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City of Olympia Interactive Polling Results

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS CITIZEN FORUM
September 2007

ATTACHMENT 2

City of Olympia

Interactive Polling Results

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS CITIZEN FORUM
September 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction .......................................................................1 Methods ............................................................3 Respondent Profile...........................................3 2. Key Findings......................................................................4 3. Findings .............................................................................7 City Budget........................................................9 City Budget Priorities..................................... 11 Priority Ratings for Proposed Projects ......... 17 Top Priority ..................................................... 31 Support Tax Increase .................................... 32 Preferred Funding Mechanism..................... 35 4. Appendix......................................................................... 40 Questionnaire 5. Separate cover Audio and video recordings

ATTACHMENT 2

Interactive Polling Results

City of Olympia

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS CITIZEN FORUM
September 2007

INTRODUCTION
The City of Olympia has a backlog of potential capital improvements and other project that have gone unfunded due to budget constraints in recent years. In order to assess public thinking about these projects, the City commissioned a forum of randomly-selected citizens to evaluate various proposals. The forum consisted of 29 Olympia residents, selected at random from the list of registered voter households, who took part in an “interactive survey” at the Olympia Center on September 18, 2007. This report presents the results of the forum. Format The forum was a hybrid of survey, focus group, public hearing and Workshop. Rigorous and disciplined methods were systematically applied to both the selection of participants and the production of data. At the same time, participants were encouraged to talk about the questions and topics, thus developing a rich data set and deeper understanding of answers to particular questions. A key research principle applied here was sampling. In order to meet the criterion of representative sampling, we drew a random sample from the list of registered voter households in the city of Olympia. In this way, every registered voter household had an equal chance of being selected – the basic requirement for a reliable sample. The distinction of registered voter household means that individuals did not necessarily have to be a registered voter to be invited. Recruiters knew only that someone in the household was registered to vote. Voter households were used as the sample frame to ensure that participants were citizens of Olympia. Although this cannot be considered to be a statistically reliable sample, due to the nature of the participation, the participants generally matched the city population demographically. Respondents were interviewed by telephone and recruited to attend based on location and demographic characteristics so as to

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produce a representative cross section of the city. At least two participants were recruited from every census tract in the city, and quotas were followed for age and gender. Because participants were selected at random and recruited to attend, the forum was likely to include an attitudinally more representative cross section of the electorate than is typically the case for a public meeting, where those most likely to attend are citizens with a particular interest in the topic at hand. The method of data production at the forum was also systematic. We employed “interactive polling,” which combines quantitative data collection and facilitated discussion. Each participant used a wireless keypad to respond to survey questions and to rate budget items. Because each participant had a handset, every participant’s responses were recorded to every question – whether or not they spoke up at the meeting. Individual responses were anonymous, but the tabulated results were displayed instantly. This allowed the facilitator to probe for reasons and meaning behind the poll results and to foster discussion among participants about the topic at hand. The discussion was recorded and transcribed, so the individual comments would inform the understanding of the quantitative data. Finally, the use of interactive polling allowed us to keep the discussion and data collection focused on the task: prioritizing county budget programs. The questions posed were related to budget categories and programs. The “questionnaire” nature of the agenda discouraged tangential discussions about other topics or policies. Tabulated responses to all of the polling questions were captured in the data base and the entire two-hour session was audio and video recorded. The Workshop protocol is included in the appendix of this report. Audio and video tapes are presented under separate cover. Organization of this Report This report presents the polling results as they were displayed to the participants at the forum, accompanied by the transcription of the pertinent discussion. The questions in bold type are questions posed by the moderator, the text in “quotation marks” is the transcript of participants, The report order generally follows the order of discussion. A summary of key findings precedes the detailed results. This forum was designed, conducted and the results analyzed by Elway Research, Inc., in collaboration with officials from the City of Olympia.

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METHODS
PARTICIPANTS: FIELD DATE: TECHNIQUE: DATA COLLECTION: 29 Registered Voters in the City of Olympia. September 18, 2007 Interactive Poll Combination of electronic polling and groups discussion. Participants responded to survey questions by using a wireless keypad. Tabulated results were instantly displayed for all to see. The moderator lead discussions of the results to explore the questions further. Other questions were address with solely group discussion.

Although participants were selected at random and this method resembles survey research in the type of questions and analysis, the results of this method are not statistically projectable to the larger population. These results can only be interpreted as representing the views of these participants at the time of this session.

RESPONDENT PROFILE
Participants were recruited systematically from the list of registered voters in the City of Olympia. Quotas were established to ensure representation of the population across a variety of variables, including geography, gender, age, and income. At least two participants were recruited from each census tract in the city and participants were divided equally between men and women. 14 of the 29 participants had lived in Olympia for more than 20 years 9 for 10-20 years, 5 for 5-10 years, and 1 for fewer than 5 years.

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KEY FINDINGS
♦ Percival Landing Boardwalk and New Fire Station were highest

priority

They were the only projects rated as “high priority” by at least half of the participants They were the only two project for which at least half of the participants said they would support a tax increase

♦ Neighborhood pedestrian safety was third in both priority list

and willingness to pay list
♦ Most participants were unwilling to support tax increase to pay

for 8 of the 10 projects discussed
♦ Half or more participants were “Definitely Not Willing” to

support a tax increase to pay for a new Arts Center or climate Change mitigation.
♦ Transportation, Planning and Parks were rated as the top city

budget priorities.

Each had more than half say that more or “much more” emphasis should be placed in that category. Public Safety was 4th, but was more evenly divided between those who said more and those who said less emphasis should be placed there

♦ Most participants rated Olympia City Government as Low or

“very Low” for Efficiency, Effectiveness and Accountability

Subsequent discussion suggested that the ratings were at least as much for government in general as for Olympia City Government in particular.

♦ There was no consensus preference between a levy lid lift vs. a

excess levy.

More preferred Excess levy over Lid Lift, but an larger number said it depends on the issue or had no preference.

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The following are some projects that the city is thinking about, but are presently not funded. Rate each as a high priority, medium or low priority

HIGH

MEDIUM

LOW

Boardwalk Fire Response Time Pedestrian Safety Westside Transportation Climate Change Downtown Garage Transportation projects Percival Landing/Heritage Park Arts Center Restore Cuts

22 14 12 11 7 7 5 4 4 2 8 13 6 7 14 14 17 12 4 13 15 14 9 10 8 13

5 7

1

5

WOULD YOU SUPPORT A TAX INCREASE TO FUND THE FOLLOWING:

DEFINITELY Boardwalk Fire Response Time Pedestrian Safety Climate Change Westside Transportation Arts Center Percival Landing/Heritage Park Downtown Garage Restore Cuts Transportation projects

PROBABLY

PROB NOT

DEF NOT

18 7 9 5 6 4 1 2 1 1 6 5 6 5 8 13 13 4 5 4 5 9 1 5 16 12 7

8 4 11 14 5

2 1

3 15 12 14 9 10

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CITY BUDGET: Should More / Less Emphasis Be Place On:

MUCH

More

Less

MUCH

Transportation

9 9 10 2 4 1 7 1 5 16 9 7 12 10 7

11 7 10 9 10 14 18

5

2 3 1 2 6 3 3 7

Planning

Parks

Public Safety

Courts

Facilities

Engineering

Administration

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FINDINGS

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FINDINGS
THE STATE OF THE CITY
The session began with an open discussion of things that are “going well” and “not so well” in Olympia.
“The road improvements A lot better pedestrian, bicycles, ways and crossings than they’ve given in the past.” “They seem to be finally moving ahead a little bit with getting…what do they call that, the housing that’s fair market price? … living downtown. That’s what make the place safe in nice little town.” “Farmer’s Market is excellent.” “And all the waterfront improvements.” “Also working with the business community They’re working on some progressive issues and improvement “Sidewalks and parks are going well. They need to decide how they handle it when they’re going to buy a spot, but they are going well.”

When you say ‘decide how they handle it’, what are you thinking?
“A couple of people, and it was in the paper, they were going to condemn their property in order to buy it. They didn’t want to do that. They didn’t want to sell it. So we need to have a better relationship there.” “Good emphasis on local economy.”

How about things that aren’t going so well?
“The economy.”

Is the local economy doing okay? I see heads going all different ways. Mixed opinion on that.
“When they say the local economy, most of the state is going well.” …unless you’re extremely poor, extremely wealthy, it’s hard time for a lot of people. I don’t think some of the spenders are busy trying to get by, make a living, …they don’t really see the big picture.” “I’m an artist so people don’t have to buy my paintings. The discretionary selling, their buying is not what it used to be. It’s not just Olympia; it’s all over these days.” “I’d like to see the city make …downtown like fixing the sidewalks and …) all the businesses that are not there and making people want to shop. And making people want to do activities downtown.”

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“You mentioned maybe something I’d be concerned with is outsourcing tax revenues. What I’m finding is a lot of private owners in large apartment complexes can be using third party billers in water, for example, setting up …and they’re outsourcing that money. That money is not actually in the state of Washington or in the city. It’s being taken outside to the states. The city’s actually losing out on that revenue to help with local …). “I’d like to see more availability of parking downtown. I’d like to shop down there but it’s very hard to find a place to park.” “Somebody else mentioned the improvements like sidewalks and pedestrians as something going well. In the reverse, my sense is that all the improvements about neighborhood traffic and sidewalks and bicycle lanes are being made at the expense of throughput on the main arterials. In other words, the expense of being able to travel with the automobile as opposed to a comprehensive traffic solution for everybody. So they’re sort of being squeezed into the process.” “There should be public restrooms downtown. And also I’d like to see more, as opposed to parking and car solutions, I’d like to see more pedestrian solutions. It fits everyone like people that aren’t 16 or whatever can get around if there is safer and better ways …).”

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CITY BUDGET
Participants were next give a brief explanation of the city budget, using the charts below. This was followed by a general discussion of the budget priorities

General Fund $54,434,614

GENERAL FUND REVENUE

Charges

State

Other

Lic & Permits

Sales Tax Utility Taxes

Business Property Tax

Facilities Engineering Transportation

other

WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?

Court Public Safety

Administration

Planning

Finance

Parks

Are there things not on this list that the city should be spending more resources on?
“This is kind of related to one of the questions, but it also comes to the question you’re asking now. The first question you asked up there had to do with public safety as I recall of law enforcement. Maybe law enforcement is pretty good but the courts let people walk out the door and they get arrested 99 times. There’s a solution to that and it’s not with law enforcement. It’s with keeping them in jail or something like that. So the questions leave

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City of Olympia you in limbo in terms of whether you’ll answer the question literally.

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“I agree, but I also have to disagree about some other ways of approaching that. There’s other ways of approaching it instead of just locking up and throwing away the key. We all think that’s the best way to handle things. I don’t agree that’s necessarily…”

Are there things that weren’t on there that should be?
“Youth activities, activities for young folks.” “I honestly think that there should be a little bit more money going into schoolings because when I was going to school I noticed that a lot of students, there was like four students sharing one book. I can understand having two students sharing a book.”

The city government doesn’t deal with education, the school district.
“The mentally ill, they have two new buildings for mentally ill that they just constructed and ready to be occupied. That’s going to take the effort off of the jails because a lot of these people jail have been in the revolving door with the mentally ill. They have a bad downfall and they go to the jail. Then the jail has to fund it. Whereas if they’re overseen in these buildings, they will continue to be good. They’ll catch them before they really go down. That’s going to relieve the jail some. Prevent it before they get in there.” “As you said earlier, some of the homeless issues, because a lot of these people cannot function at 100% and they need help.” “That kind of applies to both of them, if you have a joint effort by both, because the mental health is two county, county (inaudible-unclear) is one of the issues there. The county and the city work together on a project; they both help the homelessness as well as mental health and yet will offset and shorten the amount of money that goes into our county or city jail. Those people going in and out of that revolving door.” “Those will be some of the areas that I would think that needs working out together and the cost is kind of shared. It takes away from the state; take more of the city.”

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CITY BUDGET PRIORITIES: MORE / LESS EMPHASIS ON…
For each budget category, participants were asked whether they thought the City should place more or less emphasis on that activity or category.

PUBLIC SAFETY?

PARKS

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CITY BUDGET PRIORITIES: MORE / LESS EMPHASIS ON…
TRANSPORTATION?

PLANNING?

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CITY BUDGET PRIORITIES: MORE / LESS EMPHASIS ON…
COURTS?

“Back to the courts, basically what happens with the court system in effect has a direct impact on where the money goes. If you are revolving that door it’s going back to spend more and more and more money from the city to manage the same problem over again.” “Well, I don’t know what you want. Stop the revolving door kind of thing where a kid can steal a car 99 times and nothing ever happens.” “That goes back to parenting, youth involvement and responsibility. Show by example.” “Just throw the parents in jail, I guess.” “It’s not how many dollars you spend; it’s how you think about the…that’s the problem.” “Plugging up the holes that cause the whole system to leak.”

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CITY BUDGET PRIORITIES: MORE / LESS EMPHASIS ON…
FACILITIES?

ENGINEERING?

“Is that building design?”

ADMINISTRATION?

“Could that also reflect their salaries?”

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HOW WOULD YOU RATE OLYMPIA CITY GOVERNMENT…
IN TERMS OF ITS EFFECTIVENESS?

IN TERMS OF ITS EFFICIENCY?

IN TERMS OF ITS ACCOUNTABILITY?

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A majority said low on effectiveness, efficiency, and accountability for the city. Is that different than if I asked those questions about the state or the county?
“The nature of the beast.” “Those are three big broad quests and there are too many cooks in the kitchen.” “Olympia is the most diversified city I’ve ever lived in. Seattle is not as diverse as this. We’ve got all these little clicks it seems to me that stay in their own little group. The very conservative, the ex-military, the young, and we call them greeners but there must be 20 different kinds of groups there. They’re all just kind of battling for their piece of the pie.” “Yeah, and it’s very hard to come to a consensus. I see the government just waffling back and forth and back. Just that thing about that three feet on the sidewalk thing. Nobody could even agree on that. It’s just a problem of the kind of people we have here, which isn’t bad.” “There’s a big perception that the city government isn’t accountable or effective, it’s mostly because of apathy and if we would give it time to see what happens we might see results, but we just don’t care to wait.” “People have said well its government in general, but it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t do better. I follow Olympia as well as Lacy as well as Tumwater even though I’m a resident of Olympia. It seems to me that Lacy and Tumwater government seems to be able to make decisions, get things done, in a way that Olympia city government can’t.” “All too often, I’m one who’s picked up the phone sometimes and called the council and said ‘Why did you do this?’ They said, ‘Well, that’s what the planning commission recommended’. ‘Oh, I voted for you, not the planning commission. Don’t pass the buck. Say, ‘Hey, we messed up.” “The local government is a bit better than the larger government. It’s not saying a lot, but Olympia in my experience has a personal face on a lot of the government, which is a positive thing. More accessible, more accountable with just person to person.” “It was pretty much stated. If you’re looking at accountability, it’s interesting how on some things that they are making up a subjective decision. It doesn’t necessarily go by opinion if it’s something that affects the majority. However, I was thinking (inaudibleunclear) see that was a county-wide and people spoke their opinions but it didn’t matter in the final decision. It depends on if it’s objective or subjective and how many special interest groups are involved. The city hall question, for instance, you have to get specific when you’re talking about specific things or when you’re talking about a specific subject, rather than just in general.” “Yeah, give their appeal because there’s some subjects that tends to be dry and diversified answers and other things are hot spots.”

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PRIORITY RATINGS FOR PROPOSED PROJECTS
Participants were presented with a list of potential projects. For each project, there was an open discussion about why that might be a high or low priority, followed by a priority rating using the poling system.

Complete the connection between percival landing and heritage park. Acquire the remaining parcels or property around heritage park fountain.

“The area around the fountain right now is pretty dangerous for small children. I have a five year old grandson. It scares me every time he goes down there because of how close traffic is. There’s no place to park that’s adjacent to the park.” “For me it would be a low priority because people issues should be put before finishing the park system. The homeless, healthcare, transportation so people can get to jobs, affordable housing. Those are people issues to me.”

Parks are low on the priority list for you?
“It sounds great but does that mean they would maybe try to find a tradition store and close that? I see rent go up $300.00 a month because Olympia’s going to start booming and popping. All the realtors are going nuts. People that own property are raising their rent. The charm of Olympia is all of its all funky little neat places. I sure wouldn’t be for buying out stores like traditions.” “I’m looking at this in regards to as far as prioritizing, but also completing the connection between Personal Landing and Heritage Park could generate some funding back into the city because of the tourism and those kind of things and the connection between the two that would provide funding into the areas of homelessness and housing.” “We better decide whether we’re going to have a lake before we decide.

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Lower the current 11 minute response time for fire and emergency services closer to the comprehensive plan goal of 6 minute response time 90% of the time by constructing a 4th fire station?

“This is very important to me because I live out past St. Peters and that’s one of the areas that is affected by this. That is the area that they plan on building the fourth fire station off of Millen Road.”

You’re on the high end of that 11 minute average?
“Absolutely, because to get to my residence, the fire engine has to come clear across town through all of the traffic. There’s no straight route. I’m a goner.” “There are some elderly homes that are further away from the firehouse. There are people that live out there that could be injured, probably fatal injury. The sooner, the quicker the response the better the chance the person would have.” “Americans are infatuated with safety and extending a life. It’s an incredible cost to our economy now.” “You figure they chose six minutes for a reason. Are we talking about saving one person, 100,000’s life with that extra? Or is it going to be 50 people saved with the extra four minutes. Is a house not going to burn down because the fire department gets there four minutes earlier?” “There are heart conditions and things like that; the response time has to be within an amount of time that you can possibly save that life. If they’re not within that time frame, that person’s going to die. They would have a chance at it.” “I’m wondering, do you know what the response time in Seattle is?” “People should have equal access. Everyone should be entitled to the same six minute goal.” “Why wouldn’t be more state funded then? If it’s a safety issue and I know it’s a city issue, but it would also be a state issue. How come we’re not talking about everybody in our state? Why wouldn’t it be a state issue that there be fire districts or fire stations or aid stations within a radius?” “It’s way too many different arrangements. If you’ve got a volunteer fire department, they’re not going to make it in six minutes. We’re talking Olympia here.”

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City of Olympia “Fire districts are local.”

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“You’ve got an opportunity cost and then if you get it to six minutes then who’s going to come along in another two years and say ‘Well, we need it four minutes’? Where do you draw the line?” “Two points. One, the average someone asked about is in the range of about seven minutes. Between six and seven minutes generally. Particularly in Lacey and Tumwater. There was an article in the newspaper recently. Another point to consider is that there is a financial impact apart from the cost of building a fire department. That is that your insurance rates will go down. There’ll be lower (inaudible-unclear) so there’ll be more money retained in the community for other purposes.” “I just renewed my policy and that was one of there top five questions. ‘How close are you to a fire station?’ I said about two minutes.” “You stretched that a little bit didn’t you, about two minutes.” “It’d be interesting to know more about what are the ongoing resources to support the fourth fire station, is it a shifting of resources, is it dividing 100% four ways instead of three ways or is it adding a bigger burden and whether that’s worth it.” “The impact fee the developer is charged, does that include part of it for the fire station?” “The developer where all your houses are being built, the developer has an impact fee that he pays. I know it goes to roads and it goes to schools, but how about police and fire departments?” “It does.” “That affects that too.” “It’s divided amongst it.”

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Develop a single facility for the public to both see and create art

“It’s a great draw for people to come into a community and for people who live here to express themselves.” “Look at how many people you get in art swap.” “This is like an art center, some kind of facility.” “An example would be the Olympia Theater on here, just that one location. You can visualize that just being a place where all the art is within the city. That would be just one single location. That’s the way I’m interpreting that. Single location.” “Would it be like a museum then?” “Right, yes, just one little location. “A working, yeah, creative art as well.” “That’s a big difference, a huge difference.” “One of the things I find interesting about some of these is this is government funded, and so employment has to (inaudible-noise) have employees, which means more government employees. Which means then fewer people in the free enterprise paying the taxes and so forth. You’ve got more in a consumer basis plus expense of this not only as a building, competition free enterprise, you’ve got (inaudible-unclear) you’ve all these other places where you can go down and create your art. Free enterprise can do any of these things including a parking lot. Government doesn’t have to do everything and that’s probably we have so many different directions our government is doing here and again not getting it done very well.” “It strikes me as a lot of this art promotion could be done even by nonprofit organizations. People interested in art can volunteer to donate funds or whatever and provide that kind of setting rather than the government.” “I kind of disagree with that. It is something that the city government should be doing, whereas I agree with like the parking lot would be good as free enterprise if that was productive it would have already been here. There are things like the fire department that go beyond free enterprise and values we have as a society. Art is a very important part of culture and society and should be taken care of beyond free…and not just left to free enterprise.” “A lot of the arts events in town are really strong community builders, like the (inaudibleunclear) school groups and community groups get together to create entries for that. It’s

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always issue where we do and where you find space for that. Those are two events that bring a lot of people down town. It does make sense that it would be nurtured by the city government since it’s a city community building event.” “What’s interesting is we had 57% government employees before the brewery went down. Take it to an extreme and say we had 100%. Where does your money come from to pay these people? You have to have a certain percentage of free enterprise to make any government city stay alive.” “I don’t think it’s got to be a really huge staffed facility.” “We’re talking about the chicken and the egg again. I get so tired of hearing this free enterprise would solve all of our problems. This is a mantra like. I feel you’ve been hypnotized or like your little puppet and put strings on the back of you. You think free enterprise would solve everything. Somebody had told you, a lot of economists say that. We need to think higher than that. If I thought free enterprise for a moment would do anything great to benefit the city like that, I would love it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for it to happen. Sometimes you just need to jump up and do…I’m not saying just for this, but a community needs to think higher. I retired from teaching school and I saw the music program go. I saw the art program go. I saw the foreign language go. Going since we want people who can add and subtract and get to work on time for God’s sake. That’s all they care about. I disagree.” “I hate to refer to art as an industry, but there are certain industries that benefit by synergy, by having other components close by that are working together. The people who do art benefit from other people nearby also doing art. They share ideas, they share techniques. If the city wants to get involved in this, I’d see it as a positive thing to other people in the community who are doing art and they are bringing in to the city.” “It makes the city safer. If we’re spending 39% of our budget on public safety and things like the little (inaudible-unclear) program can be a good preventative for those issues as well.”

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Renovate Percival Landing boardwalk

“It seems to be the center or the waterfront in the downtown area. It draws a large number of people downtown. To let it fall into disrepair is a reflection of how the citizens of the city think about their own city.” “The condition of the boardwalk down there at this point is more of a liability to the city and would cost more in lawsuits and other things to come if it’s not repaired and brought up to par.” “It’s one of the draws that makes Olympia such a great city. I spend a lot of time down there.” “When I was a kid there was very little opportunity to interact with the waterfront and so it was sort of a miracle in the first place. Yeah, it should be improved.” “Mine is more of a question than a comment, but obviously I think it’s very important to the community and it should be maintained well. That doesn’t provide an answer though as to how much it has to be repaired to keep it in good condition. There should be a standard that it’s going to be kept in good condition, but where is it now and what are we talking about?” “I have a sense that when government, it doesn’t matter, city, state, they buy a building and they don’t maintain it. They put in Percival Landing and now they’re saying it’s going to cost 12 million dollars. Where was the maintenance on the building in the interim? They budgeted the money to build it but didn’t they budget any to keep it up?” “Providing community involvement and ask the community to come in maybe to be a part of it because it is part of the community. There’s a lot of people would who love to be a part of that.” “If you don’t take care of it, it costs more than to replace it than it does to…” “That’s why I was suggesting was maybe the community helping and being a part of that.” “You can’t take people that don’t know what they’re doing to do technical things. I’ve run a lot of volunteer…I can do it quicker myself than to take the time to show the volunteer how to do something. The tools get toasted almost instantly with somebody who doesn’t know how to take care of them.”

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City of Olympia “Right, but maybe there’s a way to partner with people and do small projects.” “Like you do it right the first time. That material should have lasted a long time, but whatever they did, it didn’t last a long time.”

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“Excuse me. Things fall apart. Wood on water deteriorates. There is no way you can maintain it unless you go in there about every two or three years and totally replace everything. Things fall apart. Anybody who lives on the water or near the water knows that water is extremely destructive. There’s no way. I’m sure that they’ve maintained it. It hasn’t fallen apart up to now, the gates have worked, the signs are up and all of that. They have done their maintenance, but there are some things that no amount of maintenance is going to keep it from eventually deteriorating. That’s the reality. Your house isn’t going to live forever, neither is that.” “Is maintaining it and renovating it synonymous or is renovating it suggesting changes beyond maintaining?” “It’s falling apart, it’d have to be.” “Can anything be used for the pier pulls rather than wood, the treated wood? Creosote used to work but we can’t use that any longer. Could we use concrete or steel pulls or something that doesn’t (inaudible-unclear) with the water?” It’s a high priority in this room. If that all comes to pass they’ll be asking those kind of questions. How shall we do this so it’ll last?

Improve transportation access and circulation on Olympia’s Westside

“I believe that there are some areas that should be improved because there’s times there are such narrow roads in some areas of Olympia that the fire trucks have a hard time getting through or some people who are driving through have problems getting through. There’s a lot of hills that are in Olympia and the public transportation such as buses, those are wide as well, they have trouble getting through.” “I live on the west side. I do use the transportation system to save on gas of driving. I notice that it’s very limited with the buses at certain times because there’s one bus that goes up on the west end, it’s route 47, anybody that rides the bus. It starts at 9:00 or something or 8:00 in the morning and goes only until 7:00 at night. Then after that there is no transportation up and down the hill up there on (inaudible) Drive in the mall area, the park.” “That’s a combination of funding. You’ve got to realize it’s not just city funding in there.

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City of Olympia The inner city transit has an agreement with the city to fund that together. That could be improved along with the roads and things like that.”

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“On top of that, the bus routes are cut back and the development has grown and the traffic issues are really, really getting…” “Yeah, if this is a question of whether things need to be improved there, that’s definitely true. The major arterials there, especially near the access to 101 and that interchange that’ll take you to I-5, seems like it’s really backed up all the time. It needs to be improved. There’s a huge spectrum of people opinions of what that improvement would look like.” “Most people would agree that there’s a problem over there, if that’s what this question is.”

Invest in transportation projects such as Fones Road, Cain/North street, Henderson/Eskridge, and Boulevard intersection improvements, plus Log Cabin Extension and Fones/18th improvements

“I just have a hunch that they’re asking about roundabouts in this question. “Could you ask a question about roundabouts so we can vote on that?” “We said we didn’t want roundabouts, but we got them anyway.” “Are you talking about traffic movement or traffic control, which means stop signs?” “If it’s traffic movement, Olympia by the troopers are saying Olympia is now like Lacey. The nickname it the city of lights. You get on a one way street like 4th and they aren’t even timed anymore. At least they used to be, so you know it’s possible. If it’s movement, it’d be one. If it’s (inaudible-unclear) in circles, then it’s three.” “If you’re familiar with these roads in that area, it is probably to make the traffic flow more because these are all kind of cut up and chopped and all of that. The traffic is really slow through there.” “The hidden card is what is it they’re not going to do if they do these things?” We don’t really know what they’re talking about? If it’s roundabouts this is going to change? “Yeah, it’s going to go really low.” “I’d like to say, just for the camera, I like roundabouts. They work for me.” “Me too, I love them.”

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Land acquisition and development of a downtown parking garage

“I’d say yes, now I moved to Phoenix for a while and I worked for a company that built parking garages. It was so darn profitable they (inaudible-unclear) in one that they arranged for their own money and put lots of them because they’re very, very profitable. Again, I don’t like government doing this. I should say it was a conglomerate, the first one. The contractor that built it was a junior partner in the project. He received part of the proceeds. The proceeds projection that he saw, when you do an analysis, was so profitable that he started building with his acquired money.”

You like the idea of the parking garage; you don’t like the idea of the city?
“Does anybody know if the city of Tumwater, because I know they did the parking garage just a couple years ago up by the state library. Some private (inaudible-unclear) parking. Was that city funded?” “No. That was private authorized, It was Vine Street Investors.” “I own a business downtown and I drive here downtown all the time and always park within a couple of blocks of my business which is right on 4th Avenue, 4th and Franklin. There’s nine hour meters open every day. If free enterprise can do if it’s profitable, that’s great. (Inaudible-unclear) parking garage. The part that’s not good is I already have to pay money to a DVIA, which hasn’t got anything, just park in business improvement area. It’s a ridiculous question in all honesty. Really, it’s not much of a problem and the energy could be spent much appropriately and the number of pedestrians are making downtown a friendly place to be or a destination. It’s moving backwards and it’s (inaudible-unclear) planning and it’s not thinking about even 30 years now when parking maybe driving your car around all the time is less fashionable or practical.” “I have to clarify something. Free enterprise, just for your benefit. The hampering that goes on to do a free enterprise project is so incredible people won’t do it. The government constraints on any kind of free enterprise construction here is so unbelievable and adds so much money that even some of the local long time home builders have left the area with the cities asking them to come back and do more work.” “Has someone already proposed to build a multiuse building with this parking lot that had a park and drive in it and the city denied it. It makes no sense to me why they would deny a permit to someone building a parking garage and the businesses pay for it. There’s been no studies that have actually shown that we need parking and there’s plenty of parking downtown.”

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“The flip side, we do have a downtown business too, a high end women’s shoe store. I talk to the ladies that go in and out of there and ask. My wife doesn’t like me talking to them (inaudible-unclear) I get a lot of feedback that says ‘I don’t like to go downtown except at these hours’ because of the difficulty. Then they took away 20 parking spots to put in my parking and four trees. It’s pretty, but you have to offer an alternative if you’re going to take away that many parking spaces in a concentrated area.”

You think there is a parking problem or there isn’t?
“I hear it from people that they won’t shop downtown.” (Several respondents agreed.) “I know several people who have actually relocated their businesses from downtown to the east side or the west side because they had a lot of people doing acupuncture or massage or people providing that level of service. They had clients cancel appointments because they couldn’t find parking close enough. That could be anecdotally, a lot of people feel like it’s too hard to find parking downtown. Especially if it’s such a lucrative thing, I’d rather see the city be in on that. I’ve been in other cities where they do have municipal parking garages and they seem to work well there. They’re not (inaudible-unclear) parking lot. I don’t want to see a business that’s based in Seattle getting all of that. It’s very profitable going out of the community. That doesn’t sound good to me. Their parking is so expensive it just seems like that’s just really out of scale with what we’re accustomed to here. Municipal parking could be something that would be more like the meters in cost and less like the private sort of gouging deal.” “I don’t think they (inaudible-unclear) money you make out of the parking, it’s money into the parking.” “I would prefer to see an attractive building that a developer builds with a garage incorporated probably on a lower level or underneath the ground. Done attractively, rather than have the city or someone come in and build parking lots around town. That is not a draw in this community and doesn’t do anything for the appearance of the downtown area.” “Do you think that would impact a business by doing something like that, would you think that would be taking away from the local businesses because no, you’re not actually resolving the issue about the parking. You’re now saying put one level and create some other businesses that may not even want to move into those buildings. It sounds like a great idea, get a lot of businesses want to go and do that.” “If things are planned right within in a city, if there’s a good planning commission that people listen to and there’s good input into that planning commission, they will plan a city that people will want to come into. If it’s not made so difficult to build as they’re making it, that people will want to build and parking could be made available in some of those buildings.” “Another thing to keep in mind in whether we would in a sense trust the city of Olympia to do this. I forget if it was the Port of Olympia or the city of Olympia, but recently, last year, there was a proposal for a parking garage at the Farmer’s Market. The design was large, heavy, encroaching on the market. Everything you could imagine being dumb about a proposal was there. Whether it was Port of Olympia or Olympia City, it’s still the same political establishment, the same kind of group of bureaucrats who do this kind of thing. If that was their vision, why would we want the city to take that on? We’d probably wind up with a horrible encroachment on something else that’s working in the process.” “They would be planning for the future because I would like to see the downtown more denser, that more people are using the downtown to shop, to work, for production that we

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City of Olympia need to invest in the future. Olympia is a growing city and we don’t need to lose all of our economy to Wal-Mart because they have a good parking lot.”

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“I don’t like parking garages, but in 20 years from now we’re going to be, ‘Yeah, this is great. This thing’s six floors high, we can park 300 cars here. ‘It’s ugly but it works’.” “Doesn’t have to be ugly.” “You could make it look any way you want.” “Can be mixed use.” “Put the parking garage in the building that the state is occupying down there behind the college.”

Improve safety for pedestrians in neighborhoods by constructing bulbouts or other low cost, low maintenance options for slowing motor traffic and enhancing streetscape

“This should be a high priority thing because when I was younger I had my little brother down at the skate park. Yeah, it should be visible, the pedestrian crossing, but I still got hit by a car down there. Yes, this should definitely be high priority because we have a lot of younger kids that go out that walk around our neighborhood that could possibly get hit by a car and get seriously injured because we don’t have that.” “This is one of my pet peeves because the approach that the city’s taking, which is all this, is making it very difficult to travel through neighborhoods. It’s forcing all the traffic on the main arterials and clogging up the main arterials. People from those neighborhoods are still getting out on the main arterial taking left turns to block the main arterial even further. To me it’s an example of the city of Olympia doing things on the cheap like most government as in if you built sidewalks and everybody taught their children what I grew up with is ‘Don’t play in the road’. To me it’s two solutions. Don’t play in the road and build sidewalks or otherwise deal with sidewalks because the street belongs to the car. The sidewalk belongs to the pedestrian. If you have stop signs and so forth, then you don’t have that. The solution is cheap, throw some concrete down in the middle of the road and make it difficult for the cars to drive. Kids are taught, “Well, yeah, now you can play in the road all you want’ and I don’t think that’s a good example.” “I agree about the sidewalks. In my thinking that should be a higher priority than the bulbouts. I do think that the bulbouts do slow down traffic and that is a good thing. I have a five year old daughter and I don’t let her play in the street. I do like to see traffic go by slowly within the west side. The traffic is sometimes just (inaudible-low volume) about 45 miles an hour, residential street, which is aggravating.”

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“In my neighborhood or several blocks away, they built a bulbous and they built the big speed bumps and what I see occurring now is the people come through my neighborhood like a bat out of hell because they can’t get through on Turner or Wilson. They come speeding through my neighborhood because my neighborhood said no to those things. I don’t understand why there are laws that say if the speed limit is posted at 25 miles an hour that’s what we drive. We don’t come through at 45 miles an hour when there’s a stop sign on each end. I’ve got to stop here; I’ve got to stop here. Why do I have to drive 50 miles an hour in a block?” “In a way I see these as sort of like cheap law enforcement. It depends what you’re comparing it to. In my neighborhood what has been accomplished by the addition of these is that more people go closer to the speed limit and we’ve having fewer neighborhood cats and dogs run over. It is a low cost way of enforcing those supposedly agreed upon limits that people break.” “I’m kind of concerned and (inaudible-noise) probably be on the west end, she was talking about that. An example, and everybody knows that skateboard park right over there. Last week or the week before that, a kid was crossing. He had the right of way and I know some people are in a hurry and they go through things, but a kid was actually walking across the (inaudible-unclear) we’ve got the lights, we’ve got the little dividers in between letting people know this is a cross walk. That kid was crossing the street and got hit. Luckily he ended up with a cast on his foot. We even got the blinkers, everything, it just seems again that people do not want to stop. They’re in a hurry to get to point A to point B. When you’ve got a car stopped on the left side, it’s a two way road, I mean going the same direction, one stop and the other cars are just zipping through because they’re trying to avoid why that person stopped. They don’t realize and pretty soon somebody’s going to get killed over there. It’s really important that we need to realize that we have not only a law to stop for lights and stop signs, we have to stop for pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right of way. We may not like it because we’re in a fast society, going get to point A, point B. That little person cannot compare to 100 pound, 200 pound or how many pounds a car is when you consider that. We’ve got to remember that even (inaudible-unclear) got human beings out there walking.” “Somebody’s going to get killed up by Ralph’s too.” “Being a pedestrian, you have to make eye contact with that driver because he’s thinking of other things. Just because you’re a pedestrian, you’ve got the right of way, but you have to make eye contact with the driver.” “If that car hits that pedestrian, you know who’s going to get the best of it. And also bicyclists. They do the same thing, they don’t make eye contact.”

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Restore service level cuts made in budgets over the last few years such as park playscape replacements, park and street maintenance, police special events, and fire equipment reserves

“What’s the police special events?” “It’s supplying police and fire equipment and whatnot at special events without charging for it through the city.” “Like for example whoever puts on the organization, they don’t pay for that, so the profit they make doesn’t reimburse the city.” “One of the perspectives that’s been given on all of these is should we spend more money to do this, that or the other thing with the understanding that you can’t do everything and that there are priorities. Some time in the past these have been recognized as low priorities. Now they’re saying should we take the low priorities, we still have all the things everybody wants to do; we still have questions of high, low and medium priorities. Now we’re saying should we bring in the low priorities and refund them in the context, if my understanding is right, Olympia is one of the highest taxed cities of its size in the (inaudible-low volume).” “It’s a perfect question because each of these things work (inaudible-low volume) to fund special additional projects. That’s why these were cut in the past.” “Maybe if they did less outside consulting and cut back some of their hundred thousand dollar plus salaries.” “The kinds of things they’re talking about restoring are so diverse.” “I might favor some, but not others. It looks like this might be saying should we refund everything we everything we ever stopped funding? That’s probably not really true.” “What do they mean about street maintenance? Are they talking about all street maintenance?” “Right away it seems as though this question was put in so that if we say number three for all the rest of them that we don’t think they need to spend any money on it, they’re giving us an option to say okay, we don’t think any of that other stuff is important. Let’s go back and reinstate money that we took out before. We need it now very much.”

Should this be a high priority, low priority?
“One comment would be you go over the transportation (inaudible-noise) there and they have bought some incredibly expensive machines that because of their specialized nature they sit most of the time. Again, they could farm that out and then not hire the mechanics, the building to store it in, the machinery itself, and not be responsible for it other than when it’s needed. Same with the people. What do you do with the people after you hire them and you only need them for pavement? We’ve got lots of paving companies around here.”

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Fund a response to impacts of climate change on Olympia’s downtown

“Downtown’s at sea level and sea level is projected to rise. That’s probably something that should be looked at. Do you want to build a brand new city hall in a flood plain?” “On the waterfront.” “It doesn’t need a $500,000.00 study.” “I agree. It doesn’t need a half million study and the response would be millions and millions of dollars.” “They said no brainer. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. They spend a $500,000.00 study on the estuary or they want to take high end waterfront to put a city hall on and build a Taj Mahal and then they wait so they can spend $800,000.00 more for a new city. They’re so behind the eight ball. They’re professional politicians.” “That question is so vague you can interpret it any way. It’s ridiculous. What is climate change? It’s going to be sudden; it’s going to be general, what’s the response? I could be anything. It’s a meaningless question and the answers will be meaningless as well.” “It is a meaningful question in the sense that it is an issue that’s (inaudible-low volume). We are at sea level and there is a projected flood line for what the city might very possibly look like. It’s not a study, it’s a response and it is something that we should look into. I don’t know (inaudible-low volume) a whole lot of resources in.” “You have to understand why the levees failed in New Orleans. It’s too general, fund a response to impacts of climate change.” “Send out a letter that says vacate your home now?” “It’s just saying fund the response to the impact of climate change. We’re going to fund somebody to tell us what the response would be to the impact of climate change. To me that seems useless.” “The words specifically saying ‘fund a response to impact’, if a building were flooded down there, fund a response to the impact would be to me sound like buy out a building.” “Hopefully it would be to prevent that building from flooding. That’s what it’s saying now is preventative sort of thing.” “Climate change and its impact is going to affect more than Olympia. A lot of resources are going to be applied to it nationally, internationally, worldwide. Olympia, in their emphasis to be national in scope, that’s a good example. For Christ sake, the world does its thing and then use the benefit of what they get from that.”

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TOP PRIORITY

Which one would you give the highest priority? Second? Third?

Participants were asked to rate their first, second and third priorities among the proposed projects. The chart above reflects the combined priorities. The score is derived by allocating 10 points for a First Priority, 9 for Second, 8 for Third, then dividing the total by the number of participants responding. The table below disaggregates the data to display the number of participants who rated each project as their first, second and third priority.
PROJECTS Percival Landing Boardwalk Fire Emergency Climate Change Downtown Garage Pedestrian Safety Westside Transportation Percival Landing/Heritage Park Arts Center Transportation projects Restore Cuts 1st 9 7 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 0 PRIORITY 2nd 3rd In top 3 9 1 19 4 1 2 3 2 4 1 1 0 3 3 3 2 3 2 4 3 1 14 7 7 7 7 7 6 5 1

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SUPPORT TAX INCREASE TO…
Complete the connection between percival landing and heritage park. Acquire the remaining parcels of property around Heritage Park Fountain.

Lower the current 11 minute response time for fire and emergency services closer to the comprehensive plan goal of 6 minute response time 90% of the time by constructing a 4th fire station?

Develop a single facility for the public to both see and create art

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SUPPORT TAX INCREASE TO…
Renovate Percival Landing boardwalk

Improve transportation access and circulation on Olympia’s Westside.

Invest in transportation projects such as Fones Road, Cain/North Street, Henderson/Eskridge, and Boulevard intersection improvements, plus Log Cabin Extension and Fones/18th improvements.

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SUPPORT TAX INCREASE TO…
Land acquisition and development of a downtown parking garage

Improve safety for pedestrians in neighborhoods by constructing bulbouts or other low cost, low maintenance options for slowing motor traffic and enhancing streetscape

Restore service level cuts made in budgets over the last few years such as park playscape replacements, park and street maintenance, police special events, and fire equipment reserves.

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Fund a response to impacts of climate change on Olympia’s downtown

PREFERRED FUNDING MECHANISM
Which fund mechanism is preferable

What does it depend upon?
“The issue.” (Several respondents agreed.)

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Did anything surprise you in the results of the conversation that we’ve had about these things?
“The safety in neighborhoods, what surprised me (inaudible-low volume) it’s very important.” “It surprises me that I feel so resentful. I don’t mind something coming on the ballot when they’re going to build something or doing a concept or whatever, but when they have to come, I mean, if they did, come to the tax payers and say in order to repair Percival Landing so you won’t sue us, we didn’t plan well enough and we didn’t fund ahead. When you build something it seems to me that you set money aside for maintenance of that stuff. You just don’t build wildly and have no way to come back and repair things. It makes me mad that instead of improving by adding new things, that we have to start paying extra taxes to have something that should have been good enough or planned to repair along the way. I don’t want to have to have my taxes raised to do Percival Landing. They should have planned.” “I really believe in people oriented programs. I like parks, parks are wonderful. I go to the parks. I don’t know how many people actually use the parks and stuff. I use the parks and I use bike paths and I drive a car, but where are the people in the city’s planning equation?” “The voice.” “The voice, yeah, I’d say going to the committees and city meetings and all that.” “They care more about projects, the parking garage and the this and the that.” “Like take the fountain as an example.” “Yeah, it’s very pretty, but how does it benefit us as a society, as a culture?” “It’s a place for people to take their kids.” “It’s a lot of family stuff there and it’s really fun to see it. What you’re talking about raised my question is if the city planned it there for a good view as the cars go by so they can enjoy watching the kids play? Or did they put it there for the kids’ entertainment or the family entertainment? If they did put it there for family, why didn’t they put it in a quiet neighborhood like over where the old train station is?” “Exactly.” “It’s not between two busy streets. Because right across the street is a park.” “I don’t think they knew it would be such a (inaudible-speaking all at once).” “That nobody goes to.” “What’s interesting is they could relocate that fountain across the street. Buying all those business out and all of that property, put it where it makes more sense.” “Yeah, and it’s safer.” “Remember what we’re talking about here is all these are things that are not going to be funded. On that chart earlier where four out of every ten dollars spent by Olympia city government goes to public safety. That’s where the money’s going now. 11% is going to parks. 10% is going to transportation.

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These are things that are not going to be funded. To do that we need more funds.
“When I look at my budget, I have a finite number of dollars to spend. There are certain things I have to buy. I have to pay for my utilities. I have to pay my taxes and then my discretionary spending, I have to prioritize that and what’s important. It wouldn’t be probably a fountain in the yard. It might be to put a new roof on, for example. Maintaining what I already have versus expending for new.” “On the other hand, that means that you never get a Percival Landing because at no given time can you definitely fund for all of eternity. Then I would say let’s just build it, I’d rather have a Percival Landing now. We’re sitting here saying they should have known better. First of all I don’t think that’s exactly what this is about, but also we’re not the ones doing it.” “I guess I would draw this conversation, because you’re talking about what do we want to fund. I would draw it back to one of your original sets of questions about effectiveness and efficiency and so forth. We’ve got lots of examples tonight about how the city of Olympia doesn’t think through what their projects are or what their services are. The fountain is an example. They built a pretty fountain. They had no clue that we were so desperate for some kind of water activity because they shut down Capital Lake, they don’t build a pool, so all the kids go to a fountain that was never intended to be. Part of this is yeah, it’s one thing to say do we want to fund it or not? From my standpoint, I want whatever they do, for them to think it through, do it right, design it right. The roundabout issue, I used to be with DOT. I took classes on designing roundabouts. I know nationwide there is a right way to design roundabouts. I’ve seen films of how roundabouts work. The city didn’t build the roundabouts correctly. They design them correctly. City of Olympia gets this horrible drag on itself by not doing a good of whatever it is they try to do.” “One of the other issues with all of these things is you’re raising your taxes for something that’s going to be done. The taxes don’t go away once they’re done and they’re misappropriated to go somewhere else. Now if they would take the taxes over the past that they have appropriated, raised to do other projects, once those projects have been completed, take that money that they’re still charging you and do their projects that they got with it. Rather than keep raising our taxes. I heard earlier we’re one of the highest taxes cities around and we all (inaudible-noise) they need to appropriate their funds in such a manner that it’s useful rather than throwing it to the wind and letting it fall where it does. They need to be responsible for the money.” “Your original question, you said what was the most shocking as far as what you felt was voted like as a negative.” “Surprising, most surprising. I was really shocked to see that the west end issue, as far as transportation or making money available more in the west end. I have to go back and ask the people that probably said no to that. I’m wondering if they’re on the east end where they’re got a lot more transportation options and roads are wider, those kind of things. People on the west end really have dealing with that traffic at 5:00 and dealing with the transportation options as far as buses and other ways of getting to and from. I was really shocked, that was my surprise to see that (inaudible-low volume).” “We take care of our own.” “When we elect officials for city council, I feel we elect them to do the business of the city. We all have national issues, but there are so many on this council that bring their national issues to their meeting where they shouldn’t be using their efforts for national issues. It should be local Olympia city issue. They’re using their efforts to do other national things.

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They can have their national issues as their favorites, but do it on off time, not Olympia city time.” “Go run for state senator or representative or (inaudible-low volume).” “I was surprised that really I live downtown. I live right behind the Bigelow House. My house might be gone in 30 years. Building, all this stuff, our long term planning, we need to actually look to see if downtown needs (inaudible-low volume) because it might not be. That’s something to think about.” “I had a surprise kind of with that parking garage. Got to have someone to (inaudible-low volume) the government. There was comments made as far as working downtown and being down there. If you’re already down there, so when I drive down there where do I park? I’m glad you got a spot.” “Like New York City, I understand that it’s a legitimate concern. I can’t believe that 20 plus million dollars is spent on safety. I wish I had some clarification where that money is going. We can do that but we can’t have a public bathroom. Seems like you’ll get one guy sweeping the streets and the PBIA (?) funding the other (inaudible-unclear) machine. It seems like that money needs to be spent better.” “If it’s money that you’re spending on, what you’re saying is you’re spending money to this, then you should benefit from that by getting a parking garage to bring business to you. To bring people, to bring me to you. I can’t park down there.” “That’s the other annoying thing.” “That’s what I’m trying to say. I want you have that so I can come spend money in your shop.” “I feel like I’ve already spent money on it and we’ve come nowhere close. The numbers of a parking garage that I have heard are like a hundred million plus. That’s two years of the city’s budget.” “For what?” “For a parking garage.” “No. Nowhere close.” “That’s what I heard. I went to PBIA meetings and stuff and really projection was in the millions. It was definitely more than the year’s budget.” “That might be what it is if the city’s involved.”

All these things would require an increase in property taxes. One way is excess levy where you vote to increase your taxes by a specific amount for a specific time. That requires a 60% majority. The other is a levy live lift which allows the city to increase the levy rate by more than 1% for a particular purpose or a specific time up to the maximum levy amount. This requires a 50% majority. Do you have a preference on which way that goes or not?
“These questions, were they literally written by the city or was it your information from them and then you wrote them?”

I wrote them but used information from the city.
“The reason I was asking, if you’d have said all city, then I was going to say this is

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probably a pretty good reason why we don’t have a lot of confidence in the city. Some of these questions, you could take them so many different ways that the positive response is difficult because transportation on the west side, when I hear the bulbouts and so forth I see the traffic going to Harrison which then becomes so quagmire that you develop road rage right and left and race out to the suburbs to race around Harrison. I’ve got some great back roads out there to get around that by going through neighborhoods.”

We’re not designing roads yet, we’re not designing a response to climate change. The purpose here is to get a general sense of what direction people are leaning, what are they thinking about.
“I wanted to share something that I know. Several years ago the city surveyed city employees about different things. When they didn’t get the results that they wanted, they threw the survey out and said nobody understood the questions. I have a fear that that’s what’s going to happen here.” “A lot of us didn’t understand too many of the questions.” “They were written that way. So they can say ‘Those people just don’t understand what exactly we’re trying to get at’. “I was trying to guide you in suggesting back to them. You’ve got no end to the volunteers that have come regardless of the offer of $50.00. It’s nice; I plan on taking my wife to dinner. The point is you’ll get volunteers and you’d have volunteers if you said ‘Come in, help us draft these questions in a way that the other tax payers would understand’.” “I’m not sure how this remark will relate to this particular question, but almost everything that we’ve judged today you could say is within the scope of what the city is supposed to be considering and allocating its resources to do in some degree. They have a huge budget as it is given the taxpayer’s base on a city this size. You could say that already within the budget that they have these things are being considered. Now somehow they’re saying, ‘Let’s take this out and hang it out here on the side because maybe it is important, but let’s make the community feel like it isn’t going to get done unless you want to pay more it’. Vis the question, what’s left in this big tax space that you’ve got that you’re doing that’s more important than this thing we just threw out?” “I’m going to add, if I may, I’m actually impressed the city to do this kind of a research. It let’s me think that well maybe our city council and our mayors really care about what we think as the individual and want to hear me say. I’m going to give them a plus for doing this myself. Even though we may not agree with some of the questions they’re asking, to me that shows they’re taking the necessary steps to say ‘We want to hear from you. If you’re not going to come to a city council meeting or you’re not going to come to the city and leave a letter to the mayor or something like that, at least we’re going to get some input from the outside’. This sort of being this part of the research. I’m actually kind of impressed about that.” “It is a way to hear more voices than one typically (inaudible-speaking all at once).” “It’s just part of it. I’m sure they’re going to have a lot of other things to consider, but this is a part of that.” “Yeah, that’s great.”

September 2007

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ATTACHMENT 2

APPENDIX

City of Olympia

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WELCOME & INTRO 1. Purpose of meeting: This is one of a series of meetings that we are convening here in Olympia. Purpose is to talk about issues related to City Government and the City Budget. Selection: You were selected at random from list of registered voters in Olympia. We tried to assemble a group of people who were roughly representative of Olympia residents. Format
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Informal This is to be a group discussion. I will initiate topics and keep discussion on track. Challenging views welcome. Disagreement acceptable. Speak up. Don't withhold views or comments. Note Camera, Taping System.

2.

3.

WHO IS HERE? 4. Which Came First:
1. Chicken 2. Egg

5.

What is your gender
1. Male 2. Female

6.

Is your cell phone:
1. 2. 3. 4. On Off Not with me Don’t have a cell phone >5 years 5-10 10-20 20+ years

7.

How long have you lived in Olympia?
1. 2. 3. 4.

CITY 8. 9. What are some things that are going well in Olympia? What are some things no going so well?

Agenda 3a.doc

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CITY BUDGET 10. Brief Explanation of City Budget
Income / Expenditures Categories (Pie Charts)

BUDGET PRIORITIES 11. Should More/Less emphasis be placed on 12. Public Safety
Much More [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] Much Less

13. Parks
Much More [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] Much Less

14. Transportation
Much More [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] Much Less

15. Planning
Much More [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] Much Less

16. Courts
Much More [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] Much Less

17. Facilities
Much More [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] Much Less

18. Engineering
Much More [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] Much Less

19. Administration
Much More [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] Much Less

20. Are there things not on this list that the City should be addressing? CITY GOVERNMENT 21. How would you rate Olympia City government in terms of its EFFECTIVENESS
very high [1] …[2]…[3]…[4] very low

22. …EFFICIENCY 23. …ACCOUNTABILITY POTENTIAL BOND ISSUES The following are some projects that the City is thinking about, but are presently not funded. Rate each as a High Priority, Medium or Low Priority. 24. Complete the connection between Percival Landing and Heritage Park. Acquire the remaining parcels of property around Heritage Park Fountain.
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

Agenda 3a.doc

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25. Lower the current 11 minute response time for fire and emergency services closer to the comprehensive plan goal of 6 minute response time 90% of the time by constructing a 4th fire station?
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

26. Develop a single facility for the public to both see and create art
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

27. Renovate Percival Landing Boardwalk
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

28. Improve transportation access and circulation on Olympia’s Westside\
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

29. Invest in transportation projects such as Fones Road, Cain/North Street, Henderson/Eskridge, and Boulevard intersection improvements, plus Log Cabin extension and Fones/18th improvements
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

30. Land acquisition and development of a downtown parking garage
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

31. Improve safety for pedestrians in neighborhoods by constructing bulbouts or other low cost, low maintenance options for slowing motor traffic and enhancing streetscape
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

32. Restore service level cuts made in budgets over the last few years such as park playscape replacements, park and street maintenance, police special events, and fire equipment reserves.
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

33. Fund a response to impacts of climate change on Olympia’s downtown
Reasons why it should be a High / Low Priority [discussion] Rating: [1] High….[2]Medium…[3]Low

Agenda 3a.doc

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City of Olympia

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34. Which one would you give the Highest priority? [P3]
1. Percival Landing/ Heritage Park 2. Fire Emergency Response timer 3. Community Arts Center 4. Renovate Percival Landing Boardwalk 5. West Olympia Transportation Improvements 6. Transportation Projects 7. Downtown Parking Structure 8. Neighborhood Pedestrian Safety 9. Restoring Budget Cuts 10. Response to Climate Change Impacts

Would You Support A Tax Increase to Fund the Following: 35. Complete the connection between Percival Landing and Heritage Park. Acquire the remaining parcels of property around Heritage Park Fountain.
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

36. Lower the current 11 minute response time for fire and emergency services closer to the comprehensive plan goal of 6 minute response time 90% of the time by constructing a 4th fire station?
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

37. Develop a single facility for the public to both see and create art
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

38. Renovate Percival Landing Boardwalk
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

39. Improve transportation access and circulation on Olympia’s Westside\
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

40. Invest in transportation projects such as Fones Road, Cain/North Street, Henderson/Eskridge, and Boulevard intersection improvements, plus Log Cabin extension and Fones/18th improvements
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

41. Land acquisition and development of a downtown parking garage
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

Agenda 3a.doc

9/22/2007

City of Olympia

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5/5

42. Improve safety for pedestrians in neighborhoods by constructing bulbouts or other low cost, low maintenance options for slowing motor traffic and enhancing streetscape
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

43. Restore service level cuts made in budgets over the last few years such as park playscape replacements, park and street maintenance, police special events, and fire equipment reserves.
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

44. Fund a response to impacts of climate change on Olympia’s downtown
[1] DEFINITELY….[2] PROBABLY….[3] PROBABLY NOT….[5] DEFINITELY NOT

FUNDING MECHANISMS 45. Which funding mechanism is preferable:
1. Excess Levy - increase their taxes by a specified amount for a specific time. Requires 60% majority. 2. Levy Lid Lift - allows the City to increase its levy rate by more than one percent for a particular purpose or specific time or both up to the maximum levy. Requires 50% majority. 3. Depends 4. No Preference 5. Neither one

WRAP UP Anything surprising in these results ?

Agenda 3a.doc

9/22/2007