A few items that came across our radar this afternoon:

1. Former (fired) assistant city attorneys Phil Brenneman and Ted Inkley filed a wide-ranging public disclosure request seeking all communications between council members regarding the city attorney's office since June 2009, in addition to all communications between council members and now-City Attorney Pete Holmes.

I've been poring through the response to the attorneys' request to Holmes this afternoon. So far, the results—two reams' worth—are pretty boring. However, there is an awesome description of former deputy mayor Tim Ceis, which Holmes spokeswoman Kathy Mulady wrote for him as part of preparation for meetings with top city staffers.

"Nickname is The Shark, for various reasons, mainly because he lurks menancingly in the background. ... He lives for hardball politics. Most would say he ran the city for the past eight years."

Mulady, a longtime city hall reporter for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, knows whereof she speaks. "That's true," she said about the Cies description, laughing, when I read it to her to confirm she wrote it.

2. Mayor Mike McGinn will meet with low-income housing advocates and City Council members Sally Clark and Nick Licata this Thursday, February 18, at 5 pm, to discuss "the future of housing in Seattle," according to a one-line invitation from the mayor's office to the two council members and to housing advocates like the Housing Development Consortium.

Last week, the two council members wrote a letter to McGinn requesting the formation of a formal committee to choose replacements for outgoing Office of Housing Director Adrienne Quinn and former Human Services Department director Alan Painter.

Mayoral spokesman Mark Matassa says the meeting will not be open to the public.

3. Using identical language, two groups of South Seattle neighborhood residents have appealed the city's ruling that upzones around light-rail stations would have no significant impact on their neighborhoods.

The letters allege that "families, neighbors, businesses, students and school families, customers, commuters, visitors, [and] recreation users" will be harmed if the upzones (intended to create housing close enough to transit that people won't have to drive) are approved.

"The update [to the neighborhood plans] submitted by [the city's Department of Planning and Development] proposes significant land use, zoning and building height changes to increase density far beyond current capacity," the letter reads. It points to everything from increased traffic and loss of parking to "overcrowding in local schools" and loss of "potential use of solar power" as reasons to oppose increases in density around transit stops.

The hearing examiner heard Merrell's appeal on Wednesday, and will meet to consider the Othello group's appeal next Thursday afternoon.
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