King County has been asking our community to tell them what we need. They then put together a survey to find out how important each issue is to us. (If you haven’t taken it yet, we encourage you to do so. Here is the link to the survey:https://publicinput.com/G3607)

The Community Needs List will be discussed at a Town Hall this Thursday, March 17. From 6pm to 8:30pm on Zoom (link is below)
King County Departments will also be there to answer questions. 
 
Here are some of the issues that our community asked to be addressed:
 
Roads: increase frequency of roadside cleaning, increase walkability and safety for cyclists, traffic calming, increase water taxi service, increase public transportation options
 
Sheriff’s Dept: assign a storefront deputy, increase enforcement of speed limits
 
Housing, Permitting:
Optimize permitting processes for Vashon Island
Implement affordable housing measures (subsidized low-income housing, tiny homes, etc.)
Support Accessory Dwelling Unit development
Implement litter can collection in the Vashon Business District
Expand recycling and hazardous waste collection capabilities of the transfer station
Expand public sewer and wastewater treatment on-island
Develop an on-island composting facility
 
Social Services: Create an off-leash dog park, or off-leash days in existing parks
There are many important issues on this list. Please attend. Hopefully they will have an agenda for when each topic will be addressed, so you can join the meeting when your special topic of interest will be covered.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://kingcounty.zoom.us/j/89295708409

Meeting ID: 892 9570 8409
Passcode: TOWNhall22 (case sensitive)

Dial by your location – 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 892 9570 8409
Passcode: 4700186961

At our February 21 community council meeting, attendees voted unanimously for the existing board of directors to form an interim board to pursue the formation of a new community council. The new community council will apply for nonprofit 501C4 status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

According to the IRS, a 501c4 is “an organization…operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community. An organization embraced within this section is one which is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements.”

Those present at the February meeting were in total agreement that this seemed more in line with what the community wanted to do with their Council. Community members thought that the power to do some lobbying on non-partisan issues that affect the Island — which would be extremely restricted as a 501c3 — would empower the Council to make more tangible changes in the lives of islanders.

For more information on this effort and the transition, please contact Diane Emerson at dianeemerson@yahoo.com

In recent meetings, there has been discussion about whether a 501c4 designation is actually what we need to have, rather than 501c3. After looking more deeply into it, it appears that this is indeed the case, and we will be voting on this important topic at the February meeting. Here is the definition of a 501c4: sounds like us!

An organization is operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community. An organization embraced within this section is one which is operated primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterments and social improvements.

 

Here is the motion we will be voting on at the February meeting:

It has been moved and seconded that we begin the process to create a new community council with 501c4 status, and that the current board of directors act as the interim board of the new council, until elections are held for a new board in October of this year.

If you have questions about this issue, please contact board vice president Diane Emerson at diane@vmicc.net

Rachel  Rome is an urban planner and transportation planner with over ten years of professional experience in design development and review, including both private and public sector projects. She also has experience with zoning and public outreach, among her many skills. It was no wonder that the members of the community council endorsed her position on the Ferry Advisory Committee with a unanimous 27 to 0 vote at our January 17 meeting. Thank you, Rachel, for bringing your skills and experience to bear on a critically important aspect of life on our bridge-free island.

Climate crisis and racial justice motions pass overwhelmingly at the December 20 Vashon-Maury Island Community Council
– Updated King County Building Codes – the Community Council overwhelmingly voted to endorse updated building codes being considered for approval by the King County Council. These new building codes would restrict most uses of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multifamily buildings in unincorporated King County.

– Racial Justice and Equity motion – passed overwhelmingly. An Equity Committee is in the process of forming, as a result. If you are interested, please contact Kevin Jones at kevin@indivisiblevashon.org

Now that Zoom has made all the features we need affordable, we are switching to Zoom for our remote meetings, beginning with the October 18 Community Council meeting. We should have fewer technical issues, and Zoom will let us show our recordings directly to our YouTube channel. Progress!