Bothell recognizes Native American Heritage Month, concludes fireworks ban discussion

Bothell City Hall

By Hannah Saunders

Last week the Bothell City council met to discuss the city’s future growth developments, the fireworks ordinance and proclaimed November to be Native American Heritage Month. Native American Heritage Month is observed by recognizing the contributions of native communities and the way tribes across the country continue to enrich modern society.

“November marks Native American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and recognize the cultures, accomplishments and contributions of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives,” Mayor Liam Olson said. “In celebrating the traditions, cultures and accomplishments of Native Americans, we also acknowledge our nation’s history of colonialism that has inflicted discrimination, deprivation, and genocide upon indigenous people.”

According to the proclamation, all indigenous populations must be respected and celebrated as part of Bothell’s history. The s-tsah-PAHBSH, also known as “Willow People,” was part of a larger group called the hah-chu-AHBSH or “People of the Lake,” and the Duwamish Tribe, who first inhabited what we know as Bothell.

“We honor our native people, their ancestral homes, their religion, and recognize their contribution historically, today, and in the future of our community,” said Olson.

At the meeting, council members received a presentation from the Community Development Director Michael Katterman and Senior Planner Nathen Lamb regarding the city’s 2044 population and job growth targets. According to Katterman, the state’s Office of Financial Management develops population projections for each county within the state.

Katterman mentioned how the Vision 2050 plan, which the Puget Sound Regional Council adopted, guided the team.

“That plan sets up different types of jurisdictions in terms of the amount of expected growth and the role that they play in the region,” Katterman said. “There are metro cities. We have five metro cities in the four-county region: Seattle, Bellevue, Bremerton, Tacoma and Everett. Then there are core cities, which expect to take a significant amount of growth, and we are one of those core cities.”

Vision 2050 projects at 28% growth to core cities. Employment in the region is expected to grow by 35%.

“We have to plan for that amount of growth and demonstrate how we can accommodate that in terms of our land use capacity, our housing development, our utilities and other infrastructure,” Katterman said. “Transportation systems and several other elements are also included in the comprehensive plan.”

Bothell is expected to take a significant amount of growth and must increase capacity throughout the city. By 2044 Bothell must allocate 30,084 housing units and 51,085 jobs. The city will continue to work toward adopting those targets.

After numerous discussions, the council finally agreed on the firework ban issue bantered about during a previous October meeting.

“The carveouts that we propose that are classified as consumer fireworks would be for sparklers and tanks,” City Attorney Paul Byrne said. “The code also addresses what is called novelty or trick items, which are the little poppets or poppers, the little snakes that you light, and they turn into a string of carbon, and then the novelty smoke bombs. If passed, this would then allow the possession and use of those items.”

Councilmembers did not have any questions for Bryne about the firework carveouts. Councilmembers Zornes, Thompson and Duerr said their thanks, and Duerr made a motion to move action, with Zornes seconding the motion.

“I won’t be supporting this motion for the simple fact that I’ve seen the damage sparklers do to kids, and I just can’t support that,” Councilmember Agnew said.

Councilmembers McAuliffe and Agnew voted no, but the motion passed 5-2. Bothell residents will be able to use sparklers, tanks, and novelty items on July 4th from 9–11 p.m. only.

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