Winter Storm Summary, Waste Management Updates, Being Color Conscious and Color Brave Learning Session, and more!

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this week in kirkland

January 16, 2020

city of kirkland washington

Winter Storm Summary

The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and it seems like all is returning to normal in Kirkland. We want to thank all of our staff members that put in long hours over the last few days to keep roads safe, respond to emergencies, and provide all sorts of support to make sure that the City could keep running during this winter event. Here are a few statistics to summarize our staff's efforts over the last few days:

  • Parks Staff working event: 18 Field Staff worked approximately 55.75 hours of overtime to help the cause. Some staff worked into the evening or started work at 4:00 am during the event.
  • Public Works Staff working event: 28 field staff worked approximately 110 hours of overtime.
  • On-duty staff supervisors at maintenance center:  6
  • Salt used: 21 tons
  • Sand/Salt mix used: 1905 tons
  • Sand used: 1 ton
  • Deicing material used: 11,000 gallons 
  • Miles of roads plowed: Approximately 552 miles
  • Dump trucks with plows and sanders: 6
  • Pick-ups with plows and sanders: 9 four-wheel drive vehicles, 2 with a plow & sander
  • De-icer spray trucks: 2
  • Emergency Operations Center Activated
snow plow in parking lot

Waste Management Update

All residential routes are running on a two-hour delay this Thursday, January 16. Please note that there may be some residential customers that do not receive service today due to isolated icy spots. Those customers for which service has been delayed can place out double loads of garbage, recycling and yard waste next week on their regular service day.

All multifamily and commercial routes are also in operation today. Waste Management will be working on providing service to customers that did not received service on Wednesday and to today’s Thursday customers.

If you missed your collection day this week due to inclement weather, please see the graphic below for more information on putting out double loads of garbage, recycling and yard waste next week. 

More information is also available on the Waste Management Kirkland Service Alert website

putting out double loads after missing your pick up today due to inclement weather

Coming up at Council

City Council

The second City Council meeting of 2020 takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, January 21, with a preceding study session that begins at 5:30. The public is always welcome at City Council meetings, which are a great way to have your voice heard while gaining a better understanding of how your City government operates. Here are a few agenda highlights:

Study Session: Tree Code Discussion

The January 21 Council study session takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the Peter Kirk Room. In this session, the Council will be reviewing the Planning Commission’s recommendations for amendments to the City’s draft tree code, Kirkland Zoning Code Chapter 95. This will be an informational meeting so that the Council can provide feedback and schedule potential meeting dates prior to considering adoption of the draft code. Please visit the project webpage for updates and dates of upcoming public meetings. Contact Urban Forester Deb Powers at: for more information.

Note: Remember, as of January 2020 City Council Study Sessions take place at 5:30 p.m. in the Peter Kirk Room, which is located just inside City Hall at the building’s south entrance. As always, the study sessions are open to the public. Study session topics can be found on corresponding council meeting agendas, which can be accessed on the Kirkland City Council webpage under “Council Meetings."

Regular Business Meeting: Totem Lake Connector Project Update

The Council will receive an update on the Totem Lake Connector project, a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that will connect the two ends of the 5.75-mile Cross Kirkland Corridor by traveling over 124th Street and Totem Lake Boulevard. Preparation for this project began in December along Totem Lake Boulevard, where the City’s contractor is rerouting the Northshore Utility District’s eight-inch sewer main. The Totem Lake Connector project has been advertised for construction, with the subsequent bid-opening slated for March 6, 2020. Construction is expected to begin this spring.   

2020 Legislative Priorities

The Council will receive an update on the status of the City’s legislative priorities in recognition of the start of the 2020 legislative session, which officially began on Monday, January 13. Adopted by the Council in November of 2019, the City’s legislative priorities for 2020 are focused on homelessness, affordable housing, transportation infrastructure and more. Further, the City supports capital budget funding for several local infrastructure projects including school walk route improvements in Finn Hill and Juanita, and lighting at 132nd Square Park and along the Cross Kirkland Corridor.  

Community Learning Series: Preparing to be Color Conscious and Color Brave

flyer for event

On Tuesday, January 21 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Leadership Eastside, in partnership with the City of Kirkland and Eastside for All, will be hosting ‘Preparing to be Color Conscious and Color Brave,’ the first in a series of community learning events to help foster a more welcoming and inclusive Kirkland. 

The event will take place at Lake Washington Institute of Technology, located at 11605 132nd Ave, Kirkland, WA. The evening forum will present a framework and tools for participating in, deepening and sustaining conversations about race.

“Facing the reality of racism in our community means showing up for conversations,” said James Whitfield of Leadership Eastside. “We hope that community members of all ages and backgrounds, business owners, elected officials, and anyone who would like to be part of this learning process attends so that we can begin to build the relationships and skills needed to take concrete actions, both individually and collectively.”

The Kirkland Talks About Racism community learning series is part of Welcoming Kirkland, a community engagement partnership between the City of Kirkland and Leadership Eastside developed in response to expressed concerns that People of Color in general, and Black people, in particular, have lived experiences of an unwelcoming and inequitable community in contrast to the City’s stated goal to be safe, inclusive and welcoming for all. This community learning approach is envisioned and supported by Eastside for All.

“This community learning series is another step in fulfilling our city council’s commitment to being a safe, inclusive and welcoming community,” said Mayor Penny Sweet. “As a City, we’re not afraid to have the difficult conversations. We are committed to doing the hard work that needs to be done so that we can live our values.”

The event is free. Registration is not required but will assure you are notified of future events. Attendees can register at For questions, including accessibility information, please contact  

City Staff Changes

At the end of December, the City of Kirkland said goodbye to Public Works Director Kathy Brown. Kathy Brown had served the City of Kirkland for seven years in her position. The City is extremely grateful for her service and wishes her the best of luck in her new endeavor as Facilities Director for the Centurylink. 

With a new year, comes new changes and opportunities. In that spririt please join us in welcoming our Interim Public Works Director Julie Underwood and our new Chief Information Officer Smitha Krishnan. 

Julie Underwood

Interim Public Works Director Julie Underwood

With 20 years of local government management experience, Julie has served in roles such as the City Manager of Mercer Island and City Manager of Shoreline, Washington. In addition, she served as Assistant City Manager of Daly City, California, among other roles within the City Manager’s Office during her career. In her Daly City role, she had direct management oversight of the Public Works Department and Water Wastewater Department.

Julie has an MPA from Virginia Tech and a BA in Government and Politics from George Mason University.

Julie was a charter board member of the League of Women in Government (LWG), and most recently, she spearheaded the Northwest Women’s Leadership Academy, devoted to the advancement of women executives in local government management. Julie currently serves on the board of the Washington City/County Management Association.

Smitha Krishnan

Chief Information Officer Smitha Krishnan

Smitha was first hired by the City in January of 2017 as Deputy Director / Senior Project Manager, becoming Deputy Director of Information Technology in September of 2018. During her time in Kirkland Smitha has successfully managed multiple milestone projects, including the implementation of the City’s new human resources and core financial software, a complex, multiphase project that was completed in 2019. Her strong leadership skills and efficiency at project management enabled her to achieve project deliverables on time and under budget.

Prior to coming to Kirkland, Smitha spent six years working as an information technology professional for the City of Bellevue; with four years as a Geographic Information System (GIS) Lead and two years as Senior Information Technology Manager. She has a Master’s in Urban Planning and a Master’s in Civil Engineering, both from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Anna University in Chennai, India.

Traffic Alerts through January 23

Each week the City of Kirkland provides an ongoing list of traffic-affecting construction projects. We will list new projects first.  Please consider checking apps such as WAZE or other traffic apps before you drive.

Prep work for Totem Lake Connector pedestrian and bicycle bridge

Totem Lake Boulevard’s southbound lanes remain closed this month between 120th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 124th Street, while Kirkland’s contractor re-routes a sewer pipe away from the future location of the Totem Lake Connector pedestrian and bicycle bridge. Forma Construction has established a detour route for southbound traffic. Totem Lake Boulevard’s northbound lanes are open. Drivers should expect construction delays. Businesses are also open during construction. 

Totem Lake Connector Bridge rendering

Community Safety Advisory Group Update

At their November 21, 2019 meeting, the Community Safety Advisory Group (ComSAG) toured Station 22 in Houghton, Station 26 in N. Rose Hill, and Station 25 in Finn Hill. They also stopped at, but didn’t tour, Station 27, and the site for new Station 24, located at the Rite Aid property on NE 132nd St in N. Juanita. While on their tours, the group was shown different aspects of each fire station, ending with a tour of Station 25 which was renovated in October of 2018.  At their December 5, 2019 meeting, the ComSAG received two presentations. The first was from Fire Chief, Joe Sanford on the Kirkland Fire Department’s involvement in the unfortunate crane incident which took place November 25, 2019 at a construction site on Lake Washington Blvd. The second presentation was given by City Manager, Kurt Triplett regarding the potential capital and operating ballot measure elements and costs. These potential elements, along with funding options, will be part of the final recommendation to Council in March. Finally, at their December 19, 2019 meeting the group heard from Deputy City Manager, Tracey Dunlap on the Kirkland budget, property taxes, and bonds and levies. The presentation answered questions such as, “can the City fund this without a ballot measure?” and “when my property taxes go up, doesn’t the City get more money?”

Unfortunately, last night’s ComSAG meeting was cancelled due to unsafe weather conditions. The group’s next meeting is January 29, 2020 where they will begin evaluating potential capital and operating ballot measure elements and cost options laid out in the December 5, 2019 presentation. Community members that are interested in learning along with the ComSAG will be able to access materials online on the City website after the meetings. You can watch both the December 5, 2019 and December 19, 2019 presentations on the City's YouTube channel. All materials handed out at the meetings are also available on the City’s website.

The Community Safety Advisory Group (ComSAG) will meet through March 2020 to review options to improve response times, keep stations seismically sound, and improve firefighter health and safety. The ComSAG will review investments to accomplish goals such as fire station seismic renovation, expansion, additional firefighter staffing, potential training facilities, and funding mechanisms for a November 2020 ballot measure for Fire and Emergency Medical Services. The ComSAG's recommendation to the Council will be presented no later than March of 2020. 

Upcoming Events

child planting tree

Green Kirkland Partnership MLK Service Opportunities

Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20

Engage with your community for Martin Luther Jr. Day by volunteering with the Green Kirkland Partnership! Green Kirkland will be honoring Dr. King’s legacy of social and environmental justice with hands-on stewardship events on Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20! Events are almost full, but more help is needed at Edith Moulton Park on Sunday, January 19! For more details and to register go to:

Thanks to our partner United Way of King County for their help in organizing these events!

Jennifer Matison with dog

Emergency Preparedness for Pets w/ Animal Control Officer Jennifer Matison

Wednesday, January 29, 6 to 7 p.m. 

Kirkland City Hall

Join Animal Control Officer Jennifer Matison to learn about how to get your loved ones ready for disasters, even if they have fur or scales or feathers. This class will cover simple steps your entire household can take to get prepared, as well as animal-specific considerations to take into account when getting ready for emergencies. The class is free but registration is required. Sign up online at

For more information contact Kirkland Emergency Management at or (425) 587-3691, or visit