Lots of schedule changes and updates, plus a few bills got their final blessing this afternoon.
Let’s start with the schedule updates.
The Council has scheduled a special meeting for Tuesday afternoon at 3:00pm, to vote on overriding the Mayor’s veto of the 2020 rebalancing package passed by the Council over the summer.
The meeting of the Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee originally scheduled for that time has been pushed to Thursday morning at 9:30am.
Wednesday afternoon’s meeting of the Select Committee on Homeless Strategies and Investments has been cancelled. Committee chair Andrew Lewis said he intended to use the meeting to discuss the Navigation Team, but given the current status of the 2020 budget and its implications for Navigation Team funding, he decided to delay that conversation. He also suggested this morning that there would be “ideas” related to the Navigation Team coming from the executive branch in the coming days, possibly in Mayor Durkan’s proposed 2021 budget due to be released next week. While Lewis said that he intends to reschedule it for early October, Council President Gonzalez reminded him that committee meetings are generally suspended during the budget process, and exceptions to that rule must be approved by both her and the budget chair.
Thursday afternoon there will be a special meeting of the Finance and Housing Committee. On the agenda:
- a presentation from the Office of Housing on the city’s rental assistance program and investments;
- a bill transferring piece of city property to Habitat for Humanity for an affordable housing project;
- further deliberations on the TNC drivers’ minimum wage ordinance, which she has said previously she hopes to vote out of committee this week.
This afternoon, the Council approved several bills, including:
- a request from the City Auditor to have a reprieve on writing a report on the financial condition as of the end of 2019. His reasons are two-fold: first, the COVID economic fallout has rendered it meaningless as the city’s finances have dramatically changed since then; and second, the City Budget Office only published its 2019 annual financial report last month, and by the time the City Auditor’s office fully analyzes it and writes it up, it will be near the end of 2020.
- the transfer of ownership of the old Central Area fire station to Byrd Barr Place, a transaction that began while Greg Nickels was Mayor and has dragged on for years.
- the creation of an Economic Development Initiative Advisory Board.
- a revised funding package for the Madison RapidRide line. This new package satisfies conditions for the project to qualify for nearly $60 million in federal funding. The project cost has increased by about $12 million to $133 million, with $5 million transferred over from savings in the Lander Street overpass project and as-yet-unused funds earmarked for a Fauntleroy Avenue project, and the remaining $7 million coming from Sound Transit. Council member Herbold raised concerns about redirecting the funding from the Fauntleroy projects, which she said had stalled for years and was finally due to be completed next year.
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