- SPD discipline: It turns out a new Seattle mayor, too, is having trouble managing his police force. The Seattle City Council is taking a swing at the problem of SPD’s resistance to police discipline with a special Wednesday session of its public safety committee chaired by Bruce Harrell. Here’s what the Stranger has to say about it: “The city council seems super-annoyed that as they try to watchdog the police department, even they can still discover brand-new ways cops can get off the hook.” Here’s what Harrell says about the 2 PM Wednesday session:
The purpose of the committee meeting is to hold an open and transparent discussion regarding the following issues:
1) Chief Bailey’s decision and explanation of his disciplinary review process and plan moving forward; how does the Chief arrive at settlement process?
2) Provide clarification on the current Office of Professional Accountability complaint process.
3) Provide clarification on the Grievance Procedure under Appendix A of the Seattle Police Officers Guild contract.
4) What are the questions raised to improve the process in resolving grievance cases in a timely manner and work plan to identify a solution?
“As we implement the Department of Justice’s Settlement Agreement and search for a new permanent Police Chief, we must send a clear signal that police misconduct will not be tolerated,” said Councilmember Harrell, chair of the Council’s Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. “There must be a transparent system with appropriate checks and balances.”
- Car service regulation: The Council’s taxi committee is expected — finally — to vote Thursday on regulations and driver caps for new-era car service companies like Lyft, Sidecar and UberX. You can review the proposed Transportation Network Company, Taxi, and For-Hire Vehicle Regulations here. In case you were wondering, alderman Macklemore doesn’t like the plan. And, lest you think regulations are stifling progress toward a fair and open market, here’s a reminder that even the new era can produce shenanigans of commerce.
- Minimum wage town hall: We’ve told you about upcoming opportunities for public discussion about raising the minimum wage in Seattle. Here are the details for a City of Seattle forum March 5th at First Hill’s Town Hall:
City Councilmembers will host a Town Hall on Wednesday, March 5 to hear input from the public relating to raising the minimum wage in Seattle. The meeting will be jointly-sponsored with the Mayor’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee. This will be the first official public forum for Seattleites to share their thoughts on the concept of raising the city’s minimum wage.
Each member of the public will have up to 2 minutes to address Councilmembers, committee members and the town hall audience. Public comment sign-up sheets will be available in the building’s lobby at 5:30 p.m.
The City Council’s Select Committee on Minimum Wage and Income Inequality will have the second of nine scheduled meetings to discuss the issue on Friday, March 21 at 9:30 a.m. in City Council Chambers. For future meeting dates, visit the Council’s Minimum Wage webpage (meetings are subject to change). A video recording of the hearing will be available on the webpage after 4 p.m. on Friday, March 7.
The city will also host what it’s calling “an online town hall” on income inequality through the month. We’ll post more about the online portion soon.
- Metro vote: OK. Not City Hall, exactly, but the King County Council has approved the plan for a ballot measure on local funding to support Metro services and fund road repair. We’ll vote on the tax measure in April. The Council also approved a 25 cent fare increase in March 2015 and required Metro to create an implementation plan for the low-income fare by June 1 of this year. CHS wrote about the “Plan B” for funding Metro here earlier this year.