has restricted the ability of cities like ours to regulate internet service providers. Where we do have power is in our contract negotiations with these companies. Our next opportunity to renegotiate our cable contract with Broadstripe will be in 2017. They have little capacity for significant service improvements, as they are now in bankruptcy (although still complying with the contract). The last contract renewal led the Department of Information Technology to look into creating a city-wide fiber-optic network in the first place. We know that there’s a huge need for faster and more reliable Internet access across the city, and that’s why we’re working on a business plan for municipal broadband.

2. Can members of the community use the old Neighborhood Service Center site as a volunteer-run community information center? The different departments involved are still discussing how to use the space going forward, and no decisions have been made so far. In the meantime, Department of Neighborhoods staff are using the space on a drop-in basis, and community groups can also make use of other meeting rooms in the library.

3. What will it take to make Beacon Hill an Alcohol Impact Area? As Captain Nolan and I mentioned on the 15th, the designation of an Alcohol Impact Area is something that’s done by the Washington State Liquor Control Board. More information about the designation process can be found here; links to studies of the effectiveness of AIA’s are here; and information about the processes that the City went through specifically in 2004-2006 are available here.

4. Is there anything that the City can do about flight paths going into and out of SeaTac? The Federal Aviation Administration regulates flight paths; the City, County, and Port don’t have direct regulatory authority over the airspace around the airport, but the FAA has been receptive to community input in the past. The Magnolia Community Club, for example, had a recent success when the FAA decided not to lower the level at which aircraft would be allowed to fly over Seattle neighborhoods. There will be an opportunity for the public to comment on the FAA’s Next Gen initiative, which will include re-evaluating flight plans that affect SeaTac and Boeing Field. Please E-mail me directly with your comments and concerns regarding flight paths over Beacon Hill, and I’ll be sure that we pass them along to the FAA. For more information about the Magnolia Community Club’s efforts, please contact Robert Bismuth at AirportNorth@gmail.com or 206-941-1923.

I hope the information in this E-mail is helpful; if you have input on how to improve our Town Hall follow-up going forward, feel free to contact Sol Villarreal in my office at sol.villarreal@seattle.gov or 206-427-3062.

For other opportunities to talk to myself or other City staff in your community please see our Public Outreach and Engagement Calendar at http://seattle.gov/engage/access.htm, and as always, please write to me with any questions, comments, or concerns that you have at mike.mcginn@seattle.gov.

It’s an honor to be able to serve as your Mayor; I’ll look forward to seeing you again soon.

Mike McGinn

(You can read a compilation of the February 15 town hall discussion here and see complete video of the event here.)

Opinion: Service Center should become community information space

The Neighborhood Service Center in the Library is closing -- but could it continue to be a neighborhood resource? Photo by go-team in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
As the saying goes, “When one door closes, another opens.”

As part of budget cuts within the Department of Neighborhoods, North Beacon Hill is losing our Community Service Center in the Beacon Hill Library. Steve Louie is moving to the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. He will work in coordination with three other District Coordinators to serve the Southeast, Greater Duwamish, Delridge, and Southwest Districts as a team.

The North Beacon Hill Neighborhood Council voted unanimously last Wednesday to request that the recently vacated office become a volunteer-run information sharing space. The location is accessible, highly visible, and already identified as a gathering/information space in the community. A community audit showed strong interest in maintaining a space for information sharing, meetings, assistance with grant applications, and general liaisons between neighbors and city programs.

The space would be shared with staff from City agencies such as the Department of Neighborhoods, Department of Planning and Development, etc. Volunteers from a variety of community organizations (including the NBHC, Beacon Arts, Beacon Merchants Association, and others) would staff the space.

Please contact the Mayor’s office and city council members to support the idea of maintaining a publicly accessible space to share information and stay connected with what’s happening in Beacon Hill and the rest of the city.

You can write, call, email, tweet, or post on facebook. Our elected officials are accessible—access them and let them know that Beacon Hill wants to use this space!

Neighborhood Service Center closed, changes coming

Cuts to the city’s budget have led to the closure of the Greater Duwamish Neighborhood Service Center, located in the Beacon Hill Library on North Beacon Hill. District Coordinator Steve Louie will be relocated across the bridge to the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. He sent out the following letter with information about the closure and the resulting changes to the Neighborhood Service Center program:

Happy New Years. As a result of the 2011-2012 Adopted Budget and Department changes, here is an update on my status. I am currently in the process of closing down the Greater Duwamish Neighborhood Service Center on Beacon Hill and will now be based out of the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. Now that we are down to 10 from 13 District Coordinators we will be serving the City through a team approach. I will be working with 3 other District Coordinators and the 4 of us will be covering the South Division. The Districts we will be covering are SE, Greater Duwamish, Delridge, and Southwest. Below is more information from our Department.

Neighborhood District Coordinator Program Changes and Neighborhood Service Center Closure: Background and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As a result of the 2011‐2012 Adopted Budget, the Department of Neighborhoods (DON) is restructuring services provided by the Neighborhood District Coordinator Program as well as the number of open Neighborhood Service Centers. Following are frequently asked questions and responses. If additional information is needed, please contact Pamela Banks, Neighborhood District Coordinator Program Manager at 206‐233-5044 or Kimberlee Archie, Deputy Director, at 206‐684‐0463.

DON 2011 Budget Impacts:

  • Neighborhood District Coordinators (NDCs) reduced from 13 to 10, effective 1/4/11. The Neighborhood District Coordinator (NDC) interim service plan divides the city into 3 geographic areas, each served by a team of NDCs.
  • Neighborhood Service Centers (NSCs) reduced from 13 to 7, effective 1/4/11. The remaining NSCs are all payment sites where few changes will be experienced for those who visit for information or payment services; however, co‐locators and those who utilized space at nonpayment sites will experience major changes with the closures of the 6 non‐payment sites.
  • Continue reading Neighborhood Service Center closed, changes coming

North Beacon Hill Council protests closure of Neighborhood Service Center

City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw spoke at a North Beacon Hill Council meeting earlier this year at the Beacon Hill Library. Closure of the Neighborhood Service Center will not only remove the services provided by the center, but also prevent the NBHC from holding its meetings at the library site. Photo by Wendi.
The North Beacon Hill Council sent a letter today to all members of the Seattle City Council, protesting the planned closure of the Neighborhood Service Center located at the Beacon Hill Library, 2821 Beacon Avenue South.

Severe cuts to the Department of Neighborhoods in the proposed City Budget would close the Beacon Hill (Greater Duwamish) Neighborhood Service Center and remove the Greater Duwamish District Coordinator, Steve Louie. The Service Center and the Coordinator provide services and help for the community, including (but not limited to):

  • Community and neighborhood organization contacts
  • Crime prevention and block watch materials
  • Information on heating bill assistance and food banks
  • Information on city and other job opportunities, including summer youth employment
  • Land use and zoning information
  • Application forms and assistance for the Neighborhood Matching Fund, business licenses, voter registration, and passports

Additionally, Louie’s access to the building allows the North Beacon Hill Council to use the space for council meetings even though the meetings usually need to run later than the library’s normal closing time.

If the Neighborhood Service Center is closed, neighbors on North Beacon Hill seeking equivalent city services would need to go to the Southeast Neighborhood Service Center instead, located 3.5 miles away on South Othello Street.

North Beacon Hill Council Chair Judith Edwards says, “The loss of our District Neighborhood Coordinator and Neighborhood Service Center would have a tremendous negative affect on all of us. Please contact the City Council.” You can find contact information for all Council members here. The council will vote on the new budget next Monday, November 22.

Here is the letter sent by the North Beacon Hill Council to the Seattle City Council today. Judith suggests that people use this as a starting point for their own letters to the Council.

North Beacon Hill Council
3211 Beacon Ave. S., Suite 14
Seattle, WA 98144

November 15, 2010

Dear City Council Members,

This is a final plea from all 150 members of the North Beacon Hill Council (NBHC) and its Board of Directors. We ask that you leave the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Service Center open to the public which it serves in our diverse, but active, neighborhood, and retain the services of our Neighborhood Coordinator.

If the Neighborhood Service Center no longer exists in the Beacon Hill Library, an average of 3-5 citizens per day will have no one to turn to with questions regarding the City and other neighborhood problems. Many of these citizens speak English as a second language, use bus transportation or walk, and find the Service Center to be very accessible when they come into the Library for other services, such as classes, computer use, etc. Since diversity and reaching out to under-represented populations is a high priority for the City, closure of this Neighborhood Service Center will be a great injustice to one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, and will diminish greatly the City’s outreach to under-represented populations.

Our District Coordinators have helped many members of the North Beacon Hill Council to apply for and receive many Small Sparks and Neighborhood Matching Fund grants. Without this guidance, I suspect that the applications for these grants will diminish in number. Stairwells have been cleaned of drugs and prostitution; cross walks have been made safe; parks have been restored—all thanks to the guidance of our Neighborhood Coordinators.

The North Beacon Hill Council will be without a meeting place if the Neighborhood Service Center is closed. As many as fifty (50) concerned citizens and citizen activists regularly attend these meetings. We are able to use the Beacon Hill Library Community Room for meetings which end at 9:00PM only because our Neighborhood District Coordinator is housed in the Library and has authorization to lock up after hours.

We, the Board and members of the North Beacon Hill Council, ask that you give strong consideration to keeping the Neighborhood Service Center and Neighborhood Coordinator in the Beacon Hill Library, where a very strong community need is now being met.

Thank you.

Judith Edwards, Chair – North Beacon Hill Council

Tonight: Budget hearing followed by BeaconArts social

Photo by Anita Hart via Creative Commons.
Today is your final opportunity to attend a public hearing to give your opinion about this year’s city budget process.

City Councilmember and Finance and Budget Committee chair Jean Godden will join Council Central Staff Director Ben Noble to answer budget-related phone calls prior to the public hearing. If you would like to ask questions or comment on the budget, please call 206-684-0481 between 4:30 – 5:00 pm.

The hearing itself is at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers, on the second floor of Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue. It will be broadcast live on Seattle Channel 21, and streamed online here. More information on Seattle’s budget is here.

Among the budget’s effects on Beacon Hill is the proposed closure of the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Service Center, along with the centers in Greenwood, Fremont, Queen Anne, Downtown, and Capitol Hill.

After the hearing, come back to Beacon for the Beacon Arts Social, from 7:30 to 10:00 pm at the Beacon Pub, 3057 Beacon Avenue South. BeaconArts describes it thusly:

Come find like minded souls haunting the streets and dives of Beacon Hill. Mourn the passing of our local pub, perhaps write a postcard to support 4 Culture. Discuss application of artistic principles in unused commercial lots. Develop an arts community on Beacon Hill, come short or long. Drink. Be Merry. Or Scary.