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Archive for February 15th, 2012

At the Council meeting tonight, a majority of the Council expressed a desire to reconsider the issue of whether to divest the City’s water utility in 2012, likely in the third quarter. After persistent questioning by Anne Blair, Steven Bonkowski said he wanted to look at the question in the third quarter. Kirsten Hytopoulos urged the others to disclose their views. Dave Ward said he agreed with Bonkowski. Debbi Lester didn’t want to discuss her views. Sarah Blossom said she wanted to look at the question, “the earlier the better.” The Council then added it to its work plan. See my live blog, here.

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I’m at the Council meeting tonight, starting to blog at the agenda item, “2012 Workplan Priorities.” Morgan Smith presented a list of high priority items for staff, including resolving outstanding labor claims and negotiating a new police guild contract, Rockaway Beach stabilization, increasing the annual roads preservation support by 50%, and updating the water and sewer utility plans. She also identified work the Council agreed on at the council retreat, which include an allocation process for the WSF funds, roads planning and police accountability. Click here for the list: 021512_2012_WORKPLAN_CC_021512

Melanie Keenan and Malcolm Gander informed the Council that they submitted a draft grant to Ecology for $200,000 to clean up the Unocal site. They want the Council to put the grant on the work plan. They mentioned that they’d been in touch with Dave Ward about this.

Barry Peters reminded the Council that the UAC brought forward a recommendation to examine the SSWM fee structure and recommends that the Council put that on its work plan.

Debbi Lester moved to affirm the proposed work plan, Bonkowski seconded. Passes unanimously. Bob Scales is absent from the meeting.

Anne Blair suggested if there is a plan to divest the water utility this year, it needs to be on the work plan.

Kirsten Hytopoulos says that to have a full conversation of the cultural element they need to have more information. We don’t know who will be our manager, or whether we will be manager-less, she says, so she doesn’t think they should open up broader conversation about the social services or the cultural element. They just don’t have the capacity, even though that conversation is overdue.  She says, we’ve lost the opportunity of having a conversation this year about who we are and where we’re going by undertaking a city manager search this year. (more…)

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