In a sudden and unexpected move today, Council President Bruce Harrell introduced a bill that would repeal the recently-enacted employee-hours tax (aka the “head tax”) and scheduled a special meeting of the full City Council for tomorrow to deliberate and vote on it.
It’s going to be a busy week for the Council, with plenty of committee meetings, plus MHA and Education Levy work.
Much like Green Lake tends to do every year around this time, City Hall has grown its own toxic algae bloom of unhealthy tribal politics this week. I’m going to take a day off (maybe two) while it hopefully dies down a bit.
If you need a morning fix of local political news, trust me, you won’t have to look far; everyone’s writing about Amazon’s announcement yesterday. But I would encourage you all to also “just say no,” give it a rest for a day, and seek some perspective.
Welcome to “Bizarro World” Seattle. Last night after the May Day march, the antifa “anarchists” were anything but. And today, civic discourse descended into the pit of despair as bluster, posturing, speechifying and flat-out verbal abuse displaced serious policy debate on complex issues.
Later this week the Council will take up consideration of some updates to its own General Rules and Procedures: the published set of rules for how it handles meetings, voting, vacancies, and more.
Today Human Services Director Catherine Lester announced that she is resigning so that she can move to Toronto to be closer to her family.
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), and he decided to go to court over it — represented by local nonprofit legal services provider and homeless advocate Columbia Legal Services.
This case has received a fair amount of press attention this week, but it’s been difficult to report on accurately for lack of good information on the judge’s ruling. Shaffer ruled “from the bench” last Friday, and her scrawled-out written ruling basically says “what I said in court on Friday” and points to the transcript of the hearing, which hadn’t yet been produced. That transcript finally became available this afternoon (here it is); it’s a pretty free-wheeling discussion of the case but paints a more nuanced version of the judge’s ruling than what was portrayed in the Stranger (who mostly got it right) and the Seattle Times (who got much of it wrong).
The sausage-making was on full display this afternoon when the City Council once again took up a resolution regarding the liquid natural gas (LNG) plant being built in Tacoma.
Yesterday the nine Council members published their 2018 Work Program, a list of their individual and committee areas of responsibility and interest. Much of it is pro-forma work just to keep the trains running, but interspersed through it are individual items that show where the Council members plan to spend their time in the coming year.
The Missing Link might not be missing for too much longer.