Some news and notes from Seattle’s City Hall:
- Department of Neighborhoods change: Kathy Nyland, the Department of Neighborhoods head show oversaw the shakeup of the city’s neighborhood council system in an effort to create a more diverse and equitable “engagement” process for the city, is out. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the replacement Friday in classic weekend news dump style. “Durkan’s decision to remove Nyland—who has been assigned a new job as “senior advisor” somewhere in the parks department—wasn’t entirely unexpected, but it should disappoint anyone who liked what the city hall change agent was doing at DON,” reports Erica Barnett at C is for Crank.
- New! Inspector General for Public Safety: The City Council approved the hiring of Seattle first Inspector General for Public Safety Monday afternoon. Lisa Judge, an Assistant City Attorney for Tucson Arizona, will fill the position created last year as part of police accountability legislation. “The IG’s role will be to audit specific investigations of police misconduct and to flag any broader concerns at SPD,” KUOW reports.
- Seattle revenue report: In a Regional Economy and General Fund Revenue Overview report delivered to the City Council Monday, Seattle’s boom times appear to be continuing to boom — but the wonks can see the end of good times. While city revenues are expected to continue to soar through the $1.3 billion mark in 2020 thanks to continuing strong construction numbers and a soaring economy, Seattle is on track to spend too much, too quickly. “Even with added revenues, our city is on a course to spend more money than it has in the next two years,” Mayor Durkan said in a statement Monday. “With a series of one-time spending decisions that carry over into the upcoming years, the City must emphasize its priorities and evaluate sensible cost saving measures. Our budget should reflect our values, and our focus will be making Seattle more affordable, providing economic opportunity, and delivering basic services to our communities, businesses, and neighbors.” Durkan says she is asking her departments to tighten their belts in upcoming budgets “As we work to develop next year’s budget, City government should find efficiencies, which is why I’ve asked each of our departments to build budgets ranging from 2% to 5% less than last year,” Durkan said.