Council fixes its mistake, passes grant-acceptance bill minus ICE funding

Today the City Council held a 10-minute meeting and passed an amended version of the funding-acceptance bill that they dropped on the floor on Monday.

With Council members Gonzalez and Juarez participating by phone, and six other Council members participating in person (all but Sawant), the Council rapidly voted to reconsider Monday’s vote, substituted a new version that deleted the controversial $90,000 reimbursement from ICE, and unanimously passed the amended bill. They gave no word on whether they will take up the $90,000 reimbursement to SPD from ICE at some point in the new year, though Council member Bagshaw did note that she had received a letter from Police Chief Carmen Best this morning and will be “following up.”

Side note: in Monday’s post, I included the following sentence:

An amusing observation: if Juarez had simply stayed on the phone for another 10 minutes, everything would have been fine.

Apparently some of the Council members took offense at this, interpreting it as a suggestion that Juarez was skipping out on her duties as a Council member. It certainly was not intended as such. I was clear in my post that Juarez had a pre-planned excused absence, but had called in anyway to vote on a budget-item that required a supermajority to pass.

The point of my observation above was only to point out that if Bagshaw and Harrell had realized that they needed Juarez’s vote to pass the next bill on the agenda, they no doubt would have asked her to stay on the call for another ten minutes. To those it offended: I apologize.

I have repeatedly said, in multiple forums, that in my experience all nine Council members are dedicated, hardworking public servants.

In today’s meeting, Bagshaw and Harrell both noted that Juarez is at home, recovering from major surgery. I wish her a speedy recovery.