Let the budget shell games begin: Sawant pitches 1000 new affordable housing units

Over the next eight weeks, the City Council members will be looking for hidden pots of money that can be used to fund new or expanded projects. And Kshama Sawant has already put forth her first proposal: now that the North Precinct police station is at least temporarily shelved, she wants to use that money to fund 1000 new units of affordable housing. But chasing the details of her plan takes us deep down the rabbit-hole of municipal finances.

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Welcome to Budget Season

Between now and Thanksgiving, the Seattle City Council will be almost singularly focused on one task: writing the city’s budget for the 2017–2018 biennium. Budget chair Tim Burgess, in his first year in the position, has made some tweaks to the process and schedule in the hopes of making it more efficient, transparent, and open to new and interesting proposals.

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Council takes up homeless encampment legislation

Yesterday morning the Council had its first substantive discussion on the merits of the bill introduced earlier this month to rewrite the city’s protocol for clearing unsanctioned homeless encampments. While yesterday’s meeting was intended to be just a forum for discussion with no decisions, it nevertheless highlighted just how much work needs to be done on the details of the bill before it’s ready for adoption – and how unlikely that work will be finished before the Council’s self-imposed deadline of the end of the month.

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