DOJ asks Robart to amend briefing schedule

In the aftermath of Judge James Robart’s bombshell order earlier this week asking the City of Seattle and the DOJ to explain why he shouldn’t find that the city has fallen out of compliance with the Consent Decree, today both parties jointly asked Robart to amend his order and allow more time for briefings to be filed. the DOJ asked Robart, with the city’s assent, to allow more time for it to file its briefing.

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State Supreme Court rules that Initiative 27 can’t go on the ballot

Today the Washington State Supreme Court handed down a ruling on a legal challenge to King County Initiative 27, which would have prohibited county funding for supervised consumption sites and enacted civil penalties for violating that prohibition or for operating a supervised consumption site.  The court found that the content of I-27 was outside the scope of local initiative power.

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Local reporters and editors request City Auditor to investigate city officials’ use of private email accounts

Today, several local reporters and editors, including myself, sent a joint letter to the City Auditor requesting an investigation into city officials’ practices of using private email accounts and other private electronic media to conduct city business. Below is the letter we sent, along with the attachments demonstrating the extent of the issue.

The City Auditor reports to the City Council, an arrangement that usually is well-suited to the Council’s oversight responsibilities over the executive branch. In this case, however, the issue implicates several (if not all) City Council members and their staff, as well as the Mayor’s office. Since there is a pending lawsuit that addresses the issue of city officials conducting business through private channels, it is unlikely that the Council or the Mayor will weigh in on the issue or request the Auditor to spend time investigating this. However, the Auditor’s Office is empowered to conduct its own self-directed investigations, so it can decide to do this on its own.

I’m going to make an unusual request here: if you believe this is an important issue, please send an email to City Auditor David Jones, davidg.jones@seattle.gov, asking him to conduct an investigation.

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Council moves UW campus plan one step closer to the finish line

This morning, the Council’s Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee moved UW’s proposed update to its Major Institution Master Plan one step closer to adoption, making a handful of amendments and voting it out of committee.  However, while the full Council is likely to approve it on Monday, what happens next is unclear.

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Independent news and analysis of the Seattle City Council