While most of the attention in 2018 was on the lackluster and fruitless “One Table” effort to drive a regional response to homelessness, it appears that quietly the stage was being set for a move to a regional governance system — or at least for the parts under the control of Seattle and King County.
Today the Washington State Supreme Court handed down a ruling on a legal challenge to King County Initiative 27, which would have prohibited county funding for supervised consumption sites and enacted civil penalties for violating that prohibition or for operating a supervised consumption site. The court found that the content of I-27 was outside the scope of local initiative power.
At the beginning of June, King County cancelled its pending RFP for a “transit-oriented development” (TOD) affordable-housing project on county-owned property next to the forthcoming Northgate light-rail station, and said that it would be starting over with the process. Council member Debora Juarez, whose District 5 includes Northgate, is fed up with the delays on the project, and she and other city leaders are giving King County Executive Dow Constantine an earful.
Yesterday the US Department of Justice sent another round of threatening letters to select cities and counties, pushing back on so-called “sanctuary city” policies.