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Lynnwood repeals custodial care standards and approves RCO grant application

Lynnwood repeals custodial care standards and approves RCO grant application
By Alec Dietz | Lynnwood Times Staff

Discussing live via Zoom from their living rooms and cars, the Lynnwood City Council voted on an ordinance repealing its outdated custodial care standards. By a vote of 6-0 (Councilmember Julieta Altamirano-Crosby was experiencing technical difficulties and never cast a vote), the ordinance removed the outdated chapter completely, citing that there were several conflicting documents in standard code.

“We want to make sure we aren’t having a conflict where one document is saying one thing and another document is saying another,” Councilmember Jim Smith said.

Additionally, the council unanimously authorized Mayor Nicola Smith to sign a resolution authorizing a grant application to the Recreation and Conservation Office ( RCO ) for the Scriber Lake Park Trail Rehabilitation project.

The city is seeking a $1,670,250 RCO grant that would help rehabilitate the Scriber Lake Park woodchip trail loop, and the application for the grant will be reviewed in September.

However, most of the council’s discussion and meeting was focused on updates from city staff relating to coronavirus. City of Lynnwood Public Affairs Officer Julie Moore shared that as of July 26, the city had 898 reported cases, with 673 recovered.

Along with reviewing Governor Jay Inslee’s newest restrictions as part of his “Safe Start” plan, Moore shared that Snohomish County is not close to the infection rate needed to enter Phase 3 of Inslee’s Safe Start plan.

According to numbers gathered from Snohomish County and the State of Washington, the rate of infection is continuing to climb statewide, and the rate of new confirmed cases per 100,000 people is now nearly four times higher than is required for the county to move forward into Phase 3.

Moore also shared that the $700,000 relief package for local businesses and the Lynnwood community will be arriving soon, with checks set to go out to businesses that were approved starting the first or second week of August. Businesses receiving aid will be required to submit a report detailing how the funds are spent.

Addressing a question received last week from the Lynnwood Times, councilmember Hurst said that he was not aware that undocumented immigrants and non-US citizens were eligible to receive relief funds from the city. Hurst did say that he wished the city were more transparent about which businesses and community members were receiving relief aid, citing that Everett released a full list of eligible businesses.

The council also struck down a motion to discuss reviewing the mayor office’s spending authority at its last business meeting on August 10, by a close vote of 4-3, citing that the process was already moving forward and council action was unnecessary. Councilmembers Ruth Ross, Shannon Sessions, Altamirano-Crosby, and Christine Frizzell opposed the motion, and councilmembers Hurst, Smith, and Ian Cotton voted to approve.

The council also wished a fond farewell to now retired Lynnwood Police Chief Tom Davis, who will be succeeded by former Deputy Chief and now Interim Police Chief Jim Nelson. Councilmember Frizzell applauded Davis for his “Cops and Clergy” program that united faith-based leaders in Lynnwood, and for his “Compassion with Boundaries” program that offered outreach to the homeless community.

Each council member wished Davis a happy retirement, and Davis concluded with words of his own amid a tumultuous time, especially recently, as a Police Chief:

“Just please understand that policing is a very tough profession,” he said. “The relationship with the community is like a pendulum, it’s constantly in motion and it swings all the way one way and all the way the other way. The time that we can impact the most change is when it’s in the middle. It’s hard to change right now. People are demanding change but change is hard in the middle of crisis. My hope is that there will be leaders and thought leaders and good perspectives shared in the coming weeks or coming months as things settle down a bit.

“You have a lot of work ahead of you, the police department has a lot of work ahead of it, but it’s in a great place right now.”

Lynnwood repeals custodial care standards and approves RCO grant application
By Alec Dietz | Lynnwood Times Staff

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