Notes from this morning’s Council Briefing

A handful of notes from this morning’s Council Briefing roundtable session with the Council members. Seven of them anyway; Sawant and Harrell were absent.

Several Council members attended the vigil at Cal Anderson Park last night, and spoke this morning about the tragedy in Orlando and the importance of having the Seattle community come together in solidarity to show their support for the LGBTQ community in Orlando.

Council member Herbold announced that her CRUEDA committee would have a special meeting on June 21, featuring a report on secure scheduling legislation.

Council member O’Brien circulated a letter for Council members to sign in opposition to the proposed coal export terminal in Longview. Apart from the environmental issues, the terminal would add sixteen trains a day to an already clogged freight corridor that Seattle depends heavily upon (as do produce growers in eastern Washington).

Council member Bagshaw highlighted that in her recent “office hours” she had heard concern from residents about tree preservation as HALA provisions take effect and development accelerates. Council member Johnson replied that because so many city departments deal with tree-cutting on city-owned properties it’s not clear who should be the central coordinator for a tree-preservation program, but his office is working on it.

Bagshaw also mentioned that her Human Services and Public Health committee meets on June 29th, in a special joint session organized with County Council member Jeanne Kohl-Welles, to discuss city-county joint investments in mental health services, dealing with the opiate addiction crisis, and other human services and public health programs.

Council member Burgess noted that his Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance committee meets Wednesday morning and will have its first discussion of proposed legislation on regulating short-term housing rentals, covering broad parameters. The work on the legislation is expected to extend well into July.

Council member Juarez announced that her Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee will meet Thursday morning and the redevelopment plan for Pier 62/63 is on the agenda. She noted that there is a draft MOA between the Parks District and the Friends of the Waterfront on the redevelopment plan, in which the Friends will raise $8 million of the $29 million required for the plan. In return, the city will deliver the project and cover future expenses and maintenances. There will be a special meeting of the Parks District Board on June 27th to ratify the MOA (the nine City Council members are the Parks District board as well).

Council member Gonzalez announced that her GESCNA committee meets next on June 22, and will hear a report from the city’s demographer on worker demographics (in support of the work on paid family leave legislation). The committee will also hear a presentation from the Seattle Fire Department on “low acuity calls” in the downtown area (generally unsheltered people in distress), and consider a resolution to “maintain equitable and experienced workforces in our local broadcast news stations.”


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