Council Adopts Budget | Website Launch This Friday | Juanita Beach Update | Sustainability Master Plan | Upcoming Events | Shop Local

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this week in kirkland

December 16, 2020

city of kirkland washington

City Council Unanimously Adopts 2021 - 2022 Budget


On December 8, 2020, the Kirkland City Council unanimously adopted the 2021-2022 Budget, “Investing in a More Equitable, Safe and Resilient Kirkland.”

The budget was profoundly shaped by the dramatic and historic events that continue to unfold in 2020. The City is still grappling with the social, financial and health impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak that erupted in Kirkland on February 29, 2020 and spread throughout the nation. Also developed amid the racial justice movement reignited by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, the budget proposal responds to the commitment made by the City Council on August 4, 2020 through Resolution R-5434 to affirm that Black lives matter, to improve the safety and respect of Black people, and to help end structural racism.

“On behalf of the City Council, we would like to thank everyone in the community who provided input on the budget and shared their priorities as we look toward the next two years,” said Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet. “We would also like to thank the City staff for developing a fiscally responsible budget that reflects both our community’s values and our community’s needs. We are proud of this budget and the budget process that we have been through this year.”

The City’s biennial budget puts the community’s priorities into motion and links goals and policy to the actual day-to-day activities of the organization. Kirkland prides itself on providing residents an exceptional quality of life with safe streets, a clean environment and beautiful parks. These choices, whether related to public safety, maintaining parks, keeping pedestrians safe, or protecting the natural environment, are made through the budget.

In order to ensure Kirkland’s finances and infrastructure are resilient, the budget addresses the economic challenges of 2020. The budget also maintains the City’s AAA credit rating and compensates for the expiration of the state Annexation Sales Tax Credit (ASTC) in 2021, which results in the loss of nearly $5 million per year in the City’s general fund revenue. Balancing the budget required drawing on one-time cash reserves and reductions in expenditures. The total biennial budget for 2021-2022 is 6.87 percent less than the final amended 2019-2020 biennial budget.

The preliminary budget can be viewed by going to The final budget document will be available during the first quarter of 2021.

City Prepares to Unveil Updated Website

The City of Kirkland website,, will be launched as a new and improved website! The launch kicks off at 6 p.m., Friday, December 18 and extends through 8 a.m., Monday, December 21. Thanks for your patience while the launch is processing. After the website launches, many of the old pathways (or “URLs”) will have changed. Anyone trying to use a link to the old website will be led to a “404 page.” There, the user can fill out a form so issues can be tracked and fixed. The new website features customer-focused navigation and improved accessibility for all users.

Check it out once the launch is complete on December 21!

Website launch

UPDATE: Juanita Beach Bathhouse Project

The City is excited to share that improvements at Juanita Beach Park are nearing completion and the newly installed playground is poised for opening in the next few weeks. Currently, a drainage problem that was discovered during the last major rainstorm is being fixed.  The fence is expected to be removed during the first week of January.

We want to thank our community for its patience! This is the first all-abilities playground that the City has installed and it’s important to us that everything is just right. The playground features synthetic turf, swings, several slides including a fun spiral slide, and other innovative play equipment accessible to children of all abilities.  

For more information about the Juanita Beach Bathhouse Replacement project, visit:  


Juanita Beach

City Adopts Sustainability Master Plan

SMP image

Plan has been two years in the making and was informed by the community

On December 8, the Kirkland City Council adopted the Sustainability Master Plan, which identifies how the City will implement and measure sustainability strategies and defines actions for achieving a livable and sustainable community. The key objective of the plan, which followed extensive community outreach over the past two years, is to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

“The City of Kirkland is committed to a sustainable future that includes cleaner air and water, healthier food to eat, expanded housing options that allow people of all economic means to live here, and a more socially just and equitable city that is welcoming and inclusive of all people,” said Kirkland City Councilmember Neal Black. “We have addressed these issues and many others throughout the City’s policies and plans, and it’s exciting to comprehensively coordinate sustainability strategies under one plan.”

The Sustainability Master Plan establishes goals and implementable actions that put the City on a clear path to achieve sustainability for future generations to come. Development of the plan fulfills a 2019-2020 Council work plan goal and included extensive outreach to learn the community’s priorities for creating a more sustainable Kirkland.

The plan is divided into eight focus areas: energy supply and emissions, buildings and infrastructure, land use and transportation, natural environment and ecosystems, sustainable material management, sustainable governance, sustainable business and healthy community. In addition, the plan includes a section detailing actions community members can take to help make Kirkland more sustainable, a recognition of the need for widespread participation to achieve the plan’s robust environmental objectives.

To integrate sustainable decision-making into the City’s processes, the plan introduces a decision-making matrix. This new tool is a weighted decision-making tool that helps the City make more informed decisions on projects, programs, policies and actions across all municipal operations, and is intended to institutionalize sustainability throughout the organization.

“Many of the Sustainability Master Plan’s goals have time horizons of five and ten years and there are others that will take longer to achieve,” explained David Barnes, senior planner for the City of Kirkland and project manager of the Sustainability Master Plan. “It’s essential that the actions in this plan are carefully implemented and its goals monitored and measured. The annual progress reports and updates to the plan will help ensure that City operations and the community are working together in partnership towards a truly sustainable future for all.”

For more information about the Sustainability Master Plan, visit

Councilmember Amy Falcone Takes the Shop Local Pledge

SLK logo

Join Councilmember Amy Falcone in taking the Shop Local Pledge by committing to purchase at least one gift through this season. Shop Local Kirkland is the City’s new digital main street, with over 200 Kirkland-based businesses and counting. Shop your favorite farmers market vendors, service providers, fitness studios, restaurants, boutiques and breweries.

New businesses are added all the time as we seek to grow this online showcase of Kirkland’s best assets.

You’ll find businesses that you didn’t even know existed! We promise you’ll find something unique, interesting and fun, and even better, your purchase supports our small business community and helps it survive and thrive. Visit Shop Local Kirkland today and purchase with purpose!

Shop Local Kirkland image for Falcone vid

Help Police Response Time to the Community During Inclement Weather

Inclement weather image

You can help when winter weather makes roads dangerous! Treacherous road conditions like snow and ice can pose challenges for police response. In order to make it easier for police to respond to emergencies, please do not drive unless absolutely necessary. If you must, drive slowly and carefully, leaving plenty of space for braking. Stopping will take significantly longer, and four-wheel drive does not improve stopping ability on ice or hard snow packed roads.

Do not drive around road closure signs or traffic cones. 

Please pull off the road if you are in a minor non-injury accident so that you do not block the roadway and cause additional collisions. Accidents can be reported online by visiting the Washington State Patrol at: Vehicles left blocking roadways or intersections will be removed. You may contact NORCOM dispatch non-emergency number at 425-577-5656 to inquire if KPD removed your vehicle. 

Upcoming Events


Kirkland Arts Center

Registration Open for December Intensives/Winter 

Online, virtual classes plus live in-studio

Check out exciting offerings from new instructors and renowned returning instructors, like Michael Ottersen! Learn more about wheel throwing, charcoal portrait drawing, collage making, ceramics, painting, mixed media creation, and much more! Many classes available via Zoom, with some in-studio offerings available as well. 

For more information on winter classes, visit the Kirkland Arts Center website! To dive right in and register for classes, visit the class catalog


Kirkland Performance Center Presents: A Live Virtual Concert with Haley Johnsen

8 p.m., Thursday, December 17

Online, virtual event

Tune-in on Thursday, December 17 at 8pm as Portland-based musician Haley Johnsen joins KPC at Home: LiveStream for a virtual concert.

About the Artist

Haley Johnsen is a Portland, Oregon-born musician with a knack for genre-bending and a hard-earned career path that is uniquely her own. Raised listening to powerhouse Americana singers (such as Brandi Carlile, Grace Potter, Eva Cassidy, and Bonnie Raitt), her greatest inspirations become apparent in her soaring vocals, introspective lyricism, and cross-pollinated style of bluesy-Americana, indie-pop, and rock music. Whether her songs muse on the aches of self-doubt, the joy that can accompany nostalgia, or simply trying to stay afloat in tough times, her bona fide songwriting combined with her performance ability is bound to evoke an emotional response. “I want my music to encourage people to push through their challenges and continue to have hope and belief in themselves and their authenticity,” she says.

For more, visit the KPC website

Holiday lights

Holiday Lights Contest

Register by Noon on December 18

Judging Takes Place December 19-20

Are you itching for an excuse to get outside and put up your holiday lights? Have you been waiting for the opportunity to unleash your inner Clark Griswold? Well, that opportunity has arrived, with the Kirkland Parks and Community Services' first EVER Holiday Lights contest!

We look forward to your cheer-infused displays of lights, music, inflatables, and holiday decorations of all kinds. Participation is easy! Decorate your home or business between now and Friday, December 18. Judging takes place on Saturday, December 19 and Sunday, December 20. To ensure optimal lighting conditions, our judging committee will drive by each location from 5 to 8 p.m. on those two days to see your display and take a photo.

Register by noon on December 18 at

ICERV toy drive flyer

I-CERV, City of Kirkland, Lake Washington School District, O'Brien Auto Group

11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Saturday, December 19

Ismaili Jamatkhana in Kirkland (12505 115th Ave NE, WA 98034) 

The Ismaili Community Engaged in Responsible Volunteering (I-CERV) is partnering with the City of Kirkland, the Lake Washington School District and O'Brien Auto Group to host a winter toy drive to support families in need.

This event will be contactless with all COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place. Volunteers from I-CERV, the LWSD, City of Kirkland, and O'Brien will wear PPE during the event with adherence to social distancing recommendations. This is a safe and uplifting way to donate to those in need!

Guests can drive-through the gift collection area and let the volunteers do the unloading and hauling. The Ismaili Jamatkhana is in Totem Lake west of the Kirkland Justice Center and near Jasper's Off-Leash Dog Park. Event organizers ask that donors please wear facial coverings while on site.
We hope to see you there!

Twas the Night

Studio East Training for the Performing Arts Presents: 'Twas the Night... Reimagined!

Streaming online through Sunday December 27

Online, virtual event

Studio East presents ‘Twas the Night… Reimagined! This Eastside holiday tradition tells the famous poem through the eyes of, not only the humans involved, but the run-away mice, hungry cats, "hoofing" reindeer and the Big Guy himself. This year’s holiday musical will be a reimagined version touting a smaller cast of both kid and adult performers, new characters, and it will all be happening virtually.

 ‘Twas is available for the public to stream on the Studio East website. It is pay what you can and available through December 27. ‘Twas the Night… Reimagined is recommended for ages 4+ and has a running time of 2 hours. Stream the show at:

Window masks

King County presents: Window Masks 101 Workshop

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 29

Zoom webinar

An introduction to making and using window masks, aka "smile masks," during the pandemic.

Free and open to all! Preregistration required.

These reusable cloth masks with a clear plastic panel can help people communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing, in speech therapy, learning to read, or learning a language. Sewers and others involved with King County's innovative mask-making project will explain how to make and use window masks, and answer your questions!

For more information, visit the King County website.