Notes from this morning’s Council Briefing

Lots of interesting tidbits from this morning’s Council Briefing session, as meatier topics and legislation have begun to appear before the Council.

Council President Harrell spent last week in Japan as part of a visit program for public officials. He met the Prime Minister and several members of their legislative branch.

Council member Bagshaw spent last week in Washington D.C. at the Nation League of Cities meeting, where she focused her time on learning how other cities are dealing with their homelessness program. Her biggest takeaway was that a new nationwide best practice is the creation of 24-hour shelters (vs. the more common overnight shelters that kick people every morning) and she will be pushing hard to pilot them here.  She also noted that this Friday her Human Services and Public Health Committee will hear reports from the city’s Human Services Department and from the Seattle-King County Public Health Department.

Council member Gonzalez noted that her Gender Equity, Safe Communities and New Americans Committee will meet next on March 23, during which they will consider two notable pieces of legislation: the Mayor’s proposal for regulating tour vehicles (aka the Rick the Ducks boats that caused the accident on the Aurora Bridge a few months back), and an ordinance being introduced by Council member Burgess on the safe disposal of prescription drugs.

Council member O’Brien gave a preview of the highly-anticipated discussion and vote on the city’s acquisition of the troubled Pronto bike-share system in this afternoon’s full council meeting. Several further amendments will be considered before the final vote is taken, including an updated version of Burgess’s (now with Herbold joining) that would deny the acquisition. Others would ensure that specific bike-infrastructure improvements are complete before the system is expanded; clarify that the Mayor’s office is still the final decision-maker on the RFP; and require SDOT to engage with low-income communities and communities of color to assess their interest in participating in the bike-share program and what barriers exist to their doing so.

O’Brien also noted that tomorrow his committee begins hearings on the street vacation for the proposed SODO Arena. The Port of Seattle has asked to provide testimony on their concerns, and O’Brien has scheduled that for the committee’s April 5th meeting.