Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"City Council revises goals for 2007; List trimmed from 34 to 23"

From yesterday's Moscow-Pullman Daily News:
Pullman City Councilman Francis Benjamin knows goals are part of growth.

"There's a lot happening" in the city, he said. "With that, we're finding that there are places we need to tweak. These are issues because we are growing."

The Pullman City Council met with city department heads Monday to consolidate, discuss and eliminate some of the 34 established goals for 2007 in an effort to make the list more achievable. The drafted goals, which were narrowed to 23, will go before the council for adoption May 1.

Potential goals were submitted by Pullman residents and city employees earlier this year for council consideration.

The informal meeting reinforced that parking, planning and vision issues remain important in Pullman.

One of the most discussed goals involved parking in the downtown area, which has remained a priority for the council. The group decided to consider hiring a consultant to develop a vision for the downtown area, focusing on the areas of traffic flow, housing and parking, and downtown deliveries.

The Pullman Planning Commission also is evaluating parking in the downtown area as it pertains to business, housing and future development.

"We're always working on parking," Councilwoman Ann Heath said. "We're a little behind the ball when it comes to the (commercial downtown) parking issue. We need to do that now."

Councilman Keith Bloom agreed.

"It would be nice to have a plan in place before we're chasing that ball down the hill," he said.

Also addressed were goals pertaining to the long-term options for Reaney Park and the Reaney Pool, water conservation and exploring the concept of creating an expense account for the mayor's office.

Some goals needed little or no discussion and were immediately adopted, such as promoting a welcoming business atmosphere in Pullman, pursuing options for expansion of the Port of Whitman County's Pullman Industrial Park and reconsidering Whitman County commissioners' offer on tax sharing within the Pullman-Moscow Highway corridor.

Another goal pertained to continuing to explore affordable housing options, an issue Benjamin said is "one of the key issues for Pullman's continued economic growth."

Other goals were deemed administrative and struck from the formal goal list, such as promoting volunteer efforts with park maintenance, inviting new Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd to a joint meeting with the council and making street repairs a top priority.

Benjamin said he felt comfortable with the list of goals, which will keep the city busy in the next year.

There is one thing he's most happy about.

"I'm not complaining, because there are no budget cuts on the table," he said, with a laugh.
All in all, a very worthy list of goals, especially a welcoming business atmosphere and affordable housing. These need to be more than just words.

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