Today Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that she has submitted nominations to the City Council to make permanent three of her interim department head appointments: Sue McNab at the Department of Human Resources, Calvin Goings at the Department of Finance and Administrative Services, and Andrés Mantilla at the Department of Neighborhoods. Durkan also announced that Linea Laird would take over for Goran Sparrman as interim Director of the Department of Transportation while the search process for a permanent SDOT director finishes up.
Last fall when the City Council wrote the budget for 2018, it inserted a proviso on funding for removal and cleanup of unsanctioned homeless encampments. That proviso requires all such funding to be spent in conformance with the Multi-Department Administrative Rule (MDAR) established in January of 2017 that specified the specifics of how cleanups should be carried out.
The proviso also spoke to the unease that some of the Council members feel toward that MDAR, and demanded that the executive branch review it and recommend changes by:
Furthermore, the Council intends that the Executive shall review MDAR 17-01 and FAS 17-01 protocols to improve the unauthorized encampment removal process and reduce harm to unsheltered individuals and provide a report by April 6, 2018, to the Chair of the Human Services and Public Health Committee and Council Central Staff Director. Recommendations for changes to the existing policies, proposing new policies, or legislation should also consider input from the Advisory Committee on Implementation of Rules of Removing Unsanctioned Homeless Encampments and the Office of Civil Rights’ encampment monitoring reports.”
That report was due last Friday. And it now looks like we won’t see it until the end of July.
This afternoon the Seattle Office of Civil Rights (SOCR) issued a report on its monitoring of the city’s removals of unsanctioned homeless encampments between May and September of this year. Their conclusion: the city is complying with the MDAR rules, but problems still persist.
The biggest piece of bad news in the proposed budget package that Mayor Burgess delivered to the City Council was a big deficit in a line-item that almost no one has heard of: the Judgment and Claims Subfund. Subsequently, it became a point of debate between the two candidates for City Attorney, incumbent Pete Holmes and insurgent Scott Lindsay, with accusations that Holmes has been mismanaging his budget for outside counsel.
Let’s dig in to the Judgment and Claims Fund, look at what it is (and isn’t), and understand why it’s so far over budget this year.
Yesterday afternoon the Council received another monthly briefing on the “Bridging the Gap” short-term response to the homelessness crisis in Seattle.
This morning the city posted for public review and comment a draft of its rewritten rules for removing unsanctioned homeless encampments from city-owned property.
At the start of yesterday’s Gender Equity, Safe Communities, and New Americans Committee, there was a large, angry crowd of people waving “Black Lives Matter” signs who took turns decrying the proposed $160 million North Precinct headquarters as a “militarized bunker” and an extravagance.