Category Archives: human services

City’s “prolific offenders” task force issues report, Mayor proposes response

You will likely recall that last February a group self-published a report on “prolific offenders” who cause problems for local communities and businesses, and who cycle through the criminal justice system. As I wrote at the time, that report had plenty of methodological issues and other flaws that limited its usefulness, since the authors didn’t have access to most of the relevant government, law-enforcement, and human-services records. However, in the aftermath of that report, Mayor Durkan commissioned her own task force to look into the issue of prolific offenders. That group published their report last week, concurrent with a budget proposal from the Mayor for four new programs to address the problem.

Continue reading City’s “prolific offenders” task force issues report, Mayor proposes response

Council passes restrictions on soda tax and AirBnB tax spending

This afternoon the City Council passed, each by a 7-1 vote, a pair of bills that set up separate funds into which the Sweetened Beverage Tax and Short-term Rental Tax revenues must be deposited, along with stricter rules for how the revenues may be spent — despite a threat from Mayor Durkan to veto the bills.

Council member Mike O’Brien speaks at a press conference on his bill to restrict spending of soda tax revenues

Continue reading Council passes restrictions on soda tax and AirBnB tax spending

Assessing the city’s homelessness response

Yesterday Mayor Durkan, Interim Human Services Director Jason Johnson, and other city officials briefed the press on the Human Services Department’s (and the city’s) response to the homelessness crisis in 2018, in advance of releasing selected statistics to the public. In addition, HSD delivered its quarterly report to the City Council this morning on the performance of the Navigation Team. This follows a report from the City Auditor’s office earlier this month criticizing HSD and the Navigation Team for aspects of its response.

Let’s dive in to the 2018 numbers.

Continue reading Assessing the city’s homelessness response

HSD Director appointment still in limbo after chaotic Council hearing

Tonight’s Council committee hearing lasted for two and a half hours. At the end, a resolution was voted out of committee — barely — but the future of Mayor Durkan’s nomination to fill the position of Director of the Human Services Department is as murky as ever.

Continue reading HSD Director appointment still in limbo after chaotic Council hearing

City braces for more snow… or worse.

This afternoon, Mayor Durkan and several of her department heads held a press briefing on preparations for two more winter storm systems: one that arrived late this afternoon, and the second to arrive midday tomorrow. Tomorrow’s is the one they are all worried about.

Mayor Jenny Durkan briefs the press on winter storm preparations, while interim SDOT Director Sam Zimbabwe looks on

Continue reading City braces for more snow… or worse.