Three months after she faced the Southwest District Council (October photo at left) to explain a proposed budget cut that would have had a major effect on West Seattle, city Department of Neighborhoods director Stella Chao will be back before SWDC members this Wednesday.
This time, they’ll be waiting to hear why, even though that budget cut was canceled, a significant change has been made anyway (as first reported here last week). The original proposal was to close the Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction that serves the district – in essence, western West Seattle — and to eliminate the position held by its Neighborhood District Coordinator, Stan Lock. The council protested mightily – not just against losing the person who is a city liaison for them and for the neighborhood organizations and institutions they represent, but also against having the center shut down, since potential development does not seem imminent for the site it’s on. The City Council canceled the cut.
But three other district coordinator jobs were cut, meaning there are now 10 coordinators to serve 13 districts around the city, and Chao’s “interim” plan is to organize them into three teams serving regions of districts. Lock is being moved to a team that does not serve West Seattle; the Southwest District will be part of the region served by a team including Delridge District Coordinator Ron Angeles, and that entire team will be based out of the Delridge Neighborhood Service Center. How is that supposed to work? That’s what the council will be asking Chao on Wednesday; their meeting starts at 7 and she’s expected around 7:45, board room at South Seattle Community College (6000 16th SW), all welcome.