This morning, Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that she is withdrawing the nomination of Jason Johnson as permanent Director of the Human Services Department, though he will continue on as interim Director.
Tomorrow’s scheduled meeting of the Select Committee on Homelessness and Housing Affordability has been cancelled. The meeting was intended to continue — and perhaps conclude — the confirmation hearings for Jason Johnson’s appointment as Director of the Human Services Department.
By a 3-5 vote, the Council narrowly defeated Council member Sawant’s effort to send Mayor Durkan’s nomination for HSD Director back to her for a do-over. But that doesn’t mean the nomination has a clear path forward to confirmation.
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.
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.
As promised, Council member Kshama Sawant will be formally introducing a resolution on Monday to send back Mayor Jenny Durkan’s nomination of Jason Johnson as Director of the Human Services Department.
Today Mayor Durkan announced two more department head appointments: Jason Johnson as Director of the Human Services Department, and Mariko Lockhart as Director of the Office of Civil Rights.
Today Human Services Director Catherine Lester announced that she is resigning so that she can move to Toronto to be closer to her family.