Notes from today’s Council meetings

Only five Council members were in City Hall today, but they still got some things done…

This morning, Council member Juarez gave an update on timing and logistics for moving the Waterfront LID legislation forward. There are three pieces of legislation for the Council to review and approve:

  • the LID formation ordinance;
  •  a “protest waiver agreement” in which owners subject to the LID waive their right to protest it, in exchange for concessions from the city;
  • an operations and maintenance ordinance for the Waterfront Park.

Next Monday, the Council will be given an overview of the legislation and the timeline for moving it forward. Then on January 16th, in Juarez’s committee, there will be a detailed briefing. Juarez hopes to vote the legislation out of committee on January 24th.

Both Council member Gonzalez and Sawant have cancelled their scheduled committee meetings for this week (both are travelling).

This morning, Council member O’Brien circulated a statement for his colleagues to sign, which discusses the impacts of the “Seattle Squeeze” on low-wage workers and asks employers to be extra flexible in the coming weeks.

As expected, this afternoon the Council passed an amendment to its previous ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to collective bargaining. The amendment passed today strips out the right to bargain over compensation, because of a recent court ruling that set up a fight over whether that is a violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. Council President Harrell has noted that the city has other options to regulate compensation for drivers, and he expects to work on legislation exploring those options in the first quarter of 2019.

This afternoon the Council also adopted a resolution adjusting the start times of its committee meetings during the “Viadoom” period in January (starting next Monday), so as to allow city staff to shift their commute times a bit. Most morning committees (except PLUZ) will meet at 10:00 instead of 9:30, and all afternoon committees will meet at 1:30 instead of 2:00.  In addition, the Monday morning Council Briefings will begin at 10:30 instead of 9:30.  Monday afternoon full City Council meetings will still begin at 2:00pm.

Finally, Council member Bagshaw announced that at her committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon they would hear the results of a six-month audit on the Sweetened Beverage Tax.