Notes from today’s Council meetings

The 2022 budget wraps up, the Council modifies a Durkan executive order, and more.

Today the Council finished up its work on the 2022 budget, voting it out of the Budget Committee and then giving it final approval this afternoon.

There were ten minor, technical amendments this morning required to cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Councilmember Sawant tried again to pass an amendment that would increase the payroll tax by 51% and add hundreds of millions of dollars of additional spending for affordable housing and Green New Deal projects, but her colleagues rejected it on a 2-7 vote. Sawant also tried to remove a request for the executive branch to convene a landlord stakeholder group, but that effort failed for lack of a second.

The 2022 budget passed by a 8-1 vote, with Councilmember Sawant once again casting her customary protest “no” vote.

Included in the budget was a modification to Mayor Durkan’s recent executive order authorizing hiring bonuses for SPD officers and 911 dispatchers. The modification capped the spending to $500,000 and added a termination date of December 31, 2021.  The modification was adopted by an 8-1 vote, with Sawant voting “no.”

This afternoon the Council, meeting as the Parks District Board, also approved the Parks District budget for 2022.

The Council also approved an extension to the city’s lease agreement with the U.S. Army for the former Fort Lawton property in Magnolia, while the city’s redevelopment plan for the site continues to be reviewed by the federal government.

This morning Councilmember Morales announced that her next Community Economic Development Committee meeting will be on December 10, and the agenda will include:

  • some appointments;
  • some changes to the city’s anti-discrimination ordinance to comply with state law;
  • some changes to laws regarding service animals to comply with federal law.

This morning Councilmember Juarez noted that the Mayor’s Office has transmitted legislation to authorize a land-swap with King County that would transfer City Hall Park to the county in return for thirteen parcels of land, altogether 1.35 acres. The bill is likely to skip the committee process and go straight to the full Council, but Council President Gonzalez said that she is still working on the timing since a public hearing is required before the Council can vote on it — and because the Council is in recess the last two weeks of December.

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