Lodging tax funds could be used to create Adams Street ‘parklet’

Posted 2/27/21

Funds from the city of Port Townsend’s Lodging Tax could potentially be used to create a small “parklet” at the water-side end of Adams Street.

Mari Mullen, executive director of …

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Lodging tax funds could be used to create Adams Street ‘parklet’

Posted

Funds from the city of Port Townsend’s Lodging Tax could potentially be used to create a small “parklet” at the water-side end of Adams Street.

Mari Mullen, executive director of the Port Townsend Main Street Program and Simon Little, co-owner of the design group StudioSTL, presented the proposal during a Feb. 17 meeting of the city council’s Transportation Committee.

The “Adams Street Plaza” would be in a similar vein as the Tyler Street Plaza, completed in 2018, and will be situated directly beside Adams Street Park.

The Lodging Tax Advisory Committee awarded the project $25,000 to purchase furnishings for the site. The Port Townsend Main Street Program will manage the project on behalf of the city. 

“We came up with a concept we thought would be responsive to the site and to the needs of that particular area of town,” Little said.

“The idea here is to really put in some benches that give people the opportunity to grab a bite to eat downtown and walk over and sit on the water side and share space with a friend, meet somebody down there, just take in the shoreline; just use that part of town,” he

said.

Little added that the small parklet would take a page out of the Tyler Street Plaza’s playbook in a “first pass” way using the limited funds available, but he noted that opportunities existed for future expansion therein.

Improved plantings and additional benches were among the improvements Mullen said could be added with relative ease at the site.

“We think that it’s a great start and it will be a huge improvement over the borrowed furniture and the big puddles that are there,” she said. “And it will get more pretty over time.”

“We’re trying to dress the area up,” said Public Works Director Steve King. “$25,000 is not enough to make it a nice plaza, like the adjoining winery, but we can certainly do better than what we have.”

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HarveyW Collateral Damage

Priorities? Didn't that area used to be parking spots? Yes it was. Another "open streets initiative" victim with assistance from Mari of Main Street working against community and with City Manager Mauro, not needing to think past curb appeal. Who voted on that? Public input? Shouldn't all aspects of this conversion by stages (manipulation) be run past the full Council? This on top of no parking enforcement or plan for parking which has tens of thousands or parking spaces over many years. The cost of gravel to fill those "ugly" chuck holes would be about $100.

So sorry you only have $25,000. I thought the budget was tight. I am sure with $25,000 you will get only a fraction of that in real value, as with the no public input Visitor Center Concrete park, and damage business access. Potential added parking, or more accurately recovered parking after so much has been whittled away might improve us working folks ability to "recover". Empty sound bites say recovery is a priority. The insanity continues. All who are making key decisions are protected by big paychecks no matter what, with groupthink approval. Who "Engaged Port Townsend?" This last minute notice seems to be it and indicates what we really have with Mauro, Sandoval's prodigy.

Main Street works against business. The Chamber works with the corrupt Status Quo. Sandoval works for her own good with her own parking lot.

Saturday, February 27
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

For further annoying background on realities, I am pasting this from comments on this Leader story

https://www.ptleader.com/stories/change-the-law-to-stop-the-abuse-letter-to-the-editor,73768?&comment_result=posted#comments-post

It goes something a little like this---

New news from this paper is of a proposed "parklet" at the Water Street end of Adams where parking once was. An expensive drawing is included. This benefits more than anyone the winery which took the parking spots away during construction as I remember. Anyone correct me. Now the space is being converted. A familiar play from the familiar play book. Do things in stages, like the story of the frog in a pot of cold water being slowly heated not jumping out. Main Street and Mari Mullen is used once again to do the dirty work. Mari Mullen, you work against me and others, not for us.

There were no reserve funds to fix the corners of uptown Adams street, cost was $14,000. Adams was shut down after near by construction by a contractor for the city damaged the corners. I would have held them responsible. Not this city. There was public input complaining of the "temporary" closure that was months or over a year. Sandoval feigned being shocked and upset, according to the Leader account. Without any notice or further input I know of the corners were fixed and the street shut off with posts recently. This apparently does not shock or upset Appointed 3 time mayor Sandoval.

Now we have $25,000 available in these Covid recovery times for the "parklet" which converts what once was parking. That so many are so out of touch is a symptom of so many being in power so long and not being connected to the real community at all. Perhaps some gravel, parking returned, and $25,000 into a reserve fund, or to begin to re form the defunded volunteer parking enforcement program with some plan and some education for habitual abusers and others would make sense in a town not run into the ditch and off the tracks.

By habitual abusers I mean Sandoval and others like her on the No Term Limit City Council. She is responsible for such a pretty wreck (Port Townsend) with curb appeal. Foundations in real estate are more important in the long run than curb appeal. To reputable realtors in the interest of buyers.

Remember readers, you enable this according to Orwell

"A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices."

Sunday, February 28
Mike Galmukoff

Just to name one of many, but the condition of Lawrence St. is like sections of the most rural portions of the Alaskan Highway. The city might consider repairing streets instead.

Just sayin...

Sunday, February 28
...---...

Wait. Weren't Lodging Tax funds supposed to be used for relieving the issues of homelessness and for infrastrucutre repairs and maintenance??? Are the homeless citizens of PT going to be able to sleep at the "parklet", then? This is all like a poorly-written reality TV show called "NeoLiberal Housewives of Port Townsend".

Sunday, February 28
Marge Samuelson

“The lodging tax also is restricted to basically two categories: community marketing and promotion, as well as … tourism-related infrastructure. So, the funds are basically earmarked for those specific purposes,” Timmons said.

According to city code, the lodging tax is 4 percent, and all proceeds are to pay for the cost of tourism promotion or the acquisition of tourism-related facilities. Port Townsend Jefferson County Leader, January 23, 2018

Sunday, February 28
...---...

Oh, I see. So the lodging tax is basically use to shove more tourism down our throat's, while doing nothing to actually help the citizens of Port Townsend.

Monday, March 1
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

And then again perhaps having parking for what are called tourists but are visitors from near and far is promoting the local economy. Of course we need diverse business. All business in the historic district is not "tourist" related.

Yesterday Sunday I got a call from a couple in Gig Harbor. They wanted to be sure I would be open if they arrived around 5 pm. The made a significant purchase that made my day. Were they "tourists"? Are you a "tourist" if you go to Sequim or Port Angeles to patronize a business you have visited before?

The purposeful deconstruction of parking enforcement and the purposeful manipulations creating confusion and stress are at the hand of Timmons and Sandoval along with the No Term Limit Council.

You all need to participate and far in advance get some folks to run for office here next election. This was a great town when a little ragged around the edges like your loved blue jeans. Priorities to curb appeal and egocentric curb appeal killed what was. Here it is again....

"A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices."

Timmons is at Fort Worden now. Mauro has fallen into line.

Monday, March 1
Marge Samuelson

This tax was meant to help local businesses and organization which rely on tourism. It is a consumer tax on lodging charges for periods of less than 30 consecutive days for hotels, motels, rooming houses, private campgrounds, RV parks, and similar facilities. The funds are collected by the state as an excise tax and returned to the counties.

The funds are distributed by the State Treasurer to the levying cities and counties. They may be used for promotion of tourism or construction and operation of tourism-related facilities.

Monday, March 1
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

Is a parking area converted by stages a tourism-related facility? Is this positive or negative in light of non enforcement and ignoring studies and municipal code eliminating "tourism" access?

Definition of facility is "a place, amenity, or piece of equipment provided for a particular purpose." Is the removal of a historic "facility" and replacement by a costly window dressing that diminishes access to business on top of already diminished access I have documented for years good government? Who does it serve most? I already covered that.

Thanks so much for your insight Marge. Perhaps you could dig up the comment from the volunteer parking individual speaking for past Chief Evans and Sgt. Stuber who is interim chief until a new Chief is appointed by Mauro, who has questions regarding his own qualifications. That comment which I think was related to the "parking graph" story prior to current Leader Lite points to "dumbing down" and other problems with the No Term Limit Council and the purposeful choking off of all enforcement and education along with any plan or planning. Parking Marge is a facility in short supply due to purposeful manipulation by current players.

I publicly asked Appointed Mayor Sandoval to give an update regarding Mauro's shelved review and when public input would be. No response. This is a social club. Not government.

"A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices."

Monday, March 1
...---...

Selling out the soul of a small town to force the scourge of unbridled tourism on its residents, is not a diverse economy. It does not create jobs which pay a living wage. It creates businesses which keep the social club in power downtown, with the game-board tilted in their favor. It fills the city with people who come to take a photo for their Instagram account, throw their trash in their masks on the ground, and then leave. The use of the lodging tax for tourism advertisement and propagation, forces tourism on the residents of the city; tourism which most negatively affects those who do NOT own businesses downtown... And gives no relief to those negatively affected. So basically, the downtown social club forces tourism on the city, and then gets tax money given to them to help them continue to force tourism on the city. That is not diversity.

Monday, March 1
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

Straw man alert. I would like you to walk up to every diverse individual you conveniently package together who is on PT streets for a while and tell them they were "people who come to take a photo for their Instagram account, throw their trash in their masks on the ground, and then leave." I would enjoy your education.

If you were able to honestly converse with strangers you might eventually not be able to do what you did in that sentence. I assume you really do understand the complexity of visitors to any city or town. I know you would not discriminate blindly. You do attempt to make a point that those that do would like to believe in.

Reality check- You give Main Street and the Chamber way more credit than you should for attracting "tourists". Money is spent that is for sure. No one I have ever spoken with credits Main Street or Chamber for coming into my diverse business. Main Street has become a quasi City Government agency, depended on for slanted polls, not bringing up parking, and has been used for the "open streets initiative" ability to close off streets. With 30 year term deadwood at the head of Main Street with a mover and shaker just behind and Mauo at the side watch out. Mari wake up.

Be real and specific ...--... or stay the hell out of the conversation.

Main Street? Chamber? People already know about here. Traditions with visitors just like you ...---... (is that name Greek?) going somewhere like you go somewhere are as old as PT itself. Enough new folk discover us on their own. So many that parking hell and THE ANARCHY PARKING FESTIVAL (***SINCE 2014***) is a summer and other time of year tradition. (All quiet with lots of parking in the private Windermere Lot of the Appointed Mayor). Seriously. For years on end. Its not like you can avoid hearing me tell about it.

We have no parking much of the year when " normal", and I am seeing growing problems as thing warm up. I sure don't need hype. I'm a real little boy just like Pinochio, but without the Mauro/Timmons/Sandoval nose and wooden inability to answer direct questions.

I need consistent professional City Government that does not manage into existence crisis and division using discrimination against anyone who does not know just to ignore all parking laws.

"Selling out the soul of a small town to force the scourge of unbridled tourism on its residents, is not a diverse economy." What you want with diverse economy and well paying jobs ...---... (Arabic?) is not this specific battle, you present another straw man. Any improvement needs access. And fairness. Yes to your diversity idea no to your added straw. Be gone scarecrow. Get real Sandoval and Mauro. Mari Mullen quit being used.

Monday, March 1
Marge Samuelson

It seems some residents are not happy with the excise tax for tourism related facilities, even though the tourists themselves pay the tax. No cost to tax payers who live in Jefferson County, unless they use these facilities. The Board of County Commissioners are in charge of allocating this money, and each organization has to appear before them to say why they need this money. I have appeared before them, along with people like Al Jakeway from the Quilcene Museum back in the 1990s. Al was a great guy who really wanted to make the museum a place for locals and tourists. His appeals to the board were eloquent, he usually got the modest amount he asked for.

You can't find more parking, or fix streets with this money. That's not what it is for. There are other ways you can apply for these from the state, county, and city government. You call the city council and mayor do nothings, but they took up the challenge and won their places in government. Majority still rules.

Monday, March 1
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

Thanks again Marge for some clarification and the first time I can remember you acknowledging "do nothings". The key point I would keep making over and over again is that there was a historic "facility" at the specific location that was parking. Full Stop.

That "facility" has was "temporarily" converted to work space at a time that parking was being abused by city and fellow business and residents. As today. Full stop.

The "temporary" conversion then sported the official Main Street "Open Streets Initiative" signage that was used when Mauro and Main Street (Director and President) hatched the closure of Tyler for eatery seating. Full Stop.

Special interests were impacting traffic flow for all. A letter from me published in this paper to the City Attorney advised branding that as "temporary" although it would not have been is someone didn't challenge it. It was walked back and labeled at temporary although all indications were it was not. Full damn stop.

So, now I challenge the conversion of this parking facility (by definition) which further eliminates parking at a time of no enforcement or parking plan on top of years of abuse of the public and business by the "do nothings". There will be the sound of crickets until a lawsuit covering the entire years long pattern is filed. Almost there. There is very well kept documentation of problems and lack of response. For years.

Group or entity A can certainly give funds to group or entity B for a project. The "facility" being converted and replaced that will never be again is the issue. "Open Streets", a political tool in Main Street's Mari, and City Manager Mauro who was shown in the Free Press article to have boasted to buddies back in Aukland (let go John) that he was going to put in miles of bike trails etc and lead decisions in this community that suited his agenda.

The City Manager is the cart. The full Council is (supposed to be but historically not) the horse or brain. I use the term brain loosely in this context. That's all. End of class. The game is rigged. Corrupted.

Here comes spring and summer with parking already many afternoons tight. Overt discrimination and breaking of municipal code by Sandoval and her "do nothings". Sandoval and real estate benefit. Again Sandoval has her own lot that you will be towed from if you screw with her like she screws with the entire community and all visitors. This is at least season and year 7 of this well documented corruption. Voters pay no attention. Sandoval has been emboldened as "new" City Manager learns Timmons past City Managers (now steering the FWPDA at Fort Worden) play book.

Just do it. Like up street Adams. Like Tyler that did get re opened. Like so much more to come. Like parking that simply is not dealt with and defines Mauro. He is a year into denial. The next move is time and cash killing studies if and when absolutely unavoidable. Where is this ship sailing. We can see the course. If we look.

Who will the new police chief be that will begin sliding the slippery slope Mauro signed up for. Knowingly.

Lack of respect has a cascade effect. I have the benefit of watching very similar at Plke Place in Seattle many years ago. I warned about the FWPDA, I continue to warn about that and the No Term Limit City Council/Appointed Mayor(3 times for Sandoval) and tool of a City Manager system. The proof is in the stinky pudding. Tracing root causes it really doesn't even stop at Sandoval and the like. This explains everything...

"A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices."

Full stop. Sound of Crickets.

_

Tuesday, March 2
HarveyW-Collateral Damage

Correction Tyler should be Taylor. Admit mistakes. Clarification-Marge, finding "new" parking isn't what this money might be used for, recovering existing parking and maintaining the Adams street mini lot might just fall into the category of benefiting "tourists" and others. I believe the current "parklet" is damaging in many ways.

One officer I spoke with a few years ago described PT as the "self licking ice cream cone" that he was familiar with from military service. He also said if any of his men came to him with a problem he expected them to have solutions. My solution has always been a multi faceted FAIR PARKING FACILITATION approach that included education and enforcement going hand in hand. It is asking the current group to deal with the damage they have inflicted.

The money and perhaps more should be spent to recover a balanced parking reality and some plan. Friendly volunteers with parking spot info to hand out, and tickets as a last resort recovers a city wide "facility" that has been purposefully trashed. We can rebuild. Not with current players eating away at existing mis managed "facilities" Now I wonder if the BOCC knows what they have approved money for at Adams St. A conversion.

Wouldn't it be nice if the City Council was able to discuss all these points like you and I and arrive at a non damaging solution that reversed damages going on for years? Special interests want curb appeal on a very faulty and damaging foundation. Just like the FWPDA at Fort Worden. The city's child and mirror image. With no annoying responsibility added. Return to sound of crickets.

Tuesday, March 2
HarveyW Collateral Damage

Sent to City Council and others 3/7/21

City Council, Appointed Mayor-

You must be aware of the funding asked for by Main Street and those involved in that organization, and approved by the BOCC to convert the space which was used for parking at Adams and Water to a "parklet". Parking is not part of the root word. The story in the Leader (link below) is what the public is told, please do read my comments regarding the conversion in stages which removes parking spaces on top of the 7 years long parking anarchy policy approved and implemented by many still on Council. Mr. Mauro and Main Streets Kristin and Mari did have the "Open Streets Initiative" signage at that spot. Familiar topic.

https://www.ptleader.com/stories/lodging-tax-funds-could-be-used-to-create-adams-street-parklet,73880?

Please do respond regarding the public process that led to this conversion. Please also consider that what you may be able to do at times is not what you should do, especially as public servants serving the broad public. Not special interests.

Parking anarchy is a manufactured problem now 7 years long. As you well know there is no responsibility taken or fix planned by the "new" City Manager Mauro. He inexplicably avoids the entire topic. Just like the current Appointed Mayor with her own parking lot.

My comments in the Leader article cover more detail, please do respond for the record. Also waiting on the status of the review of City Manager Mauro now many months and a new year into the unexplained delay, when is public input?

Who does the No Term Limit Council work for and who is served by many of its actions and inaction. I will paste this to the Leader comments for the public record. Who is that woman to the right in the drawing of the "parklet"? Cozy. How does this help with "recovery"?

Parking chaos now and into summer will not help but inhibit community (all members) recovery.

Also sending to the BOCC along with my regular email list.

Harvey Windle

Collateral Damage

Sunday, March 7
HarveyW

Update April 8 2021

No response from BOCC or Council to my original letter. Here is the follow up

City Council, Appointed Mayor, BOCC

Today Thursday April 8 2021 all parking spaces I can see are full at 1 20 pm. I see the regulars taking parking all day today as always. We are headed for the busiest season ever, I have been busier than ever with pent up demand as things ease up.

Hollow talk of recovery echoes. Specific damage is being allowed and encouraged as it has been for years. This is a second request for a response to my March 7th email to both BOCC and Council for the ongoing record. Parking to a "parklet". Seems the public is beginning to understand voting is the only way to fix things on the always silent City Council, check the Leader letters this week. John Mauro, Main Street, City Council and now BOCC harm, don't help recovery by actions. The message, not the messenger should be focused on. Don't claim ignorance later.

Harvey Windle

Forest Gems

Thursday, April 8
HarveyW

CORRECTION- This sent to BOCC and City Council regarding parklet funding after a response from Commissioner Brotherton

I spent a good amount of time today trying to find where my information was faulty. I discovered in comments to the Leader Parklets story that Marge Samuelson had represented this as fact

Marge Samuelson

"It seems some residents are not happy with the excise tax for tourism related facilities, even though the tourists themselves pay the tax. No cost to tax payers who live in Jefferson County, unless they use these facilities. The Board of County Commissioners are in charge of allocating this money, and each organization has to appear before them to say why they need this money."

I will correct my error in comments and emails to City Council and Commissioners. The article was clear on funding, in the back and forth of the comments I took Marge's info at face value. I assumed Marge knew what she was talking about. I should have double checked. Lesson learned. As I expect government to admit and correct errors I will gladly do so.

Thanks for your response. The City has not responded. I will forward this email to Council. I still do expect that some clarification and the legality of turning this lot, that is as I understand it from long time residents is part of Adams Street, and was used for parking for many years into a park, is subject to public input. If that information regarding the lot being part of the street is incorrect I would expect clarification on that from the City. One lives in hope.

Thanks

Harvey Windle

Forest Gems Mill and Gallery

Friday, April 9