A “State Of The City” Address From Our 15-Year Old Intern

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by Josh Hart

Well 2009 is almost here and many are wondering what will be in store for the upcoming year.

  • What will change from this year?
  • What needs to change?
  • What do we want to change?
  • With everything that is going on in the area what will be the most significant?

In the following article I am going to attempt to answer all these questions for you.

The only difference – I’m doing it as if I were your Mayor.

Now, imagine me standing behind a podium, in the middle of town on a crisp winter day, giving you my annual “State of the City” address (oh, and pretend there’s reverb on my voice as you read this):

2008 was a good year for all.

First Avenue and surrounding streets had a lot of construction, but the result so far was a good one.

Southcenter was remodeled and now it is a huge mall.  With Christmas season here, that is going to help traffic in the mall. I still worry about the parking though, not to mention the recent gang-related shooting. But I have faith that mall security will keep all shoppers safe.

The Sonics are gone now and that means that Seattle Center will have 12,000 less people three nights a week.

The first phase of the Burien Town Square is nearing completion and that should be a great thing for all who live in Burien.

Also, the light rail is coming to Tukwila towards the end of 2009 and that will help commuters get from home to work and back more efficiently. The bus systems have been approved to change, terminate, and install routes. The biggest change in the buses is probably the buses that run along Pacific Highway. They are planning on taking out many of the buses that run on Pac Highway for the new RapidRide A-Line.

The RapidRide will come every 10-15 minutes and run along Pac Highway. They are planning to change this by the end of 2009.

With all these changes in 2008 what can we do in 2009 to make our community a better place for all of us?

Some of the changes I would make are to change the bus routes. I don’t think that we need to modify the Pacific Highway buses, but I think that we need to make more buses go through Des Moines as well as from Sea-Tac Airport to Highline Community College. This would affect Burien, Sea-Tac, and Des Moines. It would help people get around and would reduce traffic. I have always wanted a bus or shuttle through Des Moines to get around on. At the moment they only have a few buses that go through Des Moines and they come every hour. Even if they changed it to every half an hour that would be beneficial also. I would also lower the fares on the bus. They originally raised them to compensate for gas prices.

But now that gas prices have lowered, bus fares need to be lowered again. It now costs over two dollars to go from Seattle to Burien. This can add up to over eleven dollars a week. This can be worse than gas prices for the transit commuters.

Another thing I would change is to put something along Pac Highway, perhaps a plaza or a nice park to clean up the area. If we do this it will bring more people to the Highway, which, in turn will help clean up the area. We need to this because the area is not the safest and it is also a bad first impression for tourists from the Sea-Tac Airport. Do we really want to have tourists come and the first street they drive on is the current Pacific Highway? If we clean this up we will also get more tourists. Tourists benefit the community massively: they buy from local small businesses, which in turn benefits the entire community.

Things can change, starting with you – each and every person has an opportunity to propose ideas to their mayor. You can do this by sending a letter to their mayor.

So if you want to see change or have ideas for change just send a letter to your mayor (or wait to talk with me right after my speech…):


Mayor Joan McGilton
Phone: (206) 248-5515
Email: [email protected]


Mayor Pro Tem George Hadley
Phone: (206) 248-7603
Email: [email protected]


Mayor Ralph Shape
Phone: (206) 973-4800
Email: [email protected]


Mayor Jim Haggerton
Phone: (206) 433-1800
Email: [email protected]


Mayor Bob Sheckler
Phone: (206) 878-4595
Email: [email protected]

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Josh Hart is the B-Town Blog’s first Intern! He’s also a 15-year old student at Highline’s “Big Picture High School” in SeaTac. He recently wrote on the economy, about JFK beating Highline 61-0 in football, an opinion piece on the VP debate, a story on Mt. Rainier High’s Drill Team playing at the Seahawks’ Halftime, a story on a Fight at the Tyee vs Rention Football Game and much more…]

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One Response to “A “State Of The City” Address From Our 15-Year Old Intern”
  1. ChillyMoe says:

    Though George is a great guy, Shawn McEvoy is actually the Mayor of Normandy Park:


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