Extra Fizz: Three from City Hall
Extra Fizz featuring the search for a new police chief and the search for a new minimum wage.
1. Among the 32 members of Mayor Ed Murray's Community Advisory Committee—a group the mayor has appointed to help select a new police chief in the wake of last DOJ consent decree and former chief John Diaz' resignation—five served on the 25-member committee former mayor Mike McGinn set up in 2009 to replace former chief Gil Kerlikowske.
They are: Immigrant rights' advocate Pramila Jayapal (along with former King County executive Ron Sims, one of two co-chairs of the committee); Seattle Neighborhood Group director Kay Godefroy; Downtown Seattle Assocition director Kate Joncas; Seattle Police Management Association president Eric Sano; and Mothers for Police Accountability head Harriett Walden.
Although both McGinn's and Murray's groups include representatives of all the requisite "stakeholders"—business, labor, cops, civil rights groups, etc.—McGinn's was, if anything, more business- and attorney-dominated than Murray's, which includes just one practicing white-shoe attorney (David Perez from Perkins Coie) and two business representatives (Kate Joncas from the Downtown Seattle Association and Steve Shulman, who owns the Leschi Food Mart.
2. Speaking of the search for a new SPD chief: At his press conference yesterday announcing a "bifurcated" process to find a replacement for ex-chief John Diaz (and announcing that interim police chief Jim Pugel would be returning to his former job as assistant chief), Murray gave an additional reason for demoting Pugel back to his former position: Having an interim chief seeking the permanent chief position, as Pugel is, while overseeing the implementation of the Department of Justice consent decree requiring reforms at the department, "would damage the process of the consent decree and potentially damage [Pugel's] career.
"I think this is a cleaner process," Murray said.
We have calls out to Murray's press secretary for clarification on how retaining Pugel might have damaged the consent decree implementation process or hurt his own career; we'll update with additional details when we hear back.
3. As we mentioned in Fizz this morning, reports vary on whether Mayor Murray's first minimum-wage panel discussion, held in private yesterday morning, was a shit show or a love fest. However, one thing is clear: The composition of the crowd in the room will soon change, starting with the presence of Philip Locker, the campaign manager for now-council member Kshama Sawant.
Committee chair David Rolf confirms that at Sawant and other committee members' request, each member will allowed to bring one staffer of their choice into the group's meetings, to sit and take notes on their behalf. Rolf said he didn't know if the staff presence was supposed to be restricted to actual city hall staffers (as opposed to former campaign workers, like Locker, who are not on the city payroll), but added that his goal is to "operate with a minimum of rulemaking" going forward.
"Each member of the committee may bring one member of her/his staff to attend meetings as a silent observer, provided that staff agree to be bound by the Mayor's request for confidentiality of discussions," the group's new ground rule says.
Locker, a longtime activist with the Socialist Alternative party (to which Sawant also belongs), is reportedly a fixture at Sawant's second-floor office at city hall.
It's unclear how, or whether, Locker is being paid for his work for Sawant; he hasn't returned a call for comment, and Sawant's council staffers referred our questions directly to the council member, who also has not returned our call.
In fairness, her office has reportedly been overwhelmed by media requests (national media being titillated at the idea of a real-live Socialist elected official), and as a result her door on the second floor of city hall is reportedly often closed.