Notes from today’s Council meetings

Here’s what the Council got up to today as we roll into August.

This afternoon the Council voted 9-0 to formally certify Charter Amendment 29, aka “Compassion Seattle,” for the November ballot. There’s not a lot of support for for the merits of CA29 among the Councilmembers, but according to the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, the Seattle Municipal Code forbids them from commenting in favor or opposition to it at a public Council meeting where the topic at hand was narrowly limited to a pro forma resolution certifying it. The Council can, at a future point, pass a resolution expressing its opposition to the charter amendment — and don’t be surprised if it does so sometime this fall.

The Council also passed a bill establishing a city fund that can accept private donations in support of the city’s homeless response efforts. Councilmember Lewis reiterated a belief that most, if not all, of the Councilmembers share: that while private philanthropy can’t replace sustained government funding, the city shouldn’t be saying no to additional contributions intended to expedite or supplement programs.

This afternoon Councilmembers Lewis and Pedersen introduced a bill that authorizes the Department of Financial and Administrative Services to sign a lease with Sound Transit for a vacant lot in the University District so that it may temporarily host a tiny home village. Longer term, the lot will be an affordable housing development.

This morning Councilmember Juarez released the agenda for her Public Assets and native Communities Committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. It includes:

  • A construction update from the Seattle Kraken on the Climate Pledge Arena;
  • an ordinance granting the Kraken a permit to construct a tunnel under Thomas Street to the arena’s loading docks (which is part of the original redevelopment agreement — this is just a pro forma thing);
  • two property acquisition bills for the Parks Department.

Council President Gonzalez announced that her August 10th committee meeting has been cancelled.

Councilmember Strauss said that his next committee meeting will be on August 11. The agenda will include:

  • a briefing and possible vote on an update to the urban forestry management plan;
  • a bill “to enable innovative construction types in Belltown”;
  • a public hearing and possible vote on Strauss’s bill granting temporary flexibility on downtown storefront uses.

Councilmember Mosqueda said that she will hold two Finance and Housing Committee meetings in September, with the one originally scheduled for Sept. 21st moved up to Sept. 17th.

Councilmember Pedersen reminded his colleagues that National Night Out is tomorrow night.

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