Notes on today’s Council meetings

Apart from discussions about the Halcyon mobile home park, here’s what went down in Council Chambers today.

Council member Sawant announced that her committee meeting this week has been moved to Thursday evening at 6pm at the Miller community center. There is one agenda item: discussion of Mayor Durkan’s process for selecting Jason Johnson to be permanent Director of the Human Services Department. Sawant let it be known that HSD employees and the Seattle Human Services Coalition have raised complaints to her that they feel they were not properly consulted by the Mayor along the way. This morning, Council members Gonzalez and Mosqueda jointly sent a letter to the Mayor asking for more details on her selection process. There was some debate among the Council members as to the extent to which the Mayor is required to run a transparent selection process. Community members forced Durkan to run a very transparent process for selecting a new Chief of Police, well beyond the statutory requirements. Other department directors, such as SDOT’s, have been almost completely opaque. Sawant has argued that the HSD Director position is a critical one and deserves extra scrutiny. Council President Harrell, on the other hand, has argued that it is the Council’s role to run a transparent confirmation process and gather input from all stakeholders as part of that.

Council member Herbold announced that this Friday her committee will take up the resolution, sponsored by O’Brien and herself, on setting a legislative agenda for addressing eviction reform. she emphasized that (unlike the report from the Seattle Women’s Commission that is driving the resolution) the resolution lists problems to be addressed rather that proposing specific solutions. Herbold expects to vote the resolution out of committee on Friday.

Council member Gonzalez noted that her committee will be looking at the implementation plan for the recently-passed Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy in the coming weeks.

Finally, Council member Juarez announced that she expects to vote the Waterfront LID-related legislation out of her committee on Thursday.