So much election news. Plus the Showbox gets landmark status, and more.
This morning, the City Council passed out of committee the “notice of intent” tenant protection ordinance. But they heavily amended it first, changing the nature of the bill and raising several issues as to its legality.
So much election news. Ballots are in the mail!
Today Washington State Senator Steve O’Ban sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson urging him to defend the state law prohibiting taxes on net income, after a Court of Appeals invalidated the law on Monday.
In their second major rift this week, today the City Council and Mayor Durkan fired accusations at each other over how to handle revenues from the Sweetened Beverage Tax (aka the “soda tax”) and the Short-term Rental Tax (aka the “AirBnB tax”).
More election news!
At her press conference yesterday, Council member Lorena Gonzalez showed a”subway map” diagram of the complex disciplinary process for SPD oficers and supervisors as defined under state law, local law, and its contracts with the two unions representing officers and supervisors.
Here are the diagrams — both high-level and drill-downs. Kudos to the Office of Inspector General for Public Safety for taking the time to make and publish them.
Of particular interest are the grievance and arbitration processes, which are one of the reasons that Judge Robart recently found the city out of compliance with the Consent Decree. The arbitration process allows for “forum shopping” by officers between the Public Safety Civil Service Commission (PSCSC) and an outside arbitrator, and allows the arbitrator to overrule a disciplinary decision by the Chief of Police (something Robart found particularly problematic). However, under state law public safety officers have the right to arbitration as a path for appealing disciplinary findings, in part to compensate for the fact that they are forbidden from participating in labor strikes. The 2017 Police Accountability Ordinance removed arbitration as an option, forcing all appeals to go through the PSCSC, but arbitration was reinstated as part of negotiating the SPOG contract (because the city can’t unilaterally take it away if the officers don’t want to give it up).
Police reform, income taxes, and lots more coming your way in the news this morning.
A couple of notable bills were passed this afternoon, and some useful intelligence was shared this morning. Check it out.
Last week, when it became known that Mayor Durkan had hired an outside consultant firm to develop a Court-ordered methodology for assessing the city’s police accountability regime, there was near-instant backlash from 24 community groups as well as the Community Police Commission. Today, three City Council members jumped on that bandwagon.