Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Local News


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Go to the politics section for more local and national politics coverage.

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

April 22, 2010 at 3:56 PM

Comments (0)     E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Council strikes back at McGinn: What's your plan to fix street crime?

Posted by Emily Heffter

(This post has been updated with comments from Councilmember Sally Clark and Mayor Mike McGinn.)

The Seattle City Council couldn't get veto-proof support this week for new rules on aggressive panhandling.

Members voted 5-4 Monday to pass the controversial legislation that Mayor Mike McGinn intends to veto Friday afternoon.

But all nine council members have signed a letter Thursday criticizing the mayor for holding up the hiring of 20 police officers.

The mayor said on KUOW this week that the police department was holding off hiring 20 budgeted officers because of a budget shortfall. In the interview on the "Weekday" program, the mayor said the city may not be able to afford a planned 20 officers next year, either.

The council's strongly worded letter says:

"We are troubled by the halt in hiring net new officers and that this decision was made without consulting the Council," the letter says. "We request that you direct the Chief of Police to proceed with the hiring necessary to keep the city on track to achieve a net increase of 20 patrol officers this year."

The council asks McGinn to report back about what he will do to decrease crime and "street disorder" in business districts, including downtown.

Councilmember Sally Clark said the council should have been told about any decision to put off the neighborhood policing plan promise to hire 20 police officers each year.

"It's a big public commitment on the part of the city, and it's something where council members would expect to be told about that," she said.

McGinn blamed the council's budget for his decision about the police officers. He said the city may not be able to afford the officers this year or next. The council is asking him to spend money the city doesn't have, he said.

"The council can't have it both ways," the mayor said. "They can't pass an unsustainable budget, spend down the rainy day fund, hand out business tax breaks ... and then say, you know, come up with dollars ... We are cleaning up the mess that they created."

Clark said the mayor's recent comments about the budget have been "short-sighted" and that she hopes the council and the mayor can get on the same page about budget cuts before joint public budget meetings April 28 and May 4.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

Recent entries

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Browse the archives

April 2010

March 2010

February 2010

January 2010

December 2009

November 2009

Contributors

Jim Brunner
Covers politics.

Keith Ervin
Covers the Eastside.

Andrew Garber
Covers politics and state government from Olympia.

Emily Heffter
Covers local government.

Mike Lindblom
Covers transportation.

Kyung Song
Covers politics and regional issues from Washington, D.C.

Lynn Thompson
Covers Seattle City Hall.

Bob Young
Covers King County and urban affairs.