CITY BUDGET: What’s on the list of changes as final decisions approach

The City Council is close to making final decisions on the city budget. Some of the changes proposed in recent weeks have been scrapped, and some new ones have been added. Tomorrow morning at 9:30 am, the council will go through the newest list of changes still on the table. See the current full list here; ones of potential interest in our area include:

(WSB file photo by Christopher Boffoli)

WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE CORRIDOR STUDIES: Our area’s Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposes spending $100,000 on two studies:

This proposal would provide one-time funding for two traffic management studies: (1) evaluate the feasibility of traffic management modifications to improve the eastbound Spokane St Viaduct connection to I-5; and (2) initiate an SDOT/WSDOT Peer Review Team to review traffic operational and safety improvement opportunities on upper and lower roadways and make recommendations.

These were originally proposed in last year’s West Seattle Bridge Corridor “whitepaper.”

SOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE’S 13TH-YEAR PROMISE PROGRAM: This proposal from Councilmember Bruce Harrell would allot a quarter-million city dollars to support the SSC program that provides a year of free tuition to any interested graduating senior from designated high schools:

The 13th Year Promise Scholarship program provides all graduating seniors from Cleveland, Chief Sealth International, Rainier Beach, and soon West Seattle high schools with one year of free in-state tuition at South Seattle College. Additionally, the program offers students a variety of workshops during their senior year to prepare for college enrollment and to improve math and English skills if necessary.

The funding provided in this green sheet is intended to assist South Seattle College in expanding the reach of the 13th Year Promise Scholarship program by funding non-tuition components of the program, freeing up existing resources to be used for the tuition expenses. This funding may be used for the Readiness Academy, COMPASS Improvement Workshops, and the 13th Year Bridge Program

TERMINAL 5 QUIET ZONE: Also from Councilmember Herbold:

The Port of Seattle is considering improvements to Terminal 5 to modernize the facility. As part of this project, the Port is considering implementation of shore power, a Terminal 5 quiet zone, and broadband back-up alarms to reduce the noise emitted from Terminal 5.

This Statement of Legislative Intent (SLI) requests that SDOT work with the Port of Seattle, the Federal Railway Administration, and the railway companies doing business at Terminal 5, to extend the quiet zone from Terminal 5 to the Delridge Way/W Marginal Way intersection.

The SLI requests that SDOT provide quarterly reports on this work to the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee.

SOUTH PARK PUBLIC-SAFETY TASK FORCE: Proposed by at-large (and WS-residing) Councilmember Lorena González:

The Council requests that the Executive convene a Special Task Force of South Park residents to formulate and report to Council recommendations regarding the public safety and vitality of that neighborhood. It is the Council’s understanding that the written report of the Special Task Force would, as a general matter, accomplish the following:

1. Identify strategies for a new model of neighborhood policing, which will build on the micropolicing plans and community policing plans initiated by Chief Katherine O’Toole. The strategies should be replicable in other neighborhoods throughout the City, while flexible enough to reflect the unique situations or dynamics of other diverse neighborhoods; and

2. Identify strategies for a culturally and linguistically responsive data-driven approach to improving the City’s relations to and effectiveness with the South Park neighborhood, which will also inform the City’s engagement with all other neighborhoods.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT COMMISSION: The final step toward creating the mayor’s proposed Community Involvement Commission – to be a liaison group instead of maintaining ties to neighborhood district councils in that role – is spelled out in this item (PDF), which also redefines the Department of Neighborhoods’ role. It strikes out the word “neighborhood” in many cases, although one amendment is proposed: ” Subsection G would add support for neighborhood-based community-building to the list of functions of the Director of the Department of Neighborhoods.” Each City Council district will have one representative on the group; 7 other members would be appointed by the mayor.

The list of proposed changes will itself change before tomorrow’s meeting – while we were writing this story, it grew to 143 items – but you can review the titles and brief descriptions and look at others that might interest you by going here. If you have strong feelings, pro or con, about any of them, contact councilmembers ASAP – the info is all here (our area’s rep is at, and she’s been providing budget-process explainers on her website).

13 Replies to "CITY BUDGET: What's on the list of changes as final decisions approach"

  • wakeflood November 15, 2016 (12:28 pm)

    WSB, I’m almost positive that the $100K for the two studies are in addition to the white paper funding in the last budget.  I was confused as well but checked in person with Council member Herbold during her local office hours last month.  This is new money.

    Feel free to double check me.  :-)

  • Cerrutta November 15, 2016 (1:16 pm)

    Thank heavens we have roe money pouring into “studies” instead of actual resolutions, because I’m certain that unless you are a shut-in you have no idea whatsoever that we have had the same traffic problems for the last decade and millions of dollars already wasted “studying the problem” instead of FIXING IT.  Take a look at the monies spent STUDYING alternatives to the VIADUCT versus the actual money spent on Bertha’s Black Hole — and boy oh boy, wasn’t THAT money well spent?  Millions of dollars were spent on publicly funded STUDIES that FAILED to take FILL and OBSTRUCTIONS into account to adequately prepare excavation plans so NOW, we get to spend millions MORE to FIX the inadequate STUDIES and failed excavation that originally got us into the money pit (which the public voted AGAINST, do you recall?).  Take a look at the money spent on FEASIBILITY STUDIES versus the actual monies spent on construction and Big Bertha herself.  SO by all means, City Council, you keep wasting public funds and keeping a well-earned track record of complete incompetence and STUDY THE HECK out of our messed-up public infrastructure.  We’re all made of gold here in Seattle, so go ahead and waste more of it.

  • wsn00b November 15, 2016 (2:06 pm)

    They can’t do basic stuff like fixing potholes and cleaning up garbage and weeds on the bridge but want to spend 100K studying stuff. Awesome.

  • wsn00b November 15, 2016 (2:23 pm)

    Also a good chunk of the new LED lights don’t work a lot. The bridge west end is mostly dark on evenings.

  • wakeflood November 15, 2016 (2:45 pm)

    Well, snarkiness aside, the money has to be allocated to set up traffic counters and analysis of the results that give you some indication whether a proposed change will actually yield results.  It’s a good idea to spend some time doing solid what/if analysis on real world data and like any other complex data, garbage in, garbage out.    

  • Gene November 15, 2016 (3:25 pm)

    WAKEFLOOD- key words being —solid what/if analysis. 

    So many studies- so much money spent on studies. Sorry- I don’t have much confidence left in studies & who does them. Not being snarky- just honest.

  • South supporter November 15, 2016 (4:12 pm)

    South Seattle College is a gem and an irreplaceable resource for all of us in West Seattle, especially Running Start, post-high school, pre-university, and community students and their families and the businesses that employ them. Unfortunately, some of the extraordinary long-time faculty are considering leaving and are looking for other jobs because of their inability to support and educate their own families with their ridiculously low salaries/wages.  Please support and speak out for more funding for South from the City, whatever form it may take. And consider supporting faculty in their walk-out this Thursday on the South campus. The South faculty have provided so many opportunities for West Seattleites – let’s support them and give back.

  • Jan November 15, 2016 (4:14 pm)

    Couldn’t help but notice the photo is so similar to Seattle artist Allessandra Panieri’s artwork.

    • wb November 15, 2016 (10:08 pm)

      Jan that is amazing.

  • Ron Swanson November 15, 2016 (4:29 pm)

    Don’t really need a study, the answer is obvious: backups on the West Seattle Freeway are caused by congestion further north on I-5 that backs up down the ramp.  And wouldn’t you know, there’s a project to ease the congestion by adding a lane from Seneca to Olive.  It’s on hold for the lack of $20m, which is insane to me given the importance of the route.  The city should pledge the study money towards construction and lobby the state to come up with the rest.

  • TheKing November 15, 2016 (7:13 pm)

    Ok, okaaay. I will study the studies. It will only cost every household $579 a month for the next lifetime of your great grand children and beyond. That’s just over a dollar a day. The tax will be indefinite and subject to no accountability. Thanks suckers 

  • Jim November 15, 2016 (8:59 pm)

    Thank you to Councilmember Lisa Herbold for continuing to work West Seattle issues! 

  • rob November 16, 2016 (7:43 pm)

     hey jim maybe you can help people like me and others that are on a fixed income pay our bills . People like you that have a lust to raise taxes have no clue what your doing to people like us. Maybe you can afford all the tax hikes but  for people where every dollar counts are suffering

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