Here are a few items of note from Monday action at City Hall:
- Seattle drinking water warning: The Council heard Monday that the Seattle Public Utilities warning that drinking water in the city’s older homes could be contaminated with lead can be, well, watered down. From SPU:
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) said today that two days of extensive testing in five Seattle homes confirms the city’s water continues to be safe to drink. The utility started testing after learning last week that Tacoma Public Utilities had detected high levels of lead in four water samples taken from galvanized steel service lines. In response to that information, SPU asked Seattle residents to run their water before using it if the water had not been run for a while. SPU then initiated its own tests to see if the problems reported in Tacoma exist here. The Seattle test results announced today are well below the action level for lead of 15 parts per billion (ppb). The highest level recorded in Seattle’s tests was 1.95 ppb. SPU has also rolled out a new tool to look up information about the water pipes serving residences at www.seattle.gov/util/lead.
- Switch to districts = more work = more City Hall employees: The City Council voted Monday afternoon to approve a new legislative staffer for each of the body’s nine elected members:
In 2013, Seattle voters approved an amendment to the City Charter that changed the way that Councilmembers were elected. Beginning in 2015, seven of the nine Councilmembers were elected by district, with the remaining two positions being elected “at large.” The additional staff support provided by the new positions in this ordinance will be used to address the increased workload resulting from this switch to district elections.
Some questioned why Council members need more support simply because of the switch to districts in Seattle. The Council voted 8-1 Monday to approve the new headcount.
- Business Improvement Area rules: Monday, the full Council also approved a clean-up of the rules used to govern the city’s Business Improvement Areas — just in time for the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 plans to greatly expand the neighborhood’s BIA.
- Stonewall: Also passed Monday:
A RESOLUTION expressing The City of Seattle’s fervent support for the designation of the area around the Stonewall Inn as a National Monument to be administered under the purview of the National Parks Service.