Council briefing: notes for this afternoon

Just some quick notes from the morning Council briefing as they prepare for this afternoon’s marathon meeting. Council member O’Brien, the sponsor of the proposed ordinance allowing Uber drivers to unionize, explained that there are two sets of amendments to the bill since it was passed out of committee in September.  The first is a set of changes from the City Attorney’s office intended to clean up and clarify language — that will be put forth as a “substitute” version of the bill. Then there is a set of smaller amendments which are more policy questions than legal issues and will be packaged up as a single amendment.

The Council will be voting on a set of changes to their own rules and procedures this afternoon. Council member Licata will be putting forth a few additional amendments; the first one was to prevent the Council President also being chair of the Budget Committee (this failed in committee last week). The second is a change to requirements for a divided report when a bill gets a split vote in committee. The third cleans up the rules for the Labor Relations Review Committee.

Council President Burgess noted that there will be a resolution this afternoon expressing the city’s support for the Muslim community.

Departing Council member Rasmussen noted the recent news article that the Chinese President’s visit to Seattle this year cost the City nearly $1 million, and suggested that, since the dignitaries are often visiting companies ad not the City itself,  the Council should work with the Mayor to ask the hosting companies to help defray the costs. Burgess suggested that the State Department should be paying for the costs, since the Secret Service demands the services that are provided as an “unfunded mandate.” Council member Licata agreed.

And if the agenda weren’t long enough already, there will be some thank you’s and goodbye’s this afternoon for departing members Licata, Rasmussen and Godden, and thank you’s to Burgess who will be finishing his term as Council President.