Notes from today’s Council meetings

Both this morning’s Council Briefing and this afternoon’s City Council meeting were fairly short and to the point today. Here are the highlights.

This afternoon the City Council had a frictionless meeting, unanimously approving everything on the agenda. That included:

  • the reappointment of Nathan Torgelson as Director of the Department of Construction and Inspections;
  • several appointments to the Community Police Commission;
  • landmark controls for UW’s Eagleson Hall and the Sunset Telephone and Telegraph Exchange;
  • adoption of the Council’s 2020 work plan.

The Council is trying to schedule two briefings with Seattle-King County Public Health regarding the response to the coronavirus COVID-19. The first will be Wednesday (time still TBD), hosted by Council member Herbold. The other will be next Monday, hosted by Council President Pro-tem Teresa Mosqueda. Council member Gonzalez has requested information on what the agency is doing to reach out to non-English speakers and to members of the homeless community. Mosqueda has asked about the possibility of distributing more hand-washing stations around the city.  UPDATE: The briefing will be at 2:00pm Wednesday afternoon.

Today the city also began opening its Joint Information Center to coordinate response to the coronavirus outbreak.

This morning, Council member Herbold, whose committee oversees human services, reminded her colleagues about the resolution the previous Council passed setting its expectations for the search process for department heads, after HSD Interim Director Jason Johnson resigned last Friday. The resolution sets out expectations for community outreach as part of the search process.

Council member Juarez noted that the Department of Parks and Recreation will be holding three community meetings as part of gathering community input on its proposed six-year strategic plan. The first meeting was tonight at the Delridge Community Center. The second is March 5, from 6-8pm at the Lake City Community Center, and the third is March 7 from 10am to noon at the Van Asselt Community Center.

Council member Strauss announced that his next Land Use and Neighborhoods committee meeting will be on March 11, and will take up:

  • Director’s Reports from SDCI and the Office of Planning and Community Development;
  • the annual report from the Seattle Planning Commission.

While there wasn’t an official report from the Office of Intergovernmental Relations today on the ongoing state legislative session, Dan Beekman from the Seattle Times tweeted today that the prospects don’t look good for the passage of HB 2948. The bill was briefly discussed in a Finance Committee hearing in Olympia today, but no action was taken.


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