(Click to watch live via Seattle Channel)
10:07 AM: The City Council has reconvened as the Select Budget Committee, with proposed SPD cuts first on the agenda, right after public comment, which has just begun. Here’s the agenda, with documents.
10:32 AM: Public comment (with all but the last of two dozen-plus speakers voicing support for “defunding”) is over. Budget chair Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda is now addressing the turmoil over the issue. She’s followed by council president Councilmember Lorena González. Both take issue with the mayor’s contention that the council is taking action without a plan. “The simple fact is that the mayor does not like our plan,” she declared. “It’s easier to be critical of other people’s plans than to be creative with your own.” She extends an “open public invitation” to the mayor and chief to collaborate. Both stress that a larger process/conversation begins with next year’s budget process, launching in a matter of weeks. Councilmember Kshama Sawant then spoke to say her colleagues need to do more; Councilmember Debora Juarez suggested the speeches be held until the specific items are considered.
10:58 AM: And with that, they’re on to the actual proposals. They can’t vote on what’s under agenda item #1, they’re told, before next week. First item is one co-sponsored by Councilmember Lisa Herbold that would break individual precincts back into individual SPD budget items, as they used to be before SPD combined them into one “patrol operations” item. This among other things could be a pre-emptive strike against an individual precinct closure such as the chief’s mention weeks ago that budget cuts could lead to closing the Southwest Precinct.
11:53 AM: Voting has begun. We won’t be able to monitor because we are moving on to the West Seattle Bridge Community Task Force meeting at noon, but will catch up later – and you can still tune in via the stream above.
2:20 PM: Checking back on the council, they’ve reconvened after a break; they’re on Amendment 45 (again, here’s the agenda).
4:53 PM: The meeting is wrapping up. No final votes yet – the council meets again as the Select Budget Committee at 10 am Monday. (added) What’s advanced so far does not amount to a 50 percent cut, but it does include some major changes, including cutting police-brass salaries and ending the Navigation Team.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT NOTE: Media briefing announced for 10 am Thursday: “Council President M. Lorena González and Councilmembers Lisa Herbold, Tammy J. Morales will hold a press conference on Thursday at City Hall to clarify with the public the Council’s plan for meaningful community investments this year to improve public safety for everyone, especially Black, brown and Indigenous communities in Seattle.”
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