Can the city impound a homeless man’s vehicle if he is living in it?

Last Friday, King County Superior Court Judge Catherine Shaffer ruled on the case of Steven Long, a homeless man who had been living in his truck after he was evicted from his apartment because he couldn’t pay the rent. When his truck stopped running, he left it parked on a Seattle street longer than the allowed 72 hours, and after being warned about it, a few days later the city impounded it and called Lincoln Towing to take it away. Lincoln’s charge to retrieve his truck was hefty (on top of the city’s fine for exceeding the 72-hour parking restriction), …

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City submits its plan for police reform “sustainability period”

Back in January, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart ruled that the City of Seattle was in “full and effective compliance” with the consent decree that it signed with the Department of Justice over police misconduct. That declaration kicked off a two-year “sustainment period” in which the city must show that it can fully implement the remainder of its plan and remain in compliance with the consent decree. Last Friday, the City submitted its plan for what will happen over the next two years.

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The City Council paid a lobbyist $50,000 for the income tax ordinance, and other revelations

Last year Jason Mercier, Director of the Center for Government Reform at the conservative Washington Policy Center, submitted an expansive public document request for documents and communications from Seattle officials related to the development  of the city’s income tax ordinance. He’s been kind enough to share and discuss the resulting information-dumps with me, and the results are a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how the City Council operates. I should state up-front: Jason and I disagree on the merits of an income tax (I’m for it), but we have a shared interest in government transparency and accountability, independent of government officials’ …

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Burke-Gilman Trail “Missing Link” gets the green light from the Hearing Examiner

Today the Seattle Office of the Hearing Examiner released its decision on the latest appeal of the city’s attempt to complete the “missing link” of the Burke-Gilman Trail through Ballard. The examiner affirmed the validity of the Final Environmental Impact Statement, which clears the project to go forward unless it is appealed further up the line.

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