The past few months have truly tested our personal
and professional courage, emotions and stamina.
As cities around the country grapple with the
challenges of a pandemic and racial unrest, I am
even more committed to ensuring our organization
prioritizes the public safety and well-being for
each and every member of our Bothell community.
In such trying times, I am acutely reminded
how important it is for our organization to be
compassionate, flexible, and efficient.
As we follow the state’s “Safe Start” plan, we
continue to ask residents and businesses to follow
the guidance of their county health district. On
Friday, June 5th, Snohomish County moved to
Phase 2 and King County moved to modified Phase
1. King County has also just applied to move to
Like most cities, COVID has had a devastating
impact on our already challenging financial
situation. To address a budget shortfall in 2020
and to continue savings into 2021-22, we had to
layoff and furlough employees, resulting in city
hall closures every other Friday. I can tell you,
these decisions were so difficult. These individuals
made meaningful and valuable contributions to
our organization and community, and they will
be deeply missed. As we prioritize services, it’s
hard to label programs as “non-essential”, as all are
important. But, in order to keep our community
and infrastructure safe, and yet remain financially
solvent, we must prioritize our public safety and
public works services. Over the last few months, our
firefighters, police officers and crews have done just
that, working long hours and shifts to keep us safe –
we thank them.
As we continue to meet social distancing
requirements and reduce costs, this summer will
look different. We won’t have our beloved July
4th parade, but we hope you will participate in
this year’s unique, one-of-a-kind Porch Parade!
Summer concerts and camps might be canceled,
but we know our non-profits, community groups,
and families are creatively adjusting and finding
safe ways to build community.
At a recent council meeting on June 9th, I shared
my thoughts on recent national police brutality, our
organizational values, and our foundation of trust,
equity, and compassion. Racism and ignorance
cannot be tolerated.
I trust our Bothell Police Department leadership
and officers. In the last few weeks, I’ve seen
them supporting multiple peaceful protests and
standing with community members to confront
and examine racial discrimination. I hope you have
had a chance to learn more about them and hear
from Chief Seuberlich. We are human though, and
all of us come with different personal experiences
and implicit bias. That is why it’s important for us
to constantly reevaluate ourselves, our policies
and training needs. We are eager to talk with our
community, hear ideas, and learn how we can
do better for you. As your city manager, I am
committed to learning from you so together we
can ensure every member of our community feels
safe, respected and at home in Bothell. Thank you
Bothell Community for supporting each other. It is
a pleasure to serve you!