Kenmore City Manager Rob Karlinsey covered city development, local business, “Snowmageddon” and transportation at this year’s state of the city of Kenmore address.
The address takes place annually in the Inglewood Golf Club, hosted by the Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce. The ballroom was filled with local professionals, business owners and civic leaders.
“The Chamber wishes to thank all who attended, City of Kenmore City Manager Rob Karlinsey for speaking, Cascadia College President Dr. Eric Murray for MC’ing, the Inglewood Golf Club for hosting, all our Ambassadors, our musicians Randy Mac Music,” wrote chamber marketing manager Elizabeth Tackett in a press release.
Karlinsey focused on the major development in downtown Kenmore during 2018, including The Hangar, a city-owned community center across from city hall, the Seaplane Kitchen and Bar and the currently in development Flyway, a mixed-use apartment, restaurant and retail center building set to open later this year.
The Lodge at Saint Edward seminary restoration is also well underway and still on schedule despite early February’s snowstorms, however, the West Sammamish River Bridge could be delayed due to a permit approval backlog cause by the government shutdown that extended into Jan. 25.
Advancements in development were reflected by advancements in local business as Karlinsey highlighted WhatsSup Stand-Up Paddle & Kayak, a Kenmore business that will soon feature boat tours on a new Cruise Adventure boat, the “Mosquito One.”
While a majority of the address detailed city achievements, Karlinsey also mentioned city shortcomings. While the city was able to spend less money than it took in during the last biennium, however, the current trend projects the city’s expenditures will soon exceed its revenue. According to Karlinsey, this is partially because the city’s property tax, which is its largest source of revenue, is restricted to 1 percent annually. Other sources remain flat, which is not currently an issue, as the city was able to balance the budget for the 2019-20 budget, but will eventually cause problems as early as 2021.
Karlinsey went on to thank city workers for their effort during “Snowmageddon” in early February and credited a recent agreement with the Northshore Utility District for providing enough resources for the city to clear the snow.
Additionally, the city has continued its effort to ask “where’s the fun?” and Karlinsey pointed out the continued utility box art, with four new additions designed by local students, a third-grader from Arrowhead Elementary School and an 11th-grader from Inglemoor High School and by local artists and photographers.
“We are in the people business,” Karlinsey said. “As we hold true to our service vision of creating a thriving community where people love where they live, we can continue on that upward trajectory towards human flourishing right here in Kenmore. As we do, the frustrations and the hardships along the way will indeed be outweighed by all of the joys.”