While people are fuming over the state legislature exempting itself from public disclosure laws, and the King County Democrats are melting down over accusations of sexual harassment and financial impropriety, here’s what’s going on with the City Council.
SeattleMet reports on efforts to extend the statute of limitations for sexual harassment complaints — but it’s complicated.
KIRO reports that Mayor Durkan is pushing ahead with upgrades to the North Precinct police station.
The Stranger dives into Google’s recent release of the full set of election ads from this past fall’s city elections.
The Urbanist looks at what changes to “frequent transit nodes” means for the expansion of urban villages around the city.
I’m undecided about the legislature’s decision. Some Senators replied to me stating that the AG told them to make this move. I can’t find any details on atg.gov stating such, or any details about why AG decided not to undertake the legal work for them. Why did they have to enlist an outside firm? Why no legislative review process? They had to know that the timeline was going to look suspicious when they just rammed it through. It does open up a ton of stuff to disclosure, much of it previously unavailable.
I saw a report earlier today that the AG had recommended that the governor veto it (which he just did).
What happened was that just recently a judge ruled that the existing Public Records Act applies to the legislature; they had been acting as if they were exempt. Legislators’ arguments have been pretty disingenuous this week; they have said that the judge forced their hand and created the need to pass something quickly, and that they in fact opened up records that had previously been closed (they didn’t do that; the judge did. What their bill did was to close back up some of the ones that the judge opened up).
We’ll see how the legislature responds to the Governor’s veto, given the exreme backlash of the last week.
Huh. Schoesler’s office was one that responded. Somewhat boilerplate, but here it is:
Because of the nature of the job – we get lots of casework from constituents in our district that struggle with personal issues. Some deal with the various government offices without much response to questions and issues surrounding their cases, so we are asked to step in and help. Put yourself in their shoes – we had a Dad call two weeks before Christmas, telling us that he had been looking for a job for the last 6 months – without any success. Employment security had not sent a check in the last month and he had no way of providing for his family without unemployment support. He had to share his personal information with me for our office to intercede on his behalf. Can you imagine what it took for him to make that call to us? It was a horrible situation. That is just one example of what kind of email we get on a daily basis. Would you want your personal information to be open to the public like that. Our legislators get these calls all the time… Children’s Services, Labor and Industry, licensing – you name it – we get it. I seek to drive this point home with you because most people don’t know what kind of support our office lends to our constituents. Our elected officials are protecting these folks. If we knew there was a way to shield them – we would be fine, but the request for public records filed by the media does not protect our constituents. I personally wish this story could be told – but the media doesn’t want you to know this. If you need more examples – I can share them with you. I have been doing this job for close to 22 years – most of which has been with Sen. Schoesler. I work very hard to keep the information these folks give me – confidential. It is my job!
We appreciate your message and hope that you understand the struggle behind this issue.
Senior Executive Assistant to
Senator Mark Schoesler
Comments are closed.