520 lid maintenance

A lot of people have been upset about the lack of 520 lid maintenance this summer. The online forum Nextdoor had a long thread of comments on the topic. This was up for discussion last town council meeting. What I learned at the meeting was that the town teamed up with our neighbors Hunts Point, Clyde Hill and Medina and we are negotiating about the future maintenance of the lid with WSDOT. The State is willing to pay about $12,000 per acre and year to the cities for us to take over the maintenance. The Mayor said that Yarrow Point’s own estimate of the cost is $30,000 per acre. Maintenance includes taking care of the landscaping , hardscape as well as maintaining the roads. The roads might get very expensive to maintain as they will need new asphalt overlay every 15th year. The Town of Yarrow Point’s responsibility would be the entire west part of the lid including the “kiss and ride” half circle.

We need to be very careful here what we sign up for here. The mayor told me that Mercer Island took over the maintenance of their lids a few years back and they regret it now. The money they are getting from WSDOT is not covering their expenses.  My suggestion is to do nothing at this point. Let WSDOT do a sloppy job and we can all chip in to fix the landscaping and pick up trash. At least we are not signing up for any expensive overlay 15 years from now.

Town of Yarrow Point lost $50,000 due to wire fraud

Yes! you heard that right, the town lost $50,000 of Yarrow Point’s taxpayers money in August 2017. This was announced during the Thursday September 14th Town Council meeting but with very little details. Apparently, somebody sent a fake emails from the Mayor’s account that triggered two wire transfers. The Town is trying to recover some money via insurance. I’m working on getting some more information about this topic and will post it here as soon as I have them.

I have a background in IT-security and I know there are plenty of others with strong background in IT-security in Yarrow Point. And I’m sure that there are plenty of residents that would like to know what happened. If anybody would like to join me in doing an independent review of this incident, let me know. We should be able to get access to all public records surrounding this incident from the Town. I think it would be valuable to really look into how this could happen and make sure the town is taking necessary actions to prevent it in the future. email me (stephan.lagerholm@yahoo.com) or submit a comment on this post.

Town of Yarrow Point’s website

The Town’s first website was created somewhere in the beginning of 2001. It was a simple layout on a light blue background and a menu on the left. This layout remained until 2004 with just a slight change in 2003 when the menu bar on the left was improved. In April 2004, the website was taken down temporary and a new site on a beige background was launched in May of 2004. This new design featured a new menu on the left and the main picture of the town hall changed from a black and white drawing to a picture. In 2007 there was another revision and we ended up with the same web layout as we have today. The content has pretty much remained the same throughout the years. See the bottom of this post for screenshots of how the website looked like over the years.

Now 10 years later, it is time to modernize and improve the Town’s public website. Not only does the current website look old and boring but the content is stale and outdated too. I’m writing this on September 9th and the last town council meeting minutes I can find on the website is from May 9th. The last newsletter was posted is from 2015. The site does not have any search capabilities.

Thankfully, there are newer technologies that makes it much easier to run a website today without having to be an IT guru or graphical expert. Millions of websites are using a product called WordPress and they host their sites in the cloud. For example, my website that you currently are reading is provided by Godaddy for $4 per month. Something like WordPress will separate the content from the layout so that both can be updated independently of each other. It allows for multiple users to work on the content and there are built in approval workflows before something is posted on the live site.

This is an area I look forward to contributing to if elected on November 7th.

 

 

Screenshot of Yarrow Point website year 2001 to 2004

Screenshot of Yarrow Point website year 2004 to 2007

Screenshot of Yarrow Point website year 2007 to current

Wetherill Nature Preserve

The Wetherill nature preserve is a little slice of heaven that I really enjoy visiting. I go there regularly together with my wife and kids. The kids always have a good time as they are looking for bugs, watching birds and picking blackberries. This is a part of Yarrow Point that I look forward making sure is preserved and properly funded by both Hunts Point and Yarrow Point.

I usually walk down into the preserve from the 33rd street entrance. As you walk down you will find various paths that you can enjoy. One of them will lead you back to the points loop trail whereas another lead you to the Cozy Cove. I often use one of the benches down there and stop for a moment to enjoy the water views.

There are plenty of volunteers from the neighborhoods that are caretakers of the preserve. If you get to see one of them, take a moment to stop and talk about the preserve. You might get to know more about its history and what the future plans are. The volunteers are working long and hard to make the preserve enjoyable and you can really tell the difference. The preserve would be an overgrown mess otherwise.

If elected to the town council I will really enjoy being part of this wonderful preserve and its future.

You can read more about the preserve at their website

Library or no library?

The town of Yarrow Point has voted NO several times when asked if we should join the King County Library system. As residents of Yarrow Point we are therefore not allowed to obtain a King County Library Card.  I sometimes wish that I had access to the library. My two sons aged 4 and 5 are very curious and their interest and shift from Dinosaurs, Trains, Trucks, Airplanes, Geography, Sharks to Whales on a daily basis. It would be great if I could pick up a new pile of books every so often. I can also understand how families with teenagers, entrepreneurs and other residents could benefit from a library. However, the cost of joining the library system is just not reasonable. So, what are our options?

I think there is an opportunity to put this question back on the Yarrow Point agenda. Having access to a library does not necessary mean the same thing as it did 10 or 25 years ago. I would like to understand what exactly our residents want in terms of library services? Then we can look at options and determine how the town can provide that service to a reasonable cost. There are many options today online to get access to books and other material. The main question becomes how we can keep the cost down by allowing residents to self-serve. What is needed is that we think outside of the box. I look forward to better understand our resident’s library need and try to come up with a reasonable solution.

Stephan Lagerholm, Town of Yarrow Point, Council Position 1

Stephan Lagerholm

Education: Master of Computer Science, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden (1999)

Occupation: Manager Network Architecture, T-Mobile USA

Campaign information: www.lagerholm.net

 

Statement:

The town of Yarrow Point is a wonderful community. I’m very blessed to have been a part of it since my family and I moved here 3 years ago. I’m at a place in my life where I would like to contribute more to the success of our community. I’m ready to become a council member in the town.

I want to minimize the effect our lives have on the lake. We should improve and preserve the beauty of our parks and recreational areas, including the 520 lid.  We should support our local police department and make sure they have everything they need to keep our town’s low crime rate.

I’m a father, husband, son, brother, friend, boss, Internet geek, world explorer, go getter, hockey fan, BBQ and wine lover. Hopelessly optimistic and hopeful to get your vote.