Notes from today’s Council meetings

Here’s what happened today in Council Chambers.

This afternoon, the Council gave final approval to a suite of five tenants-rights ordinances:

  • restricting a landlord’s ability to limit a tenant’s roommates;
  • relieving a tenant experiencing domestic violence from liability for damage done by the perpetrator;
  • an update to the notices that a landlord must provide to tenants;
  • requiring landlords to accept non-electronic forms of payment;
  • requiring landlords to register with the city’s RRIO before issuing a notice to terminate a tenancy.

All passed unanimously.

The Council also passed several bills related to Seattle City Light, including:

  • authorization for SCL to initiate some pilot rate programs as part of developing a new rate-plan strategy for the utility;
  • a revamping of the low-income emergency assistance program for City Light and Seattle Public Utilities customers;
  • transferring two former SCL substation sites to the Office of Housing to be repurposed for affordable-housing projects.

On the transportation side, the Council approved two resolutions:

  • A request for SDOT to develop policy options for sidewalk maintenance and anforcement programs for snow and ice removal. Several advocates from the accessibility community spoke this afternoon to reinforce the importance of fixing broken sidewalks and quickly removing snow and ice, a critical issue for those dependent on the sidewalks to get around the city.
  • A request for SDOT to develop a traffic signal policy, to address issues such as how long the “walk” signal should be set to allow enough time for people of all abilities to safely cross a street.

The Council also unanimously approved a resolution requesting the city to develop an “Infants at Work” pilot program “that outlines a plan to provide eligible parents and guardians the opportunity to bring their infants to work for a limited period during the infant’s first year of life.”

This morning the Council heard a presentation from the Human Services Department on the performance of the city’s homeless-response programs in the first half of 2019. I will be writing about this separately.

Council member Juaez announced that there will be an open house tomorrow (Tuesday) evening from 5-7pm at Northgate Mall where the public can learn about the redevelopment plans for the mall and the development plans for the NHL team’s training center.

Council member Bagshaw announced that the Wednesday (morning and afternoon) budget meetings will cover budget issues that involve multiple departments. On the agenda:

  • The homeless response, with HSD, SPU, FAS, SPD, and Parks all presenting;
  • the LEAD program;
  • The Mayor’s “Fare Share” proposal;
  • plus the Office of Sustainability and Environment, which got bumped from the agenda last week.

Bagshaw also reminded her colleagues that Thursday evening at 5:30 there will be a public hearing on the 2020 budget.

Council member Pacheco announced that his SEPA reform bill will come before the full Council next Monday afternoon for final approval.