Notes from today’s Council meetings

Here’s what happened today in the last Council Briefing and full Council meeting of the year.

This afternoon’s City Council meeting agenda was long — 53 items — but the vast majority were various committee and board appointments that were quickly voted through.

Of the other items on the agenda two were notable:

  • approval of an agreement with King County to establish a regional governance structure for homelessness (see my separate post on that);
  • approval of the city’s legislative agenda for the upcoming session of the State Legislature;
  • approval of a resolution establishing the Council’s intention to work on legislation next year to require Seattle employers to provide commuter benefits to their employees. In speaking to the resolution, Council members noted that today the employees who most often receive commuter benefits from their employer (such as an ORCA Card transit pass) are the higher-paid employees, whereas the lowest-paid employees are the ones most in need of them. And the larger companies that do provide them often subcontract out functions such as security and maintenance to other companies that don’t provide commuter benefits.

Council member Pedersen  announced this morning that the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee will be meeting Wednesday morning. On the agenda is an update on the long-stalled effort to update the city’s tree-protection ordinance.

Today’s meetings were the last ones for outgoing Council members Bagshaw, Harrell and O’Brien. They all took a moment to bid their farewells and publicly thank their colleagues and staff.  Before that happened, Council President Harrell took care of a small but important piece of business: establishing a “president pro tem” schedule for next year — particularly for the first six days of January before the new Council convenes to elect a new Council President and establish its own “pro tem” schedule. Since Harrell’s term on the Council ends on December 31st, the President pro tem for the first six days of January will be the Council member with the highest seniorty: Council member Sawant.

As an aside, the word on the street is the Council member Gonzalez will be the next Council President.



  1. Congrats to President-elect Lorena “Arena” Gonzalez. I’m going to sit back and enjoy the fireworks on SCC Insight.

  2. Thanks for another informative and entertaining year covering the ups and downs of the council. I hope you have a break scheduled as well as next year looks to be full of intrigue. I’m wondering if you have any predictions on who might end up as council president going forward? Given her frequent alienation of her colleagues it would seem unlikely that Councilmember Sawant would have the votes needed to retain the chair and I suspect she would rather retain her role as chief dissenter than literally embody the establishment as council president.

    1. Yes, I’ll be taking a bit of a break over the holidays.

      It’s going to be González. From what I’ve heard, no one else wants it. It’s largely administrative; lots of HR work keeping the legislative department running, which includes the City Clerk, Council Central Staff, and the City Auditor.

      1. Without giving too much away, there is a book coming out on Amazon Smile Wednesday that will show of the nine councilmembers Councilmember González is the best choice to run the Council Meetings and occasionally difficult public comment periods. Kevin will get a comp’d copy, as well select other members of the media. I also intend to gift a copy to the Seattle Municipal Archives I recently visited twice.

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