Urban Politics #209: Council President


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By City Councilmember Nick Licata.

Urban Politics (UP) blends my insights and information on current public policy developments and personal experiences with the intent of helping citizens shape Seattle’s future.

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CONTENTS: 

 

  • COUNCIL PRESIDENT
  • NEW COUNCIL COMMITTEES
  • COUNCIL COMMITTEE ISSUE AREAS

 

Council President

On January 23rd, I was selected by the other Councilmembers to serve as the Council President. This position involves much administrative work because the Council President heads the Legislative Department. Consequently I will have to not only run Council meetings, but I will also oversee personnel matters for our Central Staff, Administrative Staff and the City Clerk Staff.

Additionally, all legislation referred to the Council from the Mayor and Executive Departments goes to the Council President for assignment to the appropriate Council Committee. The issue areas for each Committee are defined by a resolution to avoid confusion as to which Committee has jurisdiction. When there is an issue that could be referred to more than one Committee, the President decides which Committee will receive it.

 

Council Committees

With today’s passage of Resolution 30838, the Council adopts a committee structure for the next two years. Every two years, after Council elections, the assignment of Committee Chairs and members is revisited. Generally if a Council member chairs a Committee for 4 years or more, another Councilmember may request to chair that committee.

The first duty of a Council President is to assign the new Committee Chairs and members by working in consultation with the other Councilmembers. The goal is to derive a committee structure and membership that is acceptable to as many Councilmembers as possible, while also insuring that all of the City’s many departments receive legislative and policy oversight.

The following committees reflect the concerns and interest areas of the new Committee Chairs that head them. The membership is listed below, followed by a description of the issues covered by the committee.

In the weeks following the passage of this Council Committee structure, the Council will next develop work plans for each of these committees.

Standing Committee, Chair, Committee Members & Meeting Days and Times

Energy and Technology Chair: Jean Godden
Vice-Chair: David J. Della
Member: Nick Licata
Alternate: Tom Rasmussen
2nd and 4th Wednesdays 9:30 a.m.

Finance and Budget Chair: Richard McIver
Vice-Chair: Jean Godden
Member: David Della
Alternate: Jan Drago
1st and 3rd Wednesdays 9:30 a.m.

Economic Development and Neighborhoods Chair: Sally Clark
Vice-Chair: Richard McIver
Member: Jan Drago
Alternate: Peter Steinbrueck
1st and 3rd Thursdays 9:30 a.m.

Housing, Human Services and Health Chair: Tom Rasmussen
Vice-Chair: Sally Clark
Member: Richard McIver
Alternate: Nick Licata
1st and 3rd Tuesdays 9:00 a.m.

Parks, Education, Libraries and Labor Chair: David Della
Vice-Chair: Jan Drago
Member: Richard Conlin
Alternate: Sally Clark
1st and 3rd Wednesdays 2:00 p.m.

Public Safety, Governmental Relations and Arts Chair: Nick Licata
Vice-Chair: Jean Godden
Member: Peter Steinbrueck
Alternate: Richard McIver
1st and 3rd Tuesdays 2:00 p.m.

Transportation Chair: Jan Drago
Vice-Chair: Peter Steinbrueck
Member: Tom Rasmussen
Member: Jean Godden
Alternate: Richard Conlin
2nd and 4th Tuesdays 9:30 a.m.

Urban Development and Planning Chair: Peter Steinbrueck
Vice-Chair: Tom Rasmussen
Member: Richard Conlin
Alternate: Jean Godden
2nd and 4th Wednesdays 2:00 p.m.

Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Chair: Richard
Conlin
Vice-Chair: Nick Licata
Member: Sally Clark
Alternate: David Della
2nd and 4th Tuesdays 2:00 p.m.

 

Council Committee Issue Areas

Energy and Technology Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to Seattle City Light, including but not limited to City Light finances, energy utility rates, resource matters, regional matters, air pollution regulations, environmental policies and initiatives, alternative energy sources and waterway cleanup; and to City information technology planning, implementation, and organization, cable telecommunications services and planning, broadband telecommunications planning and implementation, the Public Access Network (PAN) and citizen technology literacy and access.

Finance and Budget Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to the financial management and policies of the City and its agents, including the biennial operating and capital budgets, levies, taxes, revenue, audits, and judgments and claims against the City; to the administration of the City, including but not limited to personnel issues and other issues related to salary rates, hours and conditions of employment; and to oversight of the City’s public works construction projects except as otherwise specified.

Economic Development and Neighborhoods Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to City economic development policies and programs; to neighborhoods, including neighborhood plans implementation, outreach and citizen involvement, and historic preservation; and to oversight of ethics and elections.

Housing, Human Services and Health Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to housing, human services, homelessness, child care, aging, disability services and local and regional public health.

Parks, Libraries, Labor and Education Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to parks, public grounds, recreation, community centers, the Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium and Seattle Center; to libraries; to City labor-management relations and labor relations policies, including collective bargaining; and to education activities within the City’s purview, including workforce development and training, Council-School Board relations, and oversight of the Families and Education Levy and the City’s Education Action Agenda.

Public Safety, Governmental Relations and Arts Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to law enforcement, fire prevention and suppression, emergency medical services and criminal justice, including coordination with County, state and federal law and justice agencies; to regional, state, federal and other intergovernmental relations; to civil rights issues; and to arts activities.

Transportation Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to city-wide and regional transportation policies and planning, street maintenance and rehabilitation, traffic control and parking policies; to neighborhood transportation planning; to pedestrian and bicycle programs; to the coordination of transportation issues and the representation of the Council’s interests on transportation to King County, Sound Transit, the Puget Sound Regional Council, the Washington State Department of Transportation and neighborhoods within the City of Seattle; and to the Civic Center construction project.

Urban Development and Planning Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to growth and the urban environment, including comprehensive planning, zoning, design and land use regulations; to the work priorities of the City’s Office of Policy and Management; and to the Civic Center construction project.

Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee: To deliberate and make recommendations on legislative matters relating to water, drainage, wastewater and solid waste services provided by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), including SPU environmental services and utility rates, regional water resources and endangered species recovery plans; to sustainability and the Office of Sustainability and Environment; to the City’s energy and environmental policies, stewardship, conservation programs and initiatives; and to emergency preparedness, management and response.

 

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