Enumclaw council debates taxing district that funds street repairs

A proposed change to the local Transportation Benefit District brought sharp differences of opinion during the most recent gathering of the Enumclaw City Council. A public hearing on the TBD is scheduled for Nov. 13.

A proposed change to the local Transportation Benefit District brought sharp differences of opinion during the most recent gathering of the Enumclaw City Council.

On the agenda during the council’s Oct. 9 meeting was a resolution stating the city’s intent to consider taking over the TBD. Currently, the district operates as an independent entity, even though it is made up of the seven members of the City Council.

At the heart of the resolution was the setting of a public hearing that would give the public the opportunity to weigh in on the issue. That hearing will take place during the Nov. 13 meeting of the council.

Talk quickly gave way to a “bigger picture” nature of the TBD, rather than the simple setting of a public hearing.

The Transportation Benefit District is a voter-approved entity that, through sales tax, pays for street repairs in Enumclaw. State law allows cities to assume “the rights, powers, functions and obligations” of the TBD.

Such a move has been recommended by the state auditor’s office. City Finance Director Stephanie McKenzie noted that it would be “more time- and cost-effective” if the TBD were under city control, rather than operating independently.

But not all agreed.

Councilman Chance LaFleur recalled that Enumclaw voters approved creation of the TBD when other cities saw their efforts fall short. At the time, he said, he had presented the TBD as something that would be outside the realm of city government.

“We made a commitment and a promise to our constituents that this would be kept separate,” LaFleur said, before voting against the resolution.

Councilwoman Juanita Carstens shared that view, maintaining that the TBD should remain independent.

Councilman Steve Cadematori went the opposite direction, supporting the proposal largely for reasons of governmental simplicity.

“It’s a clean and easy way to make life a little simpler,” he said, noting that assumption of the TBD could save city staff both time and money.

Councilman Hoke Overland, also arguing in support of the change, noted that the power behind the TBD wouldn’t change. “It’s not other people making promises and obligations,” he said, pointing out that the seven members of the council would retain full decision-making authority.

An exasperated Mayor Liz Reynolds brought the discussion back to its basic, simplest roots.

“This whole thing is about setting a public hearing,” she said, asking for a vote on Resolution 1602.

The item than passed with support from Kim Lauk, Jan Molinaro, Anthony Wright, Overland and Cadematori.

The public hearing on Nov. 13 will be part of the regularly-scheduled council meeting beginning at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 1339 Griffin Ave.

More in News

Abigail Hill, 19, is crowned Miss Washington by the 2017 title winner, Alex Carlson-Helo. Photo courtesy Jerry and Lois Photography
Local Miss Washington prepares for national stage

That’s right — Enumclaw is competing in Miss U.S.A. Abigail Hill, the city’s newest star, was recently crowned Miss Washington , clearing the way for her to compete nationally in the spring.

Suspect faces possible ‘third strike’ after alleged car chase, kidnapping

A suspect with a long criminal history finds himself in “third strike” jeopardy, the result of an alleged robbery in Enumclaw and ensuing car chase out of town.

Why now is a good time for a flu shot | Public Health Insider

With the holidays drawing near, many of us look forward to travel or seeing family and friends. And just as our schedules get busier, it’s also the time of year when the flu starts to circulate. We turned to Libby Page, manager of our immunizations program, to get the scoop on flu vaccine.

Election 2017: Change in Enumclaw; Buckley mayor race close

The 2017 general election is over, and although the results are still two weeks from being certified, many candidates are in the clear to take up their elected positions come winter.

Proposed recycling center sparks environmental fears

A proposed material processing facility outside of Enumclaw has some local conservationists worried about how it may affect the Green River and other natural environments. “The location of this, next to this natural area, just is not right. It doesn’t make sense to us at all, for a variety of reasons,” said Bernie McKinney, president of the Green River Coalition, a non-profit preservationist group.

Get your fill of winter activities on Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier’s landscape undergoes a dramatic transformation in winter.

Holiday shows bring out the classics, family favorites

Sumner’s two performance arts groups have a slew of holiday shows for you to enjoy.

Sumner students spent summer learning to define, defy boundaries

Four Sumner High School students explored the world of boundaries last summer when they attended the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization’s World Student Conference in New York.

Antibiotic resistant gonorrhea found in King County | Public Health Insider

Public Health – Seattle & King County’s STD Clinic Director, Dr. Lindley Barbee, MD, MPH has found antibiotic resistance in a drug that is used to treat gonorrhea. We talked to her to find out more.

Bonney Lake, Sumner gear up for holiday festivities

Plateau holiday festivities are right around the corner.

Enumclaw, Buckley busy during the holidays

What’s going on during the holiday season on the Plateau? Here’s a list of activities you and your family may enjoy!