Notes from today’s Council meetings

While all the focus was on the payroll tax today, Council members also signaled other efforts in the pipeline.


This morning, Council member Lewis announced that he would be introducing this afternoon an emergency ordinance that would stop commercial landlords from going after the personal assets of tenants who are in arrears on rent. Lewis said that he had heard from small business constituents in his district that their landlords were threatening such actions. His bill is based on a similar one passed in New York City.  However, in a holiday weekend logistical snafu it appears that several of Lewis’s colleagues did not receive his bill in advance, and in the end the bill was not introduced this afternoon; expect it on next week’s Introduction and Referral Calendar.

Lewis also mentioned this morning that in the Council’s budget discussions he will be pursuing a proviso that requires the city to look into spinning up a system modeled on the “CAHOOTS” system in Eugene, Oregon, which provides mobile crisis intervention and is dispatched through the city’s 911 system.  However, some of his colleagues, including Council President Gonzalez, said that they would prefer to spend more time considering the spectrum of options for how to offload crisis-intervention response from SPD before getting “fixated on one model.”

Council member Mosqueda, the Council’s budget chair, announced the agenda for this Wednesday’s budget sessions. The morning session will feature a pane discussion on options for distributing funding “upstream” if SPD’s budget is reduced, as well as a presentation analyzing SPD’s 911 calls.  The afternoon session will have a follow-on presentation from City Budget Director Ben Noble on the Mayor’s budget proposal. At 4pm there will be a public hearing on the 2020 re-balancing budget.

This morning Council member Pedersen announced that he will be rolling out the proposed renewal of the Seattle Transportation Benefit District, which expires at the end of the year. A special select committee for considering the Transportation Benefit District proposal has been created, and Pedersen is scheduling meetings for this Friday and the following one to consider the proposal. Assuming the Council decides to move it forward, it will need to be submitted for the November ballot by August 4.

Council member Strauss announced that his Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will be meeting on July 22, and will hear a report from SDCI on tree protection efforts.

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