POLICE UPDATE, INCLUDING THE 4TH: Southwest Precinct operations commander Lt. Steve Strand started with an overall West Seattle update. He said summer emphasis patrols have included speeding vehicles (2- and 4-wheels) leaving the Fauntleroy ferry terminal early in the morning (5:30-ish). One board member said people leaving 4:50 am boat are the biggest offenders. (A later question asked about traffic problems related to ferry lines. Lt. Strand mentioned the state paying off-duty officers to direct traffic at the dock.) The 4th of July included more officers at Lincoln Park including a Gator utility vehicle with lights and a loudspeaker.
Officers used it to get onto trails and along the beach. Board members said they’d observed that fireworks use seemed lighter than in years past and reported hearing the officers’ loudspeaker alerts about closing the park. The Gator” actually belongs to the South Precinct but SW borrowed it and hopes to do so more in the future, using it in areas along Alki Avenue too. Crime trends overall are down locally and citywide. How successful have the Alki and South Park emphases been? No stats but anecdotally the results seem positive. Alki had an initial report, for example, of 36 tickets written in one stretch but only 1 of those was for noise. By the way, police are not immune to crime: Lt. Strand reported taking a break while doing some pressure-washing – and coming back to find his pressure washer had been stolen. An FCA board member reported that his vehicle’s gas tank was drilled and drained.
MICROCOMMUNITY POLICING PLAN: SW Precinct intern Taylor Lowry, from Seattle U, brought a mini-version of the microcommunity-policing-plan focus groups to the FCA board. The goal: Find out residents’ opinions and concerns about crime, safety, and policing. Questions included “How safe do you feel in your neighborhood?” “Very,” rippled around the room. That didn’t mean a total lack of concerns – car prowls were mentioned. Other issues that came up included some safety concerns that are recurrent topics of discussion at FCA meetings – pedestrian crossings along Lincoln Park and in the Endolyne business district, among others. Unauthorized camping in the park was mentioned, too.
What’s next? The Seattle U team that works each year with SPD is continuing to crunch 2018 data. Also they’re continuing to have focus group meetings in local neighborhoods with MCPPs – see that list here.
FAIR VOTE: This nonpartisan organization is “working to introduce ranked-choice voting to Washington state,” explained Robert Poore, who was invited to speak to the FCA board. RCV is explained here – board members didn’t ask for much of an explanation, but instead just launched directly into questions. Who else does it? he was asked. Maine uses it for federal elections, he said, as well as several cities around the country. His group is supporting a “local options” proposal that would allow local governments to try it if they choose; right now, state law requires “top two” statewide. The “local options” bill would allow local governments to choose not to have primaries, too. Why would it be a good idea? Among other reasons, Poore said, “it eliminates the spoiler effect” and “reduces negative campaigning.” Fair Vote has one paid staffer and is otherwise all-volunteer, funded mostly by grass-roots donations, Poore said. What’s the biggest argument made against it? “It’s complicated and expensive.” Neither is necessarily so, he said. What happened in the Legislature? “It made it through several committees” before stalling. He said most sponsors were Democrats; “we’re still working on getting some Republicans.”
FOOD TRUCK: FCA has continued to monitor reported plans for a food truck to use a newly graded pad outside the Joslin Building in the Endolyne area. El Camion is the truck, they have learned (we’ll be following up).
NEXT MEETING: The FCA board skips August – Night Out parties in early August are big community-building events – but will be back in session at 7 pm Tuesday, September 10th, in the conference room at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. Watch fauntleroy.net for updates between meetings.