Here’s a look at this week’s Capitol Hill-centric highlights from the City Council’s chambers:
- Encampments plan approved: Monday, the full Council approved two pieces of
legislation that will make outsized political statements if not major changes. Most importantly, the Council voted unanimously to approve a program creating space for 300 homeless people to camp at three encampments in locations to be determined across the city. Amendments to make the permit process renewable and to study the possibility of utilizing all zoning types including land owned by government entities in the program were passed. An amendment on the study amendment to restrict single family zones from the program failed. Meanwhile, the Council also voted to oppose Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Promotion Authority:
City Council adopted a resolution today opposing Trade Promotion Authority, more commonly known as “fast track” consideration, of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) regional trade pact between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. The resolution also expresses the Council’s concerns about draft elements of the proposed agreement and expresses support for fair trade practices and agreements that protect American jobs, maintain enforceable labor and environmental standards, and preserve the sovereignty of America’s judicial system.
- SPD staffing: Wednesday, the public safety committee will hear a presentation from HR honcho Mike Fields, COO Mike Wagers, and Assistant Chief Steve Wilske of the Seattle Police Department about the police force’s current staffing levels. According to the briefing document (PDF), East Precinct patrol staff worked 18% of the “911 call hours” and represented 17% of SPD’s total 911 staffing during the period under review. The numbers look similar to past reports but we’ll have to see what the brass have to say Wednesday. Earlier this month, Pike/Pine businesses put out a public call for increased budget to pay for more patrols in the neighborhood’s busy nightlife core.
- Body cam update: Also Wednesday, the Council’s public safety committee will hear an update from Wagers on SPD’s trial currently underway to test body cameras on officers in the East Precinct. The trial’s results are planned to be reviewed in September. The report attached to Wednesday’s agenda dates to November so we don’t know how the various technologies being tested have fared but its seems like the folks from TASER/Evidence.com like Seattle one way or the other. The tech team is opening a new office in the “twin toaster” buildings also home to Facebook across I-5.
- Fire chief to be sworn in: New Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins
will take his oath of officesit down for discussion with Council members at Wednesday’s session of the public safety committee before a planned confirmation vote on April 15th.
- Seattle Preschool implementation plan: Wednesday morning, the education committee will take up an ordinance to create an implementation plan for the Seattle Preschool Program after voters approved a levy paying for the program last November. A summary of the proposed implementation plan (PDF) is here. According to the Seattle Times, only two Capitol Hill area preschools would qualify to be part of the program. “40 centers in Seattle cleared that bar,” the Times reports. “Based on budget projections, the city expects to use 14 classrooms for the program in its first year.”