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 ([email protected]) 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