Morning Fizz

Well, There Was an Amendment to Support Gay Marriage

By Morning Fizz December 13, 2011

Caffeinated news & gossip. Your daily Morning Fizz.



1. At its last meeting of the year yesterday afternoon, the King County Council put off a typically perfunctory vote (approving its state legislative agenda) after the Republicans suddenly called for a recess to caucus. When they returned 25 minutes later they asked to delay the vote until next meeting—which isn't scheduled until January.

Hmmm. [pullquote]Democrat Joe McDermott proposed an amendment supporting marriage equality and the Republicans on the council delayed the vote.  [/pullquote]

Well, there was an amendment by Democratic Council Member Joe McDermott  to support gay marriage. Guess the Republicans now have a couple of more weeks to decide how they feel about that one.

2. Jonah talked to grumpy port workers and heady protesters yesterday. Here's his report.

And here are  couple of pictures:







3. Yesterday afternoon, the city council got a look at what a property tax levy for library service could look like. The council is considering putting a library levy on the ballot in August; the measure would be the first new tax levy for libraries since the Libraries for All levy in 1998.

Although the council hasn't proposed a specific dollar amount for the levy, library director Marcellus Turner estimated that the levy would pay for some, but not all, of the $50 million in library funding that currently comes from the city's general fund.

The "menu" of potential new spends in front of the council includes a combination of service restorations, additional library materials, and new library services, including:
Restoring Friday and/or Sunday service at 15 of the 26 library branches that are currently closed on Fridays and Sundays;

Creating a consistent schedule at library branches across the city, which are currently operating on various schedules;

Restoring the library's collections budget to previous levels, which have been cut dramatically over the years;

Improve the library's computer systems and online services by replacing PCs, developing online resources and reference services, and improving the library's audiovisual and communications services; and

Improving building, landscaping, and materials maintenance.

4. City council president Richard Conlin will deliver a letter, signed by all nine council members and Mayor Mike McGinn, to state legislators today expressing the city's support for a bill that would extend a $30 surcharge collected by county auditors on documents such as liens, deeds, and mortgages that helps pay for housing for the homeless. The proposal would extend the $30 surcharge through 2019; if it doesn't pass next year, the charge would go down to $10.

5. Yesterday, the council passed legislation allowing the owners of historic buildings in the Pike/Pine corridor to sell off development rights to nearby developers, making it possible for them to preserve historic buildings without losing the money they could make from demolishing and redeveloping them as new apartments or condos, while giving the new developers the right to build 10 feet higher (or about one story) than zoning allows. The program could help promote development on as many as 18 vacant lots in the corridor.

6. The city of Kirkland has hired Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission director Wayne Barnett to revise the city's ethics code and investigate potential ethics violations in the future. The agreement is similar to one the ethics commission signed with the Seattle School Board earlier this year.

Kirkland will pay the city of Seattle $105 an hour for Barnett's time---an estimated 20 to 30 hours, plus additional time for any investigations that come up in the future.
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