Budget chair Tim Burgess’s plan for this year was to use two rounds of discussion to build most of the 2017-2018 budget by consensus, leaving today’s meeting to hash out whatever controversies remain. That is exactly how it played out, and even today’s meeting had few major conflicts.
Over the last two days, the argument over whether the city should use its bonding authority to plow more money into affordable housing has threatened to turn into a pitched battle, with both sides digging in their heels.
For several weeks now, Council member Sawant and her coalition have been pushing a proposal to redirect funds from the troubled North Precinct police station project to fund 1000 units on new affordable housing. This afternoon, a competing proposal was announced, introduced by six Council members — including Sawant.
Council member Kshama Sawant has been stumping non-stop for her plan to kill off the last vestiges of the North Precinct police station plan, and to divert the funds to build 1000 units of affordable housing. Her proposal came up for discussion in the Council’s budget discussions yesterday, and it didn’t fare well.
Over the next eight weeks, the City Council members will be looking for hidden pots of money that can be used to fund new or expanded projects. And Kshama Sawant has already put forth her first proposal: now that the North Precinct police station is at least temporarily shelved, she wants to use that money to fund 1000 new units of affordable housing. But chasing the details of her plan takes us deep down the rabbit-hole of municipal finances.
Yesterday’s announcement of a change in plans for the controversial North Precinct station dominates the news headlines this morning.
Yesterday afternoon, in a surprise move the Mayor and three Council members announced that the controversial North Precinct police station would be paused for reconsideration.
Lots of things happening this week, especially around the homeless crisis, encampments, and the Jungle.
The City Council this afternoon approved a resolution giving guidance to the city on a potential path to a new North Precinct police station. It was a chaotic meeting where most of the Council’s rules of decorum were obliterated by an angry group of #BlackLivesMatter and #BlockTheBunker protesters.
Council member Lorena Gonzalez earned her pay this month. After she and Council member Debora Juarez met last week with representatives of the #BlockTheBunker group, and listening to the concerns of her colleagues on the Council, she appears to have found a path forward for the North Precinct station project that a supermajority of the Council can get behind.