Happening now: City Council meeting with mayor’s budget speech, arena proposal, more

September 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle politics | 2 Comments

2:05 PM: Click “play” and you’ll see live video from City Hall, where Mayor McGinn is presenting his 2013 budget to the Seattle City Council. We’ll be reading the fine print as fast as we can and adding links and text highlights as we go.

2:15 PM: He is still presenting an overview, including touting the renewal in development: “When we took office, there were no cranes, and we see cranes again, dotting the skyline … (for) thousands of apartments,” the mayor said. That will mean new jobs at the Department of Planning and Development, according to a preview by our partners at The Seattle Times. We’re checking to be sure that this 763-page document linked from the city budget page is THE official proposal from the mayor.

2:24 PM: From that document, a note about park maintenance:

s. In response to 2011 budget reductions, Parks reduced the parks resources crews responsible for basic grounds maintenance activities such as litter control, mowing, trimming, and leaf removal in parks throughout the city. The reductions have made it challenging to maintain service levels, primarily during peak season. This additional funding will allow for a partial restoration of the grounds maintenance activities that were previously cut. The appearance, safety, and cleanliness of parks will improve with increased attention to litter control, mowing and trimming, and leaf removal.

Also of note from the Parks proposal, since West Seattle is home to two city pools:

The Department will increase swimming pool fees to generate additional revenues. Most of the fee increases are very modest. There are four categories of fees that will be increased, including: recreational swimming fees (family swim, lap swim, public swim, and adult swim); swim lesson fees (pre-registration group, Summer Swim League and personal instruction for all ages); fitness class fees (various water exercise classes and masters swimming); and pool rentals – swim team rental fees (ongoing rentals to teams serving youth and adults). The last swimming pool fee increase in these categories was in 2011.

(Later in the document, the fee increases are described: “Most of the fee increases are very modest, ranging from $.50 for recreational swimming, lessons, and fitness classes to $2 for private lessons. The biggest changes include a $10 increase on swimming lessons for summer swim leagues and a 20% increase on rentals.” The mayor had previously announced a plan to add 10 hours a week to community centers that serve at-risk youth, including Delridge and South Park.

2:35 PM: The mayor is talking about transportation improvements in certain corridors. Didn’t hear West Seattle mentioned. We’re still reading the full budget document linked above and will be checking the transportation section closely (excerpts so far, above, are from the Parks section). If you’d like to see PowerPoints and the speech draft, it’s all linked here.

2:47 PM: The mayor’s speech is over but the meeting continues – with public comment, focused on the upcoming sports-arena vote.

3:23 PM: The council is still discussing the arena proposal. Councilmember Richard Conlin says he’ll vote against it. (At 3:30 pm) Councilmember Nick Licata said he will too.

4:15 PM: The council meeting is over; the arena plan passed, as did the Morgan Junction parkland-related proposal we’ve been following. We’ll add the archived video in place of the previous “live” video box above, when it’s available.

2 Comments

  1. I thought I’d seen folks commenting here about NO USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS for the arena and that we should all just shut up and let the private money make it all work out with zero cost to the taxpayers. The current proposal seems to be using at least 40 million dollars worth of public funds and if I do the math correctly, 40 million is greater than zero.

    I realize that the 40 million is going towards improvements to transportation in and around the area, but it’s money we weren’t planning to spend until the stadium came along, as we had higher priorities. Apparently those priorities were for sale.

    Comment by MAS — 4:47 pm September 24, 2012 #

  2. Um, swimming pool fees have already increased from $3.25 just a few years ago up to $4.75 now? A “modest” increase of another $.50 doesn’t sit well with me when I only get one hour of lap swim time allotments at Southwest which is a joke. Just another reason I can’t stand this place sometimes. I wouldn’t complain if decent services were provided but I haven’t seen noticeable improvements with pools except for maintenance stuff…I’d prefer better services.

    Comment by CMP — 7:12 pm September 24, 2012 #

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