14 more City Council 2017-2018 budget tweaks: LGBTQ seniors affordability study, Portland-loo, SPD hiring requirements

A proposal to redirect funding from SPD’s North Precinct project to create $29 million in affordable housing isn’t the only City of Seattle budget jockeying going on this week. Last week, we told you about eight City Council tweaks to Mayor Ed Murray’s budget including a reversal of the mayor’s drug arrest diversion program cuts. Here are 14 more tweaks proposed this week.

  • Housing needs study for low-income LGBTQ seniors: Lorena Gonzalez sponsored this $54,000 addition calling for funding “to conduct a housing needs and opportunities assessment for low-income LGBTQ seniors. This study will include: 1) information on the demand for affordable housing by LGBTQ seniors; 2) identification of barriers and recommendations for reducing barriers to accessing housing for this population; 3) strategies for providing housing assistance to such seniors; and 4) a proposed work plan to implement identified recommendations and strategies.”
  • Study of affordable housing development on city land: $200,000 “to fund community planning and project feasibility work for the development of affordable housing on publicly-owned land in the City.” Includes “developing an inventory of properties suitable for development in the near future.”
  • Provisos on $2.5 million in homeless spending: One proviso limits the Human Services Department to spend its $900,000 line item “solely to support new, authorized encampments, which may include funding self-governing encampments, and may be spent for no other purpose.” The Council proposals will also require the Human Services Department to meet certain standards as it works on outreach programs with the homeless:
    Council expects that this coordination will extend across multiple service providers engaging with the different populations of people experiencing homelessness in Seattle. Council also expects that training for outreach workers will help to ensure that all providers involved in implementing city policies meet and maintain compliance with the standards recommended by the Work Group and that the compliance will be regularly verified.
  • Homeless outreach for people with mental illness, substance abuse disorders: The Mike O’Brien sponsored proposal would add $200,000 to the Human Services budget in 2017 “to support outreach services for people with histories of homelessness and numerous psychiatric hospitalizations, living unsheltered, with untreated mental illnesses and often co-occurring substance abuse disorders, such as the services provided by the Downtown Emergency Service Center through the HOST program.”
  • screen-shot-2016-11-09-at-9-40-27-pmPortland Loo-type bathrooms: $600,000 or so for homeless-friendly bathrooms.
    Communities interested in the installation of these new bathrooms may be asked to contribute funding towards the acquisition and installation costs. It is the Council’s intent that these bathrooms be installed in Ballard, the University District, and the Downtown corridor.
  • Homeless encampment bag pilot program: Seattle Public Utilities is set to get an extra $60,000 “to increase the number of encampments served by SPU crews and contractors.”
  • Child Care Space Mitigation fund: Lisa Herbold’s proposal for $1 million to seed a fund to help keep after-school child care in place as schools put more of their campus space to work and displace the programs:
    This green sheet would add $1 million GSF to the Department of Education and Early Learning (“DEEL”) in 2017 to create a Child Care Space Mitigation fund to address the displacement of before- and after-school child care from Seattle School District No. 1’s (“District”) buildings.
  • Accelerate Bike Master Plan spending: That sounds good, right? This proposal would allocate an additional $1 million in 2017 and $4 million in 2018 to accelerate the Bicycle Master Plan (BMP) Implementation CIP project. Funding is provided through the use of Move Seattle Levy funds in the Transportation Operating Fund’s fund balance. The increase in 2017 and 2018 funding for the BMP Implementation project would be offset by commensurate funding decreases in 2019-2022. Oh.
  • SPD body cameras provisoNo money may be spent by the Seattle Police Department (SPD) or Seattle Information Technology Department (SeaIT) in 2017 on the acquisition of body-worn video (BWV) equipment, until the following occurs: SPD submits to the Council a detailed action plan by December 2, 2016, for ongoing and future community engagement on body-worn video as described in this green sheet, and the action plan is approved by the Council; and SPD submits to the Council a report on initial results of community engagement by no later than February, 2017, and a draft BWV policy that is responsive to community input and the operational needs of the department, and the Council passes an ordinance lifting this proviso.
  • SPD hiring proviso: Another throttle on the department. This one intended to raise the standards for new hires:
    Of the 2017 appropriations in the Seattle Police Department, none shall be spent on the hiring of any new police officer unless that officer has been hired using a preference points system that includes preference points for applicants who are multi-lingual and/or have work experience or educational background providing important skills needed in modern policing, such as experience working with diverse communities, and social work, mental health or domestic violence counseling, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or other similar work or community service backgrounds.
  • Domestic violence firearms forfeiture program: This addition from Sally Bagshaw would earmark $310,000 and create two new City Attorney’s Office positions to develop a domestic violence firearms forfeiture program:
    This funding would support the creation of a program to support tracking and prosecution of persons violating orders to forfeit their firearms in relation to a domestic violence case.
  • Youth violence preventionThis green sheet would add $302,400 GSF in 2017 to the Human Services Department (HSD) for organizations engaged in the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI) recreational programming. The 2017 proposed budget reprograms funds from the Boys & Girls Club and the YMCA recreation contracts towards other SYVPI programs. This funding will backfill the recreational contracts.
  • Seattle Asian Art Museum renovation budget shuffle: A complicated budgetary maneuver would slice $850,000 of the $19 million in city funding planned for SAAM’s overhaul and expansion and spread the money in $150,000 chunks across other “cultural institution” projects, boosting the city’s planned funding to Hugo House’s construction to $400,000, and Town Hall to $1 million, among others.
  • Municipal broadband: Add $303,306 and one term-limited FTE to Seattle IT in 2017 and $137,330 in 2018 to develop a 10-year business plan for a City-owned municipal broadband utility.
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2 thoughts on “14 more City Council 2017-2018 budget tweaks: LGBTQ seniors affordability study, Portland-loo, SPD hiring requirements

  1. Toilets for the homeless: Us Oldseters remember the previous $1,000,000 automatic toilet fiasco.
    How about employing some of the homeless to supervise more conventional portable toilets – monitor usage, clean, dispense hygiene supplies.

    • If you remember, during the fiasco, the toilets Seattle chose were expensive and designed to be a failure, whereas, the Portland loos are designed to prevent the prostitution and drug use that plagued the Seattle toilets. Although there’s still the issue of cleaning them ($90,000/yr for Portland’s six loos).

      Seattle has a dearth of public restrooms. I run six miles from my work in Denny Triangle to Ballard regularly, through multiple City parks, and there is not a single public restroom. Luckily there are a couple grocery stores with restrooms where once can slip in unnoticed, when the running poops hit you, but unless you’re planning on purchasing anything, you could technically be hit with a trespassing charge (unlikely through). Even the 16 or so miles of the BGT only has 4 public restrooms along the entire route.

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