On Monday and Tuesday this week and Friday last week the Council met as the Budget Committee for the “Issue Identification” phase of the Council’s budget deliberations. Below are links to Council Central staff papers for relevant departments, which include issues identified by Staff, as well as proposals from individual Councilmembers.
On Monday, we heard issues related to SDOT, Seattle Public Utilities, and the Department of Finance and Administrative Services. On Tuesday, we heard issues relating to Human Services and Homelessness, use of sweetened beverage tax funds, the Seattle Police Department, police accountability, and issues that affect more than one department, or departments with few issues brought forward.
Last Friday, we heard budget issues related to the Office of Planning and Community Development, the Department of Construction and Inspections, Seattle Center, the Department of Neighborhoods and the Neighborhood Matching Fund, and Parks and Recreation.
Next week the Budget Committee is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, October 24 and Wednesday, October 25 to consider specific budget actions proposed by Councilmembers (called “Green Sheets”, because they used to be printed on green paper in the pre-digital age). We will also hear Statements of Legislative Intent (SLIs), that may not have a budget impact, but indicate a policy direction that Councilmembers want to explore. Where, up to this point, an individual Councilmember could propose a budget proposal, in the new stage of the process that begins next week, my Council colleagues will need a total of three sponsors to move a budget proposal forward.
Here’s a link to the Budget Committee schedule, and a summary of the Council’s budget process. The Mayor’s Proposed 2018 Budget and 2018-2023 Capital Improvements Program can be accessed at the City Budget Office webpage. The Council’s budget website includes a searchable Budget Document Database for Council budget documents dating back to 2009. The database includes both issue papers and specific Councilmember proposals.
This Saturday I spoke at the Duwamish Alive! fall event. Duwamish Alive is a collaboration of communities, municipalities, non-profits, and businesses within the Duwamish River Watershed to preserve and enhance for people and wildlife.
A ceremony was held Saturday morning at 10am located at T107 Park. These events are held twice a year and hundreds of volunteers join together to remove debris, plant trees and more. Click here for a list of locations and partner organizations.
Speaking of the Duwamish River, I’ve heard from many of you recently about the Duwamish Waterway Park. There was recent concern that it may not remain a park and that King County might have been considering removing a portion of the greenspace in order to “mitigate culpability in the EPA Superfund site.”
On October 12th Seattle Parks and Recreation with King County released a joint statement that cements their commitment to retaining and continued development of Duwamish Waterway Park into park space for the South Park Community.
I appreciate those of you that leapt to action and contacted my office about this issue – the swift response from King County and Seattle Parks and Recreation shows that your organizing matters and that local government can be responsive to community concerns.
As newly elected Chair of the Budget Committee it is my responsibility to assemble and propose the Balancing Package that, if adopted would amend the Mayor’s proposed budget. This requires me to balance the proposals from the community and my colleagues while ensuring that the budget is passed in a timely manner.
Due to this responsibility and time commitment I am unable to host my usual office hours in October. I apologize for this inconvenience, and hope to see you at my next office hours TBD.
If you have a more immediate issue, please email me to let me know and I or one of my staff will be happy to work on getting it resolved.
I wanted to let you all know what issues I am hearing from the public. Below is a tally of the emails I have received from the public about the budget.