Revised budget “balancing package” released; showdown imminent over head tax

Monday afternoon Budget chair Lisa Herbold released her “revised balancing package” proposal for the 2018 city budget. Tuesday morning she begins to lead her fellow Council members in deliberations and votes on the items in the package. The big contentious issue, the employee-hours tax (or “HOMES tax,” or “head tax”), is still in the package, and in fact will be the first item up for discussion and vote. It won’t be pretty.

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Office of Civil Rights once again monitoring homeless encampment cleanups

Earlier this year, the city issued an update to its protocol for cleaning up unsanctioned homeless encampments. Notably missing from those rules was a formal role for the Office of Civil Rights in monitoring implementation and compliance, as it had been doing last fall when the city was accused of not following its own rules.  The Office of Civil Rights  stopped its monitoring work in January, but after public outcry the city backtracked and said that it would use the department in an “audit capacity.” Last month, three city departments quietly signed a Memorandum of Agreement re-establishing a formal monitoring …

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