Monday, June 21, 2010


Regular Meeting

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency), Pacific Marine Center on Lake Union

1801 Fairview Avenue East

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Your Right to Public Records and Open Meetings

Featuring David Norman, Allied Law Group

Democracy has little meaning unless citizens can find out what government is doing. For accountability to work, openness is essential. Two bulwarks of open government in Washington State are the Public Records Act and the Open Public Meetings Act. In a not-to-be-missed presentation and question-and-answer period, David Norman of the Allied Law Group will explain how to use these laws, and how the laws can be strengthened.

How to file and follow up a public records request? What to do if open meeting requirements appear to be ignored? How to ensure access to public records if more documents are in the form of e-mails, Facebook and Twitter posts, and text messages? Can openness prevail if more meetings are in the form of retreats, executive or emergency sessions, and serial or virtual meetings with little notice or access?

Join us for this hands-on presentation and discussion. Access the unexcelled library of open government resources that David Norman helped assemble for the Washington Coalition for Open Government at

Time permitting, the June meeting will also include our monthly Round Robin of issues and projects in your neighborhood. If you have informational materials you would like distributed at the meeting, please email electronic copies or links to Jeannie Hale at

7:00 Call to Order and Introductions


1. Changes to the agenda

2. Treasurer’s report

3. President’s report

7:15 Your Right to Public Records and Open Meetings: David Norman, Allied Law Group

8:15 Round Robin

9:00 Adjourn

NOAA is a federal facility on high security alert, so attendees must enter by the security gate and may need to present photo ID. If you haven't attended a recent Federation meeting, please send your name, contact information, and address to to be added to the entry list. No e-mail? Call 206-365-1267. The building is ADA compliant, with ample parking in front.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mayor to cut wading-pool hours, delay hiring 21 police officers in midyear budget cuts

Police hiring will be delayed and 10 of the city's wading pools will be shut down under Mayor Mike McGinn's midyear budget cuts announced Monday.

By Emily Heffter

Seattle Times staff reporter



Gage Burnell, 5, runs through a waterless Ravenna wading pool. Mayor Mike McGinn will shut down 10 of the city's wading pools or convert them to spray features.


Mayor McGinn's reaction to city budget cuts

The impact on wading pools

To cut costs, Seattle is closing or reducing hours at some wading pools. The new plan:

Open seven days a week: Green Lake, Lincoln, Magnuson, Van Asselt, Volunteer Park

Open three days a week: Bitter Lake, Cal Anderson, Dahl, Delridge, E.C. Hughes, East Queen Anne, Hiawatha, South Park, Soundview, Wallingford

Converting to a spray feature: Georgetown, Highland Park, Northacres

Closed: Beacon Hill, Gillman, Peppi's Playground, Powell Barnett, Ravenna, Sandel, View Ridge

Police hiring will be delayed and 10 of the city's wading pools will be shut down or converted to spray features under Mayor Mike McGinn's midyear budget cuts announced Monday.

The mayor plans to postpone hiring 21 new police officers and to lay off 13 city employees, along with a variety of other cuts, to save a total of $12.4 million.

McGinn and his budget director told the City Council during a briefing that they were just getting started. To balance next year's budget, the city will have to cut more than $50 million or find new sources of revenue to fill the budget hole.

The midyear cuts don't require a council vote.

The mayor made a point to leave open public swimming pools and community centers for the rest of 2010 — something residents had clamored for at a series of public meetings this spring.

"We heard very clearly, as I believe you did, that parks services are valued very highly by our community members and [we] are trying to preserve those as much as possible for the rest of 2010," Budget Director Beth Goldberg told the City Council.

Wading pools are another matter. The city plans to convert the Georgetown, Highland Park and Northacres wading pools into spray features. Spray features are less expensive to operate and appeal to a wider age range, Goldberg said.

Wading pools are staffed by seasonal attendants who, when the temperature hits 70 degrees during summer, fill the pools and test the water every hour for health-safety standards, according to parks-department spokeswoman Joelle Hammerstad said. They then drain the pools and clean up at the end of the day.

Attendants are certified in first aid, CPR and chemical handling and have water-safety training — but they are not lifeguards, she added.

The parks department had hired 40 wading-pool attendants, but 20 will be let go because of the closures, she said. The remaining 20 will have reduced hours.

Still, asked about the parks-department reductions, Hammerstad said, "We feel pretty darn good about it. We are able to preserve the vast majority of our programs and services."

But it's clear the cuts are far from over, she added. "In terms of next year, it definitely will be much worse. We really have no idea what that will look like."

Read the rest of this Seattle Times story HERE.



Michael Patrick McGinn, Mayor

Christopher Williams, Acting Superintendent

For immediate release June 14, 2010

Contact: Dewey Potter, 206-684-7241




Working closely with Mayor Mike McGinn and the City Budget Office (CBO), Seattle Parks and Recreation has put together a package of mid-year 2010 budget cuts that represent a 2% reduction in General Fund spending, while preserving as many services as possible.

Both the Mayor and CBO played an integral role in crafting a plan maintains the many programs that Seattleites rely on, while reducing the overall amount of General Fund money allocated to Parks for 2010. This collaborative process will serve as the model when analyzing the 2011 budget proposal.

Mid-year 2010 budget reductions for Seattle Parks and Recreation, which are necessary because of revenue shortfalls, include:

· Transfer of $.8 million of surplus fund balance from the Park Fund to the General Fund.

· Reduce $0.2 million in our utility budget. Parks has been working to use water, sewer, gas, and electricity more wisely, and these efforts are paying off. Unfortunately, we anticipate that utility rate increases will erase this surplus by 2011.

· Savings of $0.1 million in training and travel funds by following the Mayor’s directive to limit expenditures on these items.

· Holding one position vacant in the Superintendent’s Office and one in the Finance and Administrative Services Division for a total savings of about $0.1 million for the half-year.

· Holding three park maintenance positions vacant in each of eight Park Districts for the last half of 2010. This will save about $0.3 million but will have an impact on our ability to maintain our parks to their current excellent standard. Parks staff are working on ways to test different reduction strategies this summer to identify the models that have the least impact on the public.

· The only facilities that will close or will have their days of operation significantly curtailed are wading pools. For the summer of 2010, Green Lake, Volunteer, Lincoln, Magnuson, and Van Asselt wading pools will be open every day of the week from June 26 through Labor Day. Ten pools will be open three days per week for eight weeks beginning June 26. Ten wading pools will be closed (three for conversion to spray features, two because of adjacent construction, and five because of budget constraints). While this will have an impact on families and children, it will save the City almost $0.2 million.

Adding all these midyear reductions together totals $1.7 million, or about 2% of Parks’ General Fund support.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Police Chief Public forum, 6 p.m. Wed, June 2

City of Seattle

Office of the Mayor


For Immediate Release Contact: Mark Matassa

June 1, 2010 Tel: (206) 233-2655, Mobile: (206) 321-7307

Police Chief finalists visiting Seattle this week

Public forum, media access set for candidates

SEATTLE -- As Mayor Mike McGinn prepares to choose Seattle's next police chief, the three finalists for the job will appear at a community forum next week to talk about their experience and take questions from the public.

The three finalists, selected by the Mayor's 26-member Police Chief Search Committee, are Rick Braziel, chief of police in Sacramento; Ron Davis, chief of police in East Palo Alto, Calif.; and Interim Seattle Police Chief John Diaz.

All three candidates will appear at the forum, beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 2, in the Rainier Room at Seattle Center.

The forum, moderated by Search Committee Co-Chairman Charles Rolland, will include opening remarks by Mayor McGinn, a 5-minute presentation by each candidate and about half an hour of discussion with each candidate. Audience members will be encouraged to submit questions, with translators available, and various community members will be on hand with prepared questions as well.

The event will be live-streamed by the Seattle Channel on the Mayor's blog, at

In addition, reporters are invited to attend consecutive 30-minute media availabilities with the finalists on Friday, June 4, in the Norman B. Rice Room in the Mayor's Office, on the 7th Floor of City Hall. Interim Chief Diaz will meet with reporters at 1:30 p.m., followed by Chief Davis at 2 p.m. and Chief Braziel at 2:30 p.m.

Mayor McGinn convened the Police Chief Search Committee in January to help him find a successor to former Chief Gil Kerlikowske, who was appointed by President Obama last year to be the nation's Drug Control Policy Director. The Mayor expects to announce his choice for chief sometime in June. His selection is subject to City Council confirmation.

For more information about the search process, see the Search Committee's website,

Note to reporters and editors

Contact update: Please note that I have a new cell number, 206-321-7307. -- Mark Matassa

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