Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Of course I was a little disappointed last night at 8:20pm when the results were posted online and I saw that I had not won, but my sadness didn't last long. I have believed from the start of this campaign that Leavenworth wins no matter who wins the city council seat. Over the past few months, I have gotten to know Cheri Farivar. She is a lovely lady, with a great heart, and a lot to offer our city. Cheri will be a great addition to the city council. I called Cheri last night about 8:30pm to congratulate her on her win.
This has been an amazing experience and I'm so glad that I ran. This won't be the end for me. I'm going to continue to be highly involved in our community, and will look forward to the opportunity to run for city council again in the future.
Thank you for your support! I truly appreciate it. Happy Fall to everyone! I'm sure I will see you around town very soon.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
- Summit St.
- Ash St.
- West St.
- Orchard St between Pine St and Birch St
- Commercial St, west of 8th St
- Whitman St.
- Pine St from Ski Hill to Chumstick
- Birch St from Ski Hill to the school
- West St, tie it into Benton
- Orchard St between Pine St and Birch St
- Prospect St
- Price St
- Central St
- Commercial St and 8th St by the river, behind the mini golf course
- additional stop signs or yield signs
- cross walks with overhead blinking lights
- traffic circles or bulb outs
- speed trailer from the Sheriff's Dept to collect speed data
- lower speed limits
- Front St/Division St/Commercial St
- Evans St/Benton St
- Real estate excise tax, a small portion of our sales tax, and gasoline tax (per capita basis) are dedicated to road repairs right now. This is not enough to cover our city's needs.
- Property tax can't be used for roads. This tax doesn't even cover the cost of the Sheriff and fire contract the City has. The city is $100,000 to $150,000 short with the property taxes we have.
- Local Improvement District (LID) has been used in the past, but can be quite complicated. They require assessment of properties.
- Sales tax is the money the money that is left to use for every other city expense. We discussed raising the sales tax in town by .02%, through a referendum. Most of the tax burden would be on our visitors, and the additional money acquired would be specifically dedicated to city road improvements. This options would be the easiest and least intrusive on the community.
- Create a Transportation Improvement District (TID). This would be much like a LID.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Hello fellow residents of Leavenworth. Thank you all for coming out tonight and participating in your civic government. It is wonderful to see so many that share a passion for Leavenworth and its continued success in the future. I am Anne Hessburg and I am asking for your vote.
We, in this room and beyond, make up a community of diverse needs and as such, need a city council that represents the many perspectives native to our town. In addition to a substantial population of long time residents, Leavenworth has a growing demographic of young working professionals, business owners, and families. More people recognize that this hidden treasure at the foot of the Cascade Mountains offers many benefits and opportunities of prosperity for decades to come. The role of city council is to represent all aspects of our community. Each councilmember has a duty to bring their voice and perspective, on behalf of the city residents, to the arena of city government. As a young professional and involved member of our community, I am uniquely qualified to represent and balance the many needs and perspectives that make our community great. My youthfulness is a strength and my passion for the future of Leavenworth is an asset; for it is not the years that are important, it is the involvement and experience that you have put into them that makes the difference.
I grew up in the Wenatchee valley, spending much of my free time in Leavenworth. I put myself through college by working four consecutive years for the local Forest Service fire crew. And now as an Environmental Planner for our County and five year resident of our amazing city, I have been highly involved and devoted to our community.
Civically, I have been attending our city council meetings for the past year, learning our local government and staying abreast of the happenings and issues that face our community. I have enjoyed watching and learning how our city functions; balancing the many diverse needs of residents, business owners, tourism operators, agriculturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts, all within the backdrop of our beautiful mountain setting and Bavarian theme.
I have a profound respect for the work of those who have built this town into the success that it is today. Leavenworth owes much of its present success and economic health to the vision of the original Leavenworth Improvement For Everyone organization, known as LIFE. Today, as at the founding of the original LIFE organization, this community strives to balance the needs of its residents with the development of its tourism, recreation and agriculture based economy.
My vision to contribute to Leavenworth’s continued and future success is based in community wide cooperation involving the many generations of individuals who call this area home. We must not abandon the proven successes of the past, nor should we turn a blind eye to positive changes that pave the road to our continued progress.
We live in the Pacific Northwest Mecca of recreation, and I am a proud member of this facet of our community. I am a member of Trail Washington, who promotes community mountain bike trail riding, and I volunteer my winter free time on the events team at Stevens Pass Ski Resort.
As a steward of our land and community, I am a highly active member of our Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, and am on the Valley Trail committee within this organization. I am also a member of Life2 and recently volunteered with Leavenworth Recycles surveying all the Leavenworth business owners about their recycling practices and needs.
I am also an active proponent of our local festivals as I volunteer my time for at the Bavarian Bike and Brew Fest and our Autumn Leaf Festival.
I represent purposeful development that meets the needs of our community. As more families and individuals recognize the many qualities of our beautiful Cascade mountain town, the demand for housing, commercial space, and community services continue to increase. With our new residents, our community on the whole benefits from increased diversity in our schools, to new volunteers and contributors at our festivals. At the same time, population growth and community expansion exert pressures on our current residents, our surrounding natural environment, and our community services as a whole. I work as an Environmental Planner for Chelan County in the Department of Community Development. I do land use permitting on shorelines and critical areas, within the County. My employment puts me in contact with the public on a daily basis, as I take care of complaints, resolve land use and development conflicts, as well as provide necessary information and guidance to help make their projects successful. As a Planner I believe I can make a difference in someone’s life everyday, and that is very satisfying. Working for Chelan County, I regularly build and coordinate inter governmental relationships, and believe this would be an asset to the council. In my job I see many different people with different backgrounds and situations. I feel this gives me context for different types of people and situations within our local government and community.
Hand in hand with development and the desirability of our setting, the relative price of housing costs have increased dramatically in Leavenworth over the past 20 years. We need to continue to work with local organizations like SHARE to make housing affordable to the residents and employees of our community. Having worked for seasonal employers such as the Forest Service and Stevens Pass, I understand the strain of finding affordable housing, and what the potential long term consequences can mean in this community. We need to find a balance between the growing market values of homes in this amazing mountain town and the growing need to keep our valuable employment base living and working in our community.
We live in one of the most beautiful places in our state and country, so it is our duty to make sure that it is here for our children and future generations to enjoy, as we do today. Environmental sustainability is our responsibility. We must be forward thinking and embrace programs like recycling so that we may preserve this valley we love; providing the opportunity to share it with the future. Let’s work together to leave Leavenworth better than we found it.
Recreation is one of the greatest assets we have to offer our residents and tourists alike. Having lived with a family in Bavaria for a time, I have witnessed first hand the intrinsic connection between authentic Bavarian culture and outdoor recreation. Similar to the towns of our thematic inspiration, residents stay home in our town rather than opting to travel elsewhere, while tourists travel for hours to set foot in our town to enjoy the four seasons of recreational fun. From Alpine backpacking, hiking and camping, to rafting and tubing on your choice of two beautiful rivers, to biking amongst the rural County roads or downhill in the mountains, there are endless recreational possibilities beckoning to you. It is important for the sustainability of our rural, recreational community that we continue to build upon the amazing recreational opportunities that our town has to offer, and that make it possible for us to maintain the livelihood we have grown so accustom to.
The development of tourism surrounding our unique Bavarian theme and outdoor recreation has served to truly differentiate Leavenworth over the last four decades, and will continue to pave a successful road for both our residential and commercial needs. It is our loyal and dependable tourists that generate millions in sales tax revenue each year; funds, that when allocated practically and appropriately, serve to better the lives of our residents and community, while at the same time ensuring the financial health of our town in the future. Balancing public investment to serve the needs of our residents, businesses, and tourists, is an ever-moving target that merits close attention and public discussion. I am a very financially detailed person, managing accurate budgets in both my personal and professional life. My strength in this area will prove to be an asset and will bring tangible value to the citizens of Leavenworth.
My hopes for the future include:
~ a clearly defined expansion of the Bavarian theme, hand in hand with the expansion of recreation.
~ implementation of a successful, cost-effective recycling program for all residences and businesses within the city limits.
~ continued growth in affordable housing.
~ continued improvement of the city’s infrastructure for our residents, businesses and visitors alike.
~ And safer, more connected trail systems between residential destinations like schools, Enchantment Park, Barn Beach, Black Bird Island, Lions Club Park, and our local playing fields, as well as a trail system connecting tourist destinations like the new Icicle train station, our downtown business corridor and the waterfront.
Coordinating the proven successes of our city’s past with new ideas and positive progress will ensure our successful advancement into a bigger and brighter future. It is my passion to become a stronger, more involved member of this community as it continues to grow and flourish, and feel that my presence on the Leavenworth City Council will accurately and diligently represent all those who call our valley home.
Thank you so much for coming out tonight. I am Anne Hessburg and I am asking for your vote!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Councilman Bob Francis reported that the Parks committee is dealing with citywide signage issues for residents and visitors. They will be making signs more uniform looking and will make sure that directions posted on the signs are accurate and easily understood.
Councilman Elmer Larson reported that the Residential Advisory Committee will be meeting next Wednesday, October 21st at the Fire Hall at 7pm.
Mayor Rob Eaton reported that, weather conditions permitting, he will be heading to Seattle after the City Council meeting for the Fall Mayor's Summit. Mayor Eaton also gave an Amtrak update. The Leavenworth Icicle Station will be featured in an Amtrak publication, nationwide. In September, the Icicle Station saw 95 riders between its opening on September 25th and September 30th. The train has been averaging 6-7 riders per night from Seattle. With these great numbers, Icicle Station should hit its projected ridership of 4,000 riders per year, in its first year.
Chris Rudolph, the Marketing and Public Relations Director for Stevens Pass, spoke to the council providing a resort update. Stevens Pass is moving its business mailing address to a Leavenworth PO Box, from its current Skykomish mailing address. This is another way that Stevens is showing it is invested in building its Leavenworth business. Rudolph reported that the Teton Gravity Research (TGR) movie, with Leavenworth and Stevens Pass specific segments, has been very successful over the past few months. It opened with a world premiere in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in September, and has since been traveling nationally and internationally, receiving rave reviews. The TGR movie will be shown locally in the Festhall for our community in November. Rudolph also reported on Stevens Pass's cooperative work with the City and Icicle Station. Stevens Pass will be contracting with local lodging businesses for transportation from the train station to local Hotels as well as up to the ski resort. The Washington State Department of Transportation pedestrian overpass project has broken ground at the summit of Stevens Pass. The utilities are currently being worked on and the overpass completion should coincide with the opening of the Stevens Pass Bike Park in the Summer of 2010. The projected opening of the Bike Park is early July 2010. The park will open with one chair to serve 2 trails, with the hope of a total of 5 trails open by the end of the summer.
Anthony Antone, of the Washington Restaurant Association, awarded the Restaurant Neighborhood Award to Munchen Haus owners Pam and Oliver Brulotte for their amazing contributions to our local community. They recently raised over $5,000 for the local assisted living facility, Mountain Meadows. Included with their award was a check for $500 to be donated to a charity of their choice. Pam and Oliver will be donating it to Mountain Meadows. In addition to raising money for Mountain Meadows, the Munchen Haus is regularly involved in contributing their time and business, through sponsored events, to the community. With the reception of this award, Munchen Haus will be the Washington nominee for the National Restaurant Neighborhood Award. Mayor Eaton personally thanked Pam and Oliver for opening up their business to the community. Congratulations Brulottes and the Munchen Haus!
Dave Torgler, our City Administrator, announced that there will be a public hearing on October 27th to discuss the city budget. Torgler is still working with Waste Management on a city agreement that would allow residential recycling, and an individual basis. The agreement is not yet ready for the City Council's review and approval.
Dave Schettler, our Public Works Director, announced that Phase 1 of the Icicle train station is nearing completion. Work should be complete mid-November. They are finishing up with the two shelters, fencing, and signage. The ice melt system within the concrete platform was on last night during our first snow!
Connie Krueger, our Community Development Director, announced that the Chumstick multi-use trail project is moving forward and that the City of Leavenworth's Downtown Master Plan came in 1st place in the state with the American Planning Association. Krueger also let the public know that city has recently integrated the City Council and the City's Planning Commission. For those unfamiliar with the duties of the Planning Commission, the Planning Commission is responsible for long range planning and legislative policy recommendations to the City Council. Members are appointed by the Mayor, and volunteer their time. In 2009, the Planning Commission has been working to complete the Transportation and Upper Valley Regional Trails Plans. They have also been working on a variety of updates to the Comprehensive Plan, as well as the Critical Areas, Parks, Shoreline, and Utility Standards Plans.
The City Council passed Resolution 10-2009 to purchase the Bavarian Beer Wagon. The money to do so will be LAP (lodging tax) funds.
Dave Torgler announced an inter-local agreement he is working on between the City of Leavenworth and the City of Tacoma. This agreement would allow Leavenworth to piggy back on Tacoma purchases, like the needed new garbage truck. Leavenworth, on its own, would most likely have to spend about $300,000 on a new garbage truck, but with the help of this agreement and the ability to purchase with Tacoma, Leavenworth will most likely save about $70,000 on the purchase. This is due to the fact that Tacoma purchases items in such large quantities.
Leavenworth local, Bob Kelly, came before the City Council and personally thanked them for the purchase of the Beer Wagon. He helped build it many years ago and is happy to know that it will remain in Leavenworth.