The more active citizens and community groups get, the more important it is to know who’s in charge of what areas of emphasis in local government. So toward that end – the Seattle City Council has announced its “likely” committee chairs for next year. First, two areas of intense local interest: West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is expected to continue chairing Transportation; Councilmember Mike O’Brien is expected to become chair of Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability, the scope of which includes development and zoning. For the full list – including some renamed committees – read on for the council’s announcement:
The Seattle City Council has drafted likely committee assignments to begin preparation for work in 2014. Each Councilmember is responsible for chairing a Council committee and managing legislation related to the committee’s focus. Councilmembers also serve as a vice-chair on one committee and as a member on another. Committee assignments remain subject to change until they are made official at the first Full Council meeting of the year, on Monday January 6, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. The next Council President will also be chosen at this meeting. Committee assignments are for two years.
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw will chair the Seattle Public Utilities and Neighborhoods Committee. Councilmember Bagshaw will oversee Council’s work on issues surrounding services provided by Seattle Public Utilities, including water, drainage, wastewater, and solid waste services. The committee will also consider matters involving Seattle neighborhoods, such as neighborhood outreach and engagement.
Councilmember Tim Burgess will chair the Education and Governance Committee. As Chair of this committee, Councilmember Burgess will focus on issues relating to public schools and improving student success rates, intergovernmental relations, ethics and elections, as well as personnel issues and labor-management relations.
Councilmember Sally J. Clark will chair the Committee on Housing Affordability, Human Services and Economic Resiliency. Councilmember Clark’s committee will handle issues concerning affordable housing, homelessness, child care, and disability services, local and regional public health, as well as policies relating to economic development and affordability, including the minimum wage.
Councilmember Jean Godden will chair the Parks, Seattle Center, Libraries, and Gender Pay Equity Committee. As Chair of this committee, Councilmember Godden will take up issues surrounding the gender pay gap in Seattle, as well as issues relating to City parks, community centers, and public grounds, including the Seattle Center. Her committee will also manage legislation relating to the Seattle Public Library system.
Councilmember Bruce Harrell will continue to chair the Public Safety, Civil Rights, and Technology Committee. As chair, Councilmember Harrell will consider policies relating to law enforcement, crime prevention and criminal justice, civil rights, emergency preparedness and medical services, City information technology planning and implementation, and cable telecommunication services in Seattle.
Councilmember Nick Licata will chair the Finance and Culture Committee. The committee will be responsible for reviewing the Mayor’s proposed budget and City financial management policies. Councilmember Licata’s committee will also manage issues relating to Seattle’s art and culture, which includes nightlife issues and public access television.
Councilmember Mike O’Brien will chair the Planning, Land Use and Sustainability Committee. In addition handling policies involving City zoning, planning, and land use regulations, Councilmember O’Brien will take up matters that relate to climate and environmental protections, conservation programs, and green infrastructure.
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen will continue to chair the Transportation Committee. The committee will handle matters pertaining to city-wide and regional transportation policy and planning. These issues range from pedestrian and bicycle programs, traffic control and parking policies, and overseeing the City’s coordination with regional and state departments of transportation.
Councilmember-elect Kshama Sawant will chair the committee handling issues involving Seattle City Light. The committee will handle policies relating to Seattle’s energy usage, as well issues relating to alternative energy sources, air pollution regulation, energy utility rates, and Seattle City Light finances.