This week: SODO arena, housing levy, minimum wage impact

Lots of things are happening this week in Council chambers, including a hearing and possible vote on the SODO Arena street vacation, a report on the impact of the increased minimum wage, and amendments to the 2016 Housing Levy.

Monday morning’s Council Briefing will include two presentations: the first is an evaluation of the Parent-Child Home Program, and the second is the first phase of an ongoing evaluation of the impact of the $15 minimum wage ordinance as it phases in.

Monday afternoon’s Full Council meeting will be a dull affair: a small technical update to the city’s all-gender restroom ordinance, and ten appointments to the Labor Standards Advisory Council.

This week’s Introduction and Referral Calendar has a few new legislative items of note:

  • An ordinance allowing each City Council member to hire an additional legislative assistant. Currently the limit is three; this will increase it to four. The change to district-based positions has apparently added significant more work for the Council members’ staff, thus leading to this request. Note that this ordinance doesn’t actually provide any money to pay for additional staff; that will need to come separately as part of the 2016 Supplemental Budget update coming shortly.
  • An update to the Seattle Youth Commission which reduces the number of commissioners from 25 to 15 and aligns their geographic representation around the seven City Council districts instead of thirteen neighborhoods.
  • A 3-month extension to the Parks Department’s contract with DBIA for “activation and programs” in Occidental and Westlake Parks directed at homeless and disadvantaged communities while they finish negotiating a new 5-year agreement.

Tuesday morning, the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee will hear a presentation on the community outreach efforts of the Office of Planning and Community Development related to the 2035 Comprehensive Plan. The committee will also get a report from the Office of The Hearing Examiner summarizing its 2015 activities, which will be more interesting than it sounds: according to the report, discrimination, tenant relocation and SDOT citation enforcement hearings were way up last year. UPDATE: the committee will not be considering the Swedish Cherry Hill appeal tomorrow; Council member Johnson says that vote will happen at the next committee meeting the first week of May.

Tuesday afternoon, the Sustainability and Transportation Committee will meet to continue their deliberations on the SODO Arena street vacation request. They will consider specific amendments, and they might even take a final vote on what to send to the full Council. From the central staff memo, it looks like they are trying very hard to get to a “yes” recommendation over the objections of the Port of Seattle.

Wednesday morning the Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee meets. The agenda has not yet been published, but they will certainly take up the aforementioned change to the Seattle Youth Commission and several accompanying appointments. UPDATE: the council will also hear the City Auditor’s annual report, and will consider changes to the Business Improvement Area policies.

Wednesday afternoon, the Education, Equity and Governance Committee meets, where they will take up the “Tsimerman bill” update to the Council’s rules on public comment as well as the change mentioned above to the number of legislative assistants that each Council member can hire.  UPDATE: They also will hear a presentation from the United States Post Office about their plan to close the Columbia Station post office branch.

Thursday morning, the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee meets. The agenda has not been published for the meeting, but the previously mentioned extension to the activation and programming contract for Occidental and Westlake Parks will likely be considered.

Friday morning the Select Committee on the 2016 Housing Levy will meet again and consider specific amendments to the Mayor’s proposal.