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Hendrickson grossly misleads the public | Letter
In the Sept. 6 Reporter, John Hendrickson, who failed to win reelection to the Kenmore City Council in 2011, charges that I grossly misled the public. Yet it is he who misleads.
Yes, I have supported Allan Van Ness's and Laurie Sperry's campaigns since they first ran for City Council in 2005 - because they have proved to be positive, effective public servants. I am a 52-year Kenmore resident, and I frequently attend council meetings. My wife and I raised three children who graduated from Northshore schools. I was PTA president and coached Little League for years. I am a retired attorney with an undergraduate degree in business law and an emphasis in accounting and am well aware of generally accepted accounting principles.
Hendrickson is not a CPA and therefore is not under the authority of the Washington State Board of Accountancy. The links he uses as "proof" of his charges against the city are spreadsheets and documents he has prepared. He takes a few facts as he sees them and spins his own version of history.
The truth is that Councilmember Van Ness consistently cautioned against the proposed City Hall in 2007 and 2008. Hendrickson was silent. Van Ness felt that the project was too big and expensive and that Kenmore's economic future was uncertain. He met with the Uplake group numerous times, encouraging them in their campaign to limit the size and cost of the new City Hall. Meanwhile, a larger group of Kenmore citizens strongly lobbied for structured parking, green construction and building for the future. The Council weighed all citizen concerns.
The Uplake group did not force a rebid of the project in 2008. Rather, the rapidly declining economy and status of the construction industry caused the city to void the original $15 million construction contract with the sole bidder and to request new bids. Of the 13 new bids, the winning one was for $8.5 million. Van Ness then favored the new construction. Investing in the building became a better option than leaving the cash in the bank, earning little interest. Construction was completed on time and under budget, and the city paid cash. Furthermore, the building earned a LEED Gold environmental certification.
The closure of the King County Sheriff North Precinct meant Kenmore police needed a new home. They moved into the extra space in Kenmore's new City Hall. Had this space not been available, our police would have to travel to the city of Sammamish to process their reports and be off Kenmore streets a good portion of the day.
Today, Kenmore has a great City Hall that will benefit the community for years to come. It is affordable, sustainable, and low maintenance with green technology and construction―a good investment.
I am pleased that the City Council was able to obtain funding for the next phase of State Route 522 from 65th to 61st Avenue NE. It was one of the few projects that received money for construction in the last year. Our Council deserves credit for their work in obtaining state and federal grants of $8.8 million, which completes the funding of this phase of the project.
I urge citizens to read letters to the editor with caution and to critically evaluate claims, considering the author's background and motivation. Are the statements a vindictive distortion of facts, or are they independently verifiable? I also urge citizens to focus on real issues, not on what happened years ago.
Bill Roetcisoender, Kenmore