Snoqualmie council appoints ethics officer, amends budget, awards 2018 human services funding

At their last meeting of the year on Dec. 11, the Snoqualmie City Council pursued plans announced in October to begin an investigation into a suspected violation of the city’s code of ethics.

Council members agreed Dec. 11 to hire Ethics Hearing Officer Grant Degginger to look into the issue discovered this fall, involving an outside business partnership between contract events coordinator Leslie Billington and her then-supervisor Public Works Director Dan Marcinko. However, there was a procedural mixup and the council did not formally vote on Degginger’s appointment; the council met Dec. 14 in a special meeting to correct the error.

Councilmembers Katherine Ross, James Mayhew, and Sean Sundwall had earlier formed a selection committee to and interview candidates for the ethics hearing officer position. On Dec. 11, they unanimously recommended the council appoint Degginger of Lane Powell law firm.

Degginger is the chairperson of the firm’s Government Law Team and was the Mayor of Bellevue from 2006-10. Prior to his term as mayor, he had served on the Bellevue City Council since 1999.

The council also approved mid-term adjustments to the city’s biennial budget and approved the city’s 2018 human services funding allocations.

Interim Finance Director Rob Orton explained that, as part of state law, the city does a mid-term review of the biennial budget and makes adjustments to the document to reflect actual revenues and expenses and accommodate unforeseen fund balance changes. The change also transferred funds scheduled for expenditure in 2017 to 2018.

“Part of it were projects unfinished in 2017, part of it were projects approved but did not get started, part of it was the 2018, 2019 schedule for the larger projects,” Orton said.

The general fund total for 2017 was amended from $77,588,120 to the actual $77,132,737. The general fund estimate for 2018 was adjusted from $65,843,107 to $86,705,480.

The council also unanimously approved the recommendations for funding human service organizations, as recommended by the city’s Human Services Committee. The committee reviewed all requests received and recommended funding a total of $169,000 across 11 organizations.

The organizations chosen for funding were:

  • Encompass – $30,000
  • Friends of Youth – $15,000
  • Lifewire – $3,000
  • Mamma’s Hands – $10,000
  • Mt. Si Senior Center – $27,000
  • Snoqualmie Valley Community Network – $16,000
  • Snoqualmie Valley Food Bank – $35,000
  • Sno-Valley Indoor playground – $1,000
  • Snoqualmie Valley Shelter Services – $15,000
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul – $10,000 and
  • Two Rivers School, for on-site counseling, medical and dental care for low-income youth – $7,000

In the funding process, committee members and staff review the applications and score each one to determine recommendations. A total of 1.12 percent of the general fund is allocated for Human Services funding.

Snoqualmie staffer Eric Kaltenbacher said the committee is looking to expand its membership and revamp the program to be more detailed, reach more Valley organizations and to make sure that all requests are considered.

The council agreed and voted to amend the approval of recommended funding with a request of staff and the committee to return to the council before the end of the first quarter of 2018 with a strategic plan and process for revamping the committee, as well as new documents for needs assessment and weighted criteria for allocation of funds.

More in News

Mike Seal, left, and his son Ryan are owners of the Sigillo Cellars winery which is hoping to build a new production facility in downtown Snoqualmie. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Sigillo Cellars closes purchase on King Street Lot

Sigillo Cellars have purchased the vacant lot on the corner SE King Street in downtown Snoqualmie.

Legislators are working on several housing bills leading up to their 2019 session, including condo liability reform. Median sales prices of townhomes and low- to mid-rise condos were consistently and substantially lower than for single-family homes. Image courtesy of PSRC
Area legislators to focus on housing policy, funding in 2019 session

Tana Senn (D-Mercer Island) is sponsoring a condo liability reform bill.

Kirk Gillock of North Bend on his 4,233 mile cycle tour across 13 states to spread the message of love, unity and balance. Photo courtesy of Kirk Gillock.
North Bend man cycles 4,233 miles to encourage political unity, balance and love

Kirk Gillock cycled across 13 states in the shape of a heart to unite Americans in love and political balance.

Mount Si Senior Center receives $2 million for affordable housing purchase

Mount Si Senior Center receives $2 million from King County to purchase Cascade Park Apartments.

Police say porch piracy is primarily a crime of opportunity. Many criminals will see a package as they pass by and make quick, easy money. Kailan Manandic, photo illustration
‘Porch pirates’ plunder local packages

Eastside police departments spoke on the ‘porch pirate’ problem and ask locals to report the crime.

U-cut and pre-cut Christmas trees around the Snoqualmie Valley

As the holiday season approaches, several Snoqualmie Valley businesses are gearing up… Continue reading

The Giving Tree program marks season of giving in the Valley

The Giving Tree, a Kiwanis gift donation program, is returning to the Valley this month.

The Eastside strike team consisted of a dozen firefighters from local cities. They assisted with small brush fires and watched over a small community near Malibu as a fire raged on a nearby hillside. Photos courtesy of Jeff Storey and Dave McDaniel
Local firefighters aid in California wildfires

Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue, Snoqualmie, Fall City and Duvall fire departments assisted.

Romaine lettuce, beef recalled just before Thanksgiving

23 people have been infected with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria in 11 states.

Snoqualmie Council considers denying property tax increase, discusses budget fund allocations

The Snoqualmie City Council discussed not taking a 1 percent property tax increase for 2019.

King County Fire District 27 seeks committee members

The district is planning to merge with district 10 and needs pamphlet statement committee members.

Water a concern for local farmers

Summers will continue to get warmer and drier which could affect the Snoqualmie River.