Here are my notes from the weekly Council Briefing session, in which the Council members tell each other what’s going on.
In advance of the Mayor’s speech rolling out his 2017-2018 budget proposal, there’s a little bit of everything in the local news this morning.
Over the next eight weeks, the City Council members will be looking for hidden pots of money that can be used to fund new or expanded projects. And Kshama Sawant has already put forth her first proposal: now that the North Precinct police station is at least temporarily shelved, she wants to use that money to fund 1000 new units of affordable housing. But chasing the details of her plan takes us deep down the rabbit-hole of municipal finances.
Last fall, the City of Seattle approved Initiative 122, the Honest Elections Initiative. Its signature feature is the Democracy voucher program, wherein residents of Seattle each get $100 of vouchers that they can contribute to the campaigns of people running for city elected office.
It looks to be a busy week, as the Council simultaneously kicks off the 2017–2018 budget development process and wraps up work on everything else.
In the latest reverse for the Murray Administration, the Department of Neighborhoods is now singing a different tune on District Councils and says that they will continue to receive some level of support.
Between now and Thanksgiving, the Seattle City Council will be almost singularly focused on one task: writing the city’s budget for the 2017–2018 biennium. Budget chair Tim Burgess, in his first year in the position, has made some tweaks to the process and schedule in the hopes of making it more efficient, transparent, and open to new and interesting proposals.
Yesterday Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities finally disclosed last week’s privacy leak.
SEE UPDATE BELOW
Yesterday’s committee hearing on homeless encampment sweeps tops the news this morning.
Yesterday morning the Council had its first substantive discussion on the merits of the bill introduced earlier this month to rewrite the city’s protocol for clearing unsanctioned homeless encampments. While yesterday’s meeting was intended to be just a forum for discussion with no decisions, it nevertheless highlighted just how much work needs to be done on the details of the bill before it’s ready for adoption – and how unlikely that work will be finished before the Council’s self-imposed deadline of the end of the month.