Council approves its 2017 Work Program

On Monday, the City Council approved its 2017 Work Program: its list of planned work items for the year.

Officially the plan is divided by Council committee, but in practice it’s really organized by Council member, with each person’s expected activities listed under their committee.

Much of the details (and the Council members’ time) is taken up with routine stuff: monitoring the ongoing work for various city departments, approving people for commissions and department heads, sitting on external committees, reviewing reports, and keeping the trains running on time. But there are also some interesting tidbits in the Work Plan that lay out each of the Council members’ legislative agenda. Here are the highlights:

Tim Burgess, Affordable Housing, Neighborhoods and Finance Committee:

  • Develop legislation addressing the City’s banking relationship with Wells Fargo (already done)
  • Review the Affordable Housing Strategic Plan for the Northgate area
  • Review consultant work related to community planning and project feasibility for development of affordable housing on publicly owned land in the city. Create an inventory of all publicly owned land and identify 1 or 2 sites in 2017 for development as affordable housing
  • Review and consider modifications to the Fort Lawton Redevelopment Plan
  • Review and consider implementing HALA Committee recommendations, including use of surplus property for housing, tenant protection proposals, and short term rentals regulation
  • Consider changes to the Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) program in light of the HALA recommendations
  • Create a Renters Commission and appoint members to it

Tim Burgess, Budget Committee:

  • Oversee development of the 2018 Supplemental Budget
  • Implement the Capital Budget Oversight Resolution 31720


Lisa Herbold, Civil Rights, Utilities, Economic Development and Arts Committee:

  • Research and coordinate whether and how to expand the 1% for Art Program by eliminating exclusion of projects when the ownership of the facility remains with an outside party
  • Review city policies for unpaid leave to attend a child’s educational activities at a day care facility or school
  • Participate in Fair Housing Working Group and review forthcoming fair housing legislation
  • Review city contracting policies and practices, including requirements and technical assistance for women and minority owned enterprises, priority hiring, etc.
  • Consider recommendations to improve manufacturing workforce development. Review implications of new Seaport Alliance between Seattle and Tacoma ports
  • Develop options to fund the Office of Labor Standards (already done!)
  • Address Drainage and Wastewater Fund issues
  • Address Solid Waste Fund issues
  • Assess potential opportunities to expand and accelerate implementation of the green stormwater infrastructure


Bruce Harrell, Education, Equity and Governance Committee

(Harrell is also President of the Council, which takes up a fair amount of his time)

  • Review potential proposed changes to the urban village boundaries around the light rail stations in Southeast Seattle that would expand the area where development could occur.
  • Monitor and review design guidelines for the Mount Baker Town Center project
  • Develop and consider legislation related to bias-free policing
  • Explore community alternatives to the criminal justice system and incarceration for youth and adults, including improving strategies for youth rehabilitation
  • Consider findings and recommendations of the Prisoner and Community Corrections Re-entry Work Group
  • Staff discussions and legislation related to the Duwamish Annexation Area and the North Highline Annexation Area proposals, including negotiations with King County and special district related to service transition
  • Review legislation that modifies the status of existing sister city affiliations and the current moratorium on sister cities.
  • Oversee city efforts to promote competition among broadband providers, including options to make greater use of city-owned fiber and monitor city efforts to provide public Wi-Fi access to disadvantaged and underserved communities
  • Initiate review of potential issues related to self-driving cars in the City of Seattle and the region
  • Work with the Department of Finance and Administrative Services on the implementation of the ordinance allowing Uber and Lyft drivers the right to collective bargaining
  • Review proposed legislation for Technology Matching Fund grant awards


Kshama Sawant: Energy and Environment Committee

  • Monitor the Bonneville Power Administration to examine whether City Light rate payers are unfairly burdened with costs
  • Monitor development  of the Northwest Energy Imbalance Market and recommend whether City Light should participate.
  • Coordinate work of the Energy and Environment Committee, City Light Review Panel, and City Light on the next Strategic Plan update
  • Develop policies for the deployment of network rates in South Lake Union, First Hill, and the University District
  • Review City Light’s rate design, especially on ways to encourage the efficient use of electricity while maintaining sufficient revenue to meet City Light’s financial targets. Recommend updated rate design to the Council.
  • Assess the benefit, costs and likely risks associated with City Light’s plan to participate in the California Independent System Operator’s Energy Imbalance Market and provide the Council with a recommendation on whether to permit it to participate.
  • Initiate a review of City Light’s wholesale energy trading operations and risk management with a focus on marketing strategies and the analytics underlying its risk hedging models with the intent to approve a significant revision of the policy and procedures manual
  • Research and assess policies requiring gas pumps to have “warning” labels regarding climate change similar to a proposal recently advanced by Berkeley, CA. Develop legislation as needed.
  • Explore local options for progressive taxation by Council ordinance or voter referendum, including but not limited to a millionaire’s tax, capital gains tax, and restructured business taxes.
  • Develop legislation to limit the conditions under which the Seattle Police Department may enter into or honor mutual aid agreements to not include providing resources used against protesters engaged in free speech events outside Seattle city limits
  • With legislation and public briefings, support local activists and organizations that are advocating to prevent a new youth detention center in King County
  • Continue expanding a Tenants’ Bill of Rights, including but not limited to legislation intended to protect tenants facing gentrification, relocation, and excessive background checks.


Lorena Gonzalez: Gender Equity, Safe Communities, and New Americans Committee

  • Develop legislation to implement a paid leave benefit for municipal employees (done) and private sector employees
  • Analyze policy issues related to protecting the DACA program
  • Address policy and programming adopted in the Welcoming City Resolution
  • Research and analyze processing of U-Visa certifications in Seattle, including SPD processes
  • Develop and consider legislation related to bias-free policing
  • Consider legislation to enhance assistance to criminal defendants pre- and post-adjudication, such as bail reform and civil legal defense
  • Review legislation proposed by the Office of Emergency Management related to Civil Emergencies
  • Initiate and implement policies that maximize Seattle’s social and economic recovery and minimize impacts of disasters
  • Monitor issues pertaining to the North Precinct station capital project and other public safety facility needs.
  • Update the city’s surveillance code
  • Amend the police accountability legislation, including the police intelligence auditor ordinance


Sally Bagshaw: Human Services and Public Health Committee

  • Review the report from HSD assessing the needs of seniors throughout the city and specifically by Council district, and determine the need for and use of an age-friendly innovation fund
  • Review the HSD Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention annual work plan. Draft legislation and provide policy guidance as appropriate.
  • Monitor HSD’s efforts to begin implementation of a departmental performance-based budgeting system
  • Develop efforts to increase and leverage city funding for mental health services
  • Investigate the city’s policies on exhaust system noise and assess potential changes to address public health concerns related to noise pollution


Debora Juarez: Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries and Waterfront Committee

  • Monitor, review, and consider activities related to the Central Waterfront Program and the Office of the Waterfront, including reviewing and acting on proposed legislation as needed
  • Review and consider the 6-year Parks Development Plan
  • Review proposed plan for spending Parks District funding  for improvements at community centers. Review timeline and process for planning of replacement of aging community centers, including Green Lake and Lake City.
  • Staff discussion and updates related to the DPR’s People, Dogs and Parks Plan, and review and track DPR’s implementation of the plan
  • Review and adopt proposed operating agreement for the Lakewood and Leschi Marinas


Rob Johnson, Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee

  • Review legislation increasing height and density in the 23rd and Union/ Cherry/Jackson Residential Urban Village to facilitate transit-supportive development
  • Review rezones and land use regulatory proposals for the Chinatown/International District
  • Review rezones and land use regulatory proposals for the University District
  • Review rezones and land use regulatory proposals for the Uptown Urban Center
  • Review proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan based on the policy docket adopted in 2016
  • Monitor development of amendments proposed to implement the MHA program near high-capacity transit
  • Review policies and regulations for industrial areas to preserve the long-term viability of maritime and industrial uses and for a potential stadium district
  • Review legislation to facilitate the development of Accessory Units and backyard cottages
  • Consider recommendations to rezone areas of Downtown and South Lake Union for housing affordability
  • Review and consider recommendations to implement the MHA program and related programs
  • Review legislation amending the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance
  • Review legislation updating the Critical Areas Ordinance to comply with the Growth Management Act (done)
  • Review proposals and legislation to improve the Design Review Program, including changes to program thresholds and opportunities to streamline processes including review of light rail projects
  • Review legislation for a green building pilot program for existing buildings
  • Work with the Seattle School District to amend zoning regulations to allow for the efficient development or redevelopment of schools to meet the growing need for classroom space
  • Review legislation to amend the Shoreline Management Program
  • Review legislation related to retaining existing trees and planting new trees on private property


Bruce Harrell and Debora Juarez: Select Committee on Civic Arenas

  • Monitor activities related to the RFP for redeveloping Key Arena, and review and consider relevant legislation including development agreements, long-term leases, MOUs, landmark controls and incentives
  • Consider the street vacation petition for the proposed SODO Arena


Mike O’Brien: Sustainability and Transportation Committee

  • Research, assess and develop policy options for utilization of Community Benefits Agreements (CBA’s)
  • Monitor SDOT delivery of Bicycle Master Plan projects, including construction of the Burke-Gilman Trail “missing link” extension
  • Review SDOT’s on-street parking occupancy studies and any planned 2017 rate changes or policy changes
  • Monitor and engage in Sound Transit activities to implement ST2 and ST3 projects in Seattle. Consider possible permitting changes to expedite ST3 projects
  • Review legislation related to WSDOT final design of Montlake Lid, Portage Bay Bridge, Delmar Lid, and Montlake Cut crossing.
  • Review street petition for Broad Street/Mercer Teardrop, Washington Convention Center, and other emergent project proposals
  • Review and propose amendments to the Street Vacation policies
  • Review policy and potential programs for promoting electric vehicle use, including charging stations in the right-of-way and deploying electric transit vehicles